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Irish Music On Wheatstone System?


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I am not anywhere near being a top player, but I play on the Wheatstone system and I've considered having a few keys changed out to make playing tunes in D maj easier. My next concertina will have a Jeffries layout.



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As far as I can remember,

Chris Droney plays Wheatstone.

Jacqueline McCarthy once played 24-button Wheatstone (now Dipper).

Hugh Healy played Wheatstone in his album.

Mary MacNamara played Wheatstone in her first album.


In the recent ICA interview(CW472) Noel Hill said that he has three Linotas.


Mrs Crotty played Lachenal (and inherited to Michael Tubridy).

Kitty Hayes played Lachenal.

Cormac Begley plays piccolo Lachenal.


But I may be wrong. Experts comments welcomed.

Edited by Takayuki YAGI
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I’m obviously not a top player, and I prefer 38- or 40-button instruments. But I do play mostly Irish music, and for what it’s worth I’m a fan of the Wheatstone system—to the point of being delighted, when I bought my Jeffries a couple of years ago, that it had an unusual Wheatstone-esque layout.


I appreciate the symmetry of the two octaves in the Wheatstone arrangement. I also have a lazy tendency to fall into long-winded, legato phrasing, and having to play right hand C# on the push serves as a useful speed bump and makes me play more thoughtfully.


Of course, 40-button Wheatstone-style boxes do have a draw option for that pesky C#; in fact my Wheatstone has two. The default position for the note is the top button on the left-hand C row. I can’t imagine a better place for it.


Bob Michel

Near Philly

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not a good player but have been doodling around for some years. I played all the notes I needed to on my Wheatstone system Connor. I recently got a 34 button Dipper and find I end up using the same old buttons as I did on my Wheatstone. My teacher who is an excellent world class recording artist occasionally would take my Connor in hand to show me something. It worked just fine. I think you get used to what you have. Doesn't Noel Hill play a Wheatstone? Or didn't he used to back in the day?

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