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Selah
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Hi. I seem to have finally settled on finding a Maccann duet as my first concertina. It seems the more I learn the more questions I have.

 

Do all duets have a crossover of identical notes from RH to LH? As a newbie, is there an ideal crossover # to look for in a tina? Does this number differ as you go from 56-k upwards?

 

Thanks for your continuing enlightenment and related comments!

Selah

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Hi Selah

 

I play a 55-button Crane duet. It has two octaves on the left and two octaves and a fourth on the right. The upper octave on the left is the same as the lower octave on the right, but I can't say I'm conscious of the crossover as such as I never play melodies across both ends. I play the melody only on the right. If the melody goes too low I move it up an octave. I treat the left as a source of chords. In other words, I play it like a melodeon!

 

With two octaves on the left I can play many chords in two root positions, but that's a luxury. I tend to play the chords I find easiest to finger, but other players play them as high up as possible using inversions. If I had less buttons on the left I'd just use whatever was available.

 

More advanced players may take a different attitude.

 

Richard

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The larger Maccans have about an octave usually, more as they get larger, up to the 81's, an octave and a half there. I use every note of my 'octave and a tone'. Without it I would be significantly restricted in what I play.

 

What the overlap does is allow a choice of ways to play; sometimes taking one or two notes out of a chord sequence onto the other hand makes playing a hideous progression smoothly dead easy. It feels odd at first but with time you start to move away from thinking rigidly as two hands and towards seeing the music as a continuous thing; you stop worrying about where the notes actually come from.

 

You use it most if you are playing fully scored written music aimed at other instruments and the notes are set; with improvisation you can manipulate it to avoid the need to use the technique. Richard, above, just lifting the melody an octave to suit, for instance. But it actually is very easy and works well, and David Cornell, in his arrangements for Maccan just does it; no compromise there, he often takes a note into the other hand to get exactly the sound he wants with ease.

 

(DC's arrangements, downloadable free, are a good place for a beginner to start, incidentally)

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I'm the opposite. Despite having an octave and a half overlap, I hardly use it except for the occasional low B or whatever which won't fit on the RH end, and the occasional note on the RH end to make the LH easier. But then I don't play scored pieces or arrangements. As far as possible I choose a key to let the 'tune' fit on the RH end.

 

My machine, a 64-button Maccann, has 2 and a half octaves at each end with an octave and a half overlap. As I hardly use the top octave of the LH end, I could really do with a bit more at the bottom end.

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Do all duets have a crossover of identical notes from RH to LH?

 

I don't think the responses so far have addressed that aspect, but the answer to that one is no. There was some previous discussion on this thread http://www.concertin...topic=9972&st=0 regarding ideal size of Maccann to be looking at - however from the various responses on that and other threads, I think it's probably a matter of horses for courses. It rather depends on what you're looking to use it for, and , I suppose, how much you can afford to pay. I won't pretend to give any advice, as I'm still running around with L plates up ... I'll leave that to the likes o Maccannic, Dirge and Ralphie Jordan, who have all been playing a lot longer and have a vast deal more experience. (Come on Ralphie - time to stick your oar in!! ;) )

 

As a newbie, is there an ideal crossover # to look for in a tina?

Discussed on the thread mentioned above to some degree.

 

I'm assuming you've read all the relevant aids to choice on here (see the home page entries on buying a concertina etc)

http://www.concertina.net/iv_duetguide.html

 

Good luck with the hunt and the decision making process. Oh, and by the way, be prepared for strange remarks of astonishment from seasoned players of English and Anglo when asking what type of tina you are learning to play [chuckle]

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Hi. I seem to have finally settled on finding a Maccann duet as my first concertina. It seems the more I learn the more questions I have.

 

Do all duets have a crossover of identical notes from RH to LH? As a newbie, is there an ideal crossover # to look for in a tina? Does this number differ as you go from 56-k upwards?

 

Thanks for your continuing enlightenment and related comments!

Selah

 

Hi there.

Firstly, well done for choosing a MacCann. Hours of mindless fun beckons.

My original box was a 48. Very quickly found it too limiting and frustrating.

I now play 56's.

The RH goes down to "C" and the crossover from L to R is an Octave.

This has served me well for many decades.

I will say at this point, that I am an ear player...I only refer to "Dots" in extremis.

I have played some very nice boxes in the Next size up, (64 etc), but personally, I wouldn't go any higher. (How many fingers has one person got?!)

 

Can't comment on Cranes, Jeffries or Haydens. Have only dallied with them briefly.

But no matter. You've chosen MacCann.

You've chosen wisely! Would recommend a 56 Key, going down to "C" on the RH.

 

Good Luck with it

Ralphie

Pop in any time for advice. Us MacCann players are only slightly weird, but mainly friendly!

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Do all duets have a crossover of identical notes from RH to LH? As a newbie, is there an ideal crossover # to look for in a tina? Does this number differ as you go from 56-k upwards?

 

 

Hi, Selah,

 

As far as I know, all duets have a cross-over. At least, I've never seen published button arrangements that didn't!

 

I'm a "craneologist", not a "maccannic", but my view is that the actual number of notes in the overlap is incidental, not deliberate, and not really meaningful. It's not a case of "big overlap - good, small overlap - bad".

 

The point is that the accompaniment should usually be in the octave below the melody. That's why the LH has the same layout as the RH, but an octave lower. This means that, as I take my melody up into the upper reaches of the RH, I have to move my LH up as well. So the main thing is that the range of the LH side matches the range of the RH side. The more buttons I have on the RH, the higher I can play, and the higher my chords need to be, so the more high LH buttons I will need. And these will increase the overlap area.

 

Maybe a Maccann is different, but on my Crane, I don't find that it helps to interleave the LH and RH notes in the overlap. If my melody drops below middle C, I just play the couple of low notes on the left, below the overlap area.

 

In short: the overlap is nothing to worry about. The total number of buttons is more important, IMHO!

 

Cheers,

John

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For flexibility, your concertina needs some overlap. But it also needs plenty of room either side of the overlap, so that you have enough room to play the tune above the accompaniment, and the accompaniment below the tune. Of course if you don't mind weight and a large instrument, you can have as many notes as you like, but presuming you want to keep things in proportion, then there is a degree of compromise. Very large Maccanns are not so popular, they start getting huge.

 

OK, a few facts about Maccanns of different sizes.

 

The 46-key Maccann goes down to G above middle-C in the right hand, and has an overlap of a 4th.

 

The 55-key Maccann is precisely the same: it also goes down to G above middle-C in the right hand, and has an overlap of a 4th.

 

So what's the diference between a 46 and a 55? The most important difference between them is that the 55 key has a complete 2 -octave range (25 keys) in the left hand. The 46-key has only 21 keys in the LH. Although it has the same 2 octave range, it is missing a few notes, especially lower down, including the very annoying missing D. This means that on the 42 key you have to play higher in the LH and use the overlap more, because there are missing notes lower down. This explains why many people playing the 46-key often treat it as a descant or sopranino instrument, using the RH to play an octave above written pitch. The alternative use of the 46-key is to play across the hands a lot, when you run out of keys in the RH, and have very light accompaniments, or even accompaniments above the tune.

 

Thing change a lot with a 57 key. This goes down to middle C in the right hand, and has an overlap of an octave. (Overall, the 57-key has a narrower range than a 46-key! They have the same lowest note in the LH, and the highest note on a 57 key is actually lower than on a 46-key. But only rarely do you miss those high notes.)

 

Oh, the 57-key is much nicer than the 46-key. (Well most people think that. There are others who like the small size of the 46-key.) You can play a lot of tunes in the right pitch now, and you will use that lower fifth constantly. But this means you only have an octave below the RH in the LH, which won't feel like a lot of room. But since people never have enough, you'll be wanting some even lower notes on the LH now.

 

And that's what happens as you get to still larger instruments, you'll get some lower notes in the LH and some higher notes in teh RH, expanding the overall range, not the overlap. Some of them might give you a couple of extra low notes in the RH and increase the overlap to a 9th, but it is only when you get to really huge instruments that the overlap is substantially increased.

 

The only problem is that a 57-key is a lot more expensive than a 46-key. And 46-keys are lying over all the place, but 57+ keys are hard to find. Especially since they come in so many varieties that if you have set your heart on a specific number of keys you can have a long weight for it to come up.

 

 

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For flexibility, your concertina needs some overlap. But it also needs plenty of room either side of the overlap, so that you have enough room to play the tune above the accompaniment, and the accompaniment below the tune. Of course if you don't mind weight and a large instrument, you can have as many notes as you like, but presuming you want to keep things in proportion, then there is a degree of compromise. Very large Maccanns are not so popular, they start getting huge.

 

OK, a few facts about Maccanns of different sizes.

 

The 46-key Maccann goes down to G above middle-C in the right hand, and has an overlap of a 4th.

 

The 55-key Maccann is precisely the same: it also goes down to G above middle-C in the right hand, and has an overlap of a 4th.

 

So what's the diference between a 46 and a 55? The most important difference between them is that the 55 key has a complete 2 -octave range (25 keys) in the left hand. The 46-key has only 21 keys in the LH. Although it has the same 2 octave range, it is missing a few notes, especially lower down, including the very annoying missing D. This means that on the 42 key you have to play higher in the LH and use the overlap more, because there are missing notes lower down. This explains why many people playing the 46-key often treat it as a descant or sopranino instrument, using the RH to play an octave above written pitch. The alternative use of the 46-key is to play across the hands a lot, when you run out of keys in the RH, and have very light accompaniments, or even accompaniments above the tune.

 

Thing change a lot with a 57 key. This goes down to middle C in the right hand, and has an overlap of an octave. (Overall, the 57-key has a narrower range than a 46-key! They have the same lowest note in the LH, and the highest note on a 57 key is actually lower than on a 46-key. But only rarely do you miss those high notes.)

 

Oh, the 57-key is much nicer than the 46-key. (Well most people think that. There are others who like the small size of the 46-key.) You can play a lot of tunes in the right pitch now, and you will use that lower fifth constantly. But this means you only have an octave below the RH in the LH, which won't feel like a lot of room. But since people never have enough, you'll be wanting some even lower notes on the LH now.

 

And that's what happens as you get to still larger instruments, you'll get some lower notes in the LH and some higher notes in teh RH, expanding the overall range, not the overlap. Some of them might give you a couple of extra low notes in the RH and increase the overlap to a 9th, but it is only when you get to really huge instruments that the overlap is substantially increased.

 

The only problem is that a 57-key is a lot more expensive than a 46-key. And 46-keys are lying over all the place, but 57+ keys are hard to find. Especially since they come in so many varieties that if you have set your heart on a specific number of keys you can have a long weight for it to come up.

 

Thanks Ivan for your comparisons and experience -- most helpful. Also thanks to Irene for the links. Now that I've been reading the forum for bit I'm beginning to glean more with every re-read! It was great listening to Dirge's classical piece inside one of those threads as I would really like to try that. I think I'm on the right track since to play a maccann requires one to be a mite on the weird side -- of that my son heartily reminds me. I will be back with questions again!

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I think I'm on the right track since to play a maccann requires one to be a mite on the weird side I will be back with questions again!

 

Who are you calling weird?? :angry:

 

If you haven't already come across them, you could try Ralphie's links to sound bites as well .... various non-classical items by him can be found here at http://www.onmvoice.com/Ralphie01

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I wouldn't say weird, I'd say all duet players are brilliant folks who can also solve Rubik's Cube and do complex math in their heads. They may not think so, but that is what they are doing.

 

Me, I'm dim, no wonder I play anglo! B) If life were shorter I'd love to try duet, but I'm already spread too thin to progress musically on any one instrument right now.

 

Keep playing, everyone!

Ken

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I wouldn't say weird, I'd say all duet players are brilliant folks who can also solve Rubik's Cube and do complex math in their heads. They may not think so, but that is what they are doing.

 

 

 

Given how flattering this is I'd love to agree, Ken, but look what dimwits can touchtype, which must be a very similar skill. I just think a decent duet player has realised that, given the high expectation that goes with the territory, they'll have to work hard at it. More persistence than intelligence.

 

Mind you I usually know roughly how much change I'll get at the supermarket checkout...

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Mind you I usually know roughly how much change I'll get at the supermarket checkout...

 

:lol: Wish I always did!! And I have A level Maths and was a Tax Inspector in another life (and a theatre box office assistant a couple of times a week now).

 

The touchtyping analogy is a good one ... Ralphie was likening the process to that the other day. Mind you, as I touch type this, I only have to think about what I actually want to say. I don't have to try and decide what to invent with the left hand (or indeed the right!).

 

But yes, you're right ... application and persistence. But that's the same with anything, anyway. Must go and persist a bit more tonight ...

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Mind you I usually know roughly how much change I'll get at the supermarket checkout...

 

:lol: Wish I always did!! And I have A level Maths and was a Tax Inspector in another life (and a theatre box office assistant a couple of times a week now).

 

 

Mrs. Jacobs' in primary school taught me 'rithmetic. She used old fashioned techniques like a clip round the ear.

 

 

The touchtyping analogy is a good one ... Ralphie was likening the process to that the other day. Mind you, as I touch type this, I only have to think about what I actually want to say. I don't have to try and decide what to invent with the left hand (or indeed the right!).

 

 

Ah but I don't usually invent the left hand, remember. I usually reckon to find someone who's more expert than me to do the arranging. Geo. Fred. Handel, say. I just read the tadpoles and I get a top quality job. Hence touchtyping. Which I can't actually do.

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Ah but I don't usually invent the left hand, remember. I usually reckon to find someone who's more expert than me to do the arranging. Geo. Fred. Handel, say. I just read the tadpoles and I get a top quality job. Hence touchtyping. Which I can't actually do.

 

Ah yes, I do realise that (good old George Frederick!!) ... but I'm probably coming at it more from the non-previously arranged end of it (not exclusively though) . At the moment I'm playing (in both senses) with my old Grade 1 piano book (actually not the best to use ... the keys that I seem to have been playing in with that are not the most helpful in terms of the key layout on the 57 beast), and similar, and making up some rudimentary accompaniments for some tunes that I quite like (but at least I am now using the left hand - when we "spoke" before Christmas that had been in abeyance for a while!) . Persistence, persistence ,persistence ... or did I mean practice, practice, practice?? (And I can touchtype ...mostly ... for some reason I never actually memorised the numbers line . Still have quite a high speed of typing though, despite that).

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