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#37 ocd

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:38 PM

To muddle the waters some more I am going to mention the quint free bass system (also called the Galla-Rini system). This is a free bass system that twice repeats the two rows of single bass notes. Each repetitions is one octave higher. Using six rows, one gets three octaves. Something like this:

[codebox]
Bellows Side
C_6 G_6 D_6 A_6 E_6 B_6 F#6 C#6 G#6 D#6 A#6 E#6 B#6
Ab6 Eb6 Bb6 F_6 C_6 G_6 D_6 A_6 E_6 B_6 F#6 C#6 G#6
C_5 G_5 D_5 A_5 E_5 B_5 F#5 C#5 G#5 D#5 A#5 E#5 B#5
Ab5 Eb5 Bb5 F_5 C_5 G_5 D_5 A_5 E_5 B_5 F#6 C#5 G#5
C_4 G_4 D_4 A_4 E_4 B_4 F#4 C#4 G#4 D#4 A#4 E#4 B#4
Ab4 Eb4 Bb4 F_4 C_4 G_4 D_4 A_4 E_4 B_4 F#6 C#4 G#4
Hand Side
[/codebox]

It is like the Hayden system in that to change octaves one moves across the key field rather than along it. It is unlike the Hayden system in that when playing scales the keys of successive notes are not adjacent. Other features are: chords that are harmonically close (fifth relationship) are physically close; a chord keeps its shape independently of its key.

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#38 jjj

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:48 PM

Thx inventor,

The C-system is not better for chordal accompaniments.

I agree, that's why I intend using the 120 button Stradella bass with it. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I only try to discover the easiest keyboard layaout for melody play.

In that context, so far the C-system layout seems to deliver it all!
The Wicki/Hayden layout makes it only harder to play chromatic scales. The rest seem to be the same as the C-system. Beside, 3 finger chords etc. can also be transferred as easy on the C-system layout.
The real advantage of W/H and C-system is that one can reach keys of several octaves with one hand-span. Janko only about 3 keys further than the traditional piano layout.

Edited by jjj, 25 February 2008 - 02:48 PM.


#39 jjj

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:37 PM

That quint free bass system must be great for classical music, but in my case I'm not sure if I truly want to play that much classical music or I will need to have it. I plan to connect a 120 button accordion bass for manual and Live-Styler accompaniment.
Back to the my aspiration of finding the easiest to play keyboard layout. I think I finally found it: it must be the C-system layout!
Similar to W/H, I'll be able to reach into the 25th key or into the third octave! That's incredible! As with Janko, I only need 3 rows of the C-system to be able to stick to one pattern of major and one of a minor scale in order to be able to play all 24 scales.
So, all I'll have to do is to wire another output plug from/on my Roland Synth, which allows me to connect the 53 button C-system keyboard.
Since 23mm PB-switches are hard to get and costly so, I better invent & build the whole keyboard incl. buttons & switches. The old broomstick will be sliced! :) and I still have gold/silver contact springs and contact wire, salvaged from an old Dr. Boehm organ, which I build some 40 years ago.

As with Janko, I only need 3 rows of the C-system to be able to stick to one pattern of major and one of a minor scale in order to be able to play all 24 scales. My Synth has 5 octaves. Here's the layout I'm planing to realize:
Posted Image
More brains think better than one. Please stop me in case you notice a flaw... in my reasoning. Thanking you! :)

Beside, on YouTube I saw those Russian players playing classical music with lots more buttons on the accompaniment side. Is that the 5th free bass system?

Edited by jjj, 25 February 2008 - 07:02 PM.


#40 tony

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:56 PM

That quint free bass system must be great for classical music, but in my case I'm not sure if I truly want to play that much classical music or I will need to have it. I plan to connect a 120 button accordion bass for manual and Live-Styler accompaniment.
Back to the my aspiration of finding the easiest to play keyboard layout. I think I finally found it: it must be the C-system layout!
Similar to W/H, I'll be able to reach into the 25th key or into the third octave! That's incredible! As with Janko, I only need 3 rows of the C-system to be able to stick to one pattern of major and one of a minor scale in order to be able to play all 24 scales.
So, all I'll have to do is to wire another output plug from/on my Roland Synth, which allows me to connect the 53 button C-system keyboard.
Since 23mm PB-switches are hard to get and costly so, I better invent & build the whole keyboard incl. buttons & switches. The old broomstick will be sliced! :) and I still have gold/silver contact springs and contact wire, salvaged from an old Dr. Boehm organ, which I build some 40 years ago.

As with Janko, I only need 3 rows of the C-system to be able to stick to one pattern of major and one of a minor scale in order to be able to play all 24 scales. My Synth has 5 octaves. Here's the layout I'm planing to realize:
Posted Image
More brains think better than one. Please stop me in case you notice a flaw... in my reasoning. Thanking you! :)

Beside, on YouTube I saw those Russian players playing classical music with lots more buttons on the accompaniment side. Is that the 5th free bass system?



You need three finger patterns for major and three finger patterns for minor on a three row instrument

You need two finger patterns for major and two finger patterns for minor on a four row.

You need one finger pattern for major and one finger pattern for minor on a five row.

Unless I've missed something.

#41 jjj

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:21 PM

You need three finger patterns for major and three finger patterns for minor on a three row instrument

You need two finger patterns for major and two finger patterns for minor on a four row.

You need one finger pattern for major and one finger pattern for minor on a five row.

Unless I've missed something.


That's so true! I was too fast... instead of considering all scales, I just considered the scales starting from the bottom row . The problem is that each row only offers the start of 4 scales, which then rise into two rows above.
So I have to stick to the 5 rows... never mind. That just means more buttons and wiring. But I thanks for lending me your brain and kicking me to it! :)

Edited by jjj, 26 February 2008 - 12:41 PM.


#42 m3838

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:34 PM

You need three finger patterns for major and three finger patterns for minor on a three row instrument
You need two finger patterns for major and two finger patterns for minor on a four row.
You need one finger pattern for major and one finger pattern for minor on a five row.
Unless I've missed something.


Yes.
You need one for major, tree for minor (melodic, harmonic and natural)
You will also need to stick to three rows in the beginning and learn three more patterns, one (above) set for each of the three rows to learn to use the easiest fingering. Sometimes using the first row C is not convinient, and it's duplicate on the forth row is better. You'll have to learn it, but the result is much better, faster, easier etc.
Those super-duper Russian players use Stradella bass plus Converter or German system with two rows of bases for Stradella with four rows of chords, and three row free bass, So instead of switching between they use them together. Plus Russian system of free bass differs from European in that European is symmetric:
both left and right keyboards ascend melodically by descending physically, and Russian (and I think German as well) are asymmetric: left side goes up from low to high, and continues on the right side by going down from low to high.
I stressed it many times, that anyone who approaches Chromatic accordion with the idea of it been "easy" , may make very dear mistake, as chromatic system is notoriously treacherous and anti-intuitive.
It is my finding and also my teacher's. I also read about it in few articles here and there. The reason high end competition is almost invariably won by chromatic players is the speed. Since buttons are closer and there are many possibilities of choosing the pattern for more convinient fingering, it is possible (on very high end) to play much faster.
It doesn't contribute to better music, but competitions still won by the fastest, I heard. The last time I heard it was when Peter Soave was performing in San Francisco Accordion club a few years ago, and told his story.He too, started as PA player, but had to switch to CBA to maintain status.
Other words, not everybody who is good at driving automatic gear Honda Civic, will find it easier to drive stick shift Formula-1.

#43 jjj

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:01 PM

Thx m3838,

I'll make note of this good advice. Where can I learn more about it? I don't want to buy books about it, because they all use traditional notation, which I hate and hated all my life! :( So, OK, I already settled for the 5 row C-system layout... :)

Below I made some scale comparisons between the W/H and C-system layout. The red line shows the c-major diatonic scale and the blue shows
the c-major chromatic scale of each layout. Albeit the W/H seems easier in the former it seems much harder in the latter...
Posted Image
Is there any unique advantage in the W/H layout, which the makes it superior in the whole to the C-system? You good people might know, for you have been playing buttons for longer than me... with my shirt buttons... :)

Edited by jjj, 26 February 2008 - 09:05 AM.


#44 JimLucas

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:54 AM

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.

That's one reason I prefer standard notation to ABC. If each line and each space counts as a unit of the (diatonic) scale, then moving up or down two "units" is moving up or down two notes of the scale, regardless of what key I start in. I first learned to do this on the French horn, when we had some music where all the horn parts were written as if in the key of C, but with notes saying "for horn in C#", "for horn in Eb", etc. (And I only had a horn in F.)

On English concertina and tin whistle it also makes tactile sense. On the English, a shift by one "unit" is a shift to the other hand; a shift by two "units" is a diagonal move in the same hand, etc. On the whistle, an interval of "N units" in the notation is equivalent to raising or lowering N fingers (with compensation for the octave break). The accidentals? They're "wiggle room". Literally so on the whistle, where a slight shift of the finger on a hole gives the accidental. On the English, it's usually a slight shift between the inner and outer columns.

But as I said, I first learned to view the notation that way when playing French horn. It's a viewpoint that works with any instrument and music that relate to scales. And when hurriedly transcribing someone else's playing or singing, I've been known to just use spacing on the paper to represent the intervals, leaving until later the scribing in of the staff lines. It sounds as if Brian would have no trouble reading it.

#45 jjj

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:01 AM

Yes, alternative notation for any button layout must be problematic. I favor Klavarscribo notation, but with buttons it's just not possible.
Now, after having had a good sniff at W/H, C-system and Janko, it's gotten even harder to make a decision on which is the best, because:

1) With the W/H the c-major diatonic scale seems better organized, whereas the chromatic scale seems much harder to learn. The hand-span goes even further than the C-system!

2) The C-system chromatic layout seems better organized, whereas the diatonic scale seems much harder to learn. The hand-span has only about an octave less than the W/H.

3) The Janko layout seems easiest to learn for traditional piano players! Also it can be easily adapted to any Synth keyboard (without changes to electronics!) and Klavarscribo notation.
The disadvantages are: the hand-span is poor; offers only about 4 notes more than the traditional piano keyboard layout. The whole keyboard is double the size of W/H and C-system. Longer hand excursions; i.e. it hampers fast playing, unless I adapt Janko layout to an accordion keyboard, which has narrower buttons with less key down travel.

Albeit I'm keen to go for the best layout, I need to consider my personal situation, which (sadly) favors the latter... :(
If there would exist a Klavarscribo type notation for the C-system then relearning would be less of a problem. This crucial problem I haven't got with Janko. In addition I already adapted my Synth to Janko and so, I have to forget pondering about greener pastures! :)

Not all is lost. I still have my "twitter tic" left and my Janko Synth offers me a great deal of instrumental gratification.
Beside, some naughty folk in Sydney (au) dropped two twitter videos onto YouTube (enter: drinda) without my consent, where you can see me making a fool of myself... There you also see & hear 2 kiddies laughing their heads off. Yes, I might look funny while blowing up, but then again I told the big boys that in life we got two choices; either blow or suck! :)

Edited by jjj, 26 February 2008 - 01:04 PM.


#46 Richard Morse

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 04:04 PM

Below I made some scale comparisons between the W/H and C-system layout. The red line shows the c-major diatonic scale and the blue shows
the c-major chromatic scale of each layout. Albeit the W/H seems easier in the former it seems much harder in the latter... Is there any unique advantage in the W/H layout, which the makes it superior in the whole to the C-system?

I think that the obvious one is that the W/H fingers more easily. Just run your fingers up and down on that diatonic scale. Easy on W/H but with the C you have really awkward finger jumps and tucks.

W/H:........ IMRIMRPI with no strange/difficult fingering
C-system: IMRP... unnnnhh
....... .........TIMRPT.........unnnngh
......... .......TITIMRMT....................

Now if a simple scale is that bad, try a tune!

You mentioned that chromatic runs were harder on W/H. Try it out (on paper) and compare. I think that you'll find that alternating IR going across the board is much easier (more even!) progression than IMR as you have to flex your index finger more and your hand position moves/stops/moves/stops.

Posted Image



#47 m3838

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:43 PM

There is no doubts that C or B system chromatic is very easy for chromatic runs, what's to discuss there?
It is also very obvious that W/H is designed for diatonic playing in any key. Again, where are the spears to break?
The real boggle is when you don't have real instrument, but abstract keyboard and try to decide, which is better. Better for what?
C system doesn't suit concertina and W/H doesn't suit accordion.
Anglo is very econimical as reeds go and easy to play in home keys, naturally bouncy, great for folk and English is great for smooth flow of classical music with no accompaniment. Which one suits YOU better?
And I still don't understand what's wrong with traditional notation, that tablature fixes so well?

#48 jjj

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 09:17 PM

Hi Richard Morse,

True, as already mentioned, the diatonic scale of the C-system is pretty irregular and might take me a long time to learn and so much easier with W/H.
Yet, to really judge the W/H's chromatic fingering I would need an expert (like you dear R. Morse) to find out the unbiased truth of the matter.
On a second look at it, it has got the quality of a regular pattern. I mean to say, ones you get used to this distance jumps and fingering, it should be almost as easy and fast as with the C-system. "Almost", because the buttons are further apart than in the C-system.

But there is another difficulty, just coming to mind: How about when a melody requires half notes? Then the jumps will be quite considerable, but I guess its location will be etched into my memory as a pattern of either major or minor. Is that how you master it?
I come to realize that the regularity of patterns is decisive in evaluating a layout. Thanks for your help in that, because button instrument experts have a far deeper understanding of every little advantage and disadvantage in these matters.
It would be interesting to create a comprehensive summary about it once and for all, because it won't be long when the next "confused researcher" is going to bore you with the same old questions.
===========
Thx to m3838 as well:
The problem is that I try merely to discover the best, fastest to learn and easiest to play keyboard layout of them all, because I want to use it for MIDI applications; i.e. to play various soundfonts. Most of them have neither to do with accordion nor concertina. I failed to master the traditional piano keyboard layout and intrigued by the concertina, C-system and Janko layouts. As you saw, I gradually struggle myself through from one layout to the other. Yet, with a few more helpful kicks from you experts I might eventually identify the true layout winner. Not yet 100% convinced, but W/H looks by the minute more promising. :)
The final hurdle is notation problem I encounter with multiple button rows. You might have great practice in sight reading traditional notation. I personally hat it and rather prefer a more practical (Klaverscribo-like) notation to help me learn the new layout patterns and later on, to pin down a complicated melody. The free Klavarscribo program even transcribes MIDI files into Klavarscribo notation! It would be nice to have that with W/H notation as well.
My head is spinning: Maybe I quickly invent such a notation pattern by drawing vertical lines under each 6 row column and draw in notes in 6 different colors. Each color then indicates to which row this note belongs. Presto, self is the man! :)
Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by jjj, 26 February 2008 - 09:58 PM.


#49 Richard Morse

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 08:08 AM

On a second look at [the W/H], it has got the quality of a regular pattern. I mean to say, ones you get used to this distance jumps and fingering, it should be almost as easy and fast as with the C-system. "Almost", because the buttons are further apart than in the C-system.

The "almost" part you are talking about is *only* the chromatic issue? Really, how often does the type of music you play have extended chromatic runs?

But there is another difficulty, just coming to mind: How about when a melody requires half notes? Then the jumps will be quite considerable, but I guess its location will be etched into my memory as a pattern of either major or minor. Is that how you master it?

I find that in real-life (that is - when you are playing tunes on the instrument) that half-notes are ONLY a considerable "jump" when you have to move your hand and/or fingers to get that (those) half-notes. Virtually all the tunes I come across I can keep my hand in the same position AND finger the accidentals with my pinky as a "normal" part of the pattern (virtually ALL the halftones occur after playing with my index, and so that half-tone being played by the pinky IS a part of the pattern, and more rarely the half-tone occurs after playing with my middle finger for which it is also played with the pinky in the same relative position). So in that regard it is incredibly easy. Plus I have two options to play those chromatic notes: with my pinky (the easiest) or my index finger (which only rarely do I use this option and usually when playing two or more notes at once with the one hand).

I come to realize that the regularity of patterns is decisive in evaluating a layout.

Actually I think that the *playability* of a system would be more important. For instance consider a system which had the same size keys all laid out chromatically ascending from left to right in one line. Every key is played with the same fingering pattern! All the accidentals are adjacent to their half-tone brothers! But this keyboard would be very difficult to play and very long (hard to transport?).

Pick out a couple of tunes you know well and paper-try them on the W/H, C-system and Janko. See how they compare for ease of playing with moving your hand position as little as possible (which means that you'll "know" where the notes are if you're always hovering over them and will make for faster playing).

One new thought I had just now is another bonus toward the W/H system: you can play with two different instrument sounds! Make your midi-type controller keyboard such that the left side and right side buttons are differently instrument assignable. Exactly where the instruments "meet" depends on what key you play the piece in (selectable by a button on the keyboard just above where you want the break to be). For instance if I wanted to play in the key of C, I would have the break between the C#'s and D#'s. Then you could play tangos with a string bass on the left and bandoneon on the right! Or piano on the left and fiddle on the right... etc.

-- Rich --

#50 jjj

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:10 AM

Chromatic runs?
True, they are not too often. That's why it's good to have a Profi opionion on it. It helps me to nail reality. So, the diatonic layout seems to 'rock'!

Half note jumps?
Actually I planed to construct the keyboard rectangularly. Maybe I should arrange it like on the concertina or bandoneon? That way I can reach more buttons without excessive hand jumps.
There the question is: how many buttons can I cram into this concertina keyboard pattern? Since my Synth has 61 notes.
Since the lowest octave is only used for the 120 button Stradella accordion bass and Live-styler (Yamaha Styles) accompaniment, I'll have a 49-button concertina layout. Is that possible or are this too many buttons? I only ask that, because I see that concertinas have not that many melody buttons.
Yes, your idea of drawing the W/H pattern onto paper and then finger a melody is the thing to do.
Button size: I planed 23mm or 0.9055 inch (in diameter) buttons. What's the best finger size?
Here is my W/H layout:
Posted Image
The numbers are only for Synth key connection purpose.
Any suggestion for any alternative, pragmatic notation?

#51 Richard Morse

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 07:31 PM

Half note jumps?
Actually I planed to construct the keyboard rectangularly.

I was assuming that you were going to make a rectangular patch to play in front of you. What does the half-note "jumps" have to do with it?

Maybe I should arrange it like on the concertina or bandoneon? That way I can reach more buttons without excessive hand jumps.

By "concertina or bandoneon" I assume you mean with separate keyboards for each hand (most likely oriented in vertical parallel planes?). I don't see how anyone can reach more buttons with separate keyboards (whatever the orientation). I also don't understand what you mean by "hand" jumps. There really is no hand jumping with a W/H where there is on most other key systems.

There the question is: how many buttons can I cram into this concertina keyboard pattern? Since my Synth has 61 notes.

First off - if you're going to make a single patch of buttons to play in front of yourself - that is NOT a concertina system. The W/H is NOT a concertina system - though concertinas are probably the most common occurance of it.

If you have 61 notes available, I'd say - use them all! make it 5 octaves and a note.

Since the lowest octave is only used for the 120 button Stradella accordion bass and Live-styler (Yamaha Styles) accompaniment, I'll have a 49-button concertina layout.

Why do you want a stradella bass to be a part of this? And Live-styler (whatever that is)? Why not use all the notes for the W/H layout?

Is that possible or are this too many buttons? I only ask that, because I see that concertinas have not that many melody buttons.

I don't think 61 buttons is too many. Concertinas don't have many buttons because they would be very difficult to play (and wickedly expensive) with lots of buttons. More buttons means larger and heavier = more difficult to play.

Button size: I planed 23mm or 0.9055 inch (in diameter) buttons. What's the best finger size?

For a prone system I don't know. My first guess would be to make the keys the same spacing as a pianos. Your 23mm is nearly perfect for that as you can have the same spacing as a piano's keys with a small amount of space between them. The whole patch will only be about 16" across. Pretty compact! I suggest a 61-note layout like below. It has a great range from C2 to the C7 octaves above. If you want to restrict it to 49 notes I'd start on the G2 and end on the G6.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hayden_61_note.gif


#52 jjj

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 10:12 AM

Thanks Rich for the good advice. Amazing how our personal aspiration surpass our business aspirations. That's how it should be. Life is about fulfilling our needs, not about cheating and exploiting each other. Only than business makes sense. Now back to work...

Half note jumps...
Well, they were originally my concern in both (W/H & C) layouts, but now that you sorted it out, I'm less worried about it.

Concertina and bandoneon layouts are in finger reach or semi-circular, which helps to reduce distant hand/ finger jumps.
That's why I thinking it might be advantageous in arranging the keyboard the same way, rather than rectangular as planed. Yet, then again, since I have full view of the keyboard, it doesn't really matter. The distances are minimal. Also, it allows me to make the buttons bigger in diameter. As you see, all these seemingly unimportant details need to be carefully considered.

I really need only 49 button keyboard of W/H layout for melody play.

Since I already gained quite a bit of practice playing the accordion I plan to connect an old 120-button Stradella bass to the Synth's two lowest octaves, which also controls Live-Styler http://www.live-styl...e/home/?Welcome (I translated the owner's German manual to English for a free copy of his I his software.) This way I can use the accompaniment manually and with Yamaha-Styles. Then, with the W/H in the melody and the Stradella circle of fifth, I'll be able to play my melody just like a singer; i.e. without bothering about scales, chords and notation complexity... With traditional piano accordion I had problems with the treble side, scales and traditional notation and that spoiled all my musical creativity. It always ended up in this dilemma. I remember my friends telling me how good I am, but deep down I knew my dexterity limitations. Thus, my musical aspirations were never fulfilled. I only hope with this new setup I won't have these problems... :mellow:

"wickedly expensive"? Could it be that the real W/H inventor is rather "Wicked and Hiding"? :)

G2 and end on the G6
Why not connect the 4 remaining octaves as they are? I mean, I could tune the Synth to any range, but in the past I was quite happy with the Synth's range. Unless of course there are advantages (?) to start with G2 and end on the G6 of which I'm unaware.
So, my idea is to settle on this layout:
Posted Image
Here's yet another uncertainty, which bothers me:
With the traditional piano layout I was able to play any C-major & A-minor melody by ear, because there I learnt to gauge the distance of notes in these scales by practice. With W/H I wouldn't have a clue how the same is possible, because there buttons going to the left or right aren't always decreasing or increasing the note's frequency. Thus, the frequency path seems rather "irregular", increasing from left to right, then to left again and up (or visa versa), compared to the traditional piano keyboard layout. All I can do is imagine and guess... Yet, from what I discovered thus far I'm gradually convinced that the W/H layout is truly the easiest one to learn & play. (That's exactly what I'm after m3839 :) )


That's why I greatly appreciate your invaluable experience and expertise with several button instruments.
Q: Is the same possible with the W/H layout? Will I be, after my initial apprenticeship, able to memorize the major & minor pattern (its triads, 7th etc.) and play any melody by ear? It's really hard for me to guess or know that in advance. I merely imagine that all patterns can be learnt by practice, since they are repetitive.

Diatonic runs, as applied on electronic organ keyboard (and pianos), seem to be impossible as well with W/H (?) But that's not a serious problem, for if I want that I could connect a contact strip, which allows for even easier diatonic or chromatic runs.

To build this W/H keyboard I don't even need a Synth. 50 Euro buys you a MIDI keyboard encoder, available at: http://www.largonet....p?prod_id=12101
and Euro 180 for a bandoneon with lots of extras:
http://www.largonet....p?prod_id=11200

Edited by jjj, 02 March 2008 - 06:24 PM.


#53 inventor

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:10 AM

1) Digging out of my long term memory I have seen an Electronic Keyboard the same as a chromatic accordion keyboard but continuous for both hands. This was about 20 years ago at an Accordion Weekend it was probably C system but it could have been B system. This was exhibited by the Electronic Accordion specialist ELKA-ORA: I think that they are still in existance.
2) In my predudiced opinion I don't find chromatic scales on a Hayden Concertina too dificult. I have written about this previously in an article in "Concertina World". I only play a few pieces which involve Chromatic Scales as such, "Entry of the Gladiators" for instance but play hundreds using the ordinary Diatonic Scale, but many with chromatic decorations with no problem. I do this in a somewhat different fingering to that shown by Rich Morse dropping down to a lower row after 5 notes. I do practice these most days together with some exercises taken from the famous Rimsky-Korsakov piece about the Bumbling B) .
3) The Stradella Bass is a very good one especially for a beginner, I used it for many years in connection with Melodeon and Chromatic Bisonic trebles. However it is ultimately very restricting; you can't play Arpeggios or Broken Chords which are both a doddle on the Hayden Bass.

Inventor.

#54 Richard Morse

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 08:00 AM

I really need only 49 button keyboard of W/H layout for melody play. Since I already gained quite a bit of practice playing the accordion I plan to connect an old 120-button Stradella bass to the Synth's two lowest octaves.... Then, with the W/H in the melody and the Stradella circle of fifth, I'll be able to play my melody just like a singer; i.e. without bothering about scales, chords and notation complexity....

As Brian said - stradella bass is very restricting. That's one of the major reasons I went to W/H. Stradella gives you only an octave of low notes and "set" chord notes which always sound very thick to me. I like my bass runs to be continuous rather than go "over the octave break" which happens so often when playing stradella. And I like to choose which notes go in my chords. Some times I prefer "open" chords or certain inversions. You just can't do that with stradella.

I don't bother with "scales, chords and notation" when playing bass on W/H. Just like stradella the W/H layout is a circle-of-5ths thing with 1,4,5 right next to each other (and successive 1,4,5's always in the same "location"). Chords too. Better yet is that the relative minor chords are only ONE key away from its major (rather than 4 keys away like on a stradella).

G2 and end on the G6
Why not connect the 4 remaining octaves as they are? I mean, I could tune the Synth to any range, but in the past I was quite happy with the Synth's range. Unless of course there are advantages (?) to start with G2 and end on the G6 of which I'm unaware.

I was thinking that you'd be playing the entire range, not treble only.

With the traditional piano layout I was able to play any C-major & A-minor melody by ear, because there I learnt to gauge the distance of notes in these scales by practice. With W/H I wouldn't have a clue how the same is possible, because there buttons going to the left or right aren't always decreasing or increasing the note's frequency. Thus, the frequency path seems rather "irregular", increasing from left to right, then to left again and up (or visa versa), compared to the traditional piano keyboard layout. All I can do is imagine and guess...

Actually the W/H is more regular than a piano's layout. Rather than imagining and guessing try playing a "paper W/H". Or better yet get computer keyboard remapping software to change your computer keyboard so that it's keys play the notes of a W/H system. Then you can try it out in real-time with real sounds!

-- Rich --




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