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Posts posted by inventor

  1. 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.



  2. 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!


  3. 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.



  4. 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.

  5. 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.)

  6. 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.


  7. 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,


  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. Any 81 Key Maccann could have extra buttons added as I described earlier; up to 4 perhaps 5 on the left hand side. Colin Dipper recently made 5 Counter-bass english-concertinas and he chose to use Accordion Reeds. My club (WCCP) has two of them and the sound is excellent, in fact they sound better than many Bass & Counterbass ECs that I have heared.

    However 10.75inch concertinas are very clumsy instruments; anything much over 8" becomes awkward, 9.5" as on a 71 Maccan is just about pushing the limit in my opinion. Had you considered adding buttons to your present instrument, possibly using Accordion reeds. Bass side should take another 3 perhaps 4 (?Bass accordion reeds) on boxes on the LHS. C, D, Eb, E would be very usefull. I see from my recearch documents that on the right hand side the air button of a 71 (criminally) wastes enough space for no less than 2 more notes round the edge of the reed-pan on the RHS. Whynot add g & g# there with the a on the inner space of the reedpan?


  11. Regards the 84 Maccan. I Knew one of the former owners of that instrument if it is the same one, and have seen inside it.

    (1) It was a Wheatstone Aeola 10.75 inches across, and according to the Wheatstone Archives (see Horniman Museum) it started life as a Standard (largest size) 81 key Maccan.

    (2) It had been altered to add 3 extra very low notes to the left hand side. The reeds of these low notes definitely made by Wheatstones were on "boxes" in the centre of the reed-pan. All below the usual lowest Bass C they were BB, BbBb, and ?AbAb.

    (3) My guess is that the alteration had been done at an early stage by Wheatstones as the additional action exactly matched the existing ones. The BB & BbBb were in the places on a Maccan that you would expect to find them but the AbAb was inserted in the fretwork in an odd place. A surprising amount of the action had been rerouted to take these extra 3 notes.

    (4) The story went that the instrument was originally made for a singer who usually sang in Flat keys hence the detached low AbAb rather than a low AA.



  12. Slope of 10.62 degrees as quoted by Rich Morse is exactly correct, and was worked out as the optimal slope between myself and Steve Dickenson many years ago. This gives on the Right hand side of a larger (than 46 button) an eb" left the same distance from the hand rest as the d#" right, which plays a note of the same pitch (equal-temperament).

    When I quote from the top of the head I find it easier to remember ten-and-a-half and can anyone measure exactly 0.12degrees? For that matter the measurement 12mm (again which I remember off the top of my head) between the buttons at fourths or fifths should be exactly root145 (get out your calculator) not root144: all that Pythagoras business about Squaws on Hippopotamuses. I regret we seem to have lost the original questioner, maybe too much pedantic discussions of minutae!


  13. I was just about to repeat the specification when I saw that Dave Barnert had already put the link in - thank-you; I also have difficulty finding links to ancient previous replies.

    Returning to the original question asked, I should have added a fourth aproach to Duet Concertina, in fact it should be the first so I will label it (0).

    0) Play a melody - this is what English (type) concertina players do all the time, very few seem able to do anything else even if it is written on the music; and what Irish (nationality and music) C/G anglo players also usually do. However on a duet (any type) you may also add:- (A) Playing the melody in octaves, (B) Play a melody with fixed or moving drones.

    Another tip which is useful to any type of concertina:

    Always move a finger to the next button that you are going to use that finger for immediately after you have used it, rather than just before you play the note. This enables you to cleanly tap straight down on that button rather than to suddenly move that finger sideways from somewhere else. There is also a definite distance that you move the finger, and if other fingers of the same hand are used in between, an exact distance between the other finger and it's new position.

    Always search for a fingering that doesn't involve jumping a finger consecutively between two buttons. Two ways that this might be acheived are playing a note that is on both sides of the concertina, on the opposite side of the instrument; and (on instruments with the correct spacing and large buttons) playing fourths or fifths together with one finger. However if you have to jump buttons, it is better to cut a note minutely short rather than to come in late on the next note.


  14. I thoughly agree with Jim above with regard to the button spacings on the Stagi. Stagi is the only company that I have never had any dealings or correspondence with. Several years earlier I had somewhat fallen out with Bastari as he expected many more orders than I was willing to give him at that time. After Stagi had taken over, a Gentleman (I can't remember who) phoned me from the States wanting more cheap Hayden system instruments, and as I didn't want to get involved again, suggested he order them direct saying that Bastari had all the details of the instruments. This proved not to be the case (Bastari must have destroyed the records of Haydens). What started to appear at Hobgoblin, London Accordions, and Button Box later appear to have been based on an enlarged distorted photograph of a Bastari 46 buttoninstrument.


  15. I would suggest 3 ways of aproaching the Hayden Concertina.

    1 Melody and counter melody.

    There is a set of work-shops that built up into a book; starting on one note per side and gradually building up to 6 notes on each side, plus a few more difficult duets. This you will find published on the "Maccan" site mentioned above.

    2 Tune and Um-Pah bass.

    Obtain a copy of "Easy Peasy Tunes" this has 100 traditional tunes, From England, Scotland, Ireland, and USA, using only the 14 notes d' e' f#' - g' a' b' c#" - c" d" e" f#" - g" a" b". Which surprise surprise form a compact hexagon of buttons on your concertina. Chords are very simple and can either be played Um-Pah or once you have learned the position and movements; squashed into simple runs, to give the basis for a counter melody.

    3 For advanced players of classical music.

    Write out score onto Treble and Bass staves then work out how to play it.


  16. Spectacled warbler seems to have said almost all about makers. Wim Wakker is also making 65 button instruments in 2008 which do have a good number of extra notes below the usual compass on both sides, together with several repeated Abs & G#s, and Ebs & D#s, which makes them easier to play in Bb and Eb as well as the usual keys easily played on the smaller instruments (i.e. F, C, G, D, A, & E). The larger Bastaris also have repeated Dbs & C#s which made them easier to play in Ab as well; they were developed with singers in mind and also play more quietly. The Key Db is a more difficult, but then have you tried to play in Db on a Maccann!. I am in negotiation to sell the last of a large batch of these after 20 years but might be persuated to sell my personal Bastari instrument if there is any interest in this.

    Steve Dickenson (Wheatstones) still makes Hayden Duets all sizes so far as I know, and Colin Dipper also definitely makes them (regret both have very long waiting lists). Connor also makes 46 button Haydens, (very solidly made real reeded concertinas), one sea captain I know uses his on Training Sailing Ships.

    Congratulations to Rich Morse for making 500 concertinas, but regretfully not one Hayden, after many years of promises. "Concertinas, concertinas, everywhere, nor any one to play!" now that I might count as an "Ancient Concertinaplayer" (sorry Colleridge-Taylor)


  17. I mentioned in a reply to another thread in concertina history that I had a square concertina 2, voice (octaves) accordion reeds by Bastari left over from a batch of 10 when I was actively involved in promoting Hayden Duets 20 years ago. When I dug this concertina out I discovered 3 plus the original (not quite right sample). I also dug out the original paper work and found that it had been a batch of 12 not 10. Two have now been sold which leaves one if M3838 or anyone is still interested. Read all the comments and imformation on the other thread (including Rich Morses fair comments) The last one has some faults in the surface due to being stored for 20 years, but sent to USA it will cost $1000 less than the top price you mention.


  18. I understand that Harry Geuns already has orders for Hayden Duet "Bandoneons" but still needs a few more to make it up to 10; with a much wider compass of notes on both sides than that proposed for the Craneodeon. i.e. LHS Bass C to b' (nearly 3 octaves) RHS g (same as bottom note of treble-english) to f"' again nearly 3 octaves. and repeated Ab & G#s and Ebs & D#s, full details on JAX (Jack Woher)s site.

    With these repeated notes (I have them on my larger concertina) I have no difficulty in playing Chromatic Scales, runs, and decorations. For chromatic scales I did have to work hard when I first started them, but they now present no problem, you never run out of fingers and no finger jumping is needed. I have no difficulty playing chromatic decorations even on my smaller (46 button) concertina, and they seem to creep into trad Irish and Scottish tunes all the time. Minor chords in all inversions present no problem on a larger instrument, which has every fourth and every fifth on adjacent buttons so that any minor or any major chord may be played in any inversion with only 2 fingers.

    This can be done on no other type of concertina!


  19. I always used 1, 2, 3, 4. for the fingers and 0 for the thumb. This is because I learned (unsucessfully) to play the violin as a child, and when I came across english-concertina players they used (as Alan Atlas points out) the same. The only time I have come across the (1)2345 was in classes by Andrew Purkiss one concertina weekend. (He plays Chromatic button accordion, Piano, and Hayden concertina.) This somewhat threw me and I was about to disagree with his fingering, when I realised he was using a different numbering.

    Nowadays when I am explaining fingering I will prefer to use I (index finger), M (middle finger), R (Ring finger) & L (little finger, or pinkie for American readers), and T for the thumb which is used on some concertinas.

    Regard to Stagi Hayden concertinas, the spacing of the buttons is wider than standard and some fingerings can be awkward in these instruments.


  20. Re Ragtimers questions -

    The 65 button instrument has a lowish Bb (the one below tenor c) I have only ever come across one Duett concertina that had a very low BBb (the one below bass C) on a monster 84 button Maccann, or on specialist huge single action counterbass englishes.

    Note that on the 65 button Hayden every perfect fourth or perfect fith that is available can be played somewhere on the instrument with only one finger (the flat top buttons that Wim is using makes this easier than domed buttons). There ten majors and ten minor chords which can be played with the easy close fingering (either one or two fingers for a 3 note chord, any inversion) but f# major is not one of these, however it can be played with only 2 fingers (fore finger for f# & c# and little finger bflat) in the key of E you have 3 easy majors (A, E, & B) 3 easy minors (F#m C#m & G#m) easy B7. If you need F# major play as above, personally I am much more likely to use an F#7 in the key of E, and usually use the partial chord using the notes e, f# & c# with two adjacent fingers.

    Re the overall size.

    Concertinas become difficult to use when they go over 8" across the ends 7.75" sounds perfectly acceptable, especially ass the instrument has no compromise long scale reeds. One way of reducing the size of the larger Hayden system instruments is to link the enharmonic repeats accordion basswise i.e. in this case the Abs & G#s and the Ebs & G#s; however I have never been able to persuade any concertina maker apart from Nicoli of Moscow to do this.


  21. P.S.

    So far as I am concerned I think that the Button sceme as on the Russian is the best for a medium sized concertina, this fits into a convenient 7" size using standard accordion reed plates or on a Crabb type up and down tonechamber instrument. I daresay I could design an instrument radially if required.


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