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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posts posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. 9 hours ago, Little John said:


    An illustration might help. There are three natural notes ("white" notes on a piano) in each row (or arc) and there are three corresponding chord shapes. In the attached chart:


    Top left shows how D minor, G major and C major have the same shape, based on the fourth column from the left.

    Bottom left shows how moving your finger to the outer column* of accidentals ("black" notes) changes major to minor and vice versa for the same three chords.

    Top right show how the three major chords in the key of F have similar shapes, based on the second column from the left.

    Bottom right shows that a few variations are possible. This is my favourite form of C major.


    Chords based on the middle column follow similar patterns. So pretty well all chords follow one of three basic patterns, the variations being that the outer columns are used when "black" notes are required.




    * Or using your little finger, as I do for that column.


    Crane chord shapes.pdf 65.5 kB · 17 downloads



    Thanks, that was informative. From a perspective of a Hayden player I would say that Crane system is half way there: it is fairly logical within an octave and chords aren’t „all over the place”. It has some resemblance to 3-row variants of accordion B- and C-systems in that you have different but limited shapes of chords depending on row of the root note. On the Crane however it all goes out the window when you go up an octave - same chord octave higher is fingered entirely differently.


    @RAc while it is true what you say about „music theory coming alive” in this example, it is also true that in order to construct chords on a Crane one has to already know music theory and how to construct  every chord he wishes to play. That is not the case on isomorphic keyboards: the layout itself teaches you theory! (That of course includes the simplest isomorphic layout of them all - bleached and leveled, entirely linear version of piano keyboard:) )That is what I find most usefull about them - all you need to know to play a chord is it’s universal shape and root note. You get all other information directly from your fingers. 

  2. Seconded, I have a dent in my A3 on the left and A4 on the right, that is enough to reposition my hands if I ever get lost. However, since I begun using thumb straps those dents aren’t really necessary anymore, as my static thumb position and muscle memory are enough to never get lost.


    One word about Hayden isomorphism. While I love it and not really having to learn anything about different keys to play in them is great, it has one quite significant drawback: if you run into a phrase that is awkward/difficult/impossible to finger smoothly, then you cannot transpose to different key in search of easier fingering, they are all the same by definition. This of course translates to having to step out of your comfort zone regularily and naturally advances your playing and/or arranging skills, but is nevertheless worth to note. This also translates to Haydens not really having „home position” and semi-constant finger-note relation known from Anglos, as which finger goes where at which point depends on exact phrase, not general note.


    And about chord shapes - I don’t know how constant chord shapes are on a Crane (I guess not that much since it is not isomorphic layout), but having distinctly different shapes for mayor/minor/all other chords is a feature, not a bug in isomorphic layouts. For some different type chords having same shapes, as on Anglos for example, one has to remember which exact chords those are. On a Hayden you don’t really care about anything other than purely geometric relations between buttons, both in chords and in melody sequences, as souds are secondary to geometry. On non-isomorphic systems geometry is secondary to sounds. This may be irrelevant for many, especially to those playing by ear, but for me personally this was fundamental to not only to be able to play on concertina fluently, but more importantly, to finally understand music theory. 

  3. 3 hours ago, Jim2010 said:

    Thank you. As someone completely new to concertinas and the duet specifically, I never would have looked as closely at the notes. Is there a link to the "standard" Hayden layout? If it as simple as adding the noted you mentioned, I don't need a chart.


    Wakker H-1 and modern Stagi Hayden are standard 46 key boxes. There is note layout chart for every concertina-connection and Wakker  concertina on their respective pages on concertina-connection.com. Beaumont layout can be found on buttonbox.com

  4. 1 hour ago, Jim2010 said:

    Thank you. When you say that the the Peacock is still sub standard, do you mean it doesn't have enough buttons/pitches or something else?

    „Standard” as defined by Brian Hayden himself. Compared to Peacock, it includes A1 and B1 on the left side and C3# and D3 on the right. Personally, it is A1 that is dealbreaker for me. ‚A’ notes are so central to how Hayden system is layed out, that I use A1 in about 2/3 of all my current repertoire. What is most annoying is that Wim decided to not follow the Elise core layout and gradually expand on it with higher level instruments, so switching between concertina connection instruments require switching arrangements, as Troubadour has the same issue.




  5. I second what David wrote - Troubadour is not worth it. It won’t give much edge to beginner over four times cheaper Elise and you will want to upgrade soon enough anyway, either to Peacock (which is still sub „standard”) or Beaumont, which is the largest readily available Hayden at the moment. And if you can afford Peacock or Beaumont they both shouldn’t be hard to sell if you ever decided on a different system, which makes concertina-connection trade in program less of an advantage.

  6. 4 hours ago, Little John said:


    There's a lot of variability, according to make and materials. I had a 30 button Jeffries Anglo which was heavier than either my 48 button Crabb Crane duet or my 42 button Crane & Sons duet.



    Small MacCanns have a big disadvantage in starting at G4 (above middle C). I'm not so familiar with the range of Haydens, but even a 42 button Crane has a right-hand range from C4 (middle C) up to C6 which is satisfactory for a lot of music.



    If chromatic capability is important then it's worth noting Crane duets are fully chromatic (or very nearly so). For example, a 48 button Crane is fully chromatic in the bass from C3 to G4. The right hand extends from C4 to F6 with only the top two accidentals missing (C#6 and Eb6). There's a lot you can do on a 48 button Crane, and they are not that hard to find.




    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough - of course larger duets are perfecly sufficient. So just to clarify: with duets smaller/entry price gives you less buttons (insufficiently so in case of Haydens) and reaching „standard” 46 buttons for Haydens  costs many times more than entry level Elise, with largest and most capable 64 key boxes coming with a car level price tag. And there is only one intermediate Hayden model, the Troubadour, which offers only a slight range improvement for four times the price of Elise.


    With anglos, 30 buttons is 30 buttons regardles if it’s Rochelle, Wakker A-1 or vintage. You get exactly the same range, what changes is quality, durability, responsiveness and tone. 


    And from the perspective of a beginner deciding on a system it is IMHO quite cruicial aspect of duets availability and usefulness to consider.


  7. Given your examples I would personally chose duet, and I that is what I did actually. After about a year on the anglo I have switched to Hayden to freely play accordion-like arangement and modern music.


    BUT, and this is a big but, there is one huge problem with duets, and it is the one of instrument size/range. With Anglos, your upgrade path is in quality and responsiveness of the box, but with duets it is in straightforward ability to play certain sounds/arrangements. For example, you won’t be able to play this Pokemon tune as written on entry level instruments, because they don’t go up that far and end up on A6 (but it fits one octave lower or transposed). And Elise model doesn’t have any G#/Ab or D#/Eb sounds which cuts out a lot of modern music, which tends to be partially or fully chromatic. Sometimes you will be able to transpose, but annoyingly lot of tunes simply don’t fit on it. Of course you can squeeze a lot from cheapest duets, just be aware of limitations and that you’ll want a bigger (and pricy) box for sure. 

  8. A long time ago I have recorded „Sunday Smile” by Beirut in accordion style (based directy on accordion video tutorial) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S-bySYW3XVA

    I play a lot of accordion style arrangements of modern rock/alternative songs and duets are great for this, as you have all chords readily available and you can freely construct very large chords (6-8 notes) using both hands when you don’t need melody or play melody and full 3-4 note chords when playing both melody and accompaniment. The biggest limitation is the size of the instrument, so you’ll often have to play accompaniment in the same octave as melody or use a lot of inverted chords to mantain progressions structure. But a lot can be squeezed out even a humble Elise. 


    While it is true, that concertina and accordion reeds sound different, the main reason why concertina arrangements sound different than accordion arangements is in number of reeds speaking at any time. The second one is that the left hand of duet concertina is equivalent to free-base converter equipped accordion, usually found only on expensive accordions, inviting more melodic style accompaniment instead of typical accordion oom-pah rhytms. So those two groups of players tend to explore different styles.


    You may also want to find and listen to Kato Toru on YT - he has recorded a lot of modern game/film music in duet like arrangements on his large (40+ buttons) anglo. 

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  9. Why oh why there is no A4 on the LH side? This is the same problem as with the Peackock, but in the Peacock it was the tradeoff for G#s and D#, but here? This decision makes it so that the player which upgraded from Elise cannot utilize all of their repertoire straight up and has to rearrange some of it for different fingerings or lose some rhytm of the accompaniment. A lot of accordion style accompaniments utilize LHS A4...

  10. Besides everything what was explained above, there is one other, very important thing to consider: while Hayden layout is both intuitive and very capable, Elise has one annoying limitation - it is not fully chromatic, you don’t get two notes on it. So while 30 button Anglo, any English and bigger Duets are all chromatic in at least part of their ranges, Elise has scope more similar to 20 button anglo. Moreover, the price jump to upgrade from entry level Hayden to „proper” instrument is biggest of all - there is no intermediary level instrument, only Elise and then Peacock (which is still sub-standard), Beaumont and Wakkers. With both Anglo and English systems you have a lot more steps to gradually jump between. So if the price is your main concern I would suggest Anglo as a starting point, as it is the most common system and it is easiest to both buy and sell an instrument.

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  11. IMHO thumbs are too cruicial for fine outwards bellows controll and articulation to be „wasted” on just one or two easier to play notes. Besides, thumb joints axis orientation makes thumb movements a lot slower than other fingers’, especially when trying to reach further lower buttons. And frankly speaking even six notes at a time sounds rich enough on a concertina, with eight fingers being enough for smooth chord transitions in nearly all cases. I can imagine two or three thumb operated drone base buttons on the left side outside of Hayden layout being musically usefull, but otherwise it is wasted bellows controll for me.

  12. 1 hour ago, Little John said:


    It's true that is where the main point of contact is with the hand rest, but probably the strongest point of contact with the concertina is with the thumb end of the strap (not hand rest). The key, in my view, is to have the straps reasonably loose so that you can slide your hand in a bit if needed to reach particular buttons.


    In my (limited) observation of Hayden players it seems they don't use the little finger much if they can avoid it; but when they do they slide their hand through as described above. Take a look at the videos of Beaumont players on the Button Box website, and look closely at about 30 seconds in on the first video - you'll see what I mean.



    I do use my pinkies quite often - for low bass in four finger chord accompaniments on the left side and for sharps in chromatic melodies and as an intermediary finger in some downward chord progressions. This is why I use thumbstraps, my handstraps are so loose, that I don’t have any point of contact with hand rail - if I have to make a silent squeeze I rest one of my fingers on the board. Switching hand position in handstrap is IMHO key ability on Hayden.

  13. I have something similar to ideas mentioned above in mind for my yet-to-be-finished 66 button Hayden. My idea is to have a thumb strap (I already use one on my Elise), a wide pinky „saddle” instead of handrail and I also wanted to experiment with a different approach to handstraps - make it a set of rigid but deflectable slides that do not restrain hand movement about thumb pivot point while giving the same controll as a tight strap. This way changing the hand orientation to flat or sharp keys should not affect bellows control or stability while playing.

  14. 4 hours ago, RAc said:

    well, there appears to be an interest in the issue...


    Here is my current solution:



    This is a quick and dirty video that should explain itself. Again, there is no need to support the instrument for weight reasons, as Little John demonstrates impressively on his instagram presence; his Holden Crane is about the same weight as mine. However, I like the added stability provided by the straps running along the inside of the hand rails. This sort of gizmo may even be of interest to Lukasz as the weight is not carried by the neck but the back between the shoulder blades.


    It's totally non invasive and 100% reversible as the additional strap is simply mounted with the knurl knob.



    When I wrote about neck strap earlier it was a bit of simplification - mine was asymmetric, going over one shoulder and under another, then splitting in two on each side. It provided a very good stabilization and held concertina in very precise position and did not strain my neck. But it required a slightly twisted back to have totally immobilized left end and when one of my spinal discs punctured I could not play this way anymore. Now I have switched to additional thumbstraps and a raised knee standing position and I have discovered that I have a lot more feel for volume controll this way, so I don’t experiment with straps anymore. 

  15. 20 minutes ago, sleepymonk said:

    I’m getting better at more efficient use of air. The biggest handicap is needing hand rest padding for my right, and moving the strap anchoring point so it’s over my knuckles. I’ll have to keep playing with that as general fingering skills improve. I realize the air button is going to be needed. I like the idea of moving it elsewhere, though.


    I wonder if anyone has tried resting an end on each leg, and using leg muscles to control the bellows?! The ultimate in stability ..


    At least one player tried not only resting, but also straping via velcro patches. On similar note, I have observed differences in my performance depending on the kind of trousers I rest my concertina on, with the best results with my bare skin - not only giving me additional traction, but also better tactile feedback. I can play softer and with less overall volume that way.

  16. The reason I play with unsupported melody side is that for me personally, playing left hand side requires a lot more concentration (I'm very dominantly right handed). So I can both play melody and controll bellows with my right hand, but I can't play even the basic um-pah rhytm with free floating bass side. In the beginning I used neck strap and my hip in sitting position to stabilize the concertina and make the "loose end" move in a steady, predictable manner, but it created different problems and due to back injury I cannot play that way anymore. Nowadays I use thumb straps in addition to hand straps and play standing with knee support. 


    With my previous setup, neck strap provided a constant pivot point of the free end, the attachment point of neck strap, and it was of little difference if concertina was moving inwards or outwards. But with my new setup, harder squeze of the bellows make an air "cushion" that provide an unstable pivot point for the melody side located at the bass side making the melody end to want to "slide" a bit on this cushion. This does not occur with chord heavy arangements, but with lighter and faster styles and single note accompaniments, this effect is significant enough to have to counter it by thumb tension, which makes my entire hand to be a bit stiffer and fast passages harder to play on the push. 


    Just for the sake of completeness, bellows resistance on the pull has a stable, "self centering" vector, so it does not require any compensation. Combined with more ergonomic muscle work it makes it far easier for me to play some passages on the pull.

  17. 51 minutes ago, Little John said:

    You'd have thought that if the bellows direction for the start made any difference, English and duet players would have cottoned on and exploited the effect. I've never heard it mentioned. Certainly, as a duet player, I can't think of a single tune that I don't start with a pull. That is simply because it seems natural - closed bellows is the starting position. There would have to be some obvious advantage to go to the trouble of opening the bellows wide before starting.




    To add on that: for me, as a duet player, pull is much more natural from ergonomic point of view to a point, where I can play some phrases only on a pull or heavily struggle to play them on push, so if I could I would only play on pull :D. This is because I play fast phrases/short notes using retracting finger muscles which are naturally weaker and are further inhibited with push bellows direction. Another reason is because I operate bellows with my melody hand and pull direction is stable ballance wise (you go away from pivot point) and push can become unstable with higher volume and requires more controll.

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  18. Adding my two cents to slant vs no slant question. I play on Elise (slanted) but when deciding on orientation for the instrument I'm building, I decided to go with no slant, and the reason are multiple.


    The origin of Hayden slant is not because of ergonomics, but because slant make keys "sorted" by pitch in relation to handrest and make it possible to overlay buttons on the stave in order. But on Elise this is true only for the right hand keyboard, because slant is mirrored while note layout is not - as far as I know this is also true for H-1 and H-2. This makes it a bit awkward to play rich harmony progressions, because left hand has to be positioned slightly differently than right hand on the same chords (for example, it is far easier for me to play minor chords on the right side than on the left) and it is my common mistake to misplace my ring finger on the left side to 4th lower than intended, because my intuition seeks the button where there is none. Due to this I found that I unconsiously straighten the orientation by leaning concertina a bit forward (I use thumb straps). I have experimented with proper slant on both sides and it makes playing chords easier and more natural, but it results with instrument differing too much from both common slant implementation and no-slant Wikki orientation to retain easy instrument switching ability. 

  19. 1 hour ago, ttonon said:


    Hi Lukasz, please read the following post so that you can get up to date on these details:


    Not quite.  The analysis behind these posts contains a physical model for the forces acting on the tongue, a mathematical representation of that model, and a solution that is periodic.  The method of solution admits only periodic solutions.  A solution that starts from rest is not periodic.  This is a common practice in the theory of vibrations and in applied mathematics.  Right now, I'm not interested in a transient solution starting from zero initial conditions, which I believe would be more complex than the one I've done, and may not even be amenable to analytic techniques, as opposed to the numerical techniques now in vogue, of course because of necessity and the availability of fast computers.  

    No it shouldn't, because this is an analysis of solely the tongue vibration.  Hopefully I can use this model and apply it to a coupled chamber, but that's something for the future.  

    Can you please explain what DIX reeds are, and maybe give us a picture?  Is it similar to the HOPV (High Output Piccolo Voice) technology?


    Best regards,



    Thank you for this link, I saw this discussion a while earlier than this current thread, before I got steadily back on track of who posts what here nowadays, so I missed that it was your post. It is indeed exactly about what I was asking about and is perfectly in line with my position on the topic from years back. Glad to see that someone worked on theory behind it. The reason why I asked about this is simple - this transient period is far more important part of "why and how free reeds generate sound" question than the focus of this thread and there was a long history of discussions about how free reeds work here on this forum completely ignorant about this transient, usually leading to completely false conclusions.

    Now I'm perfectly satisfied with the scope of your answers and understand, that you have divided your works into separate chunks and hopefully at the end of your journey you will indeed come up with what I would call a complete free reed theory.


    As to DIX reeds, I must apoogize, after 5 years I misremembered my experiments from back then - I have mixed up effects of various shoe materials vs geometry and scaling. I dug up those a moment ago and Johann is right - they have overall different geometry and scaling than their typical accordion counterparts. If you still want to know more about them here's a link to harmonikas.cz with description and schematics https://www.harmonikas.cz/en/dix-1#obsah 

  20. 5 hours ago, Johann said:

    Both is related to resonance and coupling. We have a combined system of an air column that is actually producing the sound and an impulse generator the reed. So the system is rather complex but in short  it does matter where the resonator has the opening.  Adding holes also affects the Resonance of the air column in a chamber. And moving the position of the hole in the chamber changes the coupling resistance.



    I know that resonance and coupling matter in case of chamber layout - I was merely stating the fact, that Tom's work does not include (or it hasn't been clearly stated, that it does) chamber geometry and tongue geometry (as you more broadly point out).


    And with DIX reeds I don't think it's related to resonance, but to minutia of airflow around the tongue in the initial stage of agitation, restricting development of higher modes of vibration, and I brought this up as an extreme case of reed/shoe geometry influence on the tone - DIX reeds are just a tiny variation on otherwise classic accordion reed design - trapezoid tongue in non-tapered opening.

  21. Tom,

    your initial post adresses differences in timbre between materials and your answer to David describes how reed shoe amplifies tongue vibration, but nowhere you adress how the vibration itself starts, which is what David asks for and what is the crux of the the question "how free reed works" and a subject of endless debates on this forume since forever. I don't know if you are aware, but couple of first oscilations of the tongue happen above the upper plane of the frame, with movements yet too small to close the gap entirely (I've been away from this forum for nearly 5 years and may have missed some important arguments; I saw there was at least one topic about turbulent flow being the source of initial vibration while I was absent). The tongue is already oscilating when it enters the frame, at which point "exactly like child on a swing" and "water hammer" analogies are adequate illustrations of how already existing oscilation is fed energy and reaches peak volume, but all those descriptions concern free reed at fully developed swing. If the initial pressure rise is too steep the reed chokes, because if you apply "fully developed swing" physics to a stationary tongue (not already oscilating slightly above the shoe) what you get is a simple one way pressure valve, with equilibrium position where the spring force of the tongue equalizes the pressure force applied to it. It is the same if the reed is set without the initial gap at all and from what you have presented here to this point I don't know if your model discerns between the initial setup with and without a gap as it should to be true.


    No model of the free reed will be complete without explaining first weak cycles before the tongue enters the frame.


    Your model should also be able to explain why "tongue tip over hole end of the chamber" produces significantly weaker speaking reed than "rivet over hole end of the chamber" configuration with every other parameter remaining the same.


    You might also want to test your model trying to explain why DIX reeds, regardless of materials used, produce less higher harmonics than non-DIX equivalents by the means of only two tiny holes at the tip corners of the shoe.

  22. 7 hours ago, soloduet said:

    Great! how many buttons will have your instrument and did you choose to make it with the Hayden's slant or not?


    66 or 64 if links will work as indended, 62 otherwise, in Wicki parallel layout, although the initial design includes an experimental handrest/thumbstrap that enable a switch between slant/no slant as I learned to play Hayden layout on Elise, which has a slant. But as this is my first build and goals and methods shifted around few times already, I don't really know where I'll arive at the end. At the moment I'll simply focus getting to playable state and modify it further if necessary.


    By the way, I stumbled upon your YT channel a month back or so - a great showcase of what duetts are capable of. Something I dearly missed all those years back, when non-folk arrangements were rare to find and there were only a handfull of recordings on Haydens. 

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