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Wolf Molkentin

larger Cranes - variants and techniques

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Posted (edited)

Hi fellow concertinists, and fellow crane drivers (following @CraneDriver) in particular, I reckon the time has come to start a topic re larger Cranes in order to combine topics from different places here rather than further hijack other threads or bury information in the "look-like" thread.

 

I have recently acquired my  beautiful Crabb 61b ("type b", as the button layout differs from the formerly-known "type a") and am finding the range as perfect as I expected (enough room for wide harmonies on the LHS and the chance of underlaying the melody on the RHS with one or two additonal harmony notes (which then can be phrased closer to the melody - my vision of playing "Duets", and why I needed a larger one). Here are the pics I already posted, including an updated layout, thanks to Geoffrey Crab.

 

There are fellow users like @Little John and @marien who are already experienced players of larger Cranes, and now you, @saguaro_squeezer, are talking about a newly-to-acquire larger Crane (BTW, will your giant MacCann be up for sale then? not that I'm personally interested though, just out of interest if you're giving up playing different Duet systems). Which layout and range will it have?

 

Which layout does anyone have, or prefer? Which modifications? Who of you is playing a (larger) Crane, and Anglo and/or EC as well?

 

I'm looking forward to swap ideas and share information with everyone! Best wishes - 🐺

 

36042D79-CED8-4510-8C46-82C8FD94F42C.thumb.jpeg.ad83280fd9b81efc93e422fe02d02b5f.jpeg0EF9DBBF-5319-4C86-AB7E-84CEC484D833.thumb.jpeg.1be6db49fac2c4c32892e53743532cd9.jpeg1DF5F9F4-D22E-4543-88C8-74982582C5FA.thumb.jpeg.76773f32bbc7ccaae4ae95944dfed16b.jpeg1648487718_CrabbCrane61b(B).jpg.f1f4c7b2c189f311a12df325205be6af.jpg

Edited by Wolf Molkentin

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14 minutes ago, RAc said:

Have you checked w/ the gallery on http://craneconcertina.com/ ?

 

Thank you Rüdiger - but yes I already did, in fact prior to acquiring my instrument. Nevertheless, it's well worth following that link.

 

My intention here is rather having topics of shared interest, including layout variants actually played by forum members, discussed than the collecting of comprehensive information from sources within reach. But of course I wouldn't be willing to exckude whatever may come up...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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Wolf, back when I first started on Crane, I was lucky enough to acquire a 69-key Crabb Crane from Chris Algar.  It was how I was fortunate enough to meet Geoff Crabb.  It is #9978 in the c raneconcertina.com gallery. I'm attaching the layout that Geoff provided for me.  Sadly, I had to sell it to help fund some medical issues that came up for my wife.

 

The one thing that I'd always wanted with it was that the LH would go down to C2 (or C-2 in Geoff's diagram) and I looked continually for an instrument with that range.  That is why I bought the large Maccann - other than the fact that Crabb Maccanns are allegedly pretty rare and this one was a really good deal.

 

It does seem though, from mine and Peter Smith's diagram of his 67, that the layouts become a bit more individual once the numbers go above the 59-61 button range.  The current Crabb that I'm working on is a 66, with a 7-row RH and a 6-row LH plus, I believe, low F (it doesn't show in the pictures).   I've not had it physically in-hand yet, so don't know if it starts on G or C.

 

No,  don't think I'll be selling that big Maccann just yet.  Dirge was always fond of saying that real men play Maccann and so I have to give it an honest try, at least to convince myself that I either can or can't!

 

 

crabb69.jpg

007_sm.jpg

009_sm1.jpg

49485848_2269433296420700_2165451742467063808_n.jpg

49210889_2269433106420719_8880225994108043264_n.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for your detailed and interesting reply! Pity that you had to sell the 69b. From the sketch you have attached here I had been able to (as it turned out, exactly) tell the buttons of the Crane I had been interested in (and subsequently bought, also from Chris) back then.

 

47 minutes ago, saguaro_squeezer said:

That is why I bought the large Maccann

 

...and why I had been musing about buying it myself (before then choosing the Crane, and not being able to buy both)... 😎

 

47 minutes ago, saguaro_squeezer said:

plus, I believe, low F (it doesn't show in the pictures)


(correction in progress)

 

All the best - 🐺

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin

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Wolf et al,

 

I'm happy to be considered an honorary member of this new club, though in truth I've never owned a "larger" Crane. Layouts seem to be pretty standard up to 55 button, so I'd take "larger" to mean anything beyond that. That's when you start to get odd outlying buttons etc.

 

The largest instrument I've owned is a 55 button Crabb, at 7 1/4" AF but I was never really happy with it and eventually sold it. My favourite at the moment is a 48 button Crabb. It's actually not as good an instrument as the 55 but I like it much better. Perhaps where my interest coincides with others is the desire for notes below the C3 which is the lowest note on most standard (i.e. up to 55 button) Cranes. I've had modifications made to my instruments to facilitate this. I'll get some charts drawn up and post them.

 

LJ

 

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3 hours ago, Little John said:

Wolf et al,

 

I'm happy to be considered an honorary member of this new club, though in truth I've never owned a "larger" Crane. Layouts seem to be pretty standard up to 55 button, so I'd take "larger" to mean anything beyond that. That's when you start to get odd outlying buttons etc.

 

The largest instrument I've owned is a 55 button Crabb, at 7 1/4" AF but I was never really happy with it and eventually sold it. My favourite at the moment is a 48 button Crabb. It's actually not as good an instrument as the 55 but I like it much better. Perhaps where my interest coincides with others is the desire for notes below the C3 which is the lowest note on most standard (i.e. up to 55 button) Cranes. I've had modifications made to my instruments to facilitate this. I'll get some charts drawn up and post them.

 

LJ

 

 

yes. I find that I rarely ever exploit the additional range that my 55 button Wheatstone (my work horse) offers. I use my 48 button Lachenal as a travel instrument, and practically everything in my active repertoire fits the small one. My next one will be 46 buttons, and that was deliberate.

 

As discussed before, the major drawback of the larger instruments is that they do not extend the range to the bottom (can't really for space reasons) but instead widen the overlapping area which doesn't make a whole lot of sense nor adds technical opportunities. On the down side of things, they are clumsier to play and leave more opportunities for the fingers to get lost on the keyboard and end on an offset row.

 

The ideal instrument would have practically zero overlap and thus cover a wide chromatic range, but of course that won't work due to the space demands of larger low reeds.

 

Sorry for taking the thread a little bit OT, I can't offer any "exotic" layouts. The only thing worth mentioning is that on my 55 button, the lowest note is a Bb instead of a C#. Kind of useful.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

RAc, you're echoing my thoughts, exactly.  Far less overlap and greater range.

 

I know that my 57b Crabb (1907) has a reed-pan like an anglo, rather than in a circle around the outside.  Wonder if instruments of the 48-55b size would take reeds down to that elusive low C2?

Crabb_front.jpg

Edited by saguaro_squeezer

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Why the out of pattern Bb2 on the LHS and not a Bb3 on the RHS?

 

I would have thought a Bb3 on the RHS would be pretty handy for playing in flat keys, especially in Bb!

 

Actually, a broader question: what keys can be played on the RHS of a Crane (say a 48B or a 55B) without crossing over to the left? 

 

Looking at these diagrams I realise that I was wrong in assuming that the Crane was fully chromatic without breaking pattern.

 

 

 

 

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(reply to @saguaro_squeezer continued)

 

I agree that it most likely will have the low F (strange that the pic doesn't show the area) - however I reckon this will be the lowest note, leaving the chance for a F# or G#/Ab in addition to "my" layout - but who knows, let's hope for the low C and D (or E) instead!

 

Interesting that your new 66b has the typical "shevron" layout (which I highly appreciate!) but in a less distinct shape as opposed to your 69b and my 61b.

 

I guess you'll keep us updated...

 

All the best - 🐺

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18 hours ago, Little John said:

I'm happy to be considered an honorary member of this new club, though in truth I've never owned a "larger" Crane. Layouts seem to be pretty standard up to 55 button, so I'd take "larger" to mean anything beyond that. That's when you start to get odd outlying buttons etc.

 

My interest was/is a certain use of harmony (chords spread over a tenth intervall, as we've been discussing elswhere) rather than the oddity of layouts - and I reckon that's the reason why I considered you a member here, and your most welcome John! With your "Anglo" buttons you would however perfectly meet any oddity criteria as well I reckon 😎

 

I'm anticipating your providing some charts!

 

All the best - 🐺

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16 hours ago, RAc said:

As discussed before, the major drawback of the larger instruments is that they do not extend the range to the bottom (can't really for space reasons) but instead widen the overlapping area which doesn't make a whole lot of sense nor adds technical opportunities.

 

Of course a larger instrument should be reaching further "down" (in particular), but (apart from four-part harmony in a stricter sense, as frequently mentioned by @Anglo-Irishman/John) a sufficient range for each hand is IMO essential for playing the sides indepently, and that is what I really like with my Crane. Pleasing (re spreading and cadential voice leaing) chords on the LHS and added drones (or similar) on the RHS. So I guess it depends, wider overlap can be useful for some...

 

All the best - 🐺

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16 hours ago, RAc said:

on my 55 button, the lowest note is a Bb instead of a C#

 

and a B natural too?

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13 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

 

Looking at these diagrams I realise that I was wrong in assuming that the Crane was fully chromatic without breaking pattern.

 

Don, the larger ones seem to be fully chromatic (mine is, at least) except for possibly the lowest notes on the LHS - or did I miss something?

 

All the best - 🐺

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2 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

Don, the larger ones seem to be fully chromatic (mine is, at least) except for possibly the lowest notes on the LHS - or did I miss something?

 

All the best - 🐺

It is the breaking pattern that I was questioning.

 

In order to play in Bb on the RHS I think that you are going to have to play a Bb3 tonic on the LHS. 

 

I realise that this is not a big, big deal (Anglo players do it all ofthe time) but I had assumed, without really examining the Crane layout, that it has consistent/regular fingering for all keys.

 

I notice that Saguero's Crane has an A#3 on the RHS, it is somewhat out of position for an enharmonic Bb3 but it is on the RHS.

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On 1/10/2019 at 9:53 AM, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

... With your "Anglo" buttons you would however perfectly meet any oddity criteria as well I reckon 😎

 

I'm anticipating your providing some charts!

 

All the best - 🐺

 

Well I've often been considered odd! But glad it allows me membership of this club.

 

Here are the charts. Some might consider these to be extreme modifications, but personally I think them less extreme than having buttons in a sixth column or under the LH thumb. My rationale, explained elsewhere, is to allow better harmonisation of the lowest notes on the right hand than the standard layout permits; and to provide a useful B3 on the right. Additional chords available are:

 

B minor: B2 - F#3  - D2

B major: B2 - F#3 - D#2

G major first inversion: B2 - G3 - D2

Bb major: Bb2 - F3 - D2 (Crabb only)

A minor: A2 - E3 - C4

A major: A2 - E2 - C#4

G major: G2 - D3 - B3 (Dipper only)

F major first inversion: A2 - F3 - C4

 

These can all be played as three-note chords on the left hand or used as the lower two notes on the left supporting the top note on the right hand. (The only exception to this is G major on the Dipper, since the RH B3 is push while the G2 is pull.) As three-note chords they are all surprisingly easy to finger - provided you're not wedded to the one-finger-per-column approach!

 

Crabb 48 button Crane.pdf

Dipper 51 button Crane.pdf

Edited by Little John
Added extra information on the chords.

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I have three Crane duets ,the one I normally take out is a 68 key Crabb,the big one is my 80 key Crabb special,.the last is a 68 key Aeola,I am just fitting new  wheatstone handles,the ends are tortoishell  and the serial no is 3 away from my Baritone English,

Mike

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