Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
gm0lze

Anglo Concertina In B/c Tuning?

Recommended Posts

I am a B/C melodeon player and i am about to purchase a new concertina.Is it possible (or do they exist) to have a B/C tuned concertina?

I do know Stagi make one (STC1 - Mahogany Stagi C-1) (http://libertybellows.com/sales-stagi.html)but i am looking for any further better quality options.This would make my transition from B/C melodeon so much easier.

Thanks for any information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I found the transition from melodeon to Anglo surprisingly difficult. The right hand on each row is laid out like the top octave of the melodeon keyboard. Where on a GD melodeon, the D row is lower in pitch than the G row, on a GD Anglo, the D row is higher. Think of them as two different instruments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I think that buying a B/C would be a bad move, if you are not already a player.

It's such a rare layout, that you would be restricting yourself to a very narrow selection of instruments, if you learned on that system.

If you buy a G/C, you have a world full of fantastic instruments, new and old, to choose from, should you want to upgrade later.

And if you want to sell your concertina to upgrade, there will be lots of potential buyers.

 

You would get none of that with a B/C. You would be stuck with the one you got, and have next to zero choice of anything better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I think that buying a B/C would be a bad move, if you are not already a player.

It's such a rare layout, that you would be restricting yourself to a very narrow selection of instruments, if you learned on that system.

 

People have tried converting the odd Anglo to C/C#, B/C, and even D/C# (Irish-American), accordion systems, though none seem to have taken to them, but they're virtually non-existent in concertinas and nobody has manufactured them.

 

If you buy a G/C, you have a world full of fantastic instruments, new and old, to choose from, should you want to upgrade later.

 

Vienna-style button accordions ("melodeons" in English terminology) are fourth tuned and may be in G/C, Anglo concertinas are fifth tuned and most commonly in C/G.

 

Edited spelling and spacing

Edited by Stephen Chambers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vienna-style button accordions ("melodeons" in English terminology) are fourth tuned and may be in G/C, Anglo concertinas are fifth tuned and most commonly in C/G.

 

I'm afraid that's all Greek to me.

I thought the first letter was the lower row, and the second was the upper. :lol:

Edited by Patrick McMahon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"the first letter was the lower row, and the second was the upper" is correct -- the first letter is lower in pitch. On concertinas -- C/G -- the G row is a fifth higher than the C row. On melodeons -- G/C -- the G row is a fourth lower than the C row.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are the advantages/disadvantages of tuning between the rows in 5ths (as on Anglo concertinas) and 4ths (as on most Melodeons)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"the first letter was the lower row, and the second was the upper" is correct -- the first letter is lower in pitch. On concertinas -- C/G -- the G row is a fifth higher than the C row. On melodeons -- G/C -- the G row is a fourth lower than the C row.

Ah right. I thought it was physically lower, not musically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was physically lower, not musically.

On a concertina, "physically lower" might make sense, depending on how you hold it. But on a melodeon? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a concertina, "physically lower" might make sense, depending on how you hold it. But on a melodeon? :unsure:

 

They are to my fingers.

Some people say inside or outside row, but I think more say top and bottom row.

Most people say top middle and bottom row when talking about a 30 button anglo. They don't mean pitch.

Still, I have learnt something.

I often noticed that people said G/C for melodeon, and C/G for a concertina. I wasn't curious enough to investigate why though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I made that demo video for Liberty Bellows (the link doesn't work for me). At any rate, I remember handling a B/C Stagi Anglo--the only one I've ever seen or heard of--in one of the sessions I did for them. It was presumably a one-off; I can't remember whether it was new or used, or why the shop had it.

 

The novelty intrigued me, but I wouldn't care to own one. I do play a bit of semitone button box (C#/D, not B/C) as well as Anglo, and I relish the contrast between the two: the ways they nudge a tune in different directions, and the musical cross-fertilization that seems to happen when I put one down and pick up the other.

 

On the other hand, if you lack the time or inclination to undertake learning a new system, why not consider a compact single-voice button box along the lines of the Castagnari Lilly? Its sound approximates that of a concertina (particularly a hybrid), it's nearly as portable, and its layout is already familiar to you.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are the advantages/disadvantages of tuning between the rows in 5ths (as on Anglo concertinas) and 4ths (as on most Melodeons)?

On a 5th tuned Anglo, on the right hand, it is very simple to cross the rows to get a major scale using only 3 fingers. So on a CG concertina, the right hand can use 3 buttons on the C row followed by 3 buttons on the G row to make a scale of C following a simple in out in out (repeat) pattern.

 

The most common modulation (change of key) in a simple folk-style tune is up a fifth, so having hte nearest row a fifth higher is handy.

 

The second most common chord in most simple tunes is chord V, and on a CG concertina, the G chord is available on both push and pull.

 

The disadvantage is that if you learned melodeon first, the Anglo is inside out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have I tracked down that elusive Stagi? The mythical B-C?

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Stagi-C-1-Mahogony-Anglo-Concertina-M-20-B-C-Made-in-Italy-Carrying-Sack-/162202589985?hash=item25c4071b21

 

Or maybe it's a mistake by the poster of the ad.

Here it is on youtube :

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zsq0oSma_Vo

Edited by Patrick McMahon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bear with me for a minute, but there are two technical issues to confuse the concept of such a beast as a B/C concertina.

 

1) B/C is a button accordion system, and (by definition) the lower key of B is therefore on the outside row (closest to the player's hand), and C is on the inside, furthest from the player's hand. So to achieve the same relationship between the rows you'd have to put the B row where the G row normally is on a C/G Anglo (so should we call it a C/B Anglo? :huh: ), and C would still be C, except see below...

 

2) The normal relationship between the buttons on the C row would work without problems on the left-hand side, but it would be wrong on the right-hand side because the sixth button of the B row (B/A#) on the B/C box should be located (inboard of and) between the fifth and sixth buttons on the C row (G/A and C/B) - but there's no button in that location in a normal 20-key Anglo layout...

 

So you'd need to shift the C row reeds "along one" on that side, and lose the top note. (It might even be useful to put an extra fifth pair of reeds (G/A) onto the (now empty) former C/B button, so that either hand could play those notes.

 

That way you'd end up with the layout:

 

LEFT RIGHT

 

(E/A) (G/B) (C/D) (E/F) (G/A) (G/A) (C/B) (E/D) (G/F) (C/A)

 

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

 

 

Otherwise, the alignment of the two rows on the right could be modified if such an instrument actually went into production, so that you'd finish up with:

 

LEFT RIGHT

 

(E/A) (G/B) (C/D) (E/F) (G/A) (C/B) (E/D) (G/F) (C/A) (E/B)

 

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

 

 

Or (though this might be getting a bit too radical for the Anglo players! ;)) you could go for what box players call a fourth button start:

 

LEFT RIGHT

 

(C/F) (E/A) (G/B) (C/D) (E/F) (G/A) (C/B) (E/D) (G/F) (C/A)

 

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

 

Hmmm! :unsure:

Edited by Stephen Chambers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first thoughts are that it might be fine for melodic playing in the Irish style, just as you would on a semitone-tuned melodeon. But I wonder how useful it would be for anyone who wanted to play in the 'harmonic style', i.e. the melody mainly on the RH side and chords/accompaniment on the LH side.

The chord options on the B/C layout shown are somewhat limited. C major, A major, E minor, D minor, Bb major, B major and C# minor would be available with varying degrees of ease of fingering.
But as far as I can see, it is not possible to play the commonly useful chords such as G major, D major, F major, or A minor. To me, the absence of these chords and the lack of push/pull reversals other than B and E would be a severe handicap.
I think that if the B/C layout was going to be remotely useful for a two-row concertina, it would have been done by now.
I'll stick to my standard Wheatstone layout 30-key C/G anglo*, thanks! :)
* on which it is possible to play all sorts of music (including Irish) very nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I found the transition from melodeon to Anglo surprisingly difficult. The right hand on each row is laid out like the top octave of the melodeon keyboard. Where on a GD melodeon, the D row is lower in pitch than the G row, on a GD Anglo, the D row is higher. Think of them as two different instruments.

 

^^^ This.

 

I played melodeon many years ago and found the concertina, despite the superficial similarity of the key layout, to be very different in the approach you have to take to it. Regardless of the technical drawbacks listed above you would actually find far less of your melodeon playing skills would transfer than you hoped. So I would also advise against.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...