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wim wakker

Troubadour Wicky/Hayden duet

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Later than planned, but we finally added the Troubadour duet to our intermediate model line up http://www.concertinaconnection.com/troubadour.htm

 

The Troubadour is a 36 key Wicky/Hayden duet, 6 ¼” across the flats, comparable to the Minstrel (anglo) and Busker (English). It fills the gap between our Elise and Peacock models.

 

All our duet concertina models (excl. the Elise, but including all the Wakker duets) are available with either a bi-directional or uni-directional keyboard. 

 

The final addition to our hybrid duet models will be the Peacock XL, a 50+ key version of the standard Peacock. We built several proto types varying from 54 to 58 keys, but have not decided yet which one will go in production. We expect this last hybrid duet model to be available mid/late 2020.

 

Finally, because of the many requests, we decided to offer the Minstrel also with Jeffries layout.

 

Wim  Wakker

Concertina Connection Inc.
Wakker Concertinas

troubadour 1.jpg

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I am very interested, as a happy Elise owner for some years, but wanting to play in A at sessions sometimes.  BUT...I can’t make sense of the note charts.  If they are as they should be, then I’l just stare at them longer.  Maybe I’m just tired.

 

EDIT:  Just looked at the CC website at the Elise layout.  Any chance there’s a similar pic for the Troubador?

 

Thanks, and regards,

 

David

Edited by David Colpitts
More thought

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I don't understand the keyboard diagrams - neither of them seem to match either the Hayden or the Wicki layouts.

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29 minutes ago, David Colpitts said:

I am very interested, as a happy Elise owner for some years, but wanting to play in A at sessions sometimes

I do not see a G# on the LHS so you will not be able to play in A.  Also, the air button is one of the 36 buttons so the Troubadour has 35 sounding buttons (vs. 34 on an Elise).

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About the layout pictures....

As I mentioned  above the keyboards, it is seen from the players view. This is a common way of showing a keyboard in an educational setting. The view is from 'behind' the keyboard,  as when you hold the instrument. The keyboard is the same of course as the Elise. 

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32 minutes ago, Don Taylor said:

I do not see a G# on the LHS so you will not be able to play in A.  Also, the air button is one of the 36 buttons so the Troubadour has 35 sounding buttons (vs. 34 on an Elise).

 

The Troubadour has 36 keys + airbutton= 37.

You can easily play in A major without the 3rd (G#) of the dominant in the left hand. If you want to play harmonies (chords) it is always a good idea to play them 'wide' on a free reed instrument because of harmonics. In this case (A major dominant chord: E G# B D), you could play LH: E, B/RH G#. or RH D,G# (E7). or: LH E, B, F#/RH D,G# (E9), etc. 

 

Alternatively, when playing melody in the RH and harm. in the LH: play LH E, B or E, B, D (E7) for the dominant function. The 3rd (G#) might or might not be part of the melody. Harmonically it doesn't matter because you do not need the leading note to establish the harmonic function if the dominant 7 is present.  In fact, you really want to avoid 3rd intervals under C4.

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1 hour ago, wim wakker said:

If you want to play harmonies (chords) it is always a good idea to play them 'wide' on a free reed instrument because of harmonics.


indeed!

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Why oh why there is no A4 on the LH side? This is the same problem as with the Peackock, but in the Peacock it was the tradeoff for G#s and D#, but here? This decision makes it so that the player which upgraded from Elise cannot utilize all of their repertoire straight up and has to rearrange some of it for different fingerings or lose some rhytm of the accompaniment. A lot of accordion style accompaniments utilize LHS A4...

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9 hours ago, wim wakker said:

As I mentioned  above the keyboards, it is seen from the players view. This is a common way of showing a keyboard in an educational setting. The view is from 'behind' the keyboard,  as when you hold the instrument.

 

Hmm.  I've never been in an "educational setting" with my concertinas, but I always view (think about) the keyboards "face on", not "from behind" (from inside the bellows?).

 

But for those trying to interpret the keyboard from a face-on point of view, I believe you just need to flip (mirror) them:  top to bottom in his diagrams (right to left in the "conventional" way of looking at them).

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Got it now!  The “look from behind” and “mirror flip” ideas helped.  Actually, it looks more to me like I am looking through a piece of glass or transparent plastic; probably has something to do with me looking for notes relative to the hand rests, or some such perceptual error on my part.  For the uninitiated to the “educational” way, a chart such as the one for the Elise on the website would perhaps help.

 

Anyway, it looks like I could play a full scale/tunes in an octave on the RHS, which is what I’d like for melodies.  Can’t wait to try it.  When will they ship?  ButtonBox? The price won’t be too steep if I trade in my Elise.

 

David

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10 hours ago, wim wakker said:

 

The Troubadour has 36 keys + airbutton= 37.

My apologies, I miscounted.

 

At one time you said that you had designs for a 39 button Troubadour, do you have any plans to make that model?

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I’ve changed the keyboard picture to ‘front view’.  I didn’t realize that the ‘from behind’ view was so confusing for some.

 

The Troubadour is a small duet, only 6 1/4” across the flats… reedpan surface is limited.  It’s like building a 1000 sq ft. home with 12 bedrooms. We used 97% of the available space.

From a technical point of view, the real achievement is that we were able to utilize so much of the reedpan and still were able to have a min. of 50% chamber over pressure reserve, an airflow pattern within a 25% variable, and a max. chamber/reed deviation of 8 cent.  This means that the instrument performs really well; fast, even equilibrium (for accordion reeds), LH/RH harmonic consistency,  great dynamic range and very limited harmonic distortion.

 

 Every small duet has limitations. Deciding which notes the instrument will have is a rational process: The goal is to provide access to the most used tonal and modal keys players at this level will use (worldwide, in all kinds of music). Limiting factors are price and size.  The troubadour allows you to play in most major, minor keys, and modes. 

 

I would strongly advise any duet player to learn at least the basics of tonal harmony and voicing.  There will always be ‘missing’ notes on a small duet, but that should not be a problem.  There are always multiple alternatives for every harmonic function and chord.  The limiting factor is more with the player than the instrument.

 

During the development stage I designed several models, including a 34, 38, and 40 key. There are so many factors that go into deciding which model would work best: playability, quality, harmonic equilibrium, dynamic range, size, cost, weight, production complexity/time, etc. The number of buttons is only a small part of the decision. As a side note: We have several customers that own both our (Wakker) 46 and 65 key duets. Several of them have told us that they prefer playing the 46 key model because of size, weight, etc. The same is true for english players that have both a 56 key TT and 48 treble. 

 

If you want to play a small duet, and are willing to school yourself in harmony and voicing to learn how to deal with a limited compass, I think the Troubadour is a big step up from our Elise as far as sound, dynamics, equilibrium, speed, air economy etc. is concerned.

 

We’re still fine tuning the production, which will take a few months. During this time the availability is limited. Right now, the instrument is only available directly from us.  The dealers will get the Troubadours probably late Jan/Feb.

 

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4 hours ago, wim wakker said:

We have several customers that own both our (Wakker) 46 and 65 key duets. Several of them have told us that they prefer playing the 46 key model because of size, weight, etc. The same is true for english players that have both a 56 key TT and 48 treble


true for me as well, as en EC player, making a lot of sense - I always wanted to have a TT, and really love mine - but playing my trebles still delights me in a unique way

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This will work quite well in playing American folk and acoustic rock with my Saturday jam group.  I for one will be saving up to get one of these -- unidirectional, of course ;-)

 

Can you explain the advantages of the Wakker bellows, please?

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13 hours ago, David Colpitts said:

FWIW, this diagram of Elise is the kind of thing that’s clear to me:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.5c837c1a44335b971f8962c76077357a.jpeg

I cut, rotated and pasted the sides from Wim's latest drawing to get this for the bidirectional (standard) keyboard.  This is the Hayden layout.

 

image.png.aa654e23d64507931164560c5be024b4.png

Wim, is this correct?

 

Don.

 

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1 hour ago, Don Taylor said:

I cut, rotated and pasted the sides from Wim's latest drawing to get this for the bidirectional (standard) keyboard.  This is the Hayden layout.

 

image.png.aa654e23d64507931164560c5be024b4.png

Wim, is this correct?

 

Don.

 

1 hour ago, Don Taylor said:

 

 

 

Yes it is... The reason I did not use this format (which is more clear as far as keyboard layout is concerned), is because it doesn't explain the difference between the uni-  and bi-directional keyboards, which makes much more sense in the 'up and down' picture. 

 

3 hours ago, rlgph said:

This will work quite well in playing American folk and acoustic rock with my Saturday jam group.  I for one will be saving up to get one of these -- unidirectional, of course 😉

 

Can you explain the advantages of the Wakker bellows, please?

 

Explaining bellows performance is one of my (almost) daily routines... The bellows performance determines much of a concertinas overall playability, dynamics,  and reed response. 

A mediocre instrument with high end (low resistance) bellows will often play much better than a high end instrument with (new) high resistance bellows.  We replace quite a few brand new bellows on instruments send to us because they 'don't play well'. 

This is a basic explanation of different bellows qualities and how you can evaluate bellows: http://www.concertinaconnection.com/about bellows.htm

 

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