Jump to content

Mini concertina with 8 _open_ finger-holes?


Recommended Posts

When I was a kid, I recall a party favour I had once, where it was a little "concertina" with cardboard ends, and two or three holes (reinforced with a grommet) on each side. The idea was that you placed a finger on each grommet, then lifted a finger on one or more and worked the plastic bellows. Didn't play in tune or anything, but it made cheap-harmonica sounds with whatever little plastic reeds in it.

 

Another poster's write-up of a mini concertina built for his daughter got me thinking: would it be a relatively easy project to build two small ends with no keywork at all, just four finger-holes per side, and a bisonoric reed set linked to the hole? I'm not quite sure what kind of bellows are easiest to make, or whether cheap but workable synthetic ones can be made for a playable toy, but that bears some thought.

 

Is there a name for a member of the concertina family with open holes instead of keys? I know the mouthblown Southeast Asian free reeds tended to have pipes with fingerholes to direct air through the reedsets, so there's certainly precedent for it.

 

Any thoughts on the feasibility? Eight notes per hand (bisonoric), so only a bit worse than a harmonica for range. Might be a fun little project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any thoughts on the feasibility?

 

 

Absolutely!

Buy why bother with holes? One can easily obtain Hero Accordion, made in China and modify it.

The button action will be more concertina like, instead of flute, more direct "push and sound" instead of "keep all fingers down and lift one at a time". Bellows is ready, reeds are in and tuned (more or less). If you want just one voice per button - tape over holes.

One needs to buy two of them to make better use of bellows. It's either treble-bass with double bellows, ortreble-treblewith reversed reed banks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have thought for a long time why even bother with the reeds - couldn't somebody make an Ocarina that has a bellows?

 

You wouldn't be able to play chords, but so what, chords are boring anyway.

 

There are some companies that make "in-line" ocarinas: a nifty project would be to get one of those toy accordions and rig the bellows up to the inline ocarina, or make an ocarina for this purpose.

 

Maybe a circular flute, or even a series of small whistles, unless you really need it to be a free-reed instrument.

Edited by Hooves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have thought for a long time why even bother with the reeds - couldn't somebody make an Ocarina that has a bellows?

 

You wouldn't be able to play chords, but so what, chords are boring anyway.

 

There are some companies that make "in-line" ocarinas: a nifty project would be to get one of those toy accordions and rig the bellows up to the inline ocarina, or make an ocarina for this purpose.

 

Maybe a circular flute, or even a series of small whistles, unless you really need it to be a free-reed instrument.

 

Other words, you are suggesting pipe organ driven by bellows. They are done, used for hundreds of years and still produced, small and large. Some are as large as the house, and some are very small. The problem with whistles is that the overblow can't be controlled with hand driven bellows, I was told . Ocarina is better choice, but the instrument will rather resemble bagpipe than accordion. Nothing wrong with that. They even make

, where you CAN play "chords". And some of them are very complex chromatic 3 octave instruments.

But with the standard ocarina (or flute or whistle) the breathing control is very crucial. Do you think it's possible with bellows?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a kid, I recall a party favour I had once, where it was a little "concertina" with cardboard ends, and two or three holes (reinforced with a grommet) on each side. The idea was that you placed a finger on each grommet, then lifted a finger on one or more and worked the plastic bellows. Didn't play in tune or anything, but it made cheap-harmonica sounds with whatever little plastic reeds in it.

 

Is there a name for a member of the concertina family with open holes instead of keys? I know the mouthblown Southeast Asian free reeds tended to have pipes with fingerholes to direct air through the reedsets, so there's certainly precedent for it.

 

If there isn't already a name for it, I think it should be called a Northumbrian concertina!

 

(Because Northumbrian smallpipes are bagpipes where the chanter has a closed end and you just raise the fingers needed to make the note and no others, which means you can play staccato etc, unlike most bagpipes where the chanter sounds all the time.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a kid, I recall a party favour I had once, where it was a little "concertina" with cardboard ends, and two or three holes (reinforced with a grommet) on each side. The idea was that you placed a finger on each grommet, then lifted a finger on one or more and worked the plastic bellows. Didn't play in tune or anything, but it made cheap-harmonica sounds with whatever little plastic reeds in it.

 

Is there a name for a member of the concertina family with open holes instead of keys? I know the mouthblown Southeast Asian free reeds tended to have pipes with fingerholes to direct air through the reedsets, so there's certainly precedent for it.

 

If there isn't already a name for it, I think it should be called a Northumbrian concertina!

 

(Because Northumbrian smallpipes are bagpipes where the chanter has a closed end and you just raise the fingers needed to make the note and no others, which means you can play staccato etc, unlike most bagpipes where the chanter sounds all the time.)

 

So nobody is aware of any proto-concertina which happened to have bellows, free reeds, and fingerholes instead of keywork? It's totally possible that the novelty I saw was just that, purely a novelty, and that no real such instrument existed. In either case, it might be kind of a neat project to give a shot at with some reeds stripped from a $15 Hero accordion, some plywood ends, and come to think of it probably the scrapped bellows from a hero.

 

I do like the "meld two Heroes together" idea, basically a melodeon with melody on both sides, but I'd still be interested to mess with a fingerhole version, for the sake of trying out the idea.

 

Though I'm not sure how it'd be on volume, since the only place for sound to escape would be the open fingerholes. Since there's no extra layer for the key system, there's no room to have that chamber below the fretwork like regular concertinas have, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a kid, I recall a party favour I had once, where it was a little "concertina" with cardboard ends, and two or three holes (reinforced with a grommet) on each side. The idea was that you placed a finger on each grommet, then lifted a finger on one or more and worked the plastic bellows. Didn't play in tune or anything, but it made cheap-harmonica sounds with whatever little plastic reeds in it.

 

Emmanuel Pariselle does this as a childrens project with two camembert boxes for the ends and a length of plastic ducting for bellows.

 

The result is The Camembertina

Edited by Theo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do like the "meld two Heroes together" idea, basically a melodeon with melody on both sides, but I'd still be interested to mess with a fingerhole version, for the sake of trying out the idea.

 

Two Heroes together is a necessity, because bellows are not holding air.

 

Though I'm not sure how it'd be on volume, since the only place for sound to escape would be the open fingerholes. Since there's no extra layer for the key system, there's no room to have that chamber below the fretwork like regular concertinas have, right?

 

 

Volume doesn't depend on the pad. There is no chamber under the fretwork. You can use regular Hero, unscrew the keyboard (or unglue it), chisel wooden rims around the action board and glue thin plywood with smaller holes over existing rectangular openings (if there are such). So after half an hour of ruining perfectly good toy accordion you'll have test version of ergonomically disadvantaged, but still playable (to a degree) toyconcertina.

However, you'll need some sort of hand rest, and why not use existing button board?

It may look like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Other words, you are suggesting pipe organ driven by bellows. They are done, used for hundreds of years and still produced, small and large. Some are as large as the house, and some are very small. The problem with whistles is that the overblow can't be controlled with hand driven bellows, I was told . Ocarina is better choice, but the instrument will rather resemble bagpipe than accordion. Nothing wrong with that. They even make

, where you CAN play "chords". And some of them are very complex chromatic 3 octave instruments.

But with the standard ocarina (or flute or whistle) the breathing control is very crucial. Do you think it's possible with bellows?

 

I've seen triple ocarinas too (sounds like a type of dive), so for those you could do harmony, I was trying to point to something simple as the author of the thread was aiming at simple.

 

You may be right, it may be difficult to control the pitch with the bellows, I like the bagpipe idea though.

Edited by Hooves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...