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Duet concertinas - why such a large overlap?


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Can anyone tell me why the original Hayden layout (for the left hand) has an F# next to the lower F and not a Eb?

 

I'm sure the answer is straight forward, but it just does not make sense.

 

Many thanks in advance.  Screen shot of layout attached.

 

image.png.e50324bbec6f8c91e931d3c82b19421c.png

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7 hours ago, Little John said:

So that's a random sample of about 250 tunes from three sources that don't stray more than two octaves above middle C.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that “almost” all tunes in the repertoire we’re concerned with stay within D4 to B6.

 

1 hour ago, Noel Ways said:

Can anyone tell me why the original Hayden layout (for the left hand) has an F# next to the lower F and not a Eb?

I don’t know the answer. I’ve seen and played two of these instruments (could have been the same one owned by two different people—Moshe Braner and Mike Knudsen—at two different times). It was only the big square Bastaris with 60+ buttons and pairs of reeds in octaves that were built like that. Not very many of them were ever made. I have a 46-button Bastari Hayden from around the same time and it has no such break in the pattern.

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I would guess it's because an F# was encountered more frequently in the music that they played than an Eb.  They didn't want a lower row, but felt an F# would be useful enough to break the pattern.  I recently had to design a range and layout myself.  Mine also ends at that F, and I considered how much I needed the F# and where to put it, but ultimately left it out.  I didn't really have any qualms about leaving the Eb off.    

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4 hours ago, Noel Ways said:

Can anyone tell me why the original Hayden layout (for the left hand) has an F# next to the lower F and not a Eb?

 

I'm sure the answer is straight forward, but it just does not make sense.

 

Many thanks in advance.  Screen shot of layout attached.

 

image.png.e50324bbec6f8c91e931d3c82b19421c.png

 

If, as @David Barnert says, this was only done on the early square Bastaris, my guess would be that they originally built the prototype with an Eb on that button. After it was finished somebody found they really missed having a low F#, but it wasn't practical to add a button in the correct position without completely redesigning the internals of the instrument so they simply swapped/retuned the Eb reeds instead.

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3 hours ago, David Barnert said:

I think it’s pretty safe to say that “almost” all tunes in the repertoire we’re concerned with stay within D4 to B6.

 

D4 to B5, but yes, that's correct. I know that of the 120 tunes in Playford and Townsend I looked at 96% stayed within that range. And I don't remember seeing one in Hardy that went above B5 (though I wasn't looking specifically). I suspect it's mainly modern tunes and transposed* tunes that go below D4. (*For example Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, which goes down to B in the E minor version but was originally in G minor - as you mentioned in another post.)

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5 hours ago, Little John said:

I suspect it's mainly modern tunes and transposed* tunes that go below D4.

Actually, now that I think of it, there are quite a few Bb tunes that have a range like standard D tunes but down a major 3rd (Bb3 to G5). President Garfield’s Hornpipe, Lady Walpole’s Reel, Auretti’s Dutch Skipper, Good for the Tongue, Niagara Hornpipe, etc.

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12 hours ago, Noel Ways said:

Can anyone tell me why the original Hayden layout (for the left hand) has an F# next to the lower F and not a Eb?

 

I'm sure the answer is straight forward, but it just does not make sense.

 

Many thanks in advance.  Screen shot of layout attached.

 

image.png.e50324bbec6f8c91e931d3c82b19421c.png

 

Is this from the concertina.com website?  A very long time ago, mid-2000s, I'd say, I asked Robert Gaskins if this were an error and he suggested it was.  I no longer have a copy of the correspondence, but I noticed over the years that it had never been corrected.

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2 hours ago, Stephen Mills said:

Is this from the concertina.com website?  A very long time ago, mid-2000s, I'd say, I asked Robert Gaskins if this were an error and he suggested it was.  I no longer have a copy of the correspondence, but I noticed over the years that it had never been corrected.

I can tell you from first-hand experience that the buttons were really laid out like that (F# at bottom left where you’d expect an Eb), if that’s what you’re asking.

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There are two reasons why the bottom left button is an F# rather than a low Eb :-

1) When I first introduced the 46 button instrument some players mainly from a classical background were unable to understand why the instrument didn't have a complete chromatic run of notes on both sides.

2) The square instruments were made using basic standard Piano-Accordion reeds, using standard Bastari Bandoneon reed-blocks.

Any variation from this could have knocked the price up quite a bit. 

 

Sorry to break for now, but I hope to continue shortly.

Inventor. 

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A little more background …

 

When I first started exploring the Hayden system over a decade ago, I, too (like Stephen / Robert mentions above), thought the F# was an error on the key layout diagram.  The word “Typo” came to mind back then.  I thought that the diagram would surely change in time, but like others also observed, it did not (and I did check).  Fast forward to the present, and I have now become a “steward” of one of these bastari instruments (as of a few months ago).  I had forgotten the above layout issue -  until I began to play in a few keys anticipating that lower Eb.  Ouch!!

 

Since then, I have been considering having the note changed from F# à to Eb, but before moving in that direction, I sought concertina.net’s input – which you have provided. Thanks again; this has been most helpful.  I am leaning strongly to move in that direction.  

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continued-

 

Standard Accordions have 16 mm wide treble reed-plates. The compass of a full size is 41 notes from "f" to an "a" 3.5 octaves higher.

Most accordions have Two reeds of the same pitch (m reeds) sounding at the same time., but many have a third reed (l reed ) set an octave lower. this set runs from F to a"" , and are the same width (16 mm). 

All these reeds are manufactured in great quantities by machine.

Treble accordion reeds are made which go down to the Eb but only for large expensive chromatic button accordions which always have the much more costly hand made reeds anyway.

 

To keep the chromaticists happy, and to keep the cost at a reasonable level, I opted for standard machine made reeds placing this reed where the Eb would normally have been.

 

Inventor.

  

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