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Custom G/D/C# Anglo Layout- Would it work?


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I'm going to be very blunt because I think you would be making an expensive mistake.


With your suggested layout, you get one of every note, with some duplicates.


However, the whole point of the Anglo layout is the Richter tuning, and the way that chords and arpeggios fall naturally to hand.  A good 3rd row layout builds on that in a natural way.


For example, on a standard CG:

On the C row, left hand, play buttons 3 4 5 and you get CEG = C major.

Move the index finger to button 4 of the accidental row and you get A minor which is a chord you play a lot in tunes in C.

So one finger moves and the chord changes between two chords that feature a lot and often follow each other.


Now move to the G row and play buttons 3 4 5 and you get G B D = G major.

Move the index finger to button 4 of the C row and you get E minor.


  • In each case, you've moved the same finger in the same manner and gone from the major chord based on the tonic, to the minor chord based on the 6th.


I could give other examples.  Point is that there is a purpose to the standard layout of the accidental row.  It may seem illogical at first, but those extra buttons are so often where you need them.


This is this sort of thing that makes the 30 button Anglo a genuine development of the basic 20 b layout.  I can do more on my 30s than my 20s, but the skills are transferrable: I can play my 30 like a 20, or I can use the extra options of the 3rd row.




Your suggested version gives you every note, but only by making the accidental row follow the Richter tuning pattern in C, you are making a pattern that does not help to group "like minded" notes together for playing a tune.


The other thing is that you have labelled the buttons a little bit like a DG instrument rather than the more common GD.  It's inside out, and you've lost many of the standard cross row scales that Anglo players rely on.


I'm all for improvement, or minor tweaks to suit a particular repertoire or style, but nearly 200 years of development based on experience should not be disregarded willy-nilly.


Your proposed layout would be unique, and would need a complete new set of skills to play, and those skills would not be transferrable to other instruments.


If you want to play an Anglo with maximum chromatic opportunities, buy a 38 button.


If you want a concertina with every note of the chromatic scale across 3 octaves, buy an English and work at it.  They are wonderful instruments.


If you want a push pull squeeze box with C/C# so you have every note somewhere, the C/C# melodeon already exists.


Me, I prefer to play my standard 30 b as well as I can, as often as I can.  From time to time, the wheel has been reinvented in a new form, but square ones will always remain the exception with an exceptionally limited resale market.



Edited by Mikefule
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Dear JS336,


I am interested in your layout, but do wonder why you would like the bass to drop to C#2. I note that a standard 96 bass accordion's lowest tremble note is usually F3, a melodeon E3, a G/D concertina G2 (on the ones I have made), and I did make a few extended bass instruments down to F#2/A. Long, and especially weighted bass notes can be a little slow to respond, and in general session playing, unless cording, you would not need them. 


I did some quick calculations, the layout you have can be fitted into a standard 61/4 box, but the chambers would, according to my calculations, be very restricted, not allowing the extra length for the long bass reeds, which, I have found, can effect tone and rapidity of speaking. The weight of a wooden ended instrument with the extra reeds and buttons/levers/post's would come in at about 1.3kg. But why do you wish to go so low into the bass?


All the best,



Edited by David Hornett
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3 row button boxes in C#/D/G are a standard option from Saltarelle, Castagnari, and others, so it's been done there, for people who play both English and Irish stuff.  The semitone systems are great for Irish music, as you sound a note on the inside and get the lower grace note from the outside row, which is only a semitone away and right under your finger - on 4th tuned boxes the interval can sometimes be a bit much.  On the semitone boxes it sometimes sounds a bit strange, too...anyway this idea is familiar to me, as a box player - I'm waiting on delivery of my first anglo, so have only read about how to ornament notes on the 'tina - looks positively wacky!  ;)   C/G/Etc has its counterpart in button accordions too - they play them a lot in French music.  

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