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Different notes on push/pull on EC


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Does anyone know of an English concertina tuned such that any of the notes are different on push vs pull? For example, I'm wondering about a meantone-tuned instrument with a D# and a Db on one key, extending the range of keys. I have my doubts about the practicality but wonder if it has ever been tried and/or could be practical.

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I  have never heard of anybody trying such a thing  but   I  doubt  it would be  of practical use.

 

Currently with  the 14 semitones  to the octave on the   English  it is  possible to  play  scales  in Eb,  Bb,  F,  C, G, D, A and E  without  going 'out of patern'.  To me  'out of Patern '  means that  some  consecutive notes  of a scale will  occur on the same  side of the instrument.  To test this   play a scale  of  Eb.  Each  consecutive  note  will  be on opposite sides of the  instrument.  Now do the same thing  starting on D#.  Straight away the first two  notes  ascending  will  be on the same  side.   This  out of patern scale  will get worse  as one  moves  into  ever  flater  and sharper keys.

 

The importance of this  regularly  alternating patern  becomes evident  when playing chords  ,  for the   memory  of  the  shapes,  and transposing ,  where the   memorised logic  will take the player  to  the  correct  buttons.

 

What I am saying is  that  to  extend  the  sweetness  of  a Meantone tuning  system  into  more  remote  key signatures  than   those  'in patern'  keys  would  not  be  practical.  At the outer  edges  of these  eight key  signatures  problems  might   already  begin  to occur  . 

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Ah that is an interesting point. I can relate because my Jack is missing enough notes to make even some of those keys "out of pattern" (if I understand you correctly). The logic of EC layout is part of its charm. I also can't get my head around what it would do to having to be mindful of push vs pull (never having played Anglo).

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As Geoff points out, there are 14 buttons to the octave which means you can have both Eb and D#, and likewise both Ab and G#. With meantone tuning these will be tuned differently. Tuned to meantone an English can still play in all keys from three flats to four sharps, which is surely sufficient for most mortals!

 

But to answer your question about Anglo-style buttons on an English. Yes, it's vanishingly rare but I know of at least one. Steve Turner's English has five buttons at the bottom end which have Anglo action. There isn't a clear logic to them (I've played it) but the aim seems to be to extend the range downward without making the instrument too large.

 

On my own Crane system duet (which is closely related to the English) I have four Anglo buttons. Three are to extend the range downward without increasing the size. The fourth is to give me a choice of Eb or D# as it's tuned to fifth comma meantone. (It doesn't have the "duplications" of an English so it's "limited" to keys from two flats to three sharps. That's hardly a limitation at all, except occasionally an E minor tune calls for a B major chord; hence the D#.)

 

LJ

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12 hours ago, Neil Thornock said:

Ah that is an interesting point. I can relate because my Jack is missing enough notes to make even some of those keys "out of pattern" (if I understand you correctly). The logic of EC layout is part of its charm. I also can't get my head around what it would do to having to be mindful of push vs pull (never having played Anglo).

  As an  example  of what one can do  when  keeping  'in pattern' I  attach  a link;

 

On this I  play  a simple tune  in seven different keys,  in one  2 minute  take .  This is  not  done by  remembering  the position of all the  notes for  all the keys  but by  following the   logic  of the shapes  of the patterns.  Some mistakes  are inevitable  when  fooling around like this .

 

Obviously it is  possible to play in any  key  on the English  if one just learns  a tune  in a particular key   and memorises the  position of  the  buttons /sequence  and that is  what  is  normally done  however,  expanding one's mental map of the keyboard  by  playing a tune in different  keys  and different octaves  can be most  beneficial.

 

For  clarity  the  key signatures  are  Dm, Gm, Cm, Am, Em, F#m  and Bm  .

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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LJ, wow -- the numbers of button layouts in the concertina seems bewildering enough as it is. I suppose it's a small enough instrument to invite experimentation. EC made sense to me after a few months ... I imagine any other system would take a similar investment.

 

Geoff, beautiful and inspiring playing (despite any so-called mistakes :) ). Thank you for the demo!

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15 minutes ago, Neil Thornock said:

EC made sense to me after a few months ... I imagine any other system would take a similar investment.

 

 

Not necessarily. You will have developed bellows control and got used to the feel of buttons under your fingers, so it should be quicker second time around. I started on the EC myself (I didn't know duets existed when I got my first). I'm very interested in harmonising tunes. Whilst it can be done on the EC, for most people it comes more naturally to separate the melody from the accompaniment. I made the transition to Crane duet after about two years.

 

LJ

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