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I’ve recently been looking at the layout of Wheatstone’s Double Duet system and I quite like it. Each finger hovers over a row, the notes are arranged in a logical order and the chords seem fairly easy to form. The problem is... I imagine it’s virtually impossible to get one. I’ve thought about converting an English by removing the finger rest and moving the reeds about, but don’t know if this would work.

 

Your thoughts please…

Wheatstone's Double Duet Layout.gif

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No thougths re the practicability of such a conversion, but I agree on this being an interesting and appealing layout, at first sight that is... 🙂

 

I wish you success, keep us updated! 🐺

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Posted (edited)

Someone here, I'm thinking (RAc?) suggested finger exercises on paper as an aid to determining what system to pursue.  Might be helpful in this case.

Edited by wunks
sp.

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2 hours ago, Tarquinbiscuitbox said:

I’ve recently been looking at the layout of Wheatstone’s Double Duet system and I quite like it. Each finger hovers over a row, the notes are arranged in a logical order and the chords seem fairly easy to form. The problem is... I imagine it’s virtually impossible to get one. I’ve thought about converting an English by removing the finger rest and moving the reeds about, but don’t know if this would work.

 

Your thoughts please…

Wheatstone's Double Duet Layout.gif

 

You would need to remake the reed pans because duets have lower reeds (= larger chambers) on the left and higher on the right, whereas Englishes are fairly evenly distributed. You would also need some extra reeds for the overlap region. The number of buttons shown on the diagram implies a fairly large instrument, bigger than an English Treble.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, wunks said:

Someone here, I'm thinking (RAc?) suggested finger exercises on paper as an aid to determining what system to pursue.  Might be helpful in this case.

 

I did propose it in aonther thread, but if memory serves me right, I originally got the idea from John (Anglo-Irishman) a good number of years ago. Thanks for remembering me though!

 

Just to bring the issue back on top: I wrote a little Windows app that allows you to design your own keyboard and "dry test" it on your tablet, that might be an alternative to paper and pencil (and even makes the "right" noises).

 

Re the design: I guess its usefulness largely depends on the kind of music you are targetting. One problem with this layout I see (from the point of view of a dance/session "musician") is that transposing appears to be quite awkward. Both the Crane and Hayden and (judging from my limited exposure; I'm sure more knowledgable people will chime in) the EC allow you to play a piece you already know in a (circle of fifth) related key without too much re-fingering. Hayden none as far as I understand the system. On the Crane, you basically move one row up for a fourth and a row down for a fifth and can recycle the same fingering pattern almost identically (one position will change with each step). Of course you'll need different chords on the left, but that's not a big deal once you got familar with the basic chord shapes. If worst comes to worst, give your left hand a brake and become a melody only player briefly.

 

It depends on the range used by the melody how many keys you can cover this way, but for many standard dance pieces, you can usually play the same tune in D,G,C and possibly A Ionian (and derived keys of course) with little fingering adjustments.

 

That's actually fairly useful for session playing. In English sessions, most pieces are played in G or D, but in Balfolk sessions, there are occassional standard repertoire overlaps - but the sound space in Balfolk is centered around C and F. So if you know a piece in, say, G, and go to a sessions where they play the same piece in C, you can work yourself out of the dilemma with little pain once you know the G fingering.

 

I don't see how one could accomplish this with the proposed design. But again, if the TO is not a session player but instead looks for a way to play classical or jazz pieces covering a wide range of keys, it may be more useful. I myself am not too interested in new layouts (I feel comfortable enough with the Crane way of things with its +s and -s and try to get as far with it as I can), but it's always fun to muse about different ways to go about things.

Edited by RAc

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This layout would be good for atonal music ...

 

 

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I am also interested in the Wheatstone Double Duet layout and had a think about converting an English but as Alex says, it just would not work.

So I am keeping an eye out to see if one turns up - however unlikely that is!

Peter

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You might also have a look at the Stark layout.  Here's a like to one that's actually available.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

This layout would be good for atonal music ...

 

 

 

absolutely brillant, Don, thanks for sharing! Couldn't stop laughing! :D

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5 minutes ago, Peter Smith said:

I am also interested in the Wheatstone Double Duet layout and had a think about converting an English but as Alex says, it just would not work.

So I am keeping an eye out to see if one turns up - however unlikely that is!

Peter

 

You could try to convince @alex_holden to build such an instrument, or even two - which might make his being willing to start such a project slightly more likely 😇

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18 hours ago, saguaro_squeezer said:

You might also have a look at the Stark layout.  Here's a like to one that's actually available.

 

 

Thanks. Looks impressive (& expensive!!). I have not come across the Stark layout before but as other posts say, it is essentially the double duet on its side. Playing a Crane at the moment, I think I would prefer the vertical layout.

Regards

Peter

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The idea is interesting, but it's perhaps worthy of note that most layouts of this type are horizontal rather than vertical. For example the CBA, Stark and Tona's layout. There's probably a good reason for that.

 

A particular problem I see with this is forming chords on the left hand. Even for a simple triad there will always be two buttons vertically aligned, which is a fingering problem. For a major chord the first two notes are aligned and for a minor chord the second two notes are. This is pretty well avoided on the Crane and Hayden systems.

 

Another problem is the vertical extant, particularly on the right hand. To get the minimum useful compass of two octaves requires a column of seven buttons. An English covers that range in four, whilst a Crane needs only five and a Hayden (I think) about 4 again.

 

These could be some of the reasons why the Wheatstone Double Duet didn't take off.

 

LJ

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Many thanks for your comments. The chord problems make a lot of sense and could explain why the Double Duet didn’t take off. Maybe Wheatstone was looking for the concertina to be played in a different way.

Peter

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