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Starting Out On Hayden Duet, Advice?


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#19 Jim Bayliss

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 08:35 AM

I learned and played on the 6-sided Bastari Hayden duet models for 10+ years before finally acquiring a used 46 key Wheatstone Hayden. When the first Bastari became inoperable, I bought a second and keep it alive with spare parts from the first. The critical weak spot (not to mention the bellows) for me in these Bastaris was the action, where the rivet connection between the button and the soft aluminum rod arms would wear through and become irreparable. The buttons have little bushing and are like loose teeth in the end plate. In this respect, the Stagi Haydens are an improvement over the 6-sided Bastaris as the buttons are much more secure and there's no weak rivet connection. Now that you have a Bastari, you will notice more and more the difference between the symmetric Hayden/Wicki and the asymmetric Stagi button placements. For me, the Stagi arrangement violates the principle of "Keep It Simple".

Edited by jim bayliss, 21 March 2009 - 03:08 PM.


#20 ragtimer

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 08:40 PM

I learned and played on the 6-sided Bastari Hayden duet models for 10+ years before finally acquiring a used 46 key Wheatstone Hayden. When the first Bastari became inoperable, I bought a second and keep it alive with spare parts from the first. The critical weak spot (not to mention the bellows) for me in these Bastaris was the action, where the rivet connection between the button and the soft aluminum rod arms would wear through and become irreparable. The buttons have little bushing and are like loose teeth in the end plate.

My "new" Bastari 67-key has similar action -- button shaft is riveted to the lever arm end. It's nice to have a "riveted action", but those rivets are tiny and I do wonder how long they will last. (Yes I know that "riveted action" noramlly refers to the main pivot of the lever, not at the button).

My buttons are at least bushed with felt, so they run smooth and true. I read somewhere that the Bastari 46-key used rubber bushings, or something not as nice as felt. You can correct me on this. Probably the 67-key is built differently than the 46 (besides being square-ended).

In this respect, the Stagi Haydens are an improvement over the 6-sided Bastaris as the buttons are much more secure and there's no weak rivet connection.

True for a while, in that there is nothing to break. However, the opening in the button shaft does wear a bite out of the lever arm, so the action gets loose, with lost motion, and noisier. Because of the guide holes in the action plate, the buttons don't get all snaggle-toothed but continue to run true -- but they do have that "slop" in the direction of travel. Ultimately, the buttons will not open the pads all the way, but I expect a few years more playing before that's a problem on my Stagi.

Stagi's center pivots for the levers should last forever. Unforch, so will those too-stiff springs :(

Now that you have a Bastari, you will notice more and more the difference between the symmetric Hayden/Wicki and the asymmetric Stagi button placements. For me, the Stagi arrangement violates the principle of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

FWIW, I find my Stagi much easier and reliable (as in hitting the right notes) to play than the Bastari, but that may be just because of three years of Stagi training. The asymmetrical button spacing may actually make certain finger sequences easier. --Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer, 13 October 2007 - 08:42 PM.


#21 David Barnert

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:32 PM

After Stagi had taken over, a Gentleman (I can't remember who) phoned me from the States wanting more cheap Hayden system instruments, and as I didn't want to get involved again, suggested he order them direct saying that Bastari had all the details of the instruments.

That would be Jeff Jacobs.

Yes, accidentals outside of the scale of the key you're playing in, are sort of the elephant in the living room of the Hayden Duet. Like most other Duet systems, the Haydne puts the "white" notes up the middle and the "black" sharps and flats on either side. However, the sharp or flat of a note is not in the same row or very close, but in the row above or below and rather far away, leading to pinky stretches and mis-hits.

A consequence of this is that, if you want to play a certain note sharp or flat, you must use a different finger than you'd have used for the natural note. And so you have to adjust the fingerings of notes preceeding and following that note. So a tune may need more practice, and more writing-in of finger numbers above the spots on the page.

Since diatonic music rarely includes both a note and its accidental in the same passage, this is not really a problem. The "nearby" accidentals in any key (sharp 4 or flat 7 in a major key, for example) are within easy reach. The raised 6 and 7 of a melodic minor scale can be a bit of a stretch.

I've been playing some Klezmer music lately, and the odd notes do make for more work.

Yes, but Klezmer can hardly be described as diaonic.

Is there an accessible listing of Brian's official specs? Millimeter spacings, tilt angles, etc.?

Brian ("inventor") summarized them a year ago here.

#22 ragtimer

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 09:11 PM

Since diatonic music rarely includes both a note and its accidental in the same passage, this is not really a problem. The "nearby" accidentals in any key (sharp 4 or flat 7 in a major key, for example) are within easy reach. The raised 6 and 7 of a melodic minor scale can be a bit of a stretch.

Right. I was saying that, if you play a certain passage with , say, E natural, and later play the same passage with E-flat, you will probably have to finger it differently, since the E and Eb are not close together. I've gotten used to it, but it might bother someone coming from another system. (O course jsut learning a new Duet system is a major task, so this is probably not worth worrying about).

As for the ascending melodic minor, you can't play the entire scale legato on a Hayden, unless you use the minor 3rd on the sharp (right) side. If you play D minor on a 46, from the F upward you have 5 buttons in a row, and 4 fingers. Not that this has actually bothered me in any real tunes.

I've been playing some Klezmer music lately, and the odd notes do make for more work.

Yes, but Klezmer can hardly be described as diatonic.

Heck no! I just mentioend Klezmer to show that I had been workiing on chromatic music. The minor 3rd leap in the Klezmer (Phrygian?) scale is lots-of-fun.

Is there an accessible listing of Brian's official specs? Millimeter spacings, tilt angles, etc.?

Brian ("inventor") summarized them a year ago here.

Thanks, I'll go look that up now. Just did, copied the paragraph wiht the specs, I'm back, and I was posting in that thread too.

How hard is it to look up a thread and cite it in another posting, as you just did? Does this require multiple browser windows open? --Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer, 14 October 2007 - 09:20 PM.


#23 Jim Bayliss

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 10:20 PM

[quote name='ragtimer' date='Oct 13 2007, 08:40 PM' post='61524']
"I read somewhere that the Bastari 46-key used rubber bushings, or something not as nice as felt. You can correct me on this."

The 6-sided Bastari Hayden duet doesn't have rubber bushings, although I do have a ~25 year old Bastari Anglo (now a junker) which does, if we're referring to the same thing. The Bastari duet has a piece of felt with buttonholes underneath the endplate. At the Button Box's workshops last April, Jeff Jacobs showed me how he had decreased his "loose tooth" action with a piece of thin plywood with buttonholes underneath the endplate.

#24 JimLucas

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 05:59 AM

How hard is it to look up a thread and cite it in another posting, as [David Barnert] just did? Does this require multiple browser windows open?

Can be done using a single browser window, but separate windows for search and composition (and copy-and-paste from the one to the other) certainly makes it easier! :)



#25 David Barnert

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:25 AM

How hard is it to look up a thread and cite it in another posting, as [David Barnert] just did? Does this require multiple browser windows open?

Can be done using a single browser window, but separate windows for search and composition (and copy-and-paste from the one to the other) certainly makes it easier! :)

Agree. If you can only open one browser window, it might help to be able to open a word processor window at the same time for saving snatches of text like URLs and quotes. But even if you can only open one browser window and nothing else, you should be able to do it with a little ingenuity and preplanning.

What I did was to open inventor's main page in a seperate window (control click his name on a Mac, right click on Windows) and search through his posts for the one I wanted. When I found it, I clicked it to bring it up in its original thread context. Then I clicked on the post number, which brings up a copyable URL for the post. I copied it, closed the window and the old thread, and created the link in my post by pasting the URL.

Whenever I create a post with links or multiple quotes (like this one), I always click "preview post" before actually posting to make sure the links all point where I want them to and all the quotes are paired with unquotes.

The minor 3rd leap in the Klezmer (Phrygian?) scale is lots-of-fun.

Nope, on two counts. Anything you can play on white keys is diatonic, and the phrygian mode can be played on white keys from E to E. Klezmer uses several scales, most commonly Fraygish (see here).

And the neat intervals are not minor 3rds but augmented 2nds, which is what disqualifies it as "diatonic."

#26 inventor

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 06:54 AM

I was just about to repeat the specification when I saw that Dave Barnert had already put the link in - thank-you; I also have difficulty finding links to ancient previous replies.
Returning to the original question asked, I should have added a fourth aproach to Duet Concertina, in fact it should be the first so I will label it (0).
0) Play a melody - this is what English (type) concertina players do all the time, very few seem able to do anything else even if it is written on the music; and what Irish (nationality and music) C/G anglo players also usually do. However on a duet (any type) you may also add:- (A) Playing the melody in octaves, (B) Play a melody with fixed or moving drones.
Another tip which is useful to any type of concertina:
Always move a finger to the next button that you are going to use that finger for immediately after you have used it, rather than just before you play the note. This enables you to cleanly tap straight down on that button rather than to suddenly move that finger sideways from somewhere else. There is also a definite distance that you move the finger, and if other fingers of the same hand are used in between, an exact distance between the other finger and it's new position.
Always search for a fingering that doesn't involve jumping a finger consecutively between two buttons. Two ways that this might be acheived are playing a note that is on both sides of the concertina, on the opposite side of the instrument; and (on instruments with the correct spacing and large buttons) playing fourths or fifths together with one finger. However if you have to jump buttons, it is better to cut a note minutely short rather than to come in late on the next note.
Inventor.

#27 ragtimer

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:29 PM

Then I clicked on the post number, which brings up a copyable URL for the post. I copied it, closed the window and the old thread, and created the link in my post by pasting the URL.

Thanks for the tips. I did hover the cursor over the post number, and verfied that that yields the URL of that posting. That's the sort of secret that really helps.

I was thinking that Invision had a special procedure for embedding links from other threads, but it appears you do it "by hand." I can have multipel windows open, no problem.

The minor 3rd leap in the Klezmer (Phrygian?) scale is lots-of-fun.

Nope, on two counts. Anything you can play on white keys is diatonic, and the phrygian mode can be played on white keys from E to E. Klezmer uses several scales, most commonly Fraygish (see here).

OK. I got fooled by the Yddish term "Freygish" (variant spellings) for what is not the natrual Phrygian mode, but that mode with the sharp 3rd. Actually the E to E "klezmer" scale (yes, I've seen more conventional scales used too) is just the A-to-A Harmonic Minor starting on the 5th tone.

And the neat intervals are not minor 3rds but augmented 2nds, which is what disqualifies it as "diatonic."

Yes, they're spelled as augmented 2nds. I would say it's not diatonic because you can't play it on all white keys -- but I'll have to look up the official definition. --Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer, 17 October 2007 - 09:30 PM.


#28 Jim Bayliss

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:58 PM

[quote name='inventor' date='Oct 17 2007, 06:54 AM' post='61691']
"I was just about to repeat the specification when I saw that Dave Barnert had already put the link in - thank-you; I also have difficulty finding links to ancient previous replies."

I noticed that you listed the Hayden row slant as being 10.5 degrees. By my crude measurement, the row slant on the Wheatstones appears to be ~25 degrees and ~30 degrees on the Bastaris. Has this row slant angle been revised downward? Best wishes.

#29 ragtimer

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 08:49 PM

I noticed that you listed the Hayden row slant as being 10.5 degrees. By my crude measurement, the row slant on the Wheatstones appears to be ~25 degrees and ~30 degrees on the Bastaris. Has this row slant angle been revised downward? Best wishes.

My big Bastari 67 also seems to have more than 10 degrees slope, maybe 25 (somewhere is my protractor from college ...).

In any event, I would prefer less slope. I tend to miss notes low with the pinky and high with the index finger. I suspect the 10.5 degrees is indeeed a lessening of what's already out there, but we'll wait for Brian to answer for sure.

#30 Richard Morse

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:16 PM

I noticed that you listed the Hayden row slant as being 10.5 degrees. By my crude measurement, the row slant on the Wheatstones appears to be ~25 degrees and ~30 degrees on the Bastaris. Has this row slant angle been revised downward?

I'm confused... you say "revised downwards" but indicate an increased angle???

Not to speak for Brian Hayden, but I'm not aware of any changes in the original spec. Of course people can build what they want - and they DO, even without approval or much thought toward the "correctness" of a design. Every deviation I've encountered from his spec has been a compromise in playability (IMHO).

My Dickinson Wheatstone Hayden's slant physically measures about 11 degrees (a far cry from ~25 degrees) which is within measuring margin-of-error using my adjustable protractor. It may in reality BE 10.5 degrees. My understanding (from BH) is that the 10.5 degrees is actually an approximation and that the actual angle is determined by the enharmonics being parallel to the handrest. With the 16/9/12mm spacing and rotated so that the enharmonics are parallel to the handrest makes the slant angle 10.62 degrees (not exactly but rounded up slightly...) which is also close to 10.5 and coincidentally on the side toward my measurement of my Dickinson Hayden.

The Button Box is designing our Morse Haydens to the 16/9/12mm spacing and enharmonics parallel spec. While I don't see a tenth of a degree as being an appreciable (or even noticeable!) difference, I prefer the purity of the design intent.

-- Rich --

#31 David Barnert

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 02:00 PM

I'm confused... you say "revised downwards" but indicate an increased angle???

I suspect he means that Brian's 10 degree spec might be more current than the measurements on his 1980s era instruments.

I'm thousands of miles from my Hayden right now (Brussels, Belgium), so I can't measure it. I'm sure it's the same as both Rich's and Jim's, though (I've played them both). We all know, by the way, that Brian only gets to a computer to post once a week, or so, right? He mentioned that in another thread a while back.

My understanding (from BH) is that the 10.5 degrees is actually an approximation and that the actual angle is determined by the enharmonics being parallel to the handrest.

That would only work on the right side. The left side slopes in mirror image to the right while the buttons are analogous left to right without the reflection, so there's no reason to expect similarly named notes on the left to line up parallel to the hand rest.

I call them "similarly named notes" and not "enharmonics" because I think that's really what is meant here. There are no enharmonics on one side of a 46 key Hayden. There's a Bb, for instance, but no A# and a D# but no Eb. Those would be enharmonics. What lines up parallel to the hand rests on a Hayden are pairs of notes like F and F#, B and Bb, etc. Notes that would appear on the same line or space on the staff, although one has an accidental and the other does not.

#32 Jim Bayliss

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 07:57 PM

My Dickinson Wheatstone Hayden's slant physically measures about 11 degrees (a far cry from ~25 degrees) which is within measuring margin-of-error using my adjustable protractor.
[/quote]

I stand corrected. The Wheatstone Hayden's slant is indeed about 11 degrees. It's been a long time since I used a protractor. Jim B.

#33 Richard Morse

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 08:19 PM

What lines up parallel to the hand rests on a Hayden are pairs of notes like F and F#, B and Bb, etc. Notes that would appear on the same line or space on the staff, although one has an accidental and the other does not.

Measuring my Dickinson Hayden dispels that. Those "note pairs" notes are *not* equidistant to the handrest... almost 1/16" of an inch difference.

Even though there *are* no enharmonics on our 46-key instruments, I'm under the impression that the button-slant is based on the concept/design of the enharmonics being level. At least I think it is rather than the "hard" 10.5 degree spec(?).

Of course now I've gone and plotted where the phantom enharmonics are and measured down to the handrest... and (!) it appears that a line between the enharmonics is NOT level with the handrest! Close.... But so is my crude measurement that the array is not at precisely 10.5 degrees either.

Now were really going to have to wait for Brian to clear this up. I know that he and Steve Dickinson went though a great effort in determining the optimum slant - and I want to be correct about this! After all - I don't want to change our design once we start producing them.

One of the things I really like about the enharmonics-parallel idea is that it means that every note on the instrument is the same incremental distance away from the handrest. I love that sort of thing. I don't know of any other instrument that is as regular. What I mean by that is that if you take every note on the right side of the Hayden and draw a line extending from it parallel to the handrest, then you'll have a series of equispaced lines.... And each line will be one half tone from the next in increasing pitch as you head out from the handrest. Now is that elegant or what?

Yes, I know that the English is similar - but not quite as "perfect". Well, maybe more so in it's own way, in that the notes "vertically" increase in pitch evenly - except that the sharp/flat of a note is in the same position as it's "pair". IOW, they align as written, where the Hayden is delineated as pitched.

I eagerly await Brian's input here!

-- Rich --

#34 ragtimer

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 08:48 PM

I'm confused... you say "revised downwards" but indicate an increased angle???

I suspect he means that Brian's 10 degree spec might be more current than the measurements on his 1980s era instruments.

I'm thousands of miles from my Hayden right now (Brussels, Belgium), so I can't measure it. I'm sure it's the same as both Rich's and Jim's, though (I've played them both). We all know, by the way, that Brian only gets to a computer to post once a week, or so, right? He mentioned that in another thread a while back.

Yes, Brian only comes into town and uses hte library PC about once a week.

My understanding (from BH) is that the 10.5 degrees is actually an approximation and that the actual angle is determined by the enharmonics being parallel to the handrest.

That would only work on the right side. The left side slopes in mirror image to the right while the buttons are analogous left to right without the reflection, so there's no reason to expect similarly named notes on the left to line up parallel to the hand rest.

But the slope thus determined could easily be transferred to the LH side, "as if".

I call them "similarly named notes" and not "enharmonics" because I think that's really what is meant here. There are no enharmonics on one side of a 46 key Hayden. There's a Bb, for instance, but no A# and a D# but no Eb. Those would be enharmonics. What lines up parallel to the hand rests on a Hayden are pairs of notes like F and F#, B and Bb, etc. Notes that would appear on the same line or space on the staff, although one has an accidental and the other does not.

I agree with David's definition of "enharmonics" -- notes like D# and Eb that are spelled differently but sound the same.

Now that we're all scratching up our end plates with rulers and protractors:
I measured my Bastari 67, which does have 4 enharmonic pairs on the RH. The are *almost* the same distance from the handrest -- the D# is about 2 mm farther (higher). But very close to parallel, given the 96 mm horizontal space between them.

I measured F and F#, G and G#, etc. -- here the "rise" is more like 5 or 6 mm. But still roughly parallel to the handle.

Now for the much-maligned Stagi 46. F to F# slopes downwards quite a bit (i.e., the slope angle of the button field is less than official spec). Same applies to a "phantom" enharmonic slope. IOW, the Stagi's buttons slope *less* than the spec, on both counts.

So, teh Bastari, supposedly designed to Brian's specs, comes pretty close to making enharmonics parallel. And almost as close with the F to F#.

I don't have a protractor ready to hand, but I measured one Bastari row as rising 18 mm over 80mm span, and arctan(18/80) gives 12.7 degrees, not 10.5.

A similar method on the Stagi 46 yields 16.4, which contradicts the above. Maybe time to get away from the PC and draw some diagrams!

I like Rich's elegant concept of "same tone, same distance". In fact, ISTR seeing a diagram of a grand staff drawn with its lines thru a Hayden button field. I was suprised that that could work, but now I can see why.
--Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer, 19 October 2007 - 08:56 PM.


#35 David Barnert

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:20 PM

I like Rich's elegant concept of "same tone, same distance". In fact, ISTR seeing a diagram of a grand staff drawn with its lines thru a Hayden button field. I was suprised that that could work, but now I can see why.

I remember that description from the rec.music.makers.squeezebox list years ago. That is the upper portion in the diagram below. The rows are slanted 9.13 (arctan 9/56) to connect similarly named buttons along horizontal lines that correspond to the musical staff. It's a nice thought but the numbers don't bear it out.

The lower portion in the diagram must be what Brian had in mind. The rows are slanted 10.62 (arctan 18/96) to connect enharmonic buttons along horizontal lines (the "ghost" A# and Eb are drawn in in gray).

buttons.jpg



#36 Richard Morse

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:59 PM

Now isn't that a case of eating your cake and having it too! The exact same layout can be aligned with "note pairs" (eg: B, Bb) parallel to the handrest which produces stave-notation perfection - AND - aligned with enharmonics parallel to the handrest results in delineation of all notes being vertically equidistant from each other!

-- Rich --



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