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inventor

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  1. As I don't know any young solicitors willing to hold a description of my idea for an improved bisonoric concertina for 50 years I have decided to write this down now anyway. The reason for my hesitation was remembering how devestated I felt when Maria Dunkel showed me a book she had written (in German) about concertinas; which included a diagram of what I thought that I had originated for the duet concertina, and included the date 1896. As I couldn't read any of the German I concluded that that the date was a misprint for 1986, the year of my Patent. Then she dropped the bombshell, pointing out that the idea had already been discovered by a Swiss gentleman in 1896 - Kaspar Wicki !

     

    My idea is based on the following ideas :- (1) 4 related keys (in my example I have chosen C,G,D & A) are arranged in the same manner. (2) The individual octaves of these keys repeat. (3) the right hand side does not have squeaky notes which are never used, but does include a few more lower notes that are frequently used when playing melodies. (4) The left hand side adds several lower notes including the missing (from a C/G Anglo) tenor ds..(5) The remaining notes to make up the chromatic scale are also included.

     

    I have for simplicity shown the buttons in straight rows. but it is intended that these should follow a similar spacing and curves found on Jeffries Anglos & Duetts or Wheatstone Anglos.

     

    I shall show my idea in short sections as the rather old computer that I am using frequently locks up and also for the moment seems to refuse to let me alter or correct the text without loosing everything that follows so that I have to rewrite it all from that point.

     

    Inventor,

     

     

  2. If you wished to limit yourself to only a few keys a bisonoric concertina could be set up to a "double just" temperament. That is to say the supertonic note of the scale could play on one button in one direction. a comma apart from the pitch of another button played in the other direction. For instance in the key of "C" the pull d' on the (c'/d') button and the push d' on the (d'/e') button could be tuned a comma apart, so that both the D minor chord and the G major chords would be perfectly in tune. I have described exactly how this could be done for a 25 button Melodeon in JAN 2013 on "melodeon.net" (under the title "temperaments and things", page 4) for 4 related keys, (A/D/G/C) in that case. But this could be reduced to a shorter compass, and less or different keys if you wanted it to have less buttons.

     

    Inventor.

  3. Hayden system is not ideal on straight columns at right angles to the hand-rest., although this was done on the "Cheeseman" system.

    I have been to too many general concertina workshops and "all duet" workshops, where the main discussion centred on fingering consecutive notes directly above or below each other, which seems to be a perpetual problem on Maccann and Crane Duets and the English Concertina. This problem does not arise on Hayden and Jeffries Duets or Anglos.

     

    It would seem a pity to alter a one off unique instrument, which really should be preserved in a Concertina Museum like the Horniman.

     

    There seems to be something slightly odd about the register of the Left hand side of the instrument. The next to highest note is clearly labelled "Middle C4" which would give no overlap between the left and right hand sides. If this had been been labelled. C5 which I believe is an octave above middle C, as is the C#5 next to it, this would give the quite expected full octave overlap.

     

    Inventor.

  4. I believed that I have discovered the solution to the system that this concertina was meant to be, although it is not any system that I had previously come across before.

    Firstly I drew out the columns so that they were at right angles to the hand rest and the curves went from left to right. It didn't make any sense to me; however I noticed that the columns mostly went upwards in rising fifths. Then I saw that columns 2, 3, 4, & 5 were mostly sharps and columns 1 & 6 had most of the natural notes - most odd.

    Then taking into account that this instrument was made in 1911 when standard pitch was almost a semitone higher than modern concert pitch, the instrument might be in old pitch. So I rewrote the system one semitone down. To my surprise it suddenly made sense !

    I am not very good at modern electric organ octave number notation and in order to understand a system I have to write it out in old fashioned organ builders notation (c' is middle C, - c" is an octave above middle C, - c is tenor C and C is bass C; the lowest note of a cello.). The result of the right hand side is written below in the octave that makes sense.

     

     

    (f#"') ( e"' ) ( f"' ) ( g"' ) (c#"') (d#"')

     

    (a#") ( a" ) ( b" ) ( c"' ) ( d"' ) (g#")

     

    (d#") ( d" ) ( e" ) ( f" ) ( g" ) (gb")

     

    (g#' ) ( g' ) ( a' ) ( b' ) ( c" ) (c#")

     

    (c#' ) ( c' ) ( d' ) ( e' ) ( f' ) (bb'}

     

    (d#') ( f#')

     

     

    Inventor.

  5. A note chart would settle exactly what system it is.

    25156 was made in 1911 so it couldn't possibly be a Crabb Victor system, which was invented around 1945.

    Could be one of Dr Pitt-Taylor's ideas or an unknown special.

     

    Inventor.

  6. In 1964 I bought a C Jeffries 38 button Anglo from an antique shop in Portobello Road London, for just £6. I was offered a choice of 2 ! I didn't know anything about haggling in antique shops at that time and could probably bought both for £10 or less.

    Around that time John Kirkpatric, Peter Bellamy, Toni Arthur and Tony Rose also started playing concertinas. These together with Louis Killen (who had started playing English Concertina 2 or 3 years earlier) were leading lights in the Folk Song scene, and sparked an interest in using a concertina rather than a guitar for English folk song accompaniment.

     

    Inventor.

  7. That was also the period of the "Mayfair" concertinas, which I believe are un-numbered, I remember Wheatstone "Mayfair" English concertinas were heavily promoted in "English Dance & Song" during that period. So far as I remember these cost £3 - 10 shillings.

    I met a number of ladies who played them at EFDSS music courses, but was not impressed with the sound that they produced.

    It was around 1963 that the Folk Song Scene took off, and everybody was wanting to play concertinas.

     

    Inventor.

  8. Going back 55 to 60 years i went to a Morris Ring meeting at Abingdon. The musician for the Abingdon Morrismen played a Duet concertina. I'm pretty certain it was a Maccann Duet but I didn't know much about duet concertinas at that time. The name "Francis" springs to mind but I could easily be wrong. So a playing duet concertina for the Abingdon Morris Men would be continuing an old Abingdon tradition.

     

    Inventor.

  9. It occurs to me that organ builders refer to the pitches of the various "C"s as - 1 foot., 2' (middle c'), 4' (tenor c), 8' (bass C), and so on; corresponding to open organ pipes of that length. Is it possible that the original reference was not a tuning fork but a pitch pipe, one foot long. This could not only be easily carried around, and sounded loud enough for a choir to hear; but could be reproduced to approximately the same pitch, without any direct reference to someone else's one foot pitch pipe.

     

    Inventor.

  10. I looked in the obituary section of the local paper last Friday but did not see my name listed, so I expect that I am still alive. I no longer drive long distances. Even going a few miles to the nearest town and back to shop, involves no less than ten changes of speed limit, and a silly chicane through my village. Driving in the countryside used to be a pleasure, but no longer.

     

    I have been by no means inactive in the musical instrument field. Some sixty years ago I started to look at ways of arranging the notes on the buttons of the melodeon in a better more useful fashion. I came up with 3 not entirely satisfactory solutions; but along the way hit on an excellent way to arrange the notes on a duet concertina, and changed to that instrument instead. The melodeon problem stayed on the back burner for many years but recently I cracked that problem, to my satisfaction. I believe that the same solution could be applied to an anglo-type concertina, As I now I am much to old to pursue that, I would rather someone else discovered it as their own invention.

     

    Inventor.

  11. I've just reread the original question (you should always listen to the question carefully) and it is the "Ching" or Chinese organ. though perhaps "Mund-harmonica" which Wheatstone mentions in the 1829 patent is equally correct. Interestingly the mund-harmonica appears to have been known as an AEolina, not a mouth-organ in England at that time; drop a couple of letters and what do you get ?

    Inventor.

  12. The correct answer to the question is the "Symphonium" ! I bet the BBC got the answer wrong. The "C" word is not mentioned in the 1829 patent. In fact reading the patent and the accompanying drawing;it would seem that substituting a bellows for the wind chest of the symphonium was very much an afterthought, and he does not give a separate name to the instrument thus created.

    Wheatstone did not anyway claim to have invented any sort of musical instrument at all, but just the arrangement of the buttons, which is fairly similar to the arrangement on standard English Concertinas.

     

    Inventor.

  13. I regret that I never had the serial number of that Jeffries system Wheatstone, that was offered for sale by Hobgoblin. It is possible that Hobgoblin just might have it somewhere in their records..

    I do have somewhere notes on two larger than 60 button Jeffries Duets by Jeffries. One was a C instrument and the other an Ab one which just might have gone down to a g# at least. I shall have to get out my archeological trowel and see if I can dig them out.

    As you say down to the g below middle c' on the right hand side is the Holy Grail for a larger Duet. When I designed the 65 button Hayden Duet that was the note that the right hand side went down to at the expense of a few very high notes.

    Concertina Connection now make a 65 button Hayden Duet going down to that g on the RHS as a standard catalogue item. You might be able to persuade Wim Wakker to make you a similar larger duet but in a Jeffries layout within a sensible time scale.

     

    Inventor..

  14. Some thirty or so years ago (it may have been longer) "Hobgoblin" had a Wheatstone Jeffries System Duet for sale. Nigel Chipendale the then manager of the Crawley branch of Hobgoblin, knowing that I was interested in Duetts phoned me about it.

    He described it to me down the phone and the details he gave me were as follows ;-

    The instrument was in Bb and the very high notes on the right hand side did not continue further to the right on the four rows in an ad hoc manner as on a standard large Jeffries Duets, but were on an extra (fifth) row, but only the notes in the scale of Bb.

    Details that I am more hazy about - an Aeola with around the 60 button mark.

    By the time I next visited Hobgoblin the instrument had been sold so I never actually saw it in the flesh. Nigel tragicaly died at a young age, around a year or so later; I don't know if Hobgoblin might still have records of this instrument and it's serial number.

     

    Inventor.

  15. For a Bisonoric system related to the Hayden system see the "Looms Chromatic" system for the Melodeon. You will find this described on Owen Woods' website "melodeonmusic.com" . Jon Looms can be found at the Music Room, he had one on display at Sidmouth a few years back. I believe Owen Woods had one of these on a converted Hohner Preciosa melodeon, which is as small as melodeons come

     

    Inventor.

  16. You would need to add Eb/Bb buttons to left end of each row to make the instrument chromatic.

    The biggest flaw that I can see immediately is that it is not possible to play fourths fifths or minor thirds.

    Whilst moving the hand along a button would give the same fingering in another key; you would need two different fingerings to play any couple of related keys.

    Some years ago a person thought that it would be a good idea to contract the Hayden system by putting two flats bisonoricly on one button and two sharps bisonoricly on another to reduce the size of the instrument; and actually persuaded Colin Dipper to make such an instrument for him. It obviously didn't work as the instrument was returned to Colin after a short period of time. With some difficulty Colin eventually managed to convert the instrument to a proper unisonoric Hayden system for a Hayden system player who desperately needed a quality Hayden instrument.

    Inventor.

  17. Thank-you for the picture of the left hand action. I think it would not be too difficult with a little realignment of the centre reedplates, to put the extra 2 reedplates on each side of a Peacock like instrument. Reducing it from 7" to 6 5/8" might be difficult but not impossible.

    As described above both Wheatstone and Crabb managed to get 46/45 buttons on the even smaller sized instruments. How the sizes of the DIX "concertina" reeds compare with the equivalent-pitch traditional concertina reeds is open to question.

     

    Inventor.

  18. The left hand side of a A 62 Maccann normally runs from an A below tenor c to an octave above middle c. Yours should go from a G up to a b flat. This G is the same as the lowest note as a Baritone English concertina. I doubt if you will ever miss the top two semitones on the LHS (they are on the right hand side anyway), but a baritone G is very useful indeed.

    The right hand side will have the b & b flat below middle c' and run up to a very high g"', Music with notes above the high e"' (i.e. two tones below your highest) is quite uncommon and I doubt if you will ever need the missing (on your instrument) very high g#"' and a"'; but any notes below middle c' on the RHS are a big bonus.

    Maccann duet players often go for the somewhat larger 67 button instrument to get that baritone G on the LHS, or even the somewhat cumbersome 72 button instrument to get the extra b flat and b on the right hand side.

    Bb instruments were made to play along with Brass bands and for singers who mostly seem to prefer to sing in flat keys.

    Personally if the instrument is as good as you say it is, I would say leave it alone.

    Inventor.

  19. Just found the answer to my question on the "interior of a cc concertina connection Peacock" thread. I can see how it would be possible to add an extra 2 to the RHS. But need to see a picture of the LHS action for the extra 2 on the left.

     

    Inventor..

  20. I can't imagine why the 7" Peacock has so few reeds. I designed the Russian made Hayden Duet that Samantha has. It is a 7" Concertina with no less than 65 buttons ! The reeds were all laid out flat parallel to the ends. I will look out my old designs to see how I did this and how a 44 button Hayden fitted into the 6.25" size.

     

    Inventor.

  21. To Don regarding design for a 46 button Hayden Duet.

     

    The 46 button Wheatstone Hayden Duet is the standard 6.25". It of course uses traditional concertina reeds set radially, with 21 buttons on the left and 25 on the right.

    The Crabb 45 button Salvation Army Crane duet is only 6" across. The traditional concertina reeds are set up and down as is common on Crabb concertinas. Left hand side - 20 buttons, 8 up, 8 down, and 4 in the middle; but there is enough space to put an extra pair of reeds on the right hand side of the left hand reedpan. Right hand side - 25 buttons, 9 up, 9 down, 5 in the middle, and 2 sideways (one at each end of the reedpan). I tried one of these which had been very much used and did not notice any difference in the timbre of the edge and centre pan notes.

    I have had concertinas from new which have some reeds on the centre of the reed pan. The difference in timbre was quite noticeable when brand new, but this has settled down to be unnoticeable after a good time of playing. These concertinas all had the centre reeds properly routed into the centre of the reed pan, not screwed in.

    With rectangular accordion reedplates all screwed onto the equivalent of a reedpan, I cannot see why there should be any difference in timbre at all.

    Concertina Makers do not usually publish concertina designs. It takes a lot of time to design a new type of concertina, and the makers consider that the design is their copyright.

     

    Now let us consider how many buttons we might be able to get into a small size concertina.

    Accordion reedplates are a pretty standard 16mm across and lengths according to the pitch - see Harmonikas CZ charts. Some years ago I designed one using the well established spacing for a 6.25" concertina. 8 X 16mm (128mm): plus 2mm between the plates (to allow them to be waxed in), and 2mm at each side (18mm): plus two 6mm bellows frame sides (12mm); gives 158mm: which is 6.25" as near as makes no difference. I designed one such Hayden Duet but was only able to get 23 reedplates in the right hand side, but the loss of the highest c#"' & d"' was I felt no great loss.

    However if you went wall to wall with screwed on reedplates, it might be possible to get 9 reedplates across on a 6.25" concertina. With the slightly larger 6 5/8" size bellows, 9 reedplates across should be no problem; and that should easily take all 46 buttons of the common small Hayden Duet

     

    Well best of luck with your venture, I eagerly await to see the result.

    Inventor.

     

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