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A New Kind Of Hayden Concertina


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I would be interested in hearing opinions (especially from Inventor and the other experienced duet players) about how big or small (or even existent) the overlap area should be on a duet concertina. What are the considerations/tradeoffs?

 

I recently acquired a CC Peacock with a limited overlap (just c' to g') and I am still wondering how limiting this might be. FWIW this is the same amount of overlap (just c' to g') that exists on Crane 48B. It is interesting to me that a Crane 55B has the same range as the 48B, but a larger overlap (c' to c), so a larger overlap seems to be a more desirable featurethan having a greater range?

I would say that range and overlap are interdependent, depending on one's desired playing style. In particular, if you want to do independent (but complementary) things with the two hands, then the relevant parameters aren't really total range and overlap, but the individual ranges of each of the two hands. As a specific example, if you want to use the right hand for melody and the left hand for chording, then either the notes found only in the right hand aren't available for your chords, or some "left hand" notes have to "invade" the right hand. The first alternative can significantly limit your chording possibilities, especially with regard to inversions, while the second will impact fingering in the right hand. Similarly, either those notes found only in the left hand are unavailable for melody, or they require "invading" the left hand for melodies which include those notes, with consequent impact on left-hand fingering choices.

 

In the last few days there have been proposals for Haydens with no overlap and for Haydens and Cranes with total overlap :wacko:

That emoticon is named "wacko". I, as I've mentioned elsewhere, don't think that proposed design is at all wacko. (Edited to add: Don has noted that he didn't know it was called "wacko" but that he meant to indicate puzzlement. I accept that.) I have now gathered my arguments in favor of this specific idea in this post in this separate thread dedicated to the idea.

 

No overlap will give you more range for a given number of buttons which is intuitively a good thing, but what do you lose by having no overlap?

"No overlap" is equivalent to reduced range in one or both hands. As noted above, the effect of this would be to reduce either the independence of what is done by the two hands or the capabilities of one or both hands.

 

Why did Crane opt for more overlap instead of more range when he designed the 55B?

The main difference in going from 48 to 55 buttons on standard Cranes is expanding the range of the left hand from 1½ octaves to 2 full octaves. (It also fills in the two highest accidentals "missing" from the right hand of the 48.) Meanwhile, the 48 already has a right hand range of 2½ octaves (except for those 2 accidentals), so it may not have seemed as useful to further expand the RH range as to expand the more limited LH range. In fact, various posters here have previously expressed the opinion that even the top few notes of those 2½ octaves are superfluous, though that opinion was most often expressed in connection with the treble English.

 

I suspect that it might be easier to form harmonies for the higher register notes on a Crane 55B that it is on a Crane 48B (or on a Hayden 46B vs. a Hayden 42B). Is that critical or even true? You can form the same harmonies by pressing two buttons on the RHS. Is there something else you get from a large overlap?

Above I mentioned left-right independence and chords. Another style of independence would be playing a melody line in one hand and a harmony -- parallel or otherwise -- in the other hand. It sounds to me as if you've just described one version of that. The trouble with "by pressing two buttons" is that it's not always easy or comfortable to add an arbitrary additional button to what's already being done in a given hand. No need to repeat other benefits of "a large overlap" that I've noted above.

 

There has been some discussion about 'bilateral' ends and a larger overlap would help with this, but I am not sure that this is anything more than a concept at this time so we do not really know if it is useful or not.

Could you clarify what you mean by "bilateral" here? I've tried searching the forums for other references to the word, but didn't find anything that seemed consistent with how you've just used it.

Edited by JimLucas
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Jim:

 

I did not realize that the name of that emoticon was 'wacko' - I was looking for something that expressed my puzzlement and I guess I picked the wrong one, I am sorry but I did not intend to imply anything 'wacko' about your idea. I promise never to use an emoticon again - this was my first and last time.

 

As to the term 'bilateral': I think it was invented in this post by ceemonster: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16940&p=160883 a term which you seemed to endorse in this post.

 

I took this to mean two identical sides, that is a complete overlap.

 

Don.

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There is a small overlap on the anglo concertina with B - c - d and e , in opposite push pull directions, which is useful in many tunes.
But the anglo is a bisonoric instrument and my next custom concertina will be unisonoric.
So I think I don't need overlap for playing only melodies. Will I be wrong ? I will know with the time

(As far I know, there is no overlap on the english concertina.) :)

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Matthew, I don't think that there is such a thing as 'wrong'. You are using your own instrument to create the music that you want to play in the way that you want to play it. Other people will prefer to use it in different ways, or may have a lifestyle that gives them time to learn to play it in different ways. As long as everybody's enjoying their music, without trying to suggest that their playing style is the only 'correct ' one and thereby humiliating other players, that's all that matters. In my opinion.

 

Have fun!

 

Joy

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Matthew, I don't think that there is such a thing as 'wrong'. You are using your own instrument to create the music that you want to play in the way that you want to play it. Other people will prefer to use it in different ways, or may have a lifestyle that gives them time to learn to play it in different ways. As long as everybody's enjoying their music, without trying to suggest that their playing style is the only 'correct ' one and thereby humiliating other players, that's all that matters. In my opinion.

 

Have fun!

 

Joy

 

I heartily agree with Joy,

 

whatever way you wish to make music on your Duet is your choice.

 

I went to visit Joy earlier this year, and we found that our individual approaches to playing the Hayden are very different and both perfectly valid.

 

So, do your own thing , swim against the tide and don't let anyone tell you " you're doing it all wrong".

 

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Matthew, I don't think that there is such a thing as 'wrong'.

 

I'm speaking a little facetiously, in that I don't necessarily feel uncomfortable playing Hayden differently from others. Though I do find myself questioning whether there truly are amazing advantages to lots of overlap, and if I just pushed my boundaries a little more I'd realize that, smack my forehead and say "man, this overlap is amazing now that I've figured it out!"

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I did not realize that the name of that emoticon was 'wacko' - I was looking for something that expressed my puzzlement and I guess I picked the wrong one....

Now duly noted in my earlier post.

 

As to the term 'bilateral': I think it was invented in this post by ceemonster: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16940&p=160883 a term which you seemed to endorse in this post.

 

I took this to mean two identical sides, that is a complete overlap.

I see now. He does seem to use it that way, and I didn't really notice. In other prior threads the term bilateral -- which literally simply means "two sided" -- had been used to describe concertinas with their similar layout on both ends, as opposed to accordions with conceptually different "melody" and "chord" layouts on the two ends.

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... I don't necessarily feel uncomfortable playing Hayden differently from others. Though I do find myself questioning whether there truly are amazing advantages to lots of overlap, and if I just pushed my boundaries a little more I'd realize that, smack my forehead and say "man, this overlap is amazing now that I've figured it out!"

 

I do think there are advantages, though how "amazing" they are really depends not only on an individual's musical desires but also on how comfortable they are with trying to exploit exploding alternatives. Check out this post of mine in the "Replicated Left & Right Keyboards" topic and see what you think. My perspective isn't so much that overlap has advantages, rather that limited overlap limits those advantages, but I think the details are such that you can form your own perspective.

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I don't want to hijack another thread that has just started on Crane concertinas, nor do I want to start yet another thread about the size of the overlap on a Duet.

 

Geoff said that the overlap on bigger Duets allows for more chordal possibilities than that of a smaller Duet. I wonder how effective this is unless you are already playing pretty high up on the RHS. Would you want the lh chord notes to be higher than a melody note played on the rh?

 

In more general terms, how should one approach voicing chords on a Duet?

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@ Don: For me it is either in the same octave (some inversions might actually have one note above the melody) or one octave lower, sometimes both at the same time (chords expanded by a root doubled in the lower octave). In one tune I use a RH drone A when playing accompaniment only, to better balance this part with the rest of the tune. Bigger overlap makes it possible to use more open inversions and to follow melody within a tune. Small or no overlap acts a bit like push-pull note availability on an Anglo - you have to limit your accompaniment to double or single note only or drop it completely when melody croses the sides. Of course this is completely valid style of play, but nevertheless limiting compared to larger Duets.

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