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george 1966

Reed Differences

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Hi guys been playing around with a melodeon "yes i know the dark side lol" my wheatstone has the the reeds screwed to the reed blocks but the melodeon has

riveted reeds ,with a different note on pull and push ,my question is :are melodeon reeds the same as accordion reeds "just tuned" or are they different reeds and reed cavity sizes on either side of the single reed plate?

many thanks

 

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Hi guys been playing around with a melodeon "yes i know the dark side lol" my wheatstone has the the reeds screwed to the reed blocks but the melodeon has

riveted reeds ,with a different note on pull and push ,my question is :are melodeon reeds the same as accordion reeds "just tuned" or are they different reeds and reed cavity sizes on either side of the single reed plate?

many thanks

 

Your question is difficult to understand because of the use of the term "just tuned" but if you are asking whether accordion reeds can have different pitches on each side of the reed block then the answer is yes. Melodeon is a folk term for accordions in some countries and its meaning floats a little. In general a melodeon is an accordion. Accordions can have different pitches on each side of the reed plate or the same pitch, depending on the variant. Some will have different pitches on most buttons and the occasional button with the same, called a gleickton, though my spelling may be off here. For truly accurate accordion/melodeon advice try melodeon.net.

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Hi chris thanks for the reply ,sorry i wasn't clear as i understand it accordion reeds have identical reed size and slots on both sides of a single reed plate ,they play the same note on pull and push but melodeons have a different note on pull and push so do the melodeon reeds have a different reed size and slot on the reeds plate to achieve the change in pitch or are they identical like the accordion reeds and the pitch change is created by tuning (removing filing metal from the tip or base of the reed) basically are the reeds the same in melodeons and accordion or are melodeon reeds specifically made with different pitch as standard,

 

i,m just finishing the drawing to 3d print anglo reed pans but am thinking about using different types of reeds ,i was heading down the midi route but i,ve had second thoughts

many thanks

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... so do the melodeon reeds have a different reed size and slot on the reeds plate to achieve the change in pitch or are they identical like the accordion reeds and the pitch change is created by tuning (removing filing metal from the tip or base of the reed)....

 

Generally, in melodeons, the 2 reeds on each plate are the same physical length if the difference in pitch between them is only a semitone or two. However, at both the extreme high and low note ends of the keyboard, where some notes are pitched as much as a 5th apart, they are of different lengths, where the overall length of the reedplate is governed by the pitch of the lowest note of the pair.

 

There are other subtle differences between accordion and melodeon reeds, but probably not relevant to your question, and perhaps, as suggested, melodeon.net might be the best place to discuss this.

 

Incidentally, removing (filing) metal from the tip or base of the reed is not the only method of tuning in use. Often, pitch is lowered by adding mass at the tip, most often at the low note end, so melodeons are sometimes seen with identical length reeds in these position, one weighted and the other not so.

 

Hope this helps, and good luck with your project.

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Brilliant many thanks that's very helpful ,i've just finished two flat mounted reeds blocks for a friend for his melodeon and am working on a sort of maccann duet hybrid along with this frankenstein double tier flat mounted miniature hohner liliput single reed block ,so he can use full size 16mm swanky reeds opposed to the 14.5 mm they come with,i have a friend that works at a tech center and can get free down time on the 3d printer all very exciting but only for the shed dwellers lolpost-12161-0-50892200-1476871064_thumb.jpg

many thanks

 

 

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Hi guys been playing around with a melodeon "yes i know the dark side lol" my wheatstone has the the reeds screwed to the reed blocks but the melodeon has

riveted reeds ,with a different note on pull and push ,my question is :are melodeon reeds the same as accordion reeds "just tuned" or are they different reeds and reed cavity sizes on either side of the single reed plate?

 

OK, this is more of an engineering question than a musical question, so my Mousterian mind can handle it. A given pitch is produced by a vibrating thing (reed, guitar string, etc.) of a specific length, because its length dictates the frequency at which it vibrates. Compare reeds to guitar strings. With a guitar, you can pinch off the string at any of the many frets. This changes the string's effective length, so changes the pitch of the string. With concertinas, accordions, harmonicas, and whatnot, you can't change the length of the reed so each one plays a specific pitch, period end of story. Thus, these instruments require scads of reeds of different lengths, and a way to activate each reed individually because each reed always plays the same pitch because its length is constant.

 

So, as to your question.... Accordion reeds come in pairs mounted side-by-side. Each has a check valve (usually a piece of plastic film), and within each pair of reeds these check valves are on opposite sides of the reeds' mounting plate. Thus, one valve closes on the push and the other on the pull, so regardless of which way you're moving the bellows, only 1 of the pair of reeds vibrates. This gives the instrument's designer the option of how to tune the reeds in each pair. For English concertinas and piano accordions, both reeds in the pair have the same length, so you get the same pitch whether on push or pull. For Anglo concertinas, button accordions, and melodions,, the reeds in the pair have different lengths so you get different notes on push and pull.

 

The advantage of the same-length scheme is that you can make a chromatic instrument that can play in any key. The disadvantage is that you need twice as many reeds in total to cover that range of notes, which causes problems with packaging them in the instrument. It's pretty much the opposite for using reeds of different lengths. You can make a more compact instrument with fewer reeds in total, but it's generally limited on which keys it can play.

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With concertinas, accordions, harmonicas, and whatnot, you can't change the length of the reed so each one plays a specific pitch, period end of story.

This is just not true, for instance to day I have de-clubbed a Hohner Liliput Melodeon in Bb/Eb this entails change the gleichton reed that plays Bb/Bb to play Bb/C. This can be achieved by CAREFULLY filing the reed tip to thin the metal, moving a reed a whole tone is not for beginners but is eminently possible.

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Lester,

 

Getting fussy, yes you can re-tune a reed by filing. And to be even fussier, it isn't just the length of a guitar string that determines the pitch either.

 

1) When tuning the string the tension must be adjusted, (analogous to filing near the base of a reed?) but while adjusting string tension isn't too difficult, it generally isn't done mid-tune, except when "bending" a note slightly.

2) The mass of the string matters too. (analogous to either filing or adding mass near the tip of a reed.) Again, changing strings mid-tune isn't convenient either.

 

But fretting a string to change the length as a way of changing the note is very convenient, and it is this option that isn't available with a concertina reed. That is the reason why so many reeds are required in a concertina, while the guitar gets by with only a few strings. Which is the real point of the comparison Bullethead was making.

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Some folks use the word "accordion" just to mean piano accordion (and perhaps chromatic button accordion, if they'd ever heard of one), and they play the same note in each direction. But the word is older than these instruments, and has been used to mean pretty much the same thing as "melodeon" for much longer. In any case, all these instruments have similar reeds, demonstrably different from concertina reeds.

 

Be careful throwing around expressions like "just tuned" unless you mean what it really means: tuned to intervals built on ratios of small whole numbers (3/2 for fifths, 5/4 for major thirds, etc.), as opposed to equal temperament or mean tone tuning.

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