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  1. Continued to look at my notes on 7" Hexagonal Concertinas over the week.

    1) I examined a Crabb 7" 62 button Crane system (made by John Crabb) LHS 30 buttons, must have been baritone G to c" chromatic. Paralell reedchambers 11 up 11 down 7 in the middle (up) and one sideways (diagonally up). RHS middle c' to f"' chromatic plus g"' & a"', 10 up 11 down 7 in middle (up) and 4 sideways.

    I did make a particular note about this one that the reeds in the centre of the reed-pan were dovetailed diagonally into the reed-pan (not screwed on as I have seen on later Harry Crabb duets) and that there was no noticeable difference between the timbre of these notes and the reeds tat were dovetailed from the sides. On the RHS the air button went to a chamber big enough for another pair of reeds, and/or there could have been 11 up instead of 10 giving 33/34 possible. So (with a few Morse enharmonic links) a 65 button instrument should be possible.

    2) 7" Hexagonal Wheatstone Maccans have 57 buttons laid out radially in a double fan. LHS tenor c to c" (drop this 2 semitones to Bb to a' plus b' and there is still plenty of space for F, G, & A in the centre of the pan. on the RHS you will only need to add one pair of reeds (suggest the top eb"'/f"') to the centre of the pan, combined with 4 Morse enharmonic links again makes 65 button.

    3) Some years ago I was considering upgrading my original Hayden system Crabb (a tad over 7" wide) to conform to the standard button spacing and angles and at the same time upgrading it to a 65 button instrument (only a few of the inner pan spaces had been filled) and using extra reed pairs from a broken down Jeffries duett concertina. Everything for a 65 button instrument would have fitted into this instrument without the need for harmonic links, but suddenly a larger instrument that I had given up hope of ever receiving suddenly appeared so I have kept the original, and expect to leave it to a concertina museum when I snuff it. I have the diagrams of how I proposed to do this and will dig them out.

    4) 6.25" Instruments....


  2. Have been away for 3 weeks and on return amazed to find this thread resurected. I seem to have missed all the fun.

    Regards 7" concertinas: the Russian model was designed using standard size Accordion reedplates (16mm wide) as a pattern. It had 65 buttons the same notes as the shortly expected WW larger Hayden (7.75 octogon). These buttons were most carefully selected, bottom end F, G, A, Bb, - chromatic. The F prefered to an Ab as most people would find this note much more usefull. Some years ago I discussed this with Reuben Shaw, one of the finest of the older generation of Maccan Duet classical music players. He used a 67 button Wheatstone Aeola (8.75 octogon) with the low G# replaced with an F.

    Wheatstones 7" (57 button hexagonal duet) had 25 buttons on left (tenor c - 2 octaves) though I have come across Lachenal duets with the same 25 in a 6.5" Hexagon.

    Regret I will have to break off as my time is nearly up.


  3. Marimba: Also known as karimba and kalimba, more usually known as the Mbira in Africa and Sansa in other parts of the world. Did you know that Bill Wesley makes what I would call a Duet Mbira in the States, which I believe can be seen at "Button Box". Although the Wesley Keyboard in his patent differs from the Hayden Keyboard (I see it as a squashed form of that); as far as his Mbiras are concerned if you can play a Hayden Duet Concertina you should be immediately able to play the Wesley Mbira with both hands!

    I haven't seen one in the fleash yet, however judging by the photographs they look really well made instruments, quite unlike the roughly made African ones that I have seen. These instruments were discussed in these forums around a year or less ago with illustrations but I am unable to provide the direct link.

    I would be very interested to hear from any Hayden Concertina player who has played one of these instruments.


  4. I have seen quite a number of "Cranes" over the years. However most of the Wheatstone and Lachenal Cranes that I have seen, in the original form that they were made, have not been bigger than 55 button instruments, (mostly 48 or 55 but a few with less buttons down to 35). Though I have seen a number of Wheatstone "Cranes" with more than 55 buttons but on closer inspection these turned out to be larger "Maccanns" that had been converted to Crane fingering. In several this was done simply by blanking out one collumn of buttons with metal or wood inserts. I do remember seeing one for sale 4 or 5 years back (a Wheatstone wood ended Aeola) the size of an 80 button Maccann (10.75") but with only about 65 buttons, this might account for the instrument described earlier. This is only my personal observation of instruments that I have personally inspected and I wouldn't claim to have seen everything.


    All the larger real Cranes that I have seen, including some very fine instruments indeed, have been made by Crabbs. I believe that many of the Maccan to Crane conversions were done by Crabbs too. Crabbs made many Crane Duets (usually around 45 buttons) in batches of 6 to a dozen for the "Salvation Army"; these together with those made by Lachenal and one or two recent ones by Connor, should make the total count of Cranes much more than the "390"; though there is the story (probably an urban myth) that the French Salvation Army burnt over a 100 Cranes about 20 years ago!





    1)Regards Beaux - I am talking about 1953 - They were very energetic then, this was the very first Mens Morris I had ever seen, as teams get older they do slow up a bit; when did you see them?


    2) Which brings me to a bit more of my family history.

    In 1913 my Aunt went to teacher training college, and as part of the course learned English folk & country dancing. By the time she qualified a terrible war had broken out and she took up a teaching post in a boys school. There was no interest in that from boys who expected to go off to the trenches as soon as their schooling finished. However she joined a Country Dance Club in Gillingham, Kent doing Trad English dances, Morris, Longsword, and Playford.

    She told me that after the war not many men came back; remember that of Cecil Sharp's first Mens Morris team practically all including Herbert Macilwaine who helped C# to write the early "Morris Books", and the promising English composer George Butterworth were killed; I believe of the 6, only Douglas Kennedy survived. One young man she got attached to, weakened by 4 years of warfare promply died the following year in the Flu epidemic.

    Well she said "We enjoyed ourselves making our own fun without men during the war, so why shouldn't we continue to do so after it had finished?" There were many other similar (almost entirely ladies) groups, they formed the backbone of the English Folk Dance & Song Society, and financed the building of Cecil Sharp House.


    3) In the Fifties of last century through my fathers interest in Balkan Dancing I met Philip Thornton, who had travelled extensively in that part of the world recording folk music (he was a BBC sound recordist) and learning the dances. He wrote 3 or 4 books about his travels, and in one he describes how he brought over half a village of dancers to an EFDSS Albert Hall Festival in the 1930s, where they performed to great aclaim. However he describes how the English dancers all women (my aunt was one of them) plodded round in white dresses doing Playford, donned baldricks and bells and plodded round for morris dances, and linked up with Long-swords to perform sword dances as lifelessly. If I remember it correctly (it's over 50 years since I read Philip Thorntons books) one of the Balkan Villagers said that the English danced like "dead puppets" and that "when a man lives too far from the soil a fire dies in his soul".

    It was in 1934 that several Mens Morris Sides joined together to form the Morris Ring - to bring back the fire into the dancing. It was almost immediately interupted by another terrible war, however more men survived this time including Kenneth Loveless, but this time they were determined that morris dancing was not going to reach the same low point that it had after between the two world wars.


    4) If you read the Obituary I wrote about Gladys Thorp in the ICA magazine you will see that Father Kenneth played for EFDSS morris dancing classes which included women dancers, so I think that refutes your conjectures about Fr Ken completely against womens morris.



    Next week I will see if I can rewrite the hillarious story of Father Ken in his night-shirt and night-cap, from the same ICA article.

  6. Twas brillig and the slythy toaves,

    did gyre and gymball in the wabe,

    all mimsy were the borrowgroves,

    and the mome wraths outgrabe.




    At the age of 9 at School we read Lewis Carrol's "Alice in Wonderland" - it opened a whole new world of literature for me - the first book that I had ever read and wanted to read again, finding new meaning each time.


    At the age of 11 the school Music Teacher played a selection of different types of music including Wagners "Introduction to Act III of Loengrin" - it was the most exciting piece of music that I had ever heard - (there is a story about this but I don't have time at the moment). - I went on to listen to a lot of other music by Wagner, much of which talks deeply into my soul.


    At the age of 13 the English Teacher introduced us to Wordsworths poems - the delight of the "Daffodils" and the sadness of the "Sheepfold".


    At the age of 15 I saw a performance by the "Beaux of London City Morrismen" a team of men dancers (with policeman hobby horse and a man in a tall hat bashing the dancers with a bladder) - I was utterly excited by this and wanted to do this kind of dancing. I had seen several performances of Ballet, but whilst I loved the music, I was totally uninspired by the ladies prancing around in silly skirts, and men whose only purpose was as a prop for the ballerina. Many years later Rudolf Neuref burst on to the the scene and inspired a whole generation of brilliant male ballet dancers, perhaps if I had seen him at the age of 15 I would have taken up Ballet rather than Morris! (O.K. stop falling about laughing at the Disney vision of Ballet dancing Hippopotamuses). I was able to take up Morris Dancing about a year later and enjoyed over 20 years of happy dancing.


    At the age of nearly 17 I met FATHER KENETH LOVELESS, and was absolutely knocked out by his playing both sight and sound. I enjoyed dancing to his playing, and got to know him a little over the years. I had recently taken up the Melodeon and had seen other (english system) concertina players; and thought they were nice little instruments but was very uninspired by the sort of sound they produced. Father Ken told me that he had learned to play from William Kimber of Headington who played a Jeffries Anglo-Chromatic Concertina, but they weren't made any more. Some years later I spotted a couple Jeffries Anglos in an Antique Shop and bought one, and set about playing it in the Loveless manner, and enjoyed several years playing for Morris on it - well to cut a long story short this led to a Jeffries Duett in Ab -which led to inventing an entirely new type of Duet Concertina which I am pleased to say many people now enjoy playing. So you see without FATHER KENETH LOVELESS I would never have even

    started playing the Concertina!


    As I grew older I learned that Lewis Carrol was said to consort with child prostitutes. Richard Wagner was continually in dept took ruthless advantage of a young King who worshiped him, stole his favourite conductors wife and was said to be anti-semitic, and was Hitler's favourite composer. William Wordsworth was said to be having an incestuous affair with his sister.

    I recently read a Biography of Rudolf Neuref which said he was personally not a very nice man, took ruthless advantage of many people who helped them, then dropped them like a hot cake as soon as they were no longer use to him; and didn't care in the least where he stuck his -- (well we won't go there, he paid the price in the end).


    As the Millionaire said at the end of the Film "Some Like it Hot" after Jack Lemmon takes off his wig - "Nobody's Perfect !"


    I loved Loveless, I am deeply in debt for his inspirational playing, no doubt he would not have approved of women Priests, but we never ever discussed theology, he was too busy living.




    P.S. If you didn't understand the Lewis Carrol quote at the beginning you will have to ask Humpty-dumpty.

  7. Yes you are quite right about the dominant 7ths; sorry for my little slip. It comes of having only limited time on the internet before the Library Computer changes into a Pumpkin! I write straight from the top of my head without being able to look up any references, and that week the person sitting next to me was half looking at me typing on an "air-keyboard" with my left hand and another was standing behind me ready to take over as soon as the mad old gentleman's time was up. I was writing right up to the last minute, and then had to put the reply on to Concertina.net with only minutes to spare. I have no idea how to correct an entry once it is on C.net, as this website comes with no explanation as to how it can be used. I have no idea how to quote previous entrys with one of those boxes either; perhaps someone might tell me?

    I do have a computer at home which I use to write music, instructions for playing concertinas, and designs for concertinas and other musical instruments. But I have always kept it as a virgin computer as it now contains much imformation that is valuble to me (and possibly to other people someday). One friend of mine who is connected to the internet tells me that he spends 20 minutes checking for viruses etc. every time he turns on his computer, and still gets attacked. I'd rather spend that extra 20 minutes writing music or playing the concertina.


  8. 1) I confirm that I have been invited to take the beginners duet classes again at this Octobers Kilve Concertina weekend; details and booking see the West Country Concertina Players website. I shall be taking the all beginner duet (i.e. Crane, Hayden, Jeffries, & Maccan) sessions. I have to take these as I am the only avaible person who knows where the notes are on all 4 types of duet. I have to tailor these sessions to the small Maccann as these instruments lack several important notes on the right hand side and even an important one on the left! You will find most of the music I use for absolute beginners on the other concertina website. Note that the somewhat peculiar left hand side is intended to read as for a tenor singer, i.e. an octave below the right hand side not a standard bass staff. I also take chord classes for every type of concertina, and special sessions for Hayden Duets at any level you want.

    I usually get to Kilve by 4 p.m. on the Friday and stay overnight on the Sunday so for people travelling long distances (like USA or County Durham) I am quite happy to take extra sessions on Friday before dinner, Sunday after tea and before the best music of the weekend at the pub across the road from 9 p.m. and even maybe an extra lesson after breakfast on Monday before we are turfed out at about 11 a.m..

    2) Rich Morse has given the notes on the 46 Button Hayden, write these out on treble and bass music staves - see how neatly they fit. (you can't do this with an Anglo or Maccann !) Then get the book "Easy Peasy Tunes" - Button Box probably sell it (or Hobgoblin, Music Room, or Marcus in U.K.). This book gives 100 well known popular American, English, Irish, and Scottish tunes (and even a couple with Australian connections). It confines itself to only 14 buttons on the Right hand side of your instrument i.e. bottom row - d', e', f#'; next row g', a', b', c#"; third row c", d", e", f#"; and g", a", & b" on the next row up: - draw a hexagon round these on the Morse diagram. These comprise what I refer to as the "Golden Hexagon" - and the 100 tunes in "Easy Peasy Tunes" are just the tip of the iceburg of tunes of the 4 nations that can be played on just these 14 notes. The suggested bass chords in this book are confined to just 8 different chords - C, G, D, & A (major), Am & Em (minor) and D7 & A7 (dominant seventh).

    The 4 Majors have the same simple triangular pattern ( 3 fingers ring, middle & index, in a row starting with the name note, and then move the middle finger diagonally up to the left on the next row and play these 3 together) For the 2 Minors again start with 3 in a row and move the middle finger diagonally down to the right - this gives the basic pattern for the minor chords the name of the chord is Xm where X is the note that the middle finger has landed on. For the Dominant 7ths (simple) take 4 buttons in a row and leve out the second one (it's easiest if you use the ring finger for the leftmost - leave a gap and play the next two with the middle and index finger. the name of this chord is the one that you are playing with the middle finger - seventh (strictly speaking "partial dominant seventh" but I don't want to get too pedantic). Leave the little finger on the left hand side for later when it will come in very usefull for playing bass notes on larger instruments.

    Well that imformation and those two books should take you through the first year or so of learning; and once you have mastered these 2 keys (D & G) you will find that you can already play in the keys of F,C, A, & E without any extra learning except for reading off the music notation.


  9. Regards Dave Barnets diagrams.

    1st diagram is correct, 2nd & 3rd are I regret wrong.

    2nd diagram upper Middle finger should be one space to the left, 3rd diagram left at top left should be right over to the right diagonally left above the lower little finger.

    Looked at another, think of 3 fingers being used twice, with the 4th 5th & 6th notes of the scale falling diagonally left (i.e. a musical Fourth) above the 1st 2nd & 3rd notes of the scale. The 7th note of the scale (the Maveric note, which is always shown in notation with an accidental in front of it) is played by the spare finger. As this finger is only used for one out of seven notes, the maveric finger can also be moved around to several adjacent buttons and used to do semitone slides up to other notes as well.

    I've tryed to get diagrams similar to Barnetts purely by typing; however they come out incorrectly spaced.


    The Dipper instrument that is illustrated has 65 buttons, I have also seen 2 others by "Dipper" one with the same number of buttons but with raised ends and another with flat ends but with 3 extra buttons, I have also seen photographs of one of Steve Dickensons 82 key Hayden, but have never seen it in the flesh. I wouldn't like to say which of these 4 instruments is the finest ever made but I would certainly count it to be one of these 4, but then I'm predudiced. And p.s. the 3 "Dippers" were mostly made by Robin Scard, who works alongside Colin Dipper, and is almost unknown as one of the finest concertina makers of our day.


  10. For Harmonic Minor scales I use Just 3 fingerings to play all Harmonic scales on the 67 Square Concertina. I = Index finger,M = Middle finger, R = Ring finger & L = Little finger (Pinkie)

    Right Hand side.

    1) Prefered easiest fingering: e.g. A Harmonic-minor : A - M, B - R, C - I, D - M, E - R, F - I, G# - L.

    2) For Sharpest keys e.g. F# Harmonic minor: F# - R, G# - L, A - M, B - R, C# - L, D - M, F (i.e. E#) - I.

    3) For the other Keys, e.g. Ab Harmonic Minor: Ab - I, Bb - M, B (i.e. Cb) - L, Db - I, Eb - M, E(i.e. Fb) - L, G - R.

    For several Harmonic minors you have a choice of two of the above.


  11. Just to clear up 2 points.

    1) Boney - Internet - 1960s! You have to be Joking - the internet didn't exist in the 1960s. Computers were very large things at that time, usually occupying a whole room, and only owned by large companies, ordinary people could not have used one even if they had access to them. It is only very recently that the Patent Office has put all patents onto the internet. At the time of my research the London Patent Office only had selected (i.e. quite recent at that time patents from other countries) available; and unless you knew a name and a date and could read German you would never have found the Wiki Patent.

    2) Ragtimer - Hammer Dulcimer. If you look up the Hayden Patent - 1986 - 2131592, you will find a diagram of one in there. Normal Hammer Dulcimers have 3 runs of notes but I had noticed that the short strings on the other side of the bridges of the single lower pitched run played a very high note of sorts. This I reversed to the right hand side and placed the bridges in such a way that I obtained an extra run of high notes; giving 4 runs of notes - the minimum needed to play a good number of trad folk tunes. The Diagram in the Patent shows a single string for each note but for the Hammer Dulcimers that I made I used 4 strings for each note. Perhaps some clever person could bring this diagram into this Forum; it's on the other main Concertina Website, you don't need to go into the Patent Office Website.


  12. Patenting the Hayden System Concertina.


    I came up with the idea entirely independantly of Wicki many years ago whilst trying to find a sensible way of altering a 50 button Jeffries Ab Duett concertina. I had recently sucessfully altered a 38 button Jeffries concertina so that the right hand played the same as my melodeon, which I had been playing at that time for about 10 years.

    I tryed out many different ways of arranging the notes on the 50 button Ab over a period of a year destroying the instrument in the process, but finally came up with the very best solution. As the Jeffries was now completely unplayable I commisioned a new instrument from Harry Crabb & Sons, which eventually arrived nearly 7 years later. I was very pleased with the instrument it played beautifully.

    I began to think of other instruments that the system might be applied to, and made a couple of hammer dulcimers which used the arrangement, and have an inventions book with all sorts of ideas in it. At the same time I became much more involved in concertina playing as a whole. I noted how many small Jeffries Duetts were being changed to Anglos, especially 44 button instruments; and considered that my instrument might end up the same way.

    The internet didn't exsist at that time and magazines which I could (and did) write for were very effemeral; but one permanent way of publishing an Idea is to take out a Patent, all patents are theorectically never out of print.

    The arrangement of notes was so good and seemed so obvious that I thought that someone must have come up with the Idea before. So I set about a search at the Patent Office to see if anyone had previously come up with the Idea. I read every patent that I could find; and did you know that the Janko Keyboard had already been proposed (in a 3 row form) by Trotter in 1811, Janko does not refer to the trotter patent; and the Jones patent for the idea of a third row of sharps and flats and reversals on the anglo had already been proposed for concertinas, let alone Bandoneon systems which existed at that time. However Jones was the man who produced the instruments in practical form; and Janko was the man who actually had Pianos made using that Idea.

    I suspect that Wiki's idea met with a lot of opposition from the Bandoneon Establishment in Germany, and perhaps none were ever made; it was a case of the right time (Butterworth published the system which is now called "Crane" that year) but the wrong place.

    Having found nothing like my arrangement of notes at the British Patent Office, I decided to go ahead and publish for 2 reasons:

    1) After a near death experience, I considered that the Idea might be lost for ever if I didn't take out a Patent.

    2) There was a competition at that time "The Prince of Wales award for Innovation and Industry" which gave substantial sums of Money to develop new Ideas. This required you to have Patent rights to your Idea in order to enter.

    I waisted a whole year and a load of money researching and writing a Patent and dissertation for this competition. The Patent was eventually granted, after the Patent officers who must have had access to German Patents but didn't spot the Wicki Patent. However I did hear that in 1914 all German Patent Rights were cancelled and any British Company that wished to take over these rights, could. Perhaps someone with more knowlege of Patents could confirm or deny this.

    My experience with the Crabb instrument did lead to improvements in the spacing angles, and size and shape of buttons, but this was not what the Patent depended on.

    After I had invested a lot more money into getting instruments made and promoting the system, I was absolutely devestated to meet Maria Dunkel at a Halsey Manor Concertina Weekend, who showed me the Wicki Patent !


  13. The Bastari Hayden Square concertina has the standard spacing and slope, (discussed earlier) and this is virtually the same as is used by Wheatstones (Dickenson), Colin Dipper's Workshops, Concertina Connection, Tedrow, and Marcus; and in the past by Nicoli of Moscow, and conversions of Wheatstone instruments by Neville Crabb & Dana Williams. The only instruments that differ from this are the very first Hayden system instrument made by H Crabb & Sons before the inventor had ever tried out the system on any useable instrument, and hadn't worked out the optimum spacing, slope etc. & and regretably the inexpensive Hayden System Stagi instruments, which you illustrate.


    It is possible that Wicki might have had one or more Square Concertinas made using the same idea, with different spacings and no slope; but I have never seen any and I don't know anyone who has.


    With the correct slope on the octaves: for the right hand play the note on the lower octave with the finger to the right of the pair and going to the upper octave with the finger to the left of the pair (e.g. Little to Ring, Ring to Middle, and Middle to Index fingers); this is reversed on the left hand. Note that this means that the shorter little finger is always on a lower row of buttons. Regretably the fingering will have to be reversed on the right-hand side of a Stagi which could be awkward if the Little finger is involved. I have never had any contact or correspondance with Stagi.


    Sometimes when playing a pair of notes together an octave apart to the extreme right of the Left hand button-board (c# with a c'# for instance) I may use the Middle finger to play the upper note, but I have never had occasion to do this when playing such notes consecutively.



  14. Additions to the above.

    You mention pedals in connection with the electronic keyboard; here is a thought:- as you don't need to use the thumbs to play either treble or bass, you could add a small keyboard for the 2 thumbs in the middle below the other keys, to play the equivalent of a pedal-board. I am sure that this would be much easier to play than a pedal-board; and leave the feet to control volume and other things.

    Years ago I drew all this out but didn't have the knowledge or finances to make it.

    This together with the ease of transfer from Stradella to Hayden bass, and the different uses for the little fingers, is the reason why I always strongly reccomend against making the Bass of a Hayden the mirror image of the treble, which is continually suggested by people who have never played a standard Hayden system.

    I am not able to put these drawings directly onto my internet access but will send these diagrams by snail mail to one of the contributors to this web site to show you what I mean.

    I did eventually discover the best way to arrange the pairs of notes on buttons for a bisonic Accordion, Bandoneon or concertina, but that was long after I was well into unisonics. I have never published this in the hope that someone more interested in bisonics would discover it and produce it as their own invention. I know how devestated I was when someone pointed out that Wiki had come to the same conclusion as myself a hundred years previously for the Bandoneon, but never seems to have championed the system, (there are no know Wiki instruments, just a proposal in an Alfred Arnold catalogue). He probably met with even more opposition from the Bandoneon establishments at the time, than I have from the english-concertina and Maccann camps of today.



  15. If you are familiar with the Stradella Bass you will have no difficulty transfering to a Hayden Bass system.

    I tryed to improve the Bisonic (melodeon) treble system many years ago destroying no less than 5 instruments in the process. All except the first had Stradella basses which at the time (I was playing English, Irish, Scottish, and American trad dance tunes) I found to be sufficient. The last evolution of the last button accordion was to a part Hayden Treble (with stradella bass), at a time whilst I was waiting (nearly 7 years) for Crabbs to make me a Hayden system concertina. When I finally got the Crabb, it took me only 2 or 3 weeks to play the equivalent accompaniments to those of the Stradella, on the left hand side.

    It has taken a half a lifetime of the utmost pleasure to explore the many other possibilities of the Hayden Bass; and having found something new in one key it is immediately available in 7 other keys (and to a certain extent in a further 2) on the instrument that I now play. If you make an electronic Keyboard you will naturally be able to up this to all 12 Keys!


  16. 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.



  17. 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.




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

  18. Pan-pipes - two possible solutions, both need open pipes that overblow the octave.

    1) Put a run of pipes tuned to a whole tone scale, and place another run of pipes behind them tuned to the other whole tone scale. Play 3 along the bottom then move to 4 intermeshing above them, then return to the the lower ones and overblow them to play the octave above for another 3 notes, and return to the top ones again to overblow these notes.

    Andean Pan-pipes are made in a similar form with 2 runs of pipes but each tuned to alternate notes (rather english-concertina like !).

    2) Use a single row of pipes but each with a single hole in it which when open plays a note a fourth (or possibly a fifth above). Play 3 notes with the fingerholes closed, then 4 with the fingerholes open then overblow with the fingerholes closed, and overblow with the fingerholes open.

    I once a long time ago tryed out this with 4 Pennywhistles (in Bb, C, D, & E) Sellotaped together, and most of the holes Sellotaped down. It worked rather well, and I could even play a couple of Major and a couple of minor chords on it.


    (American readers: for Sellotaped - read Scotchtapped.)

  19. 4) I was very pleased to see the details of Bill Wesley's Mbira. I had seen the Wesley Patent for a keyboard a couple of years ago (Jim Plaedemon pointed it out to me); and note that the "Wesley Array" is defined differently from the "Hayden arrangement of musical touchpoints". "Hayden" is effectively defined as a 2-5-7 semitone arrangement but "Wesley" is as a 5-7-12 semitone arrangement; like a squashed "Hayden" with the octaves nearer than the whole-tones along the line. This would make a difference to how the keyboards would come out on an electronic keyboard with the touches as large hexagons close together, but for a Hayden Concertina player playing a Wesley Mbira both would appear to be the same thing.

    The Hayden Patent does list a Sansa (the generic name for an Mbira) amongst the possible uses of the arrangement for non keyboard instruments, and I did make a "Hayden System" Hammer Dulcimer which worked very well, but never persued this or any of the other non-keyboard possibilities.

    The Sansa was on the bottom of the list long after Psalteries, Harps, Crwths, Xylophones, and Pan-pipes; so I am very pleased to see that such an instrument is in production.


  20. A few brief comments.

    1) I find the diagrams quite hard to understand as none of them seem to have the specific octave that the keys shown refer to. A "C" might be a middle c (c') a tenor c © or a bass c © or any other from CC to C""' . This may be further complicated by talking about the "Janko Keyboard" (both have whole-tone intervals along the rows) where a C on the next but one row above plays the same note, whereas on the "Hayden Keyboard" the C on the next but one row above plays a c an octave above.

    2) There is no point in going beyond two handfulls together with all 7 flats to the extreme left and all 7 sharps to the extreme right. If you have to jump a hand to the left or right whilst playing this reduces the ease of playing and uncertainty of hitting the right notes that you have on the piano. Just 2 rows of notes definitely doesn't work. I once very early on made the expensive mistake of having a 3 row accordion made with part "Hayden System" but having to move a good distance in the middle of a tune totally destroyed all the advantages of the keyboard.

    3) Instructions for playing: I will be doing a set of lessons for Hayden concertina at the WCCP Kilve weekend next month, I am down for 3 sessions, but this can easily be expanded to up to 8 sessions if anyone wants it - see West Country Concertina Players website for details and bookings. I also have a number of instruction sheets for various aspects of playing the system - from 3 chord tricks on the LHS to how to play Harmonic minors easily but these are all on Microsoft "Word" documents with diagrams in specific places, and I have no idea how to put a Microsoft Word document on to this website retaining in exactly the same format.

    More later,


  21. Re use of word "Baritone Clef":

    When I first started teaching Hayden concertinas in particular and Duett concertinas in general I found that people were having difficulty on the left hand not so much playing the buttons but reading the Bass Clef. Many had previously been english-concertina players and were familiar with baritone EC music which uses a treble clef but sounds an octave lower on a baritone english-concertina.

    At one of the WCCP playing days a year or so before I started teaching Hayden concertinas, no one turned up with a baritone concertina and I was the only person who had a concertina with notes below the g (lowest on the treble EC) and a piece of baritone english-concertina was thrust in front of me as a challenge by the Musical director who hated Duets and Anglos. At that time I was reasonably confident at reading treble clef slowly, but was totally lost on the bass clef; however I had recently taught myself to play in octaves. To my surprise I found that I could play the "baritone music" by playing octaves but just touching the right hand buttons but pushing down the corresponding left hand buttons to sound the baritone part.

    I consider it is important for a beginner on a duet to immediately start playing both hands. This is why I wrote the music for the left hand part of a duet on the "beginners tunes" that I arranged; and called it "baritone". Crane and Maccann Duets have corresponding buttons on the left hand side which play an octave below the right, Jeffries Duetts have a very large section of buttons which also do this, and of course all the octaves on a Hayden are arranged in the same manner anyway.

    One bonus that I have also found with music with two parts which look the same an octave apart is that I can give it to a couple of beginner english-concertina players to play together, which is very usefull as a cheap baritone english-concertina (The Jack) is now available.

    In the present group of Duet concertina players I work with in WCCP one (Maccann) can only use octave notation, some insist on Piano type notation (treble clef with bass clef) and some are happy with either. Fortunately I now have a computer program (Sibelius) that can cope with this automatically provided I pretend that the octave notation is intended for soprano and tenor singers.


  22. Regards fingering I favour "flexible fingering"; and will state catagoricly that there is no "correct fingering" for the Hayden system concertina! My little fingers I use very flexibly on the RHS for the leading notes, and for chromatic decorations, and usually find that I am using ti IV (up) do I, re II, fa III, which fits the RH very comfortably, but might also use do II, & re III, then mi IV, up to Fa I, So II, La III.

    On the LHS I use my little finger almost entirely for Bass notes around an octave below my other fingers which may be playing counter melody or chords. I have trained it to go right across even under Left I.


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