Jump to content

Bisonoric Hayden?


Recommended Posts

The thread about small concertinas has gotten me thinking -- often a dangerous thing -- about the possibility of an instrument that has the ease of changing keys characteristic of the Wicki/Hayden layout, with the compactness inherent in the Anglo/bisonoric approach to key layout. The proposal described below is meant to apply to the right side only, where typically the melody is played on a duet.

 

The idea is sufficiently simple that it has probably already been thought of by other people (who may have also found potentially fatal flaws), but at the risk of showing my ignorance yet again, here it is: Suppose we apply a bisonoric key arrangement such that changing from a push to a pull is equivalent to shifting upward one row on the Hayden layout. So, for example, the first four rows of a standard unisonoric Hayden layout could be condensed to the following two-row bisonoric layout (notes left of the slash sound on a pull; those right of the slash sound on a push):

 

 

f/c g/d a/e b/f# c#/g#

 

F/C G/D A/E B/F# C#/G#

 

This layoout retains the highly desireable property of the Hayden layout in that just shifting the hand one or more set of buttons to the right changes the key, but retains the same fingering and bellows work for a given melody.

 

 

So far as i know, the same trick could not be used on the left side, because (e.g.) one may need to play a low C accompaniment during either a push or pull melody note. The number of left side buttons could be reduced if one were willing to sacrifice the rows that overlap with notes on the right side for the sake of compactness. Or perhaps you have other suggestions for reducing the number of left side buttons

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First flaw I can see, is that the physical size of the instrument is determined by the LHS reed sizes, not the RH sizes… But I can't see the reason for not applying the same layout to both sides - with such trick you have already sacrificed some of the versality of the layout, so I can see no reason not to go one step further, and bisonorize both sides.

As to practical use of such instrument - I can imagine that it would be quite similiar in capabilities to a violin, i.e. it would be good for melodic and arpeggiated harmony play. With both sides bisonoric, you sacrifice the ability to play full chords (almost all chords have a two row span, you can only play major thirds in one row) but retain the ability to play in octaves and to play some two line melodic arrangements. It might be also interesting to look at the potential repertoire and check if it would be worth to make such instrument in a way, that a LHS plays f-row notes in the same bellows direction that RHS plays c-row notes - this way you could play full chords. Basically you would have sort of a "freaky, bisonoric, "english-ish" frankenHayden concertina this way :D

And last but not least - couple of years ago, for a little while, I HAD similiar instrument. At that time I have deeply enjoyed the "bounciness" of playing on an Anglo, so my first DIY MIDI Hayden software allowed me to turn my instrument into "Hayglo" - I could set a desired interval between push and pull notes (same for the entire keyboard) and play on a "two offset Hayden keyboards" in a bisonoric way. But as soon as I have grasped the ease of use of a "normal" Hayden layout I have abandoned this bisonoric option, as bisonority is generally "against my brain".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You would need to add Eb/Bb buttons to left end of each row to make the instrument chromatic.

The biggest flaw that I can see immediately is that it is not possible to play fourths fifths or minor thirds.

Whilst moving the hand along a button would give the same fingering in another key; you would need two different fingerings to play any couple of related keys.

Some years ago a person thought that it would be a good idea to contract the Hayden system by putting two flats bisonoricly on one button and two sharps bisonoricly on another to reduce the size of the instrument; and actually persuaded Colin Dipper to make such an instrument for him. It obviously didn't work as the instrument was returned to Colin after a short period of time. With some difficulty Colin eventually managed to convert the instrument to a proper unisonoric Hayden system for a Hayden system player who desperately needed a quality Hayden instrument.

Inventor.

Edited by inventor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

f/c g/d a/e b/f# c#/g#

 

F/C G/D A/E B/F# C#/G#

 

This layoout retains the highly desireable property of the Hayden layout in that just shifting the hand one or more set of buttons to the right changes the key, but retains the same fingering and bellows work for a given melody.

 

A few quick comments:

  • Your layout is missing D#/A# (=Eb/Bb), though that's easily fixed... unless you were planning to implement this by cannibalizing an existing 20-button anglo. Your concept and the Hayden both require rows at least 6 buttons wide to include all the notes of the chromatic scale.
  • Even with 6-wide rows, changing keys purely by shifting your hand, quickly runs into limitations/exceptions. E.g., try shifting keys from F to G. If you put D#/A# (=Eb/Bb) to the right of your 5-wide pattern, you'll need to reach for the right edge for the Bb in the F scale, but for the left edge for the corresponding C in the G scale. (If you put Eb/Bb on the right edge, you'll just have the same problem with a different pair of keys.)
  • There's a different breakdown of uniformity in going from push to pull, e.g., from G to D. In both cases the fourth of the scale is in the opposite direction (pull vs. push) as the tonic, but in keys that start with a pull, the fourth of the scale is on the same button as the tonic, while in keys that start on the push, the fourth is one button to the left (unless edge conditions put it even farther away... 5 buttons to the right and one row lower).

So it looks to me as if you're not really getting the hand-shifting uniformity you want, while you're losing other advantages of the Hayden... and all other "duets":

  • Same layout concept in both hands. (You've suggested something significantly different would be needed for the left hand.)
  • All notes availabe at all times, thus allowing arbitrary harmonies and chords. (With your layout, one can't play any minor third, so no simple triad chords and no diatonic scale in parallel thirds.)

It looks to me that while you would be getting the possibility of smaller ends -- because of both fewer buttons and fewer reeds, -- you would also end up with significantly reduced musical capabilities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Inventor and JimLucas are both correct in their assessment of the comparison of my propsal with a Hayden duet. However, they seem to have missed the purpose of the post. As i said, it was inspired by the small/tiny thread, which in large part deals with giving up full functionality in order to get reduced size.

 

I in no way am suggesting that Hayden duets as they now exist be replaced with this system. I only suggested (and apparently not very clearly) that a small instrument could be built that retains some of the feel, and some of the advantages of the Hayden system -- in the same spirit as the small and not fully chromatic instruments mentioned in the afore mentioned thread.

Edited by rlgph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Inventor and JimLucas are both correct in their assessment of the comparison of my propsal with a Hayden duet. However, they seem to have missed the purpose of the post. As i said, it was inspired by the small/tiny thread, which in large part deals with giving up full functionality in order to get reduced size.

 

I in no way am suggesting that Hayden duets as they now exist be replaced with this system. I only suggested (and apparently not very clearly) that a small instrument could be built that retains some of the feel, and some of the advantages of the Hayden system -- in the same spirit as the small and not fully chromatic instruments mentioned in the afore mentioned thread.

 

OK. I'll rephrase my own criticism. You may have been personally inspired by the Hayden, but IMO your layout is no more "Hayden" than an anglo is. Yeah, you can convert between a couple of keys by moving your hand, but it's only a couple, and you can do as well -- maybe even better -- by switching rows on a 20-button anglo.

 

Meanwhile, you've lost significant capabilities of both the Hayden and the anglo, not least of which is that they don't need some other, as yet unspecified, design for the left hand. In fact, one of the advantages of both anglo and Hayden is the fact that the layout is essentially continuous between the two hands, making it easy to have a melody or other part cross over between the ends, if necessary.

 

If you want to build one -- or pay to have one built, -- I won't try to stop you; in fact, I'll look forward to your report on the result. But I'm pretty sure you'll be disappointed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to build one -- or pay to have one built, -- I won't try to stop you; in fact, I'll look forward to your report on the result. But I'm pretty sure you'll be disappointed.

No chance. Learning to play my new Peacock is keeping me busy on the concertina front.

 

It seems to me (though bear in mind my ignorance of bisonoric instruments) a more serious objection relates to bellows control. Many of the folk tunes that i like to play can have long runs of notes that are adjacent to the previous note. With the layout that i suggested that could mean a lot of contiguous notes on either a pull or push stroke. The anglo systems in large measure alternate adjacent notes between the push and pull strokes.

Edited by rlgph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a Bisonoric system related to the Hayden system see the "Looms Chromatic" system for the Melodeon. You will find this described on Owen Woods' website "melodeonmusic.com" . Jon Looms can be found at the Music Room, he had one on display at Sidmouth a few years back. I believe Owen Woods had one of these on a converted Hohner Preciosa melodeon, which is as small as melodeons come

 

Inventor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a Bisonoric system related to the Hayden system see the "Looms Chromatic" system for the Melodeon. You will find this described on Owen Woods' website "melodeonmusic.com" . Jon Looms can be found at the Music Room, he had one on display at Sidmouth a few years back. I believe Owen Woods had one of these on a converted Hohner Preciosa melodeon, which is as small as melodeons come

 

Inventor.

I hadn't as yet linked Owen's "Super-Preciosa" to the Hayden system, but will go back to his posts on MelNet in order to hopefully comprehend this aspect. The Preciosa (albeit having been constructed at Nazi-times in order to provide the German WWII-soldier with a really small box to enable him to accompany all his at least reactionary stuff from "Schwarzbraun ist die Haselnuss" to the "Horst-Wessel-Lied" on the field) appears to be a fascinating instrument not even due to ist small size but also soundwise (the slightly larger "Liliput" has the reedblocks in the common configuration, whereas the Preciosa has them sort of staggered, making for a very "direct" sound), and that's even unaltered.

 

Smart melodeonists seem to "de-Club" them (meaning to use the smaller third accidental-row for something more usefull), but from my recollection Owen has taken it at least two steps further, with a completely new (as you are now telling us, Hayden-related) layout on the right side, and a left side taken from a likewise small (and perfectly fitting) Hohner PA, with newly organized single bass-notes. I really liked his videos at the time I had been looking for a "normal" Preciosa myself...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to this thread and mentioning Owen Woods by inventor I just had a short scan for possibly available Preciosa melodeons (they don't use to show up frequently, and people pay and ask plenty of money for them, regardless the shape) et voila: found an affordable one to pick up 120 km from where we live, IOW: bought one today (blindly), without having had even the slightest idea yesterday. I'm really hoping that this will bring (well: part of) me back on the other side, where I may focus my efforts on simple bouncy tunes not requiring all too complex harmony. Time will tell, now I looking forward to picking the instrument up on Sunday, and hopefully not being disapointed...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a Bisonoric system related to the Hayden system see the "Looms Chromatic" system for the Melodeon. You will find this described on Owen Woods' website "melodeonmusic.com" . Jon Looms can be found at the Music Room, he had one on display at Sidmouth a few years back. I believe Owen Woods had one of these on a converted Hohner Preciosa melodeon, which is as small as melodeons come.

Owen's Loomes Chromatic instrument appears in fact to be not the modified ("Super") Preciosa (melodeon), it's rather made by adapting a CBA (see here).

Edited by blue eyed sailor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry I got it wrong Owen's "Imiliput" is a modified Liliput not a Preciosa, (they are very similar). It does have a 12 button Hayden bass but the right hand side of this instrument is a B/C/half C#, British Chromatic Accordion layout.

 

Inventor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry I got it wrong Owen's "Imiliput" is a modified Liliput not a Preciosa, (they are very similar). It does have a 12 button Hayden bass but the right hand side of this instrument is a B/C/half C#, British Chromatic Accordion layout.

 

Yes, that's what I'm understanding from his describing the making of the Impiliput as well, but my link shows that there seems to be another, third if you will, instrument, which seems to be a "Loomes Chromatic" to the full extent.

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...