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Diy Janko Bandoneon


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#19 m3838

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 01:41 PM

No, the Wicki/Hayden system is *not* more limited in range than the Uniform system. What do you support your contention with?


With the lenghth of one's hands. :D
As been stated by Brian himself, and others, Hayden is better played with two hands on two separate rows of butons with duplicated accidentals, ascending up. No octave jumps etc.
Yes, when I was considering Hayden and did some "paper playing" I found that European folk music is very easy and transposing for hap-hazard party singing is very easy too. But classical pieces left alot to wish for.
Of course you can argue that making buttons small and placing them near each other, all hearing range can be achieved withing arms' lenth. I have a hard time picturing such a piano, or any other acoustic insttrument except very large concertina. And I would have welcomed such an instrument in form of Bandoneon.

#20 Richard Morse

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 03:05 PM

No, the Wicki/Hayden system is *not* more limited in range than the Uniform system. What do you support your contention with?

With the lenghth of one's hands. :D

Perhaps you are thinking that one's wrists are being restrained to a single position (as with a concertina) when playing the prone Wicki/Hayden? Restraining wrists will also severely limit playing of a piano and many other instruments.

As been stated by Brian himself, and others, Hayden is better played with two hands on two separate rows of butons with duplicated accidentals, ascending up. No octave jumps etc.

That's exact as one would play a prone Wicki/Hayden. Perhaps we'll have BH confirm this as he was the one who showed me his version of a prone layout.

Of course you can argue that making buttons small and placing them near each other, all hearing range can be achieved withing arms' lenth. I have a hard time picturing such a piano, or any other acoustic insttrument except very large concertina.

I dont' think that there's ever been an acoustic instrument made that spans a human's hearing range. Well, the Wanamaker organ probably comes close?

Posted Image

For practical purposes I would think that a 7-octave range is acceptable. So if a piano's 48"x6" is acceptable to reach, then why wouldn't a Wicki/Hayden 15"x12" be acceptable. Even with the same width keys it's considerable smaller overall AND the reach is less. It seems that the Chromatone has keys are similar to what we're talking about... and people don't seem to have a problem reaching their range or fingering them.

-- Rich --

#21 jjj

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 04:03 PM

Of course the computer keyboard size is pretty limiting but it will serve to get the idea across. I think that a "full-range" Wicki/Hayden layout would be something like this which spans the entire piano range but for the lowest few notes.

Posted Image

-- Rich --


Hi Rich,
Your music theory is rich, too! :)
As mentioned, I'm not much into music theory and so, this interesting W/H layout intrigues me. On a piano (or Janko) keyboard it's easy to see where the lowest key/ octave is and how the keys/ octaves progress to the highest note, but with this "button forest" I can't figure it out; unless the octave keys are numbered or marked. Any chance to sort that out? Once I got that clear I can better understand the advantages/ or disadvantages by comparison of different fingerings etc. Thanking you for your effort. jjj

#22 Richard Morse

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 05:45 PM

On a piano (or Janko) keyboard it's easy to see where the lowest key/ octave is and how the keys/ octaves progress to the highest note, but with this "button forest" I can't figure it out

I can't claim credit for the lovely colored layout (it came from another thread), but I find it easy to understand. Each color represents an octave of notes from C to C.

The dark blue are the notes within the lowest octave on the piano (starting from C, the fourth note from the lowest end and going up 11 semitones). The light blue is the next octave (2nd lowest C up 11 semis to B ), the dark green is 3rd octave, the light green is 4rd octave - which starts on middle C, etc.

As you can see each octave is duplicated about 2 1/2 times and is "centered" around the key of C. IOW, the scale of C major is centered on the keyboard and there are enough duplicated "accidentals" on either side of things such that you can shift right or left to play in any key with identical fingering - and then a bit more (as tunes/pieces often modulate and it's easier to go up/down a 5th/4th/relative/natural when it's there are keys adjacent to do that rather than run out of keys and have to shift 6 keys over to modulate).

One of the nice things about this arrangement is that if you play with right/left hands on the same row you'll be playing with the right hand an octave above the left. Pretty much like on a piano. If you move either hand higher you'll be playing in higher octaves (or lower in lower octaves). AND, you can easily play with the right hand one octave up which means that you'll be playing in the *same* octave (great for duets, counterpoint, rounds, cannons, etc!). AND, by having the hand two octave higher you'll be able to play *above* the right hand. Sure it's unusual, but I'll bet there'll be times when that's handy.

-- Rich --

Edited by Richard Morse, 11 February 2008 - 05:49 PM.


#23 jjj

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 07:46 PM

Posted Image

Edited by jjj, 12 February 2008 - 09:58 AM.


#24 Boney

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:25 AM

Close. Each color represents an octave, so all the yellow Cs, for example, are exactly the same note. So in your numbering, the rising column of Cs and Fs are numbered correctly. Just add 2 as you go each button to the right, and subtract 2 for every button to the left (just like the Janko keyboard). So the dark green C# and Eb you have listed as 14 and 16 should be 26 and 28.

Rich adapted a graphic that I made. Here's a somewhat larger, clearer version I made from my original file. Note the spacing matches Brian Hayden's recommendation for a concertina keyboard:

Posted Image

By the way, Rich, great post above, I liked the animations. Your real-world experience behind the theorizing shines through. I'm looking forward to meeting you in April.

#25 jjj

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:04 AM

Hi Boney,

"Each color represents an octave"... According to that all my numbering is wrong (!), because then: if C dark blue is Key one C# should be Key 2 etc. Correct? Well, now I can number the keys... correctly.

Edited by jjj, 12 February 2008 - 10:32 AM.


#26 Boney

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 11:19 AM

"Each color represents an octave"... According to that all my numbering is wrong (!), because then: if C dark blue is Key one C# should be Key 2 etc. Correct?

Yes, the dark blue C# should be #2. You had it right except for the three C# / Eb pairs, add 12 (an octave) to each of those six numbers in your previous post.

#27 Richard Morse

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 02:01 PM

I just realized that one of my pics didn't make it to my Wicki/Hayden vs Janko posting.... probably the most important one! I've revised the posting to include this:

Posted Image

It gives you an idea of the pattern concept of each and how a two octave run of diatonic notes would/could be played. The accidentals are in light gray. Note that the Janko can be played several ways though I chose to show the one for which the pattern was uniform as one continued up the scale. The nice thing about this depiction is that you can imagine how the scale could be fingered. Both seem pretty easy... until you realize that it would be difficult to finger the Janko when keeping to just two lines. The crossover from 3 to 4 higher or 7 to 1 higher - is difficult.

I hope this helps!?

-- Rich --

#28 jjj

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 03:43 PM

Posted Image
Posted Image

So, that must be rightly numbered... to fit the my Synth's 61 keys, or ?

#29 Richard Morse

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 05:40 PM

So, that must be rightly numbered... to fit the my Synth's 61 keys

Yup, I think you've got it right there! Are you restricted to the pitches available... or just the number of tones? If the pitches are assignable you may want to choose the range of notes to fit your musical tastes. If limited to 61 tones my personal preference would be to start the array on the F below that lowest C you show and have it end a half octave short from your highest C. I find the lower range more useful than the uppermost.

-- Rich --

#30 jjj

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 06:48 PM

Yup, I think you've got it right there! Are you restricted to the pitches available... or just the number of tones? If the pitches are assignable you may want to choose the range of notes to fit your musical tastes. If limited to 61 tones my personal preference would be to start the array on the F below that lowest C you show and have it end a half octave short from your highest C. I find the lower range more useful than the uppermost.
-- Rich --

As usual all Synth's pitches are at least +/-12 half tones adjustable. I actually intend to to use the lowest octave only for bass and Live-Styler accompaniment control and only 4 octaves for melody.
Next, I need to check if the advantages of this layout are really worth relearning the keyboard, because I acquired about "two decades of piano accordion dexterity" and thus believe/ fear :) ...that Janko might get me there faster 7 easier.

Roughly, I see that this W/H layout is much compacter; i.e. thus faster reachable. Also it allows a hand-span of several octaves. Janko has non-of this. Yes, diatonic scales are far easier to play, but how about chromatic scales (C, c#, D, d# etc.) ? There some extraordinary finger acrobatic is called upon... That's a problem, or?
Since the W/H layout offers the same scale transposition advantage as Janko, the only other problem would be music notation.
I neither like nor read traditional music notation, for I prefer Klavarscribo. As you know with Janko I wouldn't have a problem to adapt it to Klavarscribo, but with W/H I would have to "invent" a new type of Klavarscribo style notation. Any idea on that?

Actually, my Janko Kbd has only 3 rows (the upper row duplicated). This allows me to stick to only one pattern in major and one pattern in minor. I still didn't analyze the C-system button accordion, which might outdo the W/H and the Janko ! ? :)

Edited by jjj, 12 February 2008 - 07:09 PM.


#31 Richard Morse

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:27 PM

Next, I need to check if the advantages of this layout are really worth relearning the keyboard, because I acquired about "two decades of piano accordion dexterity" and thus believe/ fear :) ...that Janko might get me there faster 7 easier.

Or Wicki/Hayden? Stick with the piano if you are satisfied. For myself, I've moved from instrument to instrument as either the instrument was limiting to what I wanted to play - or that *I* was too limited for the instrument. I've played (at) piano for 30 some-odd years and still amn't very good. Part of that was that the keys were physical "things", objects... to me. They have (in my mind anyway) little relationship to the pitches. Simple objects to be sure, but I can see that playing two next to each other (be they a black/white or white/white) produced a dischord... skipping a key produced a different type of dischord... getting 3, 4, 5+ over makes for nice harmonies - but it's so hard to SEE (and understand) the relationship of the key/objects as there are so many white/black guys between. I can't reliably pick one note and then think "I want a particular harmonizing tone" and be able to find it right off. I'm okay in Cmaj. and marginal a couple keys flat and sharp from that... but that's it.

I find piano to be more muscle memory than anything. I just can't sit down and play like I can speak (walk, run, ride a bike). It's not innate.

Then I got a Hayden. Right off it was easier to play because I didn't have to deal with an "uneven" keyboard. Every tone was the same relative pitch change from one key/object to a another. The idea of musical "keys" just wasn't there. Everything was uniformly relative. It was a simple to realizing that a particular "shape" of notes (fingers put down on two or more keys) produced a certain tonal "feeling"... an that no matter where I was on the instrument (or in what key I was playing in) that shape always produced that tonal feeling. It was also a simple shape.

Soon I was flavoring/coloring/creating pieces/counterpoint/interesting chords/etc. just by thinking of the tonal feel I want to impart. Not long after that I didn't have to think.

One of the really great things I like about the Wicki/Hayden is that it's teaching ME music theory because of the way the tones are laid out. So easy to understand. So often I'd be playing along and some really nice thing comes out... just the feeling I wanted... just happens. So I stop and try to understand. And would then realize that it was some modulation between the "normal" chords or a particular progression, or counterpoint thing... whatever. At one point I took some music theory lessons to better understand what was going on. The teacher was amazed at the Wicki/Haden system.

Maybe the Janko will be like that for you. I haven't had enough experience to judge, though by "paper" playing I think I prefer the W/H. I do have a lot more experience with the B and C chromatics as we sell them in our store. I don't think that either are as good as the Janko, and much less than the W/H. But that may also depend a lot on the type of music one plays. I wonder what it would have been like if the W/H layout were developed and available for decades?

Roughly, I see that this W/H layout is much compacter; i.e. thus faster reachable. Also it allows a hand-span of several octaves. Janko has non-of this. Yes, diatonic scales are far easier to play, but how about chromatic scales (C, c#, D, d# etc.) ? There some extraordinary finger acrobatic is called upon...

I don't think so. I'd play long chromatic runs on a W/H with my index and pinky, alternating as I head to the right (when ascending). Very easy. I think it's more difficult on a Janko as you'd probably use your index and middle fingers. It's not so much which fingers one uses, but how much motion they have to do. When they are alternating 4 keys away they are coming down and crabbing along only slightly on W/H. On Janko with the keys being next to each other one's fingers need to flex laterally considerably as well. More muscles involved. More difficult. I guess you could always use the fingers of both hands, but then you wouldn't be able to play parallel chromatic runs!

Since the W/H layout offers the same scale transposition advantage as Janko, the only other problem would be music notation. I neither like nor read traditional music notation, for I prefer Klavarscribo. As you know with Janko I wouldn't have a problem to adapt it to Klavarscribo, but with W/H I would have to "invent" a new type of Klavarscribo style notation. Any idea on that?

I'd rather use a system I didn't have to learn, and one that has the most choice of notation (scores) out there. I just Googled up Klavarscribo. Very interesting. I think I'd rather put the effort into translating regular notation (what's it called anyway - "modern"?).

When visiting with Brian Hayden he showed me how he "interprets" modern notation. (If I'm remembering correctly) he "reads" scores by the distance the notes are from each other - rather than by what pitch is associated with the position of the note on the staff. Of course having the staff lines there helps grok the distances. What key signature the piece is in is immaterial. You just start wherever on your instrument and it come out sounding fine. If you *want* it in the musical key it's written in, you need to start on the right button/key.

I've tried that method some and have had some success but didn't stick with it long enough to get facile. I rarely play from sheet music on my Hayden.

You might want to check out the ThumMusic notation system. It was invented for isomorphic instruments (and is not key-specific!).

Actually, my Janko Kbd has only 3 rows (the upper row duplicated). This allows me to stick to only one pattern in major and one pattern in minor.

Actually there IS only one pattern on any isomorphic keyboard for all 7 modes. The pattern is the same. The reason why the modes sound different is that the starting place in the pattern is different... but the notes follow each other in the same pattern.

I still didn't analyze the C-system button accordion, which might outdo the W/H and the Janko ! ? :)

At least they're easier to come by!

-- Rich --

#32 jjj

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:05 PM

Thank you Rich... for the insight.

...he "reads" scores by the distance the notes are from each other

That's an interesting idea, just like Klavarscribo! There too, one translates the distances between notes on the paper to the keyboard.
I only want to use notation for learning a new keyboard layout (I'm still only young 66) and the complex melody/ fingering of a new piece.
Then I play it emotionally creative without notation.
I just finished working out that C-system button accordion layout. My fingers hurt from putting in the colors and numbers. Here it is:
Posted Image
Since childhood I fell in love with the accordion sound, followed on with electronic organ sounds. Fifty years later, I'm still excited about it. Now, living in Chile. I used to have a 12 kg Paolo Soprani accordion. After dragging its bellow for half an hour my left arm felt numb. By coincidence I discovered my whistling to music and nothing was easier for me than that.
Now, I still have that Elka E49 organ, but extend my musical interest to genuine bandoneon sounds. Albeit there are heaps of fake bandoneon sounds around, I'm not easily fooled. My hearing compels me to the real McCoy or nothing...
Down here in Chile, the bandoneon is mainly used for tango music, but I like to enjoy the sound in any fitting tune. In fact I'm not all that font of dramatic Argentine tangos. For a while it's great, but then it gets depressing. "La vida es un tango", they don't say here for nothing.

To buy a real bandoneon costs several 1000 dollars and to learn to play it several years. Since I have neither one nor the other MIDI comes to the rescue! Here's how I plan to do it?
I changed my conventional Synth's keyboard to Janko keyboard pattern. Read about its advantages. D/l my project Pdf: http://www.live-styl...nko Project.pdf
The lowest octave on my Synth I only use for Live-styler accompaniment (Yamaha styles).
Next, I connected a 120-button accordion bass box (without bellow) in parallel with/to my Synth and build my own breath controller to merely control volume and tremolo variations. To learn to play the new Janko keyboard I use Klavarskribo notation. I know the manual accordion accompaniment sounds rather basic, but combined with with Yamaha styles automatic, it sounds as good as it can get.

Result: Using BigFish's great bandoneon samples and the mentioned setup I'll be able to create a natural sounding bandoneon "for peanuts'. And not only that. Far more important is that the Janko pattern allows me to do away with scales practicing and the pentatonic 120-button accordion bass accompaniment allows me to forget about chords scales.

In other words, just like a singer, I'll be able to play any tune in any key without bothering about scales and chords. Do you know, how invaluable that is?? Having enjoyed a wonderful childhood full of love & affection thanks to my dearest aunt "Tante Mieze" (in former Czechoslovakia, during WWII), I now pride myself of being an "emotional millionaire"! In the past the complexity of traditional keyboard and notation always spoiled my musical creativity. At last I'll be playing my music the way I feel, without being hampered by music theory, technicalities and complexity. Geez, I wished I had known of all this before (when I was young & beautiful... now only beautiful!), yet better late than never!

Edited by jjj, 13 February 2008 - 09:46 AM.


#33 jjj

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:26 AM

Even now, that I finally (!) discovered that there exist various better keyboard layouts, such as Janko, W/H, C-system *) etc. I'm still not certain, which of them is truly best. Of course, I could easily decide that Janko is for me the best, because it's closer to traditional piano layout, but I still prefer to "fall" for the best layout; even if that means I have to relearn the lot.

The good message is that I acquired sufficient electronics and technical skills to build any layout at very low material costs. I think it's a challenging, stimulating task to analyze the pro & contra of each system. For that one requires knowledge of music theory. Sadly, my musical skill are merely acquired by practice, but for that I would need to try out each layout.

At the first comparison attempts for a single tune melody the concertina layout might be best, but for chromatic runs and chords the C-system seems to be better. Here I really would be grateful for unbiased, professional advice. The only alternative I have got is to awkwardly compare
fingerings of scales & chords via charts... :)

*) maybe there exist even better ones, I still haven't found?

#34 inventor

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:38 AM

The C (or for that matter B) system is not better for chordal accompaniments. This comes to light on Free Bass chromatic accordions.
For instance on a 1, 2, 3 semitone chromatic in the key of C you might want to play an accompaniment using the chords C, F, & G (major) with the chords alternating with the corresponding bass notes. Deep C plus a higher c major chord alone requires quite a jump to begin with, then another jump to a Low F jump to a higher f major chord, different jump back down to a Low G, followed by a jump up to a g major chord then more jumps back to C & c major. (only the F & G are close together and the higher f & g major chords are close each needing 3 fingers to play them). That is the simplest 3 chord trick with a load of indefinite jumps. This is why a free bass accordion is almost always provided with a very complex "conversion system" which changes the free bass into a standard "Stradella Bass" as used on all piano-accordions. on that F, C, & G bass notes are next to each other on the same line and higher up fixed chords f, c , & g majors immediately below them.
On the left hand of a Hayden System a c major chord (which you can find by putting 3 fingers - ring, middle & fore - in a row c, d, e. then moving the middle finger diagonally to the left to a g, or by playing the c & g with only one finger). The low C falls conveniently on the little finger (pinky for Americans) on the next row but one below the c. By keeping the fingers in exactly the same relative positions move them as a whole diagonally up (or down) to the immediate next buttons left to play F low and f major; move the fingers straight along the row to the immediate next buttons right to play Low G and g major chord; and from here move the fingers diagonally down (or up) to the immediate next button to go back to the original bass C and c chord. The same works for this 3 chord trick in every Key; the order of the chords is the same as on a "Stradella Bass" but concertinered into half the width. so a "converter bass" is not needed.
Arpeggios of any type of chord can easily be played on a Hayden Keyboard without running out of fingers or any jumps, as the octaves are immediately above each other, I wouldn't like to say how this might be achieved on the B or C chromatic or a Janko keyboard without a lot of movement and the use of the thumbs as well as the fingers.
A Major chord can easily be converted into it's relative minor, starting as before with 3 consecutive notes c, d, & e then moving the middle finger diagonally down to the right to give the notes c a & e the a & e can both be played by the fore finger which releases the middle finger to play a bass A; and again by keeping the fingers in the same pattern and moving them together in a triangle you get three related minor chords d minor, a minor, & e minor.
With all chords any inversion can be played simply by moving an individual finger up or down to the button on the next but one row; this cannot be done on the B, C chromatic or Janko.
Well that should be enough to be getting on with for the present, but when you have mastered this you can add dominant seventh chords, diminished chords, augmented fifth chords , sixth chords any chord that you could name each has it's own finger pattern, each can be played with the notes all together or consecutively as an arpeggio or broken chord.

Inventor.

P.S. where I have written button on a Hayden Keyboard I should probably have put Key; comes of having played concertinas for years.

#35 inventor

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:42 AM

p.p.s I don't know how my writing a capital Bee gets changed to a funny face on the first line of my reply!
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#36 jdms

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 12:15 PM

p.p.s I don't know how my writing a capital Bee gets changed to a funny face on the first line of my reply!
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It's not so much the capital B all by itself as that the characters
B)

equal B) .




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