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inventor

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  1. Regards the high eb"'/f"' button on the right hand thumb. This was included on the Russian concertina. If I had put an eb"' and f"' on the place that they would normally go this would have pushed all the RH buttons back so that either the lowest would be too close to the hand rest or the hand rest would have been pushed too far back to comfortably play the instrument. An air button was included for the left thumb.

    Inventor.

  2. Rich Moorse has given a very good independant accessment of what the instrument is like.

    1) Ends Mahogany veneered laminate as described.

    2) Yes they are quiet but at one Festival I attended Mr Microvox hooked up my personal instrument to his system and it sounded really great, I would definitely have invested in this if I had at that time been playing in a band. Several singers bought them as they didn't overpower their voice unlike Jeffries and Metal ended Wheatstones.

    3) Buttons properly individually bushed in as on a normal concertina.

    4) I only play my instrument occasionally and have never had any problems with the action.

    5) I have looked at the instrument(s) for sale and see that some of the tuning also might need a little touching up and the action is a little tight. So it might be a good idea to play on it for a while then take it into Button Box for a going over.

    6) Weight: ok it is not as light as a 6" concertina, but not much heavier than an 8 - 8.75" aeola. Because the handles are central I found it easier to play standing up than an 8.25" instrument I often play. and unlike that one it sits firmly on the Knees rather than rolling around.

    Inventor.

  3. It is 8" square (or precisely 8.25 x 7.75), 67 buttons - full button layout on JAX site and also on the Hayden section of maccan site. There are photographs somewhere on the Web but I cannot find them at the moment. Made by Bastari about 15 to 20 years ago but never used; left over from a batch of 10 when I stopped actively trading in concertinas.

    Please note that Harry Gecuuns (via Concertina Connection) is proposing to make a batch of 10 much better quality Square multivoiced Bandoneon type instruments in the Hayden or Wiki system but is waiting to get 10 orders before he starts. These will have a very good compass of notes on both sides, but I dare say they will cost a lot more than the £650 I shall be asking for the Bastari.

    Inventor.

  4. I have a 2 voice (octaves) 68 button Hayden System square concertina which is surplus to my present needs, and can bring it along to Sidmouth Festival at beginning of August if you are interested. Sidmouth Festival is well worth going to anyway, with lots of concertina action; I have been going there for the last 52 years.

    Inventor.

  5. Over the years I have looked inside a large number of traditionaly made concertinas and have come across many with screwed on reed-frames. Firstly none of them had gaskets of any kind. of the rest there are two classes of concertinas where the screwed on reeds had slightly different reasons.

    1) Crabb and Jeffries concertinas. Both these makes use of (Crabb Usually and Jeffries always) parelel sided tone chambers eg. typical 6" Jeffries Anglo 8 up, 8 down which gives 16 tone chambers on each side sufficient for 30 Key but the larger ones also have 1 or 3 sideways and 1 to 4 screwed down in the middle of the plate to give up to 44 keys in the same size of concertina. Crabb made a number of 45 crane duets for the Salvation Army in the standard 6.25" size with 20 buttons on the left 8 up 8 down and 4 screwed down in the middle (Tenor c to g') and with narrower tone chambers on the right hand side 9 up 9 down and 7 screwed down in the middle of the plate (middle c' to c"'). These are described in detail elsewhere on concertina.net. All of the larger Jeffries Duetts and Crabb made Duets that I have seen had a number of reed frames screwed down as described earlier (tapered reed frame and half moons cut out at the ends). the timbre of the note is different from the dovetailed reedframes, but seems to settle down after a while of regular playing to be hardly noticible.

    2) Large Wheatstone Duet concertinas. Here screwed down reeds were used the lowest notes in the lower octave; BassC to F# at least, and in some cases the whole octave from Bass C up to B. The reed frames are rectangular and extended to have screw holes at each end. I have only come across one Lachenel Duet which had a screwed on reed; this was a loe Eb replacing the Low F# on a 72 button Maccann, which was on a little box on the inside of the bellows.

    Inventor.

  6. A few months ago I bought SIBELIUS. This is a program that I have desired for a long time because I was so impressed by the results I had seen of music written by it. The usual selling price is around £440, but I spotted a copy for sale at a very good discount on the internet. Having determined that it was a legal copy (it came from a music shop that went bancrupt) I jumped at the chance, and it's legality was confirmed when I registered with Sibelius.

    I play 68 & 46 button duets, and also play in a club that has Duets of all sizes from 39 to 84 buttons, and has a large group of English concertinas (treble, baritone, and counterbass) with a good number of Anglos too.

    My musical likes are Baroque (mostly Handel and Vivaldi) and Trad music from the British Isles and America, together with some from Eastern Europe.

    Sibelius has been able to handle absolutely anything that I have thrown at it. For the Baroque I write in 4 parts 2 violins (treble staff) viola (tenor staff) and Cello (bass staff). Having done this I can amalgamate this to a pair of parts for the duet, or with a few clicks turn the viola part to english treble III (treble I & II same as violins) and specify Tenor-treble if the music goes below g; and turn the cello into an octave below staff for the Baritones.

    I think Sibelius is worth every penny of even the full price.

    Inventor.

  7. A square or rectangular plate would have been much easier to design than a hexagonal one; however my bitter experience of trying to sell square concertinas to the "concertina world" had taught me that they simply don't sell. I notice on this website somewhere the derision that one player (Chris Timpson I think) met when he went to an Irish Festival with a Herrison Square Anglo!

    The design was based on the sizes of Accordion reedplates from a Paolo Soprani chromatic button accordion. The action was on two levels to get all the tone-chambers into the compact space. If I had gone a little larger (7.5 ") nodoubt I could have laid the action out flat. However this would have made the reedplate larger, which I wished to avoid.

    Regards the timbre of the instrument, like the Russians I think that this is much better than individual Italian accordion plates, and indeed the very top notes had a power much superior to any accordion or concertina that I have come across. However overall I prefer the sound of a concertina made using traditional reeds.

    Inventor

  8. The picture shows the reeds for the left hand side which had 30 playing buttons plus air-valve this included two pairs of linked buttons and had 28 (not 29) pairs of reeds. It took me all my time for 3 solid weeks to get the action design right to get this number of notes into the small compact space, before Samantha returned to Russia; and as with all things to do with concertinas I never made a penny out of it.

    Inventor.

  9. P.S. Marcus makes a 65 button Hayden with Accordion reeds, but does not advertise this because he has a lot of demand for his 30 button Anglos. Or why not buy a Jackie and a Jack and make one yourself. I estimate there should be enough space in the 7 plus inch bellows to take over 60 buttons if you lay out the accordion reeds wall to wall flat, and link the repeated #s&bs. This is how I designed the illfated Russian model.

    Inventor.

  10. As announced at the Kilve Concertina Festival last weekend, I am pleassed to announce that Wim Wakker has now started making Hayden Duet Concertinas. Initially he will be making a batch of 10, 46 Button instruments in the popular 6.25 inch size using REAL CONCERTINA REEDS (not accordion reeds). The first two to be completed by the end of this year and the other eight in 2008. He has opened a "Hayden Concertina Book" for orders. Also in 2008 he expects to be makeing Hayden Duets in a larger size, again with Real Concertina Reeds; and anybody interested should put their name on the Hayden Duet book also.

    Inventor.

    P.S. Incase you think that I shouldn't be advertising on this Forum; I don't myself receive any personal gain out of these instruments.

  11. You need the William Kimber book by Dan Worral. This gives the exact buttons and press or draw on an Anglo-concertina to play all the Headington Quarry Morris tunes in the original authentic manner; and loads of other information on other ways of accompanyment. This is the very best concertina book that I have ever come across; I wish this had been available when I first took up the concertina to accompany morrisdancers. over 50 years ago I heared William Kimber playing at an EFDSS Albert Hall Festival. This was several years before I took up the Melodeon and quite a number before I started Anglo. The book is available from EFDSS, Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Road, LONDON (I don't know the post code). For some reason most of the usual Folk Music Supplyers don't seem to stock it.

    Inventor.

  12. I have had a person with restricted use of the left hand (only two left fingers one very stiff) called "SID" come to my beginner duet concertina classes at Kilve on several occasions, he is the person your friend really needs to talk to, perhaps he is on the internet somewhere or someone might know him. He tried the english concertina first (total failure) and later Maccan, Crane, and Hayden duets with varying sucess.

    Don't even consider a 46 Maccan as this instrument starts far too high up on a g' (ie the note below your A string on the fiddle). Even the tunes in the "Easy Peasy Tunebook" which restricts the tunes to only a total of 14 different notes can only be played with two hands on a 46 Maccan. This problem does not arise on the smaller Cranes and Haydens; you need at least 57 (not even 56) on a Maccan.

    I did read that somewhere there existed a Maccan System concertina with notes only on the right hand side made specially for a person who lost an arm in WW 1.

    However consider that if you do master a duet concertina then as a bonus you will be able to turn it over and play the other side as a Baritone concertina.

    Inventor

  13. Simple answer to first question: yes they do help.

    Robin Scard (Colin Dippers associate) made a pair for me for my larger concertina, carved curved solid rosewood under the hand and veneered to match the concertina underneath. Under the thumb end is much higher than the little finger end, not like the picture shown above. There is a picture of a similar one of these on a Scard instrument on a 65 key Duet (not my instrument), elsewhere on the net. The slope on mine is most comfortable, but I could do with the handrest being another half inch higher, and in my opinion raising the thumb achieves nothing except pains at the bottom joint of the thumb after a long time playing.

    Inventor.

  14. Further ancient memories of Rapper.

    in 1957 (around Easter I think) the Morris Ring ran a training session at Cecil Sharp House specifically on Rapper. It was taken by Bill Cassie who was the Squire of the Morris Ring at that time; he brought with him one of the dancers from the King's College (Newcastle) Morrismen. and Jimmy Mackie, the fiddle player for the Royal Earsdon Sword Dancers. Jimmy had brought a copy of the six tunes that he played hand written on a sheet of manuscript. there was quite a lot of interest in these tunes and Bill told us that he would make photocopys of this and send it to whoever wanted one. Mine duly arrived and I practiced them very hard as I was going to King's College the following Autumn. I later discovered that these tunes were all in "Kerr's Merry Melodies" tune books which were on sale at the Music Stand at the far end of the Bigg Market off Granger Street.

    these tunes were as follows.

    From Book 1 under "Irish Jigs":

    no1 The Tenpenny Bit, No13 The Blackthorn Stick, No16 Humours of Donnybrook, No24 Rolliking Irishman (also in Book 4 as Father O'Flynn), and No 30 Irish Wiskey.

    From Book 2:

    No 306 Laird of Cockpen (described as a "Scotch Jig").

    That was what was traditionally played for Rapper Dancing and should present no problem for English Concertina players.

    When I got to K.C. I found that I could not play them quickly enough on the Melodeon and had to play simpler Jigs like Cock of the North for performance which I was immediately called on to play when we fielded three or four different teams round the pubs and clubs in the area during Rag Week on the third week of term.

    Later when we came into contact with Fred Foster of High Spen Sword Dancers I heared his Musician, Tommy Wilkes playing in an entirely different style on the Melodeon. He played the tune described earlier and also a version of Hummors of Donnybrook using the same press one button and waggle it in-out-in as previously described.

    Inventor.

  15. Inventors ancient memories of Rapper & concertina continued.

    A dancer and musician came up from Westerhope (this was the continuation of North Wallbottle) one day to check that we were doing this dance correctly. He had an english-concertina with him, which he played a little on but not to speed as he hadn't played it for several years; and ended up presenting this concertina to Bill Cassie (Professor W. F. Cassie) the King' College Morrismen's Squire at that time. The Westerhope Sword dancers had had an extra dancer who used to join in at the end making six dancers. The Tommy and Bessie of the North Wallbottle sword dancers used to join in the dance at the end making seven.

    The Bedlington sword dancers has a melodeon player, I met him whilst we were learning their dance from Peter and Luke Muldoon, he was lent a melodeon (Hohner Club III) which he said was exactly like the one he used to play, however after a few attempts at the Irish Washerwoman and Cock of the North, he realised he couldn't play for dancing any longer. The Muldoons were 2nd generation Irish, and Luke remembers his mother dancing an Irish Jig at times.

    The Amble Rapper dancers had a fiddle player (Fiddler Jones) who sometimes used to become so engrossed in his playing that he forgot to move on when the dancers ran on down the street for their next stop.

    more next week.

    Inventor.

  16. Rapper & Concertina.

    Many years ago (49 to be precise) I was at King's College Newcastle and played (melodeon) for the rapper team there, and came into contact with people from several of the ancient traditional teams; both working and defunct.

    There were no Anglo concertina players in connection with Rapper (in fact I never saw an anglo either played or even for sale new or secondhand whilst in Newcastle).

    The existing teams were Royal Earsdon (at Backworth) who had a fiddle player - Jimmy Mackie, who played a selection of jigs including Blackthorn Stick (A music to step to inbetween the verses of the calling on song) and the rest of the tune when the dancing started, and another 5 tunes including Rolliking Irishman, the Laird of Cockpen. (I will look up the others and list them next week).

    The High Spen Sword-dancers had a Melodeon player Tommy Wilkes, he played a number of tunes, one of which I have only heared him play, which consisted almost entirely of press-draw-press, or draw-press-draw, on individual buttons, which could be played very quickly, and could be equally well done on an Anglo.

    Inventor

  17. I've just spotted there is what is described as "Rare Antique C Jeffries" concertina on eBay (sorry I don't know how you go straight there from this site). The pictures show a 45 button instrument and answer to a question suggests that it is a very rare Jeffries Duett not an Anglo. If you want it you'll have to hurry as there are only seven and a half hours left. Most of the Jeffries duetts of this size (a tad over the usual 6") have been converted (very profitably) to Anglos. I hope this one stays in it's original form; the only other Jeffries duett of this size that I have ever seen in it's original form is the one magnificently played by Gavin Atkin.

    Inventor.

  18. If you mean a Hexagonal single reeded instrument; then yes I have a lot of interest. If an inexpensive instrument can be made using the standard Hayden spacing and angles ie 16mm between the centres of buttons along the rows 9mm between one row and the next above - to give an equal spacing of 12mm between the nearest buttons along the diagonal. The rows to slope down at an angle of 10.5 degrees towards the thumbs. Large flat top buttons are preferable (i.e. a minimum of 6mm diameter, 7mm standard accordion bass buttons would be very good). At that sort of price they would compete with the Italian inexpensive instruments, which have the buttons somewhat casually and widely spaced. They should also include Bbs and Ebs at the lower end of all the rows to make it easier to play in Bb, and some Abs to add the key of Eb to the easy to play keys.

     

    Inventor.

  19. Regards to playing a Hayden concertina. I use several different styles of playing, depending on the type of music that I am playing.

    1) The UmPah style as you first mention. The Hayden concertina is particularly easy to play in this manner. I use this style particularly when playing traditional dance music. I find that reversing the bellows on occasions, usually twice in a bar but not on the bar-lines or in the dead centre adds to the danciness

    2) Melody on the right hand side with a counter melody on the left hand side. I use this style when playing solo or accompanying a song, (except sea shantys, when I usually use (1) ).

    3) A pair of parts in close harmony on RHS with a counter melody with chords sometimes thrown in on the LHS. This seems to have often been used on The Bandoneon proper, but I have never really developed this style beyond the demonstration stage.

    4) For classical music I work from the whole score and play as near as possible to the way the original composer played it. Playing the instrument holisticly (as an english-concertina has to play anyway) with the notes distributed to give the best possible fingering.

    5) Recently I have been working from Dan Worrals book with all reversals to play Kimber style.

    inventor.

  20. to Mike D, Crane Duet No 14015

     

    Had a closer look at the concertina and see it is in fact a 45 (plus air button) button instrument, very similar to the one on eBay, but six and a quarter across. Have got your note but have no idea how to reply to it directly.

     

    Left hand side (20 buttons) lowest note c (tenor c) to g' . Right hand side (25 buttons) lowest note c' (middle c) to c"' two octaves above.

     

    Bellows scuffed but airtight, closely in tune but a few notes need to be touched up a bit.

     

    I don't need to sell it, and would be unwilling to sell it to a dealer for as little as £750. If any total beginner who came to one of my all systems classes wanted it badly I might part with it. What was this special purpose that you needed a basic instrument for ?

     

    Inventor.

  21. I didn't mention last week that the amount of time I must have saved when I started playing the left hand, with the chords in the same order as on the Stradella system accordion bass, more than made up for any extra time I might have spent getting complementary fingers to play together in octaves. I had already partly changed a button accordion to Hayden system on the right hand side, but retained the stradella on the left, whilst waiting (around 6 or 7 years) for my first Hayden system to arrive. I see that Rich Morse recently mentioned an interest in Hayden bass on Free Bass accordions.

     

    However it did occur to me (things like this do occur to inventors) that a simple solution to the manufacture of both possibilities in one batch of instruments would be to add another 2 buttons to the bottom row (AAb) and (BBb) below the © and leave out the top db1 but add a c#2 at the other end of the top row. With an equal space at both ends of the reed blocks; then it would be possible to turn over the reed blocks and have both possibilities in the same instrument. If you colour the sharps and flats black (with the naturals white) this will still correspond. Those extra very low Flat notes would be incredably usefull when accompanying Flat keys.

     

    There are another 2 or 3 alterations that might also be needed but I have thought of solutions to these too.

     

    Any idea how much these instruments might cost ?

     

    Inventor.

  22. I have a 40 button Aluminium ended Crabb Crane duet, which I only use when giving lectures on all types of duett concertinas; and to lend to people who wish to try out the system at all-systems beginners Kilve Weekends.

     

    I might be persuaded to sell it; how much did the concertina that sold recently on eBay make ?

    What part of the world do you live in ?

     

    inventor.

  23. There are very good reasons for running the left hand side with the notes on each row running from left to right on the ascending whole tone scale.

    1) When playing an accompaniment in the form of bass notes and chords, for major chords the little finger falls naturally on the root note of the chord an octave lower than the major chord which you are playing with the other 3 fingers. It is also possible (not quite so easy but comes with a little practice) to use the little finger under the root note of the minor chords. This facility makes it possible to play a walking bass entirely on the little finger leaving the other 3 stronger fingers to play all sorts of interesting things not only chords.

    If you reverse the fingering you end up having to use the little finger unconveniently high on the higher notes, and using different strong fingers to play a bass part, which can break up the flow of the middle part.

    Note: with the very good selection of bass notes proposed this becomes even more important than on a 46 button concertina.

    2) The order of chords comes out in the same order as the Stradella Bass (the standard system used on the Piano-accordion, and Continental & British chromatic accordions). Though conveniently concertinered into zigzag form, with the relative minors on top of the major rather consecutive to it. This will give a bass system equivalent to far more than a 72 bass piano accordion in a much more compact space.

    3) If the Hayden system is applied to an electronic piano or organ keyboard, the left hand keyboard runs straight into the right; and if an extra keyboard is provided for the thumbs to play (more easily) the equivalent of an organ pedal-board as you move to sharper or flatter keys the thumbs will move with the hands.

     

    The only advantage that might arise from putting a mirror image on the left seems to be if you were playing both hands together an octave apart when the same fingers are used for the same notes. However it takes about a week to train yourself to do this using corresponding leftmost and rightmost fingers etc., and this is the way that all of the common duet concertina systems work, and of course the Piano and organ keyboards.

     

    I have written an article for the ICA magazine where I have mentioned my discussions with Pat Robson the late celebrated Bandoneon player discussing just such an idea, and why I rejected it. If they decide not to publish it the article will appear on the WCCP website.

     

    Inventor.

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