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inventor

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  1. I am very pleased to see that Judy is getting notes on both hands as soon as possible. This is why I wrote this into my little Duet tutor right from the first page, even inventing and modyfying tunes to get only 1, 2, 3, & 4 notes on both hands at once. Wim Wakker also naturally does this in his Tutor for the Elise. On another matter I tryed very hard to keep the instruments as standard as possible, however as I am not a manufacturer or maker this has been very dificult. Inventor.
  2. On my larger Hayden Concertina I had the natural button tops made with a white material, and the sharps and flats made with a black material. I am sure I suggested this to Rich Morse. Had Button Box considered this option ?. On the Bass of a Piano-accordion the Bass C is indented and some others have criss-cross patterns, might that be an option ? Inventor.
  3. I do not give a specific fingering for the "Golden Hexagon", because I am a great believer in flexability. I recomend starting with the 234 because it strenthens up the little finger, and gives another less obvious option. In my youth when I took up the melodeon, hardly anyone played them, so nobody told me that you were only supposed to use just the middle and fore fingers to play the Bass. There were two rows of 4 buttons one above the other, I had four fingers so I played the "G four" with my little finger and ring finger and the "D four" with my middle and index finger. As most of the tunes that I played were in G this strengthened my little finger quite considerably. It reminds me of Lewis Carols poem "You are old father William" - the muscular strength it gave to my little finger has lasted the rest of my life! Inventor.
  4. This is in the Wheatstone 1844 Patent. Horniman Museum have one and a half instruments in this system, I didn't know any others existed. Inventor.
  5. The Golden Hexagon ---(g") (a") (b") (c") (d") (e") (f#") ---(g') (a') (b') (c#") -----(d') (e') (f#') Inventor.
  6. Regards tutors for the Hayden Duet, I would like to point players in 3 directions: 1) The "Elise" comes with a very usefull 50 page Tutor, with lots of diagrams, and a little bit on reading music. It takes you through the early stages of with lots of usefull diagrams of the keyboard. Perhaps Wim Wakker might make this book available as a stand alone item ? 2) When Hayden Duets first became available I started doing a series of tutorials for several people (up to about 9) who had taken up the system; we used to meet on several occasions a year. Most of them asked specifically about how to use the Left Hand. So over a period I produced a series of sheets of music. One of the problems that beginners encountered was reading the Bass Staff, so I simply wrote the left hand an octave down in what English Concertina players know as the "Baritone" staff. These sheets were combined together to form a little book which is available from the "West Country Concertina Players", and you will also find it on the web on the "Maccann Duet" site. As the sheets always came with me as well I simply showed pupils where to put their fingers on the instruments. I will come back to this later, to expand it further. 3) I had noticed over the years on my duet that a very large number of Traditional tunes used what I called the "Golden Hexagon" of buttons. 3, 4, 4, 3. (I will write this out later as I am not sure if it will print out well). And selected a good number of tunes which used only these 14 buttons. Then at Sidmouth I picked a book and to my surprise found that another person had discovered the same set of 14 notes. This is "Easy Peasy Tunes" by Dave Mallinson; I cannot more highly reccomend this book for beginners and improvers. Inventor.
  7. The "layered reedpan" has been used before in the "Hohner Preciosa". These are minature button accordions, and extremely loud. These were a 2 voice accordion; the reeds on the two adjacent (long and short) reedpans were tuned to almost the same note and always sounded together. I suspect that the timbre of the two voices may be different, which could cause a problem if you were using them individually to play different notes. "Ukebert" who writes extensively on "melodeon.net" might know the answer to that, as he has a "Preciosa", which incidentally has a Bass converted to a very basic "Hayden system". He has gone deeply into the structure of button accordions, and has writen about them on his personal website. The darker section of your button diagram is almost the same as the Bandoneon style concertinas that I had made by Bastari some 30 years ago, these were a 2 voice (octaves) instrument and came out at an 8 inch square instrument; the reeds were set up in the conventional reed block form as is used normally in accordions. Maybe this is a larger instrument than you envisage? Inventor.
  8. I am always pleased to hear of anyone who is interested in building Hayden Duetts. Wellcome to Concertina Net. On the internet for security reasons I prefer to remain anonymous but you can probably work out that I am neither Mr Wheatstone, or Herr Eulig and most certainly not "Professor" Maccann. I have studied Accordions, Bandoneons, and Concertinas for many years, and have designed and helped in the design of several Hayden Duetts. I would be very pleased to help you in any way I can. Inventor.
  9. Congratulations to Button Box for finally bringing out a Hayden Duet. It must be over 20 years since Rich Morse, Doug & Dana visited me to discuss the project. I know that Rich was especially keen to include the key of Bb into the set of "easy-peasy" keys, especially for the American market. The instrument nicely fills the gap between the 42/46 button and 65/68 button instruments. Inventor.
  10. In the latest just published WCCP (West Country Concertina Players) Newsletter one member is advertising a traditionally made Connor Hayden Duet. I know this concertina and the owner, and know that it has been carefully looked after. Inventor.
  11. Steve Dickenson still has and uses the original machine. Wouldn't a Computer controlled Routing machine be the best option ? I believe that is what Wim Wakker uses. I have seen Chinese made small computer controlled routing machines for sale on eBay for as little as £500; I have no idea if they are any good. Inventor.
  12. You need to get in touch with "Ukebert" on melodeon.net . He is an engineer and musician who has done similar research on free reeds, and may be able to help. Inventor.
  13. I am currently working on converting a melodeon with 31 Buttons on the right hand side to an A/D/G/C/F instrument. and have put the button diagram on melodeon.net. A similar thing could be done an Anglo-type concertina. For a C/G/D instrument you would need to start with a 38 button instrument, and have it professionally done by a concertina maker or a very experienced concertina repairer. This would have a right hand side with a sensible compass; and a left hand side with a plefora of 3 in the row major and minor chords. If the Melodeon project goes well I am considering having a 43 button concertina converted into a C/G/D/A anglife instrument, but only if I can find a professional willing to do this within a sensible time scale, a maximum of 7 weeks rather than the usual 7 plus years. Inventor.
  14. I have come across this before, mostly in the Lancashire area, in connection with playing along with Brass Bands, who commonly played in flat keys especially Bb and Eb. The offsetting of the 4th collumn is to facilitate runs that include D & Eb consecutively, which is slightly awkward on a standard Maccan. Inventor.
  15. So far as I know Kaspar Wicki was the first person to discover this layout for free-reed musical instruments. Unfortunately he never seems to have attempted to get them made in the Square (Bandoneon-like) form or approach any of the English makers (Wheatstone, Lachenal, Crabb, and others) in the concertina form. This (1896) is the same year that Butterworth patented what is now known as the "Crane System", which was taken up by the 3 above mentioned concertina makers. It wasn't until nearly a hundred years later that whilst searching for an easier to play layout for the buttons on the the Duet concertina, that I independently rediscovered this excellent system. I am willing to state unequivocally that Charles Wheatstone never had any sketch of this on his working table. CW was a scientist with a musical instrument background, but not so far as is known, was he a practicing musician. He did however patent several (IMHO impractical) Duet-concertina systems one of which was isomorphic. How much he really invented himself is open to question; though he did manage to get his name attached to the "Wheatstone Bridge" and the Electric Telegraph. You have come up with a much earlier first proposal for the Janko keyboard layout. The earlyest I had found was a Patent by Trotter in 1811, who again didn't promote it just at the time that the piano was beginning to become a very popular instrument. Inventor
  16. In reply to the question is it possible, the simple answer is yes. Is it easy, that depends on the type of reeds used in the concertina. If the concertina has accordion reeds then anyone with a few basic woodwork skills might sucessfully do it. If the instrument is fitted with concertina reeds this is much more difficult. this is best left to Concertina makers, or very experienced concertina repairers. Many smaller Jeffries Duets have been turned into Anglo-concertinas, where the increase in demand of such an instrument may increase the value by a good 3 times. In this case the button layout stays the same. This is not true of changing from one type of Duet to another where the button layout is different, and requires a lot more work. I have seen several Maccan Duets changed to Crane system, which I think this was done by Crabbs. I know of two Maccan Duets that have been sucessfully changed to Hayden Duets one by the late Neville Crabb, and the other by Dana Williams. Changing a Hayden Duet to a Maccan Duet while possible would be extremely cost ineffective. Inventor.
  17. A basic form of the Hayden Duet, "Elise" is available from many specialist Music Shops around the globe, see Wim Wakker's web site for a full list. These cost around £300 new. They are made in China, but Wim oversees the quality control, and they are considerably better than the avarage concertinas from this source. I have seen second hand ones occasionally on ebay. The Elise can be played in only 4 different keys F, C, G & D, however that is twice as many as a C/G Anglo, and may also be played in two different Harmonic Minors which is not possible on the C/G Anglo. Inventor.
  18. Regarding 2 row Anglos set a semitone apart: "did anyone try them ?". Many years ago Stinson Belen (that may not be the correct spelling) from Texas wrote extensively in the now defunct CONCERTINA MAGAZINE under the title "Balin Wire". I gather he rather liked them and produced and sold several. I had a bit of correspondance with him at the time but this must be over 30 years ago now. Unfortunately Stinson died a few years ago, however I believe "Tall Ship" of this parish had a connection with CONCERTINA MAGAZINE and might be able to tell you more. Inventor.
  19. I am always pleased to hear about people who enjoy playing Hayden duets; that is what they were intended for. I think the "Elise" is a wonderful instrument for an amazingly reasonable price. I look forward to hearing about the new accordion reeded instruments from Button Box. As far as upgrades to concertina reeded instruments are concerned there is always the option of buying a Maccan Duet and having it rebuilt to Hayden System. I know of two medium sized Maccanns which have been sucessfully converted to Hayden system, and have seen a number of Maccanns that have been nicely converted to Cranes. Most importantly, enjoy playing your concertina whichever type you like. Never worry about anyone who likes to think they can play better, faster, or read music quicker than you, they are probably not enjoying themselves half as much. Inventor.
  20. Secondly: I have always tryed to design concertinas so as to give the maximum compass in the minimum space. I had a hand in the design of the Wheatstone 46 button instrument (6.25"); and entirely designed the 65 button "Hayvenska* (7"). On the right hand side of a Hayden Duet, for any chromatic compass, you will always have a number of full length rows of buttons and a short row to the left at the top, and a short row to the right at the bottom. Sloping the rows of buttons has a usefull spin off when you are trying to put buttons at the highest possible place on the instrument. Because of the way that the action board of a concertina is constructed there is always a highest point that the top left hand button may be placed on the instrument. However the top short row of buttons may proceed up into the top apex of the instrument. The bottom short row if there, tucks nicely into the space on the right. If the rows run parellel to the hand rail this will rotate the bottom run of the buttons uncomfortably closer to the hand rest. The left hand side of the instrument always has less rows of buttons so is no problem there. This can of course be overcome by making the whole instrument larger, which is what most concertina makers prefer to do. On a Square Bandoneon type of instrument, which Wicki had in mind; placing the buttons at the highest possible point along the whole length of the row is not a problem, as there are no pallets at the top end of the instrument. Inventor.
  21. I was interested to hear that Simon Thoumire holds his concertina in that fashion however Harry Dunn was doing this before Simon was born! Inventor.
  22. Harry Dunn's Solution to the English Concertina Problem: The late Harry Dunn one of the finest Classical English-concertina players that I ever met, played a 56 button raised amboyna ended Wheatstone Aeola. He rested it on his lap not on the side parallel to the line of the buttons but on the next flat side round. This brought the buttons to a 45 degree angle to his hand. The thumb strap was also rotated to a 45 degree angle from it's usual position. He could then easily play consecutive fifths on adjacent fingers. This also brought his little fingers to a convenient position to play the lower notes of the instrument thus enhancing harmonic possibilities. I have mentioned this to several more recent leading English-concertina players but they have strongly oposed the idea of anything that departs from the "accepted" way of holding and playing the English Concertina ! Because of the fixed handles this method is not available to Crane or Maccann concertina players. Inventor
  23. Firstly continued: I played the instrument for several years including two years for a Morris & Clog dancing team, and had noticed several mistakes that I had made in the design. One that I noticed almost immediately was that I didn't have enough overlap between the two sides. The lowest note on the right hand side was a middle C (c') which was satisfactory, but the left hand side had under half an octave overlap. I had to correct this soon, and although I lost some usefull low notes the instrument then worked well between the two sides. The next fault that I noticed was the business of the curving down towards the little fingers which surprisingly was not nescessary. On a my Duet concertina (and also on the Crane and Maccann) you are a working on several levels of buttons not along the rows as on an Anglo (and to a great extent on the Jeffries Duet). I also found that whilst fingering two diagonally adjacent buttons (fourths or fifths) consecutively was no problem; however having the octaves immediately above each other on the next but one row was not ideal; when you wished to play the two together; as I wished to do frequently on the left hand side, or consecutively as occurs sometimes on the right hand side. I had not planned to go into production with my new idea for a Duet concertina as I didn't think there would be any demand for it (Classical concertina players were perfectly happy with the Maccann, and the Salvation Army were hooked onto the Crane, or Triumph as they called it); however Dave Arthur who was at the time Editor of "English Dance & Song" asked me to write an article about it for this Magazine. This sparked an interest among Folk Music players who thought that a Duet concertina was a good idea, and had looked at the Maccann but had given up and reverted to their English, Anglo or Melodeon. Coincidentally at just this time I met Steve Dickenson, who was looking for extra work at Wheatstone's as he had just taken on an apprentice; and offered to make me Ten small instruments to the Hayden System. This presented me with a wonderfull oportunity to revise my design, using all that I had learned over the previous six or seven years. To be continued, Inventor.
  24. There are Two main reasons for the "Hayden Slant". I shall put them into at least two posts as my computer sometimes locks up in mid post and I may run out of time in one session. Briefly: The First is to avoid awkwardness when playing two notes buttons consecutively on alternate rows. and the Second is to enable the buttons to be placed in the highest possible position, which enables the hand rest to be as near the centre of the instrument as is practible. Firstly: When I started to play the concertina many years ago I played an Anglo, and I used to go along to various Concertina sessions, usually taken by English-concertina players. In the any questions section the English-concertina players would always ask about the best fingering to use when two notes played consecutively were "above" each other. There was always the debate on either to jump fingers (often musically bad) or twist two adjacent fingers above each other (awkward). The tutor would usually ask the Anglo-concertina players if they had any problems along these lines, and they would say "we don't have that problem". (Many years later I met Harry Dunn a virtuoso Classical English-concertina player, and he had the perfect solution on the English-concertina, but I will not diverge to discuss it here.) I therefore concluded that placing buttons in collums at right angles to the hand rest or line of the palms was not a good idea. Recently there has been discussion on Concertina.net regarding consecutive 4ths on the Crane-duet, coming to exactly the same inconclusions. When a Jeffries Duet came into my hands with nicely staggered rows I bought it, however there were other problems which I have discussed elsewhere on concertina.net, but this led to me having a Duet concertina made with my own devising of the arrangement of the notes on the buttons. It had the same curves and spacing as on the Jeffries Duet, and significantly it had Aluminium-alloy buttons. I found that when moving the fingers towards the thumbs they went nicely down but when swinging over away from the thumbs they tended to spread. After a good playing session the tips of my fingers had grey deposits on them from the Aluminium buttons; and surprisingly the deposit on the little fingers was not on the tips but down close to the first joint. When I wrote my Patent I illustrated it with the buttons curving towards the thumbs but not down towards the other way. To be continued. Inventor.
  25. I see that new english has added more during the 4 minutes that I was checking my post. I don't know if "Professor" Maccann was drunk when he devised his duet, though I think you may be right; close study of his provisional and final patent suggests that he may have revised his ideas at the last minute. Mr Butterworth (Crane) cannot possibly have been drunk as his system was widely taken up by the Salvation Army. It is said that the Jeffries Duet was thought up overnight, perhaps at the end of a drinking session. Whilst I had been studying the best way to arrange the buttons on a Duet for over a year, the final best solution came to me in a flash whilst walking along the Front at a Sidmouth Festival. As I wasn't drunk at the time,I didn't go running round the streets naked shouting "I have found it" (or eureka in Greek), but rushed back to the Hut where I was sleeping in, on the floor to write it down. Inventor.
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