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Stephen Chambers

Wheatstone Bandonion Found

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I'm currently working on a Wheatstone monster that has tenor/treble button layout (56 buttons) but each button plays 2 octaves. The tenor/treble notes are laid out in a traditional reed pan that sits inside a larger reed pan holding the lower notes. The low notes are absolute monsters and some of them have their own little box instead of being on the reed pan.

 

I'll add some pictures in a couple of weeks. Interstingly, in the ledgers there is no reference to the nature of the beast, it only says 'Octo' and '10 3/4"'. I may be wrong with the diameter as I'm not close to the info as I write.

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I'll add some pictures in a couple of weeks.

Oh, WOW! I shall look forward to that! It is just amazing what, given time, seems to pop out of the woodwork.

 

Chris

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I believe it was actually played by Ian Robb on a couple of tracks on his 'Rose and Crown' album. Once it is sorted, I'll see if I can get a rough recording of it being played.

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Thanks, Paul.

 

On Ian's Rose and Crown album, "double-reeded concertina" is listed for side 1 track 2, "The Aftermath'"; and for side 2, track 1, "The Old Rose and Crown. "

 

Some dormant brain cells are stirring. Perhaps I have encountered this double-reeded concertina before. The year the album came out, 1985, Alistair Brown was directing folk music week at Pinewoods; and the music staff he assembled included Ian and Grit Laskin... and me. I remember that Ian had a large concertina with him.

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To be honest, I'm not sure myself. I had to allow for the cost of repair when working out my top price, because I very much wanted to restore it to playing condition and then learn to play it. I have a sneaking suspicion that this won't now happen, and that it will end up a museum piece. I hope I'm wrong.

Well, I've had an email exchange with Neil, and I'm glad to say I am wrong. He wants to see it played too, and it will be. :)

 

Chris

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To be honest, I'm not sure myself. I had to allow for the cost of repair when working out my top price, because I very much wanted to restore it to playing condition and then learn to play it. I have a sneaking suspicion that this won't now happen, and that it will end up a museum piece. I hope I'm wrong.
Well, I've had an email exchange with Neil, and I'm glad to say I am wrong. He wants to see it played too, and it will be. :)

Sounds like there could be an outbreak of Bohemian polka dancing in Derbyshire ? :blink:

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but do we know if Wheatstone, or any other English maker, ever managed to double up on reeds to get octaves or wet tuning, like a typical chemnitzer or bandoneon?

 

One example was presented in Concertina Magazine No13 (1985), on the cover and page 2.

A Wheatstone English number 28438 with two reed tongues on the same frame.

Nothing said about the tuning but since the tongues have the same length it probably was "wet". The ledger - 10 June 1920 - only says "Special"

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but do we know if Wheatstone, or any other English maker, ever managed to double up on reeds to get octaves or wet tuning, like a typical chemnitzer or bandoneon?

 

One example was presented in Concertina Magazine No13 (1985), on the cover and page 2.

A Wheatstone English number 28438 with two reed tongues on the same frame.

Nothing said about the tuning but since the tongues have the same length it probably was "wet". The ledger - 10 June 1920 - only says "Special"

 

 

Hi Folks

 

Came upon this thread by chance and thought I would let you know that 28438 is now living comfortably in South Australia. In good genral health, no leaks, worms or rot but a little out of tune.

I aquired this instrument of pleasure back in 1984 from Dave Bryant in London, in pieces at the time, the size hinted that it was a bass, I had no idea about the details of concertinas other than I had seen Mike Harding playing a bass and I liked the sound. Shipped the bits back to Oz and Richard Evans ( Concertina Magazine) refurbished and tuned to something useable. Since 1986 it has been relaxing, unplayed but not forgotten. I have no record or information where it has been or what it had done between 1920 and 1984 so if any one has any info it would be appreciated. A phot sessio has been organised for the afternoon of Friday 20th Jan and I wil post the pictures on this thread as soon as I can. If anyone has any special requests for photo angles or poses let me know

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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Hi Tony,

 

Very keen to see your pics. It would be good to see the detail of the reed pan...

 

Chris

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Hi Tony,

 

Very keen to see your pics. It would be good to see the detail of the reed pan...

 

Chris

 

 

No Problem Chris I'll have the ends removed and the inside photographed

 

Tony

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Tony,

 

Thanks, I was speaking to Richard Evans yesterday and he remembers the instrument ( and you) well. He said it was big!

 

Chris

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Tony,

 

Thanks, I was speaking to Richard Evans yesterday and he remembers the instrument ( and you) well. He said it was big!

 

Chris

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Here are the promised pic's, the beast is approx 305mm across the flats and weighs over 3.5kg

 

Enjoy

post-9825-0-94889000-1327030742_thumb.jpg

post-9825-0-23097900-1327030778_thumb.jpg

post-9825-0-27802900-1327030813_thumb.jpg

post-9825-0-16408600-1327030904_thumb.jpg

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Thanks, what a fascinating instrument. Of interest, the 3.5kg weight is in spite of aluminium reed frames. And the reed pan is made from 8 separate wedges of wood glued together. Interesting also, each reed has its own slot through the pan. Beautiful build.

 

Lovely photos also Tony, someone knows their way around lighting...

 

Best Wishes

 

Chris

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I know this is dragged up from earlier but:

 

I also wonder about the playability, but for another reason. The right-hand keyboard has rows 9 and 10 buttons wide. That's a lot of side-to-side reach! Then again, regular Chemnitzer keyboards with that layout must be even bigger, so I guess it's manageable. (Any Chemnitzer players here who can tell us whether there are any special techniques?)

 

The vids of Maureen Dwyer, brought to our attention by Daniel, http://www.concertin...showtopic=13931 show what is manageable on the Chemnitzer.

I think her dexterity is amazing.

 

Geoff

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I know this is dragged up from earlier but:

 

I also wonder about the playability, but for another reason. The right-hand keyboard has rows 9 and 10 buttons wide. That's a lot of side-to-side reach! Then again, regular Chemnitzer keyboards with that layout must be even bigger, so I guess it's manageable. (Any Chemnitzer players here who can tell us whether there are any special techniques?)

 

The vids of Maureen Dwyer, brought to our attention by Daniel, http://www.concertin...showtopic=13931 show what is manageable on the Chemnitzer.

I think her dexterity is amazing.

 

Geoff

 

Geoff, Jim,

 

I'm a bit puzzled at this exchange. :huh:

 

The instrument shown in the photos is not a Bandoneon, it's a large English, and it has the usual 4-button-wide rows. Perhaps the thread title refers to the doubled reeds, but doubled reeds don't make a Bandoneon. The simple 20-button German hexagonal concertinas often have double reeds (tuned in fairly dry unison, at least when they're new). On the other hand, I have a small Bandoneon that has single reeds - it's the button layout that makes it a Bandoneon! Admittedly, double reeds in dry octave tuning are more typical of the Bandoneon.

 

Large German Konzertinas, such as the Chemnitzer and Bandoneon, do have a wide side-to-side reach, with big buttons well spaced out, but remember that you always rest the whole weight on your thighs, so the hands have nothing to hold up, and can move up and down the rows in the handstraps.

 

Cheers,

John

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I know this is dragged up from earlier but:

 

I also wonder about the playability, but for another reason. The right-hand keyboard has rows 9 and 10 buttons wide. That's a lot of side-to-side reach! Then again, regular Chemnitzer keyboards with that layout must be even bigger, so I guess it's manageable. (Any Chemnitzer players here who can tell us whether there are any special techniques?)

 

The vids of Maureen Dwyer, brought to our attention by Daniel, http://www.concertin...showtopic=13931 show what is manageable on the Chemnitzer.

I think her dexterity is amazing.

 

Geoff

 

Geoff, Jim,

 

I'm a bit puzzled at this exchange. :huh:

 

The instrument shown in the photos is not a Bandoneon, it's a large English, and it has the usual 4-button-wide rows. Perhaps the thread title refers to the doubled reeds, but doubled reeds don't make a Bandoneon. The simple 20-button German hexagonal concertinas often have double reeds (tuned in fairly dry unison, at least when they're new). On the other hand, I have a small Bandoneon that has single reeds - it's the button layout that makes it a Bandoneon! Admittedly, double reeds in dry octave tuning are more typical of the Bandoneon.

 

Large German Konzertinas, such as the Chemnitzer and Bandoneon, do have a wide side-to-side reach, with big buttons well spaced out, but remember that you always rest the whole weight on your thighs, so the hands have nothing to hold up, and can move up and down the rows in the handstraps.

 

Cheers,

John

 

 

Apologies John,

my last offering was based on the discussion around the original posting of which there is a picture of the Wheatstone referred to as a Bandoneon. Unfortunately thread drift, which often occurs, can cause some puzzlement to those unfamiliar with the whole content of a topic.

 

Geoff :)

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