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Jacqueline Mccarthy's Concertina


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Hi to everyone! Well I was up at the Catskills Irish Arts week a few weeks ago and took concertina class with Jacqueline McCarthy - she plays a two row instrument with each row having six buttons, it's got metal ends and I think it's a Wheatstone, a really fine instrument. But I didn't get to find out what the layout was, anyone out there in the superflux know what the layout might be?

Thanks, Alan.

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I believe Frank Edgley can tell you; I heard he was planning to build a copy of this layout and may already have done so (unless I've mixed this up with some other project). If he doesn't see this thread you might ask him directly.

 

Ken

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My notes from the 2001 Irish Week at Augusta have the 4 extra buttons as

(Push/Draw):

 

LH:

Bb/C#

F/G

RH:

C#/D#

Bb/G#

 

All other buttons seemed to be standard C/G row layout.

 

I think there was also an extended discussion of this instrument in the 'old' forum.

Jack

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  • 2 years later...
Jacqueline McCarthy - she plays a two row instrument with each row having six buttons, it's got metal ends and I think it's a Wheatstone, a really fine instrument.

 

Yes, it's a Wheatstone. I recorded the Willie Clancy Concertina Concert, back in 1991, and the late Tommy McCarthy said that he was playing a Jeffries, and daughter Jackie a Wheatstone.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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Hi to everyone! Well I was up at the Catskills Irish Arts week a few weeks ago and took concertina class with Jacqueline McCarthy - she plays a two row instrument with each row having six buttons, it's got metal ends and I think it's a Wheatstone, a really fine instrument. But I didn't get to find out what the layout was, anyone out there in the superflux know what the layout might be?

Thanks, Alan.

This question seems to pop up from time to time on the forum. Either Harold Herrington or Frank Edgley can give you the keyboard layout. Harold saw it and corresponded with Jacqueline to get the layout, which he shared with Frank. Frank made the observation that the layout in the original instrument was nice, but could be improved upon, from a player's perspective. They modified it a bit and sent it to Jacqueline for her thoughts; she liked the modification and that is what they now use. Both of them now make 24 button instruments that way.

 

I know all this because Harold is a house guest with us this evening, and I saw your note and asked him. He says just drop him a line and he'll send you the layout.

 

Cheers,

Dan

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I have a Lachenal with a different layout as assessed with an electronic tuner:

 

LH:

Bb/G#

A/G

RH:

G#/D#

A/G

 

Is that on an instrument that is otherwise a C/G? Those notes don't make alot of sense on A C/G, partcularly the A/G since both of those notes are already available in a couple of different locations (ok, yes you could get an extra direction on them.. but I also just don see where G# and D# would come in handy on a CG.

 

--

Bill

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I have a Lachenal with a different layout as assessed with an electronic tuner:

 

LH:

Bb/G#

A/G

RH:

G#/D#

A/G

 

Is that on an instrument that is otherwise a C/G? Those notes don't make alot of sense on A C/G, partcularly the A/G since both of those notes are already available in a couple of different locations (ok, yes you could get an extra direction on them.. but I also just don see where G# and D# would come in handy on a CG.

 

--

Bill

 

Dear Bill,

Yes, it is a normal C/G layout apart from the 4 extra keys. I am glad that you are also confused!!! I can understand the accidentals but have never been able to understand the repeated notes. I presume that these reeds haven't gone out of tune???

Yours,

Neil

Edited by nkgibbs
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I have a Lachenal with a different layout as assessed with an electronic tuner:

 

LH:

Bb/G#

A/G

RH:

G#/D#

A/G

 

Is that on an instrument that is otherwise a C/G? Those notes don't make alot of sense on A C/G, partcularly the A/G since both of those notes are already available in a couple of different locations (ok, yes you could get an extra direction on them.. but I also just don see where G# and D# would come in handy on a CG.

 

--

Bill

 

Dear Bill,

Yes, it is a normal C/G layout apart from the 4 extra keys. I am glad that you are also confused!!! I can understand the accidentals but have never been able to understand the repeated notes. I presume that these reeds haven't gone out of tune???

Yours,

Neil

 

Well, the accidentals don't make a whole lot of sense to me either. Ok, did a little research (I am not good with keys in my head since I don't really read sheet music that well). If we look at the G# and D# as Ab and Eb instead it makes a little more sense. Those three notes will allow you to play in the keys of F Major/D minor, Bb Major/G minor and Eb major/C minor. Still seems like an odd set of choices. Personally I would have prefered the more normal way of building from the keys of C/G. I suppose that somone might have had a reason for a C/G concertina to play in those somewhat odd keys for a C/G anglo.

 

Oh wait, the C# could be looked at as a Db which would add Ab major/F minor. Very definitely an interesting set of choices.

 

--

Bill

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"Well, the accidentals don't make a whole lot of sense to me either. Ok, did a little research (I am not good with keys in my head since I don't really read sheet music that well). If we look at the G# and D# as Ab and Eb instead it makes a little more sense. Those three notes will allow you to play in the keys of F Major/D minor, Bb Major/G minor and Eb major/C minor. Still seems like an odd set of choices. Personally I would have prefered the more normal way of building from the keys of C/G. I suppose that somone might have had a reason for a C/G concertina to play in those somewhat odd keys for a C/G anglo.

 

Oh wait, the C# could be looked at as a Db which would add Ab major/F minor. Very definitely an interesting set of choices."

 

(I've cleaned up the quote stuff above to save screen space.)

 

I'm no music theory expert, but to the questions you've posed about the G# and the D#, these are both notes that lurk on the outside row of a three row C/G. Without the G# you can't make the key of A which is pretty common in Irish music, and you need the D# if you want to play in the key of E. I did not spend time trying to figure out on which buttons these notes showed up (on an extended 2 row anglo), but if you've played a 3 row C/G in the key of A, you will really appreciate a G# anywhere else but on that outside row. To me it's a killer, because if you are doing a run F#, G#, A, then you jump from the first button inside row to the third button outside row and then back to the second button inside row for the finishing A. It's hard to do fast. Of course, maybe I hate this cause I'm a leftie and this all occurs on the right side. As for the key of E, I think you will find everything more compact there too.

 

I'd appreciate the observations of others.

 

Ross Schlabach

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... but if you've played a 3 row C/G in the key of A, you will really appreciate a G# anywhere else but on that outside row. To me it's a killer, because if you are doing a run F#, G#, A, then you jump from the first button inside row to the third button outside row and then back to the second button inside row for the finishing A.

Hi Ross,

 

Yes, I agree. On my C/G Wheatstone, I'm lucky in that I have 36 keys. There is an extra G# to the left of the G on the inside row, giving this run on adjacent keys. However, a 30 key Wheatstone (or Lachenal) will not have this luxury. I think that maybe the Jeffries layout, whilst less logical, is "better" (i.e. easier to finger) in that the G# is within the inside row, at the extreme right of the right hand end. I can't remember which note is lost, as a result, compared with the Wheatstone layout, but it's not one which I use.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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"Well, the accidentals don't make a whole lot of sense to me either. Ok, did a little research (I am not good with keys in my head since I don't really read sheet music that well). If we look at the G# and D# as Ab and Eb instead it makes a little more sense. Those three notes will allow you to play in the keys of F Major/D minor, Bb Major/G minor and Eb major/C minor. Still seems like an odd set of choices. Personally I would have prefered the more normal way of building from the keys of C/G. I suppose that somone might have had a reason for a C/G concertina to play in those somewhat odd keys for a C/G anglo.

 

Oh wait, the C# could be looked at as a Db which would add Ab major/F minor. Very definitely an interesting set of choices."

 

(I've cleaned up the quote stuff above to save screen space.)

 

I'm no music theory expert, but to the questions you've posed about the G# and the D#, these are both notes that lurk on the outside row of a three row C/G. Without the G# you can't make the key of A which is pretty common in Irish music, and you need the D# if you want to play in the key of E. I did not spend time trying to figure out on which buttons these notes showed up (on an extended 2 row anglo), but if you've played a 3 row C/G in the key of A, you will really appreciate a G# anywhere else but on that outside row. To me it's a killer, because if you are doing a run F#, G#, A, then you jump from the first button inside row to the third button outside row and then back to the second button inside row for the finishing A. It's hard to do fast. Of course, maybe I hate this cause I'm a leftie and this all occurs on the right side. As for the key of E, I think you will find everything more compact there too.

 

I'd appreciate the observations of others.

 

Ross Schlabach

 

Ross, the only thing is that the G# doesn't let you play in the key of A unless you also have the C#, which is absent in this particular layout. The same is also true of the key of E.

 

--

Bill

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