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Everything posted by inventor

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Remember you can get a full discount on the Elise when you swap it for another Wim Wakker Concertina. Inventor.
  14. 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,.
  15. 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.
  16. Peter: you have an interesting historical instrument. I strongly advise not altering it. With the mirrored left hand it closely resembles the Wicki layout as on his Bandoneon type instruments. Whilst the right hand side could fairly easily be converted to the standard Hayden layout. the mirrored left hand side could not. It could of course be fairly easily converted to a "true" Wicki layout, However as there are are few if any Wicki players still living it might have rather a limited market. It occurs to me that a couple of Wicki "bandoneons" from an Austrian Museum were in recent years sold to a collector; I wonder if he could be traced and might be interested in the instrument ? Inventor.
  17. This is quite a time back now, not long after the Museum had acquired the Neil Wayne collection. My other suggestions were:- 1) That they had recordings of the different types of concertina that they had on display. I strongly emphasized the need to hear the sort of sound that the instruments made. At that time the V & A (Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London) had a small display of Musical Instruments together with a Juke-box type of device which played samples of the instruments displayed; and suggested that might do similar. 2) That they display an instrument taken apart and laid out so that it was possible to see what was going on inside the instrument. Or had made an instrument with perspex casework to show exactly what was happening inside. Since I wrote that, believe it or not I have seen pictures of a Melodeon with perspex casework so you could see the mechanical action and the reeds vibrating inside. 3) With regard to the Walrus: the lady at the Museum who wrote to me said in reply that they had recently had a substantial grant from the National Lottery and were going to build a massive extension to the Horniman, with plenty of extra space to display many more concertinas; so there would be no need to remove the Walrus. Inventor. .
  18. I had been considering leaving a couple of the prototypes of my duets to the Horniman, but now I shall have to reconsider that. A few years ago they wrote to me asking how I thought the whole collection of concertinas should be displayed to best advantage; suffice it to say that they took none of my suggestions. One of my suggestions was that they remove the Walrus, possibly use it as a garden ornament, then use the space created to display a lot more concertinas ! Inventor.
  19. That sounds really interesting. Could you write out the layout in full ? I had heard of the Cheeseman system with Australian connections, but have never been able to get much information about it . I had heard that it had a Maccann like keyboard but with repeating octaves (rather like the Chidley system), and with the naturals as you have described; but had assumed it to be a Chidley system with just the Ds & Es reversed. Is it a metal or wooden ended instrument ? If it is virtually the same as the Hayden system it might be simpler to slightly modify the action to bring it to the Hayden keyboard standard. This would be fairly easy if it is wooden ended, but a little more dificult on a metal ended instrument. I would definitely not recomend disturbing the reeds from their present placement. Many years ago Neville Crabb converted a Maccann duet for me to the Hayden layout, and Dana Williams also showed me one that he had converted for himself. Inventor.
  20. I strongly recomend getting both hands on the concertina at once, right from the very beginning. If you look in the other concertina (Maccann) website, you will find a set of very beginer lessons that I wrote a number of years ago. It starts with only one finger on each side, then two and three on each side and so on. I used to teach absolute beginners (all systems) duet concertina at the West Country Concertina Players weekends. In a weekend I usually managed to get all my pupils to the stage of 5 or 6 buttons in each hand by the end of the weekend. Inventor.
  21. For the player who wishes to play some sort of mean-tone scale I would have thought that you might simply just ignore the Ab & D# buttons. After all if it was set up on a Crane or Jeffries Duet layout you would not have these options anyway. If you wished to play a meantone scale sharper than A or flatter than Bb this can be done by software transposition up or down a tone or two. For a Just scale there are real problems with the supertonic notes; but I explained how this might be overcome on a bisonoric instrument in "melodeon.net" a short while back. The same principle could be applied to an Anglo-like concertina, to play in 4 or maybe 5 related keys, giving every major and minor chord in the selected keys perfectly in tune.Then Midi transpose to any other set of related keys. Inventor.
  22. This 65 button Hayden layout fitted perfectly well on the 7" Russian concertina. The eb/f on the thumb button was a quirk of this particular instrument; for a Midi instrument I suggest this be just eb. Although it has 65 buttons there are 4 repeats, which can simply be done on the printed circuit board. It then has just 61 notes that need to be different, giving 3 in hand if you restrict the number to 64. I will give suggestions as to what these 3 might be, and where they might be put later. The reasons I suggest the 7" size are as follows:- 1) Anything smaller will restrict the number of buttons you could put on the instrument. 6.25" instruments are nice; but the advantages of having 5 rows on the left, and notes below middle C on the right without having to move the compass up and down whilst playing will be quickly apreciated once you start playing the instrument. 2) At 8" the instrument starts to become cumbersome, and as I have pointed out 65 buttons goes on comfortably onto a 7" instrument anyway. 3) If I was going to set up manufacture of Midi concertinas I would obtain a batch of "blanks" from the Chinese firm that makes them for Wim Ws Elise. and other cheaper Chinese concertinas. Just the ends with the handles and the bellows. No need for the ugly F holes, or reeds and actions which are the expensive bits. Why set up a manufacture for the non electronic bits when they might be obtained almost off the shelf ? Inventor.
  23. I would strongly advise a 65 button instrument in a 7" Hexagon. Anything that is not chromatic in the keyboard would make playing totally chromatic tunes like "The Flight of the Bumble Bee", or "The Entry of the Gladiators"; or chromatic decorations and Harmonic and Melodic minors virtually impossible. Inventor.
  24. To answer Matthew's original question: yes I am interested in an electronic concertina "now or in the next few years". Well congratulations to Lukasz for getting so far with his solution. Personally I think that the only future of all Keyboard instruments (including pianos, church organs, accordions and concertinas), is Electronic ! For the Hayden concertina: I think that if you can make an entirely self contained instrument (i.e. with all the electronics, mini loudspeakers & batterys inside, and no heavier or larger than the equivalent concertina); it could be a commercial success in the much wider field. Best of luck to both of you. Inventor.
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