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inventor

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  1. Historical choice. First of all my personal background on free-reed musical instruments. I started at the age of 17 with a D/G Hohner Erica melodeon; with the now bog standard 3rd note start note arrangement. My aim was to play for Cotswold Morris dancing and English Country dancing. The right hand keyboard progressed in rising pitch, as on all melodeons and accordions, from left to right. That settled the right hand permanently into my brain. At that time melodeons in those keys were very uncommon and melodeon players rarely played with fiddle led country dance bands. Fiddle players played mostly in D & G, but also quite a bit in A, and for this reason I acquired an A melodeon. Swaping the two melodeons in the middle of a dance set usually lost me 8 bars of music, and as I played with 3 fiddle players, and was the only player with any sort of bass accompaniment, this was not ideal. I had also found that the D/G melodeon had quite a lot of very high notes that I never used, and I couldn't find any of them in all the Traditional tune books that I had accumulated. On the A melodeon I found that for most tunes I was playing an octave below what was written, and to play at usual pitch I had to relearn the fingering. This led me to my first invention of a melodeon with only 21 playing notes (some played in 2 different places on the instrument) in A, D & G; with all the octaves playing the same fingering. A few years later I bought a small 48 bass Piano-accordion, and converted the right hand side into a melodeon button keyboard with 5 rows in Bb/A/D/G/Bb. All the Bb buttons were repeated and many of the other notes appeared in 2 different rows, so that in total I used only 12 different buttons per octave. My reason for buying the instrument was 1) to add the key Bb, which is the next most commonly used key by traditional fiddle players, and to be able to play sometimes in other keys ; and 2) to have counter basses and many minor chords on the left hand. The left hand (Stradella) bass is quite easy to learn, with the flattest chords to the left and the sharpest chords to the right. The order of notes on the 2nd bass row of this accordion was Eb, Bb. F, C, G, D, A, E. I will have to take a break now from my life history but will continue my explanation in another couple of days. Inventor.
  2. Looks like a pretty standard right hand side of a 46 button Maccann Duet. Unshown left hand side will have just 21 buttons. Inventor.
  3. I am no good at links either, but just google "sandylaneman". Inventor.
  4. I have just looked back to Lukasz's very first post on this thread on page 1, and see how close his prototype is to the instrument being played in that video. Inventor.
  5. I have viewed the interesting video several times. I tend to think that it is some sort of "chromatic" Bandoneon (i.e. both notes are the same, push and pull). The Kussrow keyboard immediately springs to mind. I don't think it is the one based on a CBA. The classic bisonoric Bandoneon is normally played unidirectionally, so it is difficult to see from just from observing his playing, if it is one of these. I note that the basic concertina box that is being used, is an even more basic than the Wim blanks that I suggested in an earlier post. The button array of 7 - 8 - 9 - 9 - 8 - 7 in a row, would be more than enough to cover 3 octaves in each hand on a Hayden system, with plenty of enharmonic sharps and flats. I see no reason why this very instrument could not be programed to a Hayden system; the precise spacing of the buttons should not be any problem. Perhaps Lukasz or Matthew could find out who made this instrument and how much they might cost ? Inventor.
  6. To BRG & rigph a welcome to the world of concertinas, duets, and Hayden Concertinas in particular. I think that all the problems of straps and the air button have already been answered. Personally I think that hand rests should be somewhat higher in general and much higher under the forefinger than the little finger, but that is not possible on a budget concertina like the "Elise". Any new concertina takes a little time to be "played in" before the reeds and action loosten up to optimum level. My musical interests are English Folk music, (and also Scottish and Irish Traditional tunes); and Baroque Music (particularly Vivaldi & Handel). But I have played all kinds of music over the years, and am happy to answer any specific questions about playing on Hayden concertinas. Inventor.
  7. I have looked again at a 39 button Maccann and realise I have made a mistake with that inviting spare large tone chamber on the left hand side. In fact the 39B doesn't have a low e as well as the low d. so you will need an extra pair of low Es as well as the extra Ds. What threw me was that somewhat quirky placement of the D#s on the Maccann. The spare tone chamber is intended for the low e on a 46B. If you do go ahead with the 39B I would suggest you either ditch the left hand d'# and put a low e there and use the other tone chamber for the low d. Alternatively, somewhat more difficult: move the actions in collumn 4 so that each of the buttons conects to the next highest tone chamber, of that collumn; with the top button going to the high c" tone chamber, and ditch the high c". Inventor
  8. To Matthew about a 39 button Maccann. RHS has 20 buttons g' to d"' (chromatic). The top d"' is the same as the top note of the standard 46 button Hayden. It has the same (25 tone chamber) reedpan as a 46 button Maccann, with 5 of these empty at the top. If you can live with a Cheesemanesque array and no notes below the g' on the right hand side, it would be just a case of moving those reeds round, with some small adjustments. LHS has 19 buttons detached tenor c then e to g' (chromatic) then a',b',c". The reedpan has 21 tone chambers. There is one small one at the top; and I was amazed to find one large empty chamber at the bottom lefthand side, perfectly placed to take that missing low d !! Well worth adding even if it looked slightly odd in the fretwork. You can buy plug cutters and matching forstner bits from any good tool shop (such as Axminster Power Tools} to make a neat job of this. This would mean adding only a couple of reeds and an action and button to the instrument. Personally I think it would be well worthwhile to add the c',d',e',f' & f#' to the right hand, and a g#' to the left hand using all the spare spaces. And reroute the action and recut the frets, to take it up to the standard Hayden layout; but that would require a lot of specialist work. Inventor.
  9. To Matthew: as far as I can see it you just want to Cheesemanise your existing 46 button Lachenal Maccann, but not mirror image the LHS. I have said it before about the 46 Maccann, in my humble opinion starting on the g' on the RHS and leaving out the d at the bottom of the LHS is a mistake. This isn't done on the smaller (46 button) Haydens or the smaller (45 button) Cranes. As I see a Maccann it has rows (wavy) across rather than collums, for the lower octaves you have two sequences of 6 buttons. In the lower octaves these are- (1) C#-C-E-D-F--F# & (2) G#-G-A-D#-B-Bb .to make them more like a Hayden system these need to be (1) Bb-C-D-E-F#-G# & (2) F--G-A-D#-B-C# . The notes C, G, A, D# & B remain in the same places as they are; D & E swap places (not a problem); Bb swaps with the C# in the next row higher, (fitting the Bb in a somewhat smaller tone chamber can be awkward). F, F#, & G# rotate round (F, & F# usually have the same sized reed shoe). Note: I have left the D# in the middle, and it can be seen as either a D# or Eb; and when you get round to changing the fretwork and button holes, these can be put on a rod link to become an Eb at the beginning of a row, and a D# at the end. Personally I would prefer to redo the whole RHS to include C, D, E, F, & F# at the bottom end, and loose the same number of very high notes at the top; and add a low d rather than the high c" on the LHS. The higher octave on a Maccann is different from the lower octaves, but you can continue reed swaping in a similar manner. I agree that it is better to start with a small Maccann which starts on the middle C on the RHS. Inventor.
  10. Quickly to Ceemonster: This thread was started to discuss converting vintage Maccanns to Haydens; not about entirely new types of concertina, custom made to your specification by current concertina makers. It is already a spin off from Geoff's for sale advert. I have quite a lot more to say about the M to H topic, both Historically and technically. Whilst I would be interested in your personal project please could you start a new thread specifically devoted to that. Inventor.
  11. First of all I think I may have got my Danas mixed up. It is the Dana who used to work with Richard Morse at Button Box. Am I right in believing that is Dana Johnson who is now a leading maker of Anglo Concertinas for the North American climate? Around 20 years ago Dana along with Rich and Doug Chrighton stayed at my home in Somerset for a few days whilst we discussed Rich's plans for making Hayden Concertinas at Button Box. Anyway Dana had, and played a Wheatstone Aeola which he had converted from a Maccann Duet. I also drove them up to see Colin Dipper who lives not too far away in the neibouring county of Wiltshire. The instrument in question was around the 67 key size but it could have been a 63. This did not have enharmonic repeats but 2 flats (Ebs & Bbs) and 3 sharps (F#s, C#s & G#s); so it would have played isomorphicly in A, D, G, C, F, and Bb. The key Bb being frequently used in New England contra dance music along with the frequently used keys of G, D,& A. (There is a reason why I chose the key E rather than Bb on the 46 button instrument, which I will not go into here). Dana had put an oval metal plate over part of the fretwork and button holes of the Maccann, and bored new button holes in the standard positions of a Hayden. The action did need a slight rerouting, and the some of the reeds moved around but never more than 3 semitones up or down. As Wheatstones use just 4 reed frames per octave this involves making the slots only one size larger or smaller, several reeds stay in the same places, and some (which have the same sized reed frame) simply slipped onto their new slots. I believe that the person who now has the Dana instrument may read concertina.net, if so perhaps he or Dana may like to post photos of the outside and inside of this instrument. I will come back to the Neville Crab conversion later. Inventor.
  12. To Matthew: I think it is a very good idea to start a new subforum. Keeping the action in the Maccann form is exactly what was done on the Cheeseman System, which has turned up quite recently. This is certainly not ideal for a Hayden, as it somewhat destroys the symetry. Converting the action on a Wooden ended concertina should be no problem, but a metal ended one not quite so easy, though it has been done. The 39 and 46 button Maccanns have several important notes missing but my suggestions for overcoming all these problems would be better discussed on a new subforum. To Geoff: The spare time you put into converting your 67 button will I am sure be amply paid off; when on demonstrating that you can do this sucessfully; you will have people beating a path to your door to do the same for them; and I reserve my place as the first in the queue ! Inventor.
  13. My ideal layout for 65 keys is the one used by Wim Wakker on his 65 button instruments. This is what I suggested to him some years ago. It was the one I originally designed for the Russian concertina; which I managed to shoehorn into a 7" hexagon on that instrument, by using every trick I had seen on Accordions Bandoneons and Concertinas over the years. It doesn't have a Bb & C the top end of the LHS; but as you have 30 tone chambers on that side of the 67 Aeola, the extra 2 could be used for the repeated G#/Abs & D#/Ebs. On the right hand side you really don't need to go as high as the very high C. Full sized Piano Accordions only go up to an A, 3 semitones below this: and you can take a Classical Music Degree on that instrument ! If possible I would include g, a, bb, & b below the middle C at the bottom of the RHS. I haven't looked inside a 67 button Maccann for some time, but I seem to remember that a large space at the bottom left hand corner of the RHS is wasted by the Air Hole; possibly large enough to take as many as 2 extra tone chambers. The empty space in the middle of the RHS is very inviting, and there are other means to adjust the sound balance. Inventor.
  14. On the 65 button Hayden concertina I designed for Samantha (which was made for her in Russia) the G#/Abs & D#/Ebs were made so that only one pair (push and pull) of reeds was needed for each of these. If she reads this perhaps she could publish a photo of the action to show how this can be done. Inventor.
  15. Why not rebuild this concertina to "Hayden System". This has been done sucessfully on similar sized Maccanns in the past by both Dana Williams and the late Neville Crabb. This is from the very best period of Wheatstones, and probably the most usefull compass of notes without going to a monster sized instrument. Inventor.
  16. Best advice I can give especially if you are a new player is to get Dave Mallinson's "Easy Peasy Tunes" and work your way through it. Almost every English folk session (Festivals, Concertina Weekends, and Pub sessions) I have ever been to; at least half of the tunes played were in this book. If you play only by ear or like to hear a tune before you start to learn it, there is a CD which can be purchaced separately. Inventor.
  17. Piano wire comes in some thirty different sizes. When I was experimenting with other types of musical instrument around 40 years ago I made myself a Hammer Dulcimer arranged in the Hayden system. I used size 6 or 7 piano wire which I obtained from "Fletcher and Newman" along with harpsichord tuning pegs. They had a warehouse in the Seven Dials area of London at the time. I see from the internet that they are still in business but have moved to Borough Green in Kent (not too far from Faversham). They list size 8 as being .020" thick. You would hardly need a whole coil to replace a few valve pins, but they might have off cuts Inventor.
  18. They were Accordion reeds on individual plates for each pair of reeds. He had the better quality reed plates from either Binci, or Antonelli. Inventor.
  19. That was nice of him. In fact he never did make a Hayden system "Bandoneon", but he encouraged me to have a batch made in Italy by Bastari; which I did. However these did not prove to be a commercial sucess. I am not sure of the copywrite implications, but do you think it worthwile to publish the letter in full. He would have loved to have had internet websites like concertina.net available in his day, and I know he would have been a prolific contributor. Inventor.
  20. In view of the letter from Pat Robson confirming that he made such an instrument; I would say that I am 99% certain that this is the actual instrument he made. Inventor.
  21. I knew Pat Robson in his later years quite well, and know that he made a Bandoneon style 5 row CBA and also at least one standard type Bandoneon; both of which I saw. He possibly could have made it for a fellow member of the ICA before I knew him. It does look similar to his style of inlay and bellows construction. However I know he disliked Anglo concertinas; especially Jeffries Anglos. "Cheney" is I think just a case lock and catch maker. Inventor.
  22. Remember you can get a full discount on the Elise when you swap it for another Wim Wakker Concertina. Inventor.
  23. The lowest note on the left hand side of a standard 67 button Maccann Duet is a baritone G (the one on the bottom line of the Bass staff). This is the same note as the lowest note of a baritone English concertina. Inventor,.
  24. I don't know about "Punch" but I remember this being in the I.C.A. Newsletter some years ago(it could be 20 years or so). As I remember it the caption was "The organ has developed a cypher so - - ". Inventor.
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