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By way of explanation, I am not a player of concertinas. I play music but I know nothing about the reading or writing of the hens scratchin's part of it. I posted the image of the notes as they appeared on this concertina as I held it and played it in its normal upright fashion. The way I saw them as I sat behind the instrument.

Be assured that I wasn't criticizing you, Reg. Maybe criticizing myself for my semi-dyslexia and the confusion it created, though. Anyone who saw my earlier post before I deleted it knows just how confused I got. :o


I like the way you've arranged them here. (B/C#) It's far easier to express in written form than my diagram. :o)

It's a way I've learned from others. And let me point out that I used the Code tags in the editor (generated by the little "<>" icon above the text-entry box in the editor). Any text placed between the Code tags will be displayed in a monospace font exactly as you type it in, i.e., with every character from a dot or even a space to a "W" occupying the same width, and with every space preserved (not every string of spaces collapsed into a single space, as is done with normal text). That way you don't need to play with varying numbers of dots to try to make the spacing look right. Even formatting tags placed between Code tags will be displayed as written, rather than used to control formatting. (The one exception is that nesting of the Code tags themselves can't work.) Here's an example:

First, stars indented with leading spaces and separated by multiple spaces:
           *   *        * *     *
Then some text indented, with tags for italics and other effects:

[indent]First [i]italic[/i], then [u]underlined[/u], then [color="#FF0000"]in red[/color].[/indent]

Putting that text between Code tags displays it as it looks in the editor. Now if I put the same text between Quote tags, it will be formatted in the normal way.

First, stars indented with leading spaces and separated by multiple spaces:

* * * * *

Then some text indented, with tags for italics and other effects:

, then
, then
in red

Quite a difference, eh? :)


Would you like me to go through the LH notes and offer them up for your consideration?

That would be excellent!

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Uh oh! Sorry, I wasn't aware that the smiley face that I texted would end up turning into that weird yellow look of confusion.

Actually, I think it's supposed to be an open-mouthed look of surprise, or even shock. B)


But I always use the "Post Preview" button in the editor, so that I can see exactly what my post will look like before it actually gets posted. I proofread it and check it for appearance (e.g., maybe a different smiley would be better). Then if there's anything I want to change, I use my browser's Back (<--) button, edit the source text of my post and try "Post Preview" once again. Only when I'm completely satisfied with what the Post Preview shows me do I click the "Add Reply" button.


And if I later decide that I was too quick on the trigger, I (usually) use the "Edit" button on my original post and change it, rather than creating a new post to say what I would like to change.

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One more comment on this instrument:

I believe a number of singers have expressed a preference for an anglo in either a Bb/F or an Ab/Eb to go with the keys they like to sing in. This concertina would seem to incorporate
the both of "best" worlds

Let your singer friends know about it. :)

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Many thanks for your posts. However, being unfamiliar with the editor here, I can't seem to figure out how to force it to do my will.


You asked for it. Here are the LH push/pull notes, described as you have done so with the RH, (over 90 degrees). The RH description is represented first and below that is the LH description.


(You might already understand that the straps would be situated below each diagram in this method of depicting the notes.)


As I play it, the buttons on each side of this concertina seem to be arranged in four vertical rows each containing six buttons. (See photos) In my uneducated way of playing it, the notes that are lower are on the left side. Is this correct? Or am I trying to play this thing upside down? If correct, then the air button, to fill the bellows, is on the RH side located near where my thumb can access it. The angle that they form in their leaning way looks more like how I've depicted them below. Think of it like this, the two B/C# buttons on each side are an octave apart. They are located farthest from the straps as I play and are uppermost as I play. For reference, the lowest note that I can play is on the LH side.


(*I have no idea how it happened but there were some terrible mistakes in the initial notation of the right hand side. I wasn't aware of this until I checked this posting from this morning just now. So, I've fixed the mistakes in the description of the RH notes. I very sorry for the confusion! Perhaps you can offer some additional comment now that I have all the right notes in the right places) (Nutz! Another error corrected, the C/Ab should be C/G on the RH side. I've fixed it here and will do so elsewhere too.


B/C# Bb/A D/C F/Eb Bb/G D/A

..F#/Ab F/E A/G C/Bb F/D A/E

...A/B Ab/G C/Bb Eb/C# Ab/F C/G

....E/F# Eb/D G/F Bb/Ab Eb/C G/D



B/C# F/G D/Eb Bb/C F/A Bb/F

..F/Ab C/D A/Bb F/G C/E A/C

...A/B Eb/F C/C# Ab/Bb Eb/G (Ab)/Eb <-the lowest note available is the (Ab) here

....E/F# Bb/C G/Ab Eb/F Bb/D G/Bb





Edited by reg
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Here are the LH push/pull notes, described as you have done so with the RH, (over 90 degrees). The RH description is represented first and below that is the LH description.


....B/C# Bb/A D/C F/Eb Bb/G D/A

...F#/Ab F/E A/G C/Bb F/D A/E

..A/B Eb/G G/Bb Bb/Db Eb/F G/G

E/F# Ab/D C/F Eb/Ab Ab/C C/D



....B/C# F/G D/Eb Bb/C F/A Bb/F

...F/Ab C/D A/Bb F/G C/E A/C

..A/B Eb/F C/C# Ab/Bb Eb/G Ab/Eb

E/F# Bb/C G/Ab Eb/F Bb/D G/Bb

I suspect that we once again have different ways of looking at the end. Your left-hand layout is a mirror image of what I would expect, so let's check that out:


The usual way of picturing the notes of the two ends is as if they were removed from the bellows and laid side by side (or as if the bellows were very flexible, and bent in a U shape so that the ends lay side by side). That way the higher-pitched notes on each end would be toward the right. It looks to me as if you have lined up the buttons of the two ends as they would be with the ends back to back and the bellows diminished to nothingness between them.



If so, I'll redo your diagram to fit our usual convention. (If I'm wrong, then your instrument is very unusual in yet another way.)


One thing I do notice, though, is that on the left end the push notes are not swapped between the Ab and Eb rows, as they are on the right-hand end. Curiouser and curiouser. B)

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I just noticed that I spelled Jeffries incorrectly in the title of this post.


Here are some additional images that I hope can offer some idea about what I've got. Yes, it could use a good cleaning but it is playable and not falling apart. It seems to have had some repair work done, as I mentioned in my posts about this last fall.


Please note that the camera I'm using is beyond offering a really good close up of the reeds. In these images the reeds appear very corroded looking. That is not the case at all. There is some very minor corrosion but it is very slight. My camera simply cannot capture the light correctly to indicate their actual condition. This is partly due to the way the reeds have been filed and therefore the way that they reflect the light. I'll see if I can borrow a better camera, to offer close up images of the reeds in order to give those of you who are interested a more accurate idea of their condition and post those images later today.


I see that I am limited by the size of the images in my post so I'll offer these images in two different installments. Here are a couple of front and back images and the RH insides.















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Here are the LH inside images for this W."Jeffries" Maker. It really could use a good cleaning.


Again, these images do not accurately depict the condition of the reeds. I suspect this is due to a number of factors, my inexperience with how to work with optimizing the settings on this camera, this "older" digital camera's ability to work with the available light, the flash on the camera, the way the reeds have been filed and therefore how they manage to reflect the way the light strikes them. Again, I'll try borrowing a newer camera and see if can upload some better images that show the actual condition of the reeds.


In the last of these images, you can see the stamp of STAR MFG. CO. I'm guessing that they were responsible for some of the repairs to this.











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Okay, here is an image of the left and right hand notes side by side. Whew! I think that I finally got all of the notes correctly depicted. Sorry for my less than accurate previous posts. This is all new to me and I guess that I made my errors in my transferring my notes from my pitch pipe to the printed page.


I rearranged the LH notes here to follow what I am told is the way that they are described for the convenience of those who of you who are actually players. The top of each of the columns of are center in this image, as though the bellows were bent "U" shaped. The bottoms of each column are on the outer left and right edges of this diagram.


Note that all of the notes on the top of each column are the same except one. There is an F/Ab on the left but a corresponding F#/Ab on the right.


What does it all mean? I'll leave that to you, who are more talented in this pursuit than I.



Edited by reg
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I'm not sure I have this right. It looks to me as if the concertina has four rows, each in a different key, and not a row specifically for accidentals.

Accidentals would be provided by the innermost keys on the four rows, giving sixteen notes not found otherwise on the home row for each key

The home keys for the rows, top to bottom, would be: Bb, F, Ab, Eb.

Is this all correct? Kudos to Reg for doing this layout. It must have taken quite a while.

The reeds look to me to be in good condition.

Also, could you let us know how much the instrument weighs?

Thanks for all this.


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To try to explain further, given my inexperience in creating a proper diagram to understand the way the notes appear, I wanted to add that all of the notes in this display are offered in a "push/pull" fashion. I hope that this clears up any confusion that I may have inadvertently caused via my lack of understanding as to the formal manner of how to offer them.


Being one of those musical types that plays by ear, I know little that I can easily relate about musical theory but after studying the way that the notes fall on the LH and RH sides, I do see a couple of patterns. The bottom 5 push notes in each corresponding column of six notes on both the LH and RH sides all seem related. In each of the LH and RH columns that start at the top with the push note B, the bottom 5 push notes are all F - D - Bb. In the next column the bottom 5 push notes are all C - A - F, in the following column the same bottom 5 push notes are all Eb - C - Ab and in the last column the bottom 5 push notes are Bb - G - Eb.


I also notice that the notes are reversed from top to bottom in each column on each LH and RH side too. So, while the push notes appear as F - D - Bb on the LH side, they appear as Bb - D - F on the RH side.


Likewise, another pattern emerges when I look at the middle four pull notes in each corresponding column of six on the LH and RH sides. They are also the same but reversed in the way that they appear.


As to why the bottom most pull notes in each column differ and the top most notes in each column differ from these patterns, I can only speculate that this has some musical significance that escapes my less educated understanding. Again, I'll let those of you with a greater understanding in these more musical matters offer your explanations.

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One further note about this instrument, as with any older instrument, I am certain that any player that might be interested in this concertina will most certainly wish to have it set up to offer optimum playability for their particular use and approach by having it looked over by their own trusted source for such work, repair or restoration. It is in as found condition and while it is playable, it could certainly benefit by having someone with the proper skill and knowledge in such matters lend their expertise to the task of offering maintenance and service to it.

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Please find my interpretation of the keyboard layout and how the right-hand is made up.


The 4 extra buttons on the left are different to Crabb versions so I have made little comment on these.


I hope that the drawings and notes are not too confusing.







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What does it all mean? I'll leave that to you, who are more talented in this pursuit than I.



Here's my quick analysis:

It's a 4-row, but the rows are paired, so it's like two 2-row concertinas in one. There is no separate "accidental" row. Take away the extra column in each hand (rightmost column in the left hand, leftmost column in the right hand), and you essentially have two 20-button concertinas, one in Bb/F and the other in Ab/Eb. With those 4 keys, it's entirely missing only one note of the chromatic scale: F#. Not all notes are available in all octaves or in both directions, though many are, and there are some duplicates even in a single direction.

I've made two assumptions for the following:

  1. The Ab/Eb rows sound a whole step below the Bb/F rows, not almost an octave higher.
  2. The notes in the extra column of the left hand sound an octave below those of the right hand, and the notes on those buttons in the right hand sound just above the notes on the adjacent button, not an octave higher.

  • The difference between the lowest note (Ab) and the highest (A) is just over four octaves, though there are some gaps in the scale at both low and high ends.

  • There is a range of slightly more than 2 octaves -- from the lowest G (G below middle C, and almost an octave above the lowest Ab) to the Bb two octaves and a minor third higher -- in which there are no gaps in the chromatic scale.

  • Of the 28 notes in that range, only four are found in only one direction of the bellows.

  • Eighteen of those 28 notes are found in more than one location for at least one direction of the bellows.

So there seems to be excellent coverage for legato playing, arbitrary chords, and chromaticity in general, though the central keys of Ab, Bb, Eb, and F are favored at both the lowesst and highest ends of the full 4-octave range.


Reg noted one anomaly: An F# in the extra column of the right hand is not matched by its (octave) counterpart in the left hand, but by an F. This seems wrong not only as a detail, but in the general scheme of the whole instrument. It results in three of that F on the push, making it the only note found in three different locations in the same bellows direction. It also leaves the F# available only in one bellows direction. Having that note as an F rather than an F# seems to give no advantage, yet definite disadvantage.


And so I suggest that Reg check that reed very carefully. Is the reed frame either too loose or too tight in its slot? Is the reed itself possibly touching the side of the frame as it vibrates? Or could the reed possibly be cracked? That would definitely make it go flat, but I would be very surprised learn of a Jeffries steel reed being cracked.


And now an opinion:

I suspect this instrument's layout would be wonderfully useful to either a singer or someone who plays in a jazz band. Put them together and this might be ideal for someone who wants to sing jazz songs and accompany themself on anglo concertina.


Edited to add: Looks like some others were posting explanations as I was writing mine. :)

Edited by JimLucas
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I can read the name of the reed stamped on the brass mount for that push note in question and it is definitely stamped as an F# and also vibrates as an F#. I also went ahead and read each stamp for each reed mounted on the RH side and then marked them on the photos that I took of each set of the RH reeds. The following photos indicate the keys stamped on each brass reed mount on the RH side. Note; that though an "F" is indicated in pencil on the wood near one of the reeds, the actual reed in that slot is a "G". Could it be that this instrument has been altered at some point to allow it to play as it does or was the "F" pencil mark added by, whomever, a mistake that was later corrected. Or, and this is wild speculation, could the reeds have been misplaced in this arrangement by some previous repair person. I don't know. The more I explore this, the more it's beginning to feel like a musical archeology pursuit. I guess it is.





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I see that there are a few of the leather flaps missing in these photos too. Was this a purposeful omission? Were there ever any there to begin with?


David, I'll have to bring this to the post office to have it weighed. I don't have a proper scale here.

Edited by reg
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Since Geoff made his comment, about the "F" push note on the top of the column on LH side and how it was not properly matched to the "F#" in the accompanying RH column, I went ahead and also checked all of the reed note stamps on their brass mounts on the LH side too. Below are the images of the LH reeds and what I recorded. Note; that one reed is not marked. I was not able to read the stamp because it was not properly stamped in the brass. However, that reed is an F note.


I found something very curious regarding the "F" that Geoff mentioned in his analysis. There is an X marked in pencil right next to that reed on the wood. So, at some point, someone else must have also noticed this same issue. The stamp in the brass is also rather difficult to read due to it being stamped poorly. It's hard to make out whether it was meant to be read as an F# or an E#.


After reading Geoff's interpretation, I now believe that this reed was meant to be an F# but was mistakenly read as an E# due to the poor way that it was stamped in the brass and that is why someone, somewhere along the way, put an F or E# reed in this mount instead of the F# that should have been mounted there. I don't know how difficult it would be to perhaps alter the reed that is there, by filing it sharp, or to replace this reed with the proper F# reed but that is now something that appears to be necessary.






If anyone has any additional questions regarding this, I can do my best to offer further info by responding here in this forum. Or, you can contact me via email reggiemiles@gmail.com


Many thanks for the help Geoff!

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