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RogerT

C# within 20 button CG Anglo.

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Hi

Can anyone point me to a thread discussing replacing a reed in a 20 button CG Anglo with C#? I’ve spent a fair bit of time looking on here but I've not located a thread, if there is one. I’m not proposing adding a new button. 

On my Jones there is a pull D in both left hand rows, so I’m thinking the G row pull D (the lowest G row button) could be substituted with a C#...except the reed will be quite a a bit smaller, so I’d need find a way to make it fit. 

At a push I could just flatten the D to C#. Not sure how noticeable/annoying the lower octave would be. It’s usefullness might outweigh this.

it seems to me I’m only gaining because I can use the C row pull D when I need one.

 

 

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Perhaps I should ask a different question....has anyone else tried this modification?

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Putting a middle octave c# in a slot designed for a low D could be done but it would not work well as the chamber is too big to make the reed work well. Making the chamber smaller would most likely upset the sound of the reed of the other reed. Retuning a D could certainly be done but would playing a C# an octave low really work other than in chords? And then the instrument would then be very idiosyncratic and anybody used to the fingering would experience trouble on every other anglo concertina. Hey, its yours.

 

There are a number of reeds in a C/G 20 key no-one is going to use, way up at the squeaky end on the right eg. the last button on the g row. It is likely the chamber will be wide enough for two c#s, one each side of the pan. You would need to break out the end of the chamber, fill the wind slots with wood and recut the frame slots and wind slots in the right place and big enough for the c#s and redo the chamber walls. You might need to open out the padhole and replace the pad.  In order of difficulty this job is somewhere between easy and hard. Any repairer who is also a maker could do it in a couple of hours plus glue set time if the reed assemblies are available, longer if they are going to be made. If you do not have the gear then it will look very hard. I have done one on a 5" Lachenal, went OK, but my better advice is, buy a 30key. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Another thought on this... The G/A button in the middle of the G row is duplicated in the top button on the C row. Substituting the G row pull A for C# would work quite well. I very rarely use the G row G/A button. Also on the pull, A (from the C row) and C# gives a nice Amaj 3rd. The size of the A reed slot isn’t a million miles from C#. And I’ll still have a Gmaj chord on the push.

Edited by RogerT

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I suppose you need the C# for playing melodies in D major. The easiest solution would be to get a concertina in D/G.

 

But do you really need to play in D major? If you don't play together with other instruments, you could simply transpose the melodies to a tonality, you can easily play in, that is C major or G major.

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23 minutes ago, Sebastian said:

I suppose you need the C# for playing melodies in D major. The easiest solution would be to get a concertina in D/G.

 

But do you really need to play in D major? If you don't play together with other instruments, you could simply transpose the melodies to a tonality, you can easily play in, that is C major or G major.

 

C# will be useful for playing more recent tunes wich might include some modulations... 

 

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
replacing wrong capital

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Yes, you need an c# when the tune modulates into D major (normally from G major). The most elegant solution for this would be to obtain a G/D concertina, if you don't have the option to transpose the tune from G major to C major.

 

(There are other uses for c#, but I rarely encounter them.)

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Quote

Perhaps I should ask a different question....has anyone else tried this modification?

 

My son started off on an old  20 key we had on loan. It did have a C# albeit in a slightly awkward place (which didn't bother him). I don't remember where the note was located.  So yes, it has been done.

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If the Good Fairy came to me and said I could wish for a 21st button on a C/G concertina, I'd choose a press Bb/draw F at the top end of the LH C row. The Bandoneon has a corresponding one on its G row, and it's very useful, even with the plethora of "accidentals" that the Bandoneon has.

 

I suppose, if the Fairy was in a generous mood, I'd wish for a press C# on the bottom button of the RH C row as the 22nd button. Don't know what I'd wish for on the draw, though.

 

Cheers,

John

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On 9/4/2018 at 11:29 AM, Takayuki YAGI said:

This is slightly off-topic but Red Cow Music now lists 24 button Lachenal on sale. If this is in C/G it must have c# on the extra button.

 

Thank you for the hint as I'm the - hopefully lucky - buyer now. Always wanted to do some unpretentious pushing and pulling along the rows, but nevertheless appreciate the capability of a "modern" modulation in both keys..... Looks like a perfect layout for me....

 

Guess I'll keep you updated...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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The special charm of the 20b is its limitations.  It was designed to provide easy access to 2 major keys and the related modes, and the harmonies are there, but sometimes take some finding.  I get a great deal of pleasure from making the most of the 20b.

 

When I want accidentals outside the standard 20b layout, I play my 30.  That has been designed with the most useful accidentals (and duplicates) in the most convenient places.  It's not just having the notes, but having them where they fall under your fingers "logically" in a tune.

 

If it were simply a case of swapping a reed, as it would be with a melodeon, I could see some sense in experimenting with alternatives to the notes you never use.  Hohner D/G melodeonists used to do it all the time*.  However, as it would involve modifying the box,  I think you'd be investing a lot of hard work or money into making a box that was not quite satisfactory to play, and which would be harder to sell.

 

I am never a fan of the idea that  "more = better" but when you have reached the stage where you actually need more, that's a good time to upgrade.  I'd say get a 30, although getting a 20b D/A as well as your C/G would be another option.

 

*I say "used to" because these days, the ones who were keen enough to modify their Hohners all seem to have Castagnarii and Dino Baffettii.

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You certainly have it right Mike,

 

as for me it's just that my aims re the Anglo are very limited, so I wouldn't have to care about the most convenient places of accidentals, which might make a 24b the instrument to go for...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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So, an elegant solution is to substitute the LH G row pull A for C#. This GA button is duplicated in the LH on the top C row button, so in fact you lose nothing, and with a tiny bit of practice you can play in D. 

I tried this on my lovely little Jones and the reed went straight in, with a little strip of card for packing, no mods required. If you play in the Bramich style you rarely use the pull A on the G row anyway, and if you need it, it is there on the C row.

The position of the C# feels very natural, with a great D scale pull run across the rows, and a pull C#, E third on the LH, so for my money it’s a pretty neat little mod, easily reversed in a few minutes. You just need to find a reed of similar size and tuned properly.

 

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On 9/3/2018 at 3:14 PM, Sebastian said:

Yes, you need an c# when the tune modulates into D major (normally from G major). The most elegant solution for this would be to obtain a G/D concertina, if you don't have the option to transpose the tune from G major to C major.

 

(There are other uses for c#, but I rarely encounter them.)

 

Sebastian, so would you suggest that the actual home key of a 20b (played with hatmony) is the respective outer row?

 

Now that I‘ve finally found a nice two-row instrument for me I was able to play several tunes including modulation via a secondary dominat (f.i. Vedder Michel) in the key of Bb (instead of C), and I love it!

 

Playing a tune in F (resp. G) would be very „high“ anyway (or low, without harmony). So a C/G would be basically a „C“ concertina...

 

Besides, I now have the two first „extra“ accidentals (B/Db, instead of C#/Eb) and have occasionally used them for chromatic alteration of the melod...

 

And Mike, it‘s really great fun, albeit with some muscle soreness following my firsr steps... 😊

 

Best wishes - 🐺 

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19 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

Sebastian, so would you suggest that the actual home key of a 20b (played with hatmony) is the respective outer row? 

 

Yes.

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19 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

Sebastian, so would you suggest that the actual home key of a 20b (played with hatmony) is the respective outer row?

 

 

 

I'd say "yes and no".  On a CG 20 button, the G row is quite squeaky which means that some tunes sit more comfortably in C.

 

However, many tunes fit more comfortably in G when you play harmonically.  Usually, it is the tunes which go down below the tonic as much as, or more than, they go up above it.  Note that you only get the full benefit of playing in the higher of the two main keys if you play across the rows, so you can keep the melody mainly on the right hand and use the left hand mainly for accompaniment.

 

Some tunes fit equally well on either row and it's nice to switch between them if you play the tune several times in a row.

 

All of the main chords for folk music are there.

 

For any given major key, the most useful chords for folk music are I , IV, V (and V7), and II min, VI min and, to a lesser extent, III min.

 

On a CG box, playing in C, you have the full chords of:

I (C, push),  IV (F pull), V (G push or pull, with G7 on pull), II (D minor on pull),  VI (A minor pull, although it's squeaky), and III (E minor push).

 

On the same box, playing in G, you have:

I (G major, both pull and push), IV (C major, push), V (D major, pull, and the 7th is available), II (A minor, pull — and, in context, less obtrusively squeaky than when playing in C) and VI (E minor push).

 

Apologies for any errors there: I'm used to thinking on a GD box.

 

In addition, there are various chord fragments (3rds and 5ths) available, plus always the trusty standby of the bass note an octave below the melody note.

 

The two keys sound different because although the same chords are available, they are sometimes in different directions, and different registers.  For my money, although playing harmonically in the key of the inside row is trickier at first, the challenges it presents make you think harder and find more interesting solutions.  It sounds more distinctively Anglo.

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