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Color-Coded Button Layouts for C/G and G/D 30-Button Anglo Concertinas using the Wheatstone / Lachenal System

By Mark W. Stayton
January 2000, Updated January 2002


One of the major challenges in learning any new instrument is in finding the positions of the notes and their alternates. This is particularly true once you've learned a few instruments, and are trying to apply tunes you already know to a new instrument.

With the concertina in the proper playing position, it is difficult to see the fingerboard. Common wisdom says that it's bad form to peek. So I decided to create a couple of learning aids to help me find my way around the concertina.

I made two types of color-coded diagrams for C/G and G/D instruments, based on the Wheatstone / Lachenal button layout. In each of the diagrams, the notes on the left- and right-hand fingerboards appear from left-to-right and top-to-bottom. They are shown as they would appear if that end of the instrument were facing you, with the hand strap at the bottom of the diagram. Notes are shown with their note name and octave.

The diagrams labeled "Color Keyed by Octave" display all the notes in one octave (C to B) as a single color. Each octave is shown in a different color. The color coding shows how the notes are offset in each row from one side of the instrument to the other.

The diagrams labeled "Color Keyed by Note" display identical notes in the same octave (C to B) with a unique color. Notes that appear only once in an octave are shown in white. For example, on a C/G there are three A notes in the second octave, all on the left hand side of the instrument. These are colored in light yellow. This diagram is intended to make it easier to find those notes in alternate locations.

C/G Button Layouts

G/D Button Layouts

All images and text are copyright © 2001, 2002 by Mark W. Stayton

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