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Jim2010

Concertina vs accordion reeds

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Posted (edited)

Thank you. As someone completely new to concertinas and the duet specifically, I never would have looked as closely at the notes. Is there a link to the "standard" Hayden layout? If it as simple as adding the noted you mentioned, I don't need a chart.

 

Edited by Jim2010
Added a sentence

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3 hours ago, Jim2010 said:

Thank you. As someone completely new to concertinas and the duet specifically, I never would have looked as closely at the notes. Is there a link to the "standard" Hayden layout? If it as simple as adding the noted you mentioned, I don't need a chart.

 


Wakker H-1 and modern Stagi Hayden are standard 46 key boxes. There is note layout chart for every concertina-connection and Wakker  concertina on their respective pages on concertina-connection.com. Beaumont layout can be found on buttonbox.com

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Jim2010 said:

Is there a link to the "standard" Hayden layout?

 

Here is a simple ASCII graphic of the standard 46-key Hayden layout that I produced decades ago:

 

|        LEFT HAND            ||        RIGHT HAND
|                             ||
|                             ||  Bb  C   D
|   F   G   A   B             ||    F   G   A   B   C#
| Bb (C)  D   E   F#  G#      ||  Bb  C   D   E   F#  G#
|   F   G   A   B   C#  D#    ||    F   G   A   B   C#  D#
|     C   D   E   F#  G#      ||     (C)  D   E   F#  G#
|                             ||
|(5th Finger)       (Thumb)   ||  (Thumb)       (5th Finger)
| ======HAND STRAP========    ||   ======HAND STRAP========
|
|(C) = middle C (both hands).

 

[Ignore the colors if there are any. The interface did that, I didn’t.]

 

This is what I’ve been playing since the 1980s. I used to think I would like more notes, but I have come to realize that comes with a cost (besides the higher price): heavier instrument, more difficult bellows use, finickier mechanism (more frequent need for on-the-fly repair). I’m perfectly happy with what I’ve got.

 

On 4/23/2020 at 8:06 PM, W3DW said:

David Barnert of this forum plays a rare Wheatstone Hayden duet concertina and can be found with a YouTube search of "Hayden duet concertina David Barnert" since the name of his channel - Dr. Sleep - brings up hits for a film of that name. Boy, can David play!

 

Thanks, Dan for the kind words. My YouTube channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZIVVA2D4DjWDhw8dc5o-vA

Edited by David Barnert

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David Barnert said:

Here is a simple ASCII graphic of the standard 46-key Hayden layout that I produced decades ago:

[chart]

This is what I’ve been playing since the 1980s. I used to think I would like more notes, but I have come to realize that comes with a cost (besides the higher price): heavier instrument, more difficult bellows use, finickier mechanism (more frequent need for on-the-fly repair). I’m perfectly happy with what I’ve got.

 

Thank you very much. My favorite of yours is Under Paris Skies (Sous le Ciel de Paris).

Last night I made a chart that shows the notes of the Wakker, Stagi, Morse, and the three Concertina Connection models all in one place. If anyone would like to see it, I can post it.

It was a useful exercise. Wakker and the Stagi match yours. Morse Beaumont has a few more buttons and one fewer (although you get it back enharmonically). The Peacock has fewer. Troubadour fewer yet (and loses the a in the left hand found on the Elise that Łukasz Martynowicz has mentioned). The Elise has the fewest.

I've heard terrific music played on your Wheatstone, of course, Wakker (Jeff Lefferts), Beaumont (Didie Sendra), Peacock (Steven Arntson), Elise (Daniel Hersh). I'm sure there are wonderful recordings by others but I haven't listened to everything.

 

 

 

Edited by Jim2010
typo

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Not intending to complicate things, but have you considered getting a Crane duet rather than a Hayden?  Concertina-reeded Cranes are often reasonably priced, though they can be a little hard to find.  I switched from Hayden to Crane several years ago for that reason.

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Re the topic concertina vs. accordion reeds, recorded there may be only a small difference, but listening to the resp. instruments without amplification will reveal significant characteristics of each type. And of course preferences are a matter of personal taste, but based on this you should keep in mind that an instrument with a beautiful and pleasing tone will encourage and inspire the player musically. Think of these experiments comparing a Stradivari with a cheep "made in China" violin: it's mainly about the "feel", impression, tone as perceived by the musician him- or herself, which will (or will not) inspire him or her to make good or even great music...

 

I'm sure my beautifully-sounding (concertina-reeded) concertinas are helping me very much in this regard...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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6 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:

Not intending to complicate things, but have you considered getting a Crane duet rather than a Hayden?  Concertina-reeded Cranes are often reasonably priced, though they can be a little hard to find.  I switched from Hayden to Crane several years ago for that reason.

Thank you for the suggestion. I don't think I ever looked at the Crane duet fingerings before today. I was focused solely on the Hayden system. I just did a quick search to see what "reasonable priced" might mean and only came up with two examples, at Home wood music for $3600 and one at The Button Box for $2300. Do you know of any other ones currently available?

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3 hours ago, Jim2010 said:

I just did a quick search to see what "reasonable priced" might mean and only came up with two examples, at Home wood music for $3600 and one at The Button Box for $2300. Do you know of any other ones currently available?

 

It would be worth contacting Chris Algar at Barleycorn Concertinas. He's bound to have a few in stock. The "stock selection" on his website is just that - a selection and not the whole stock. It's worth considering a 35 button instrument just to try the system, though you'll probably want to upgrade to a 48 (or more) eventually. Echoing David Barnert (above) small is beautiful! To my mind they start to get a bit unwieldy above 48 buttons - though plenty of other people seem happy to play the large ones.

 

A 35 button instrument is a bit limited in range, but there's still a lot you can do on it. I started on one. The good thing is that it's fully chromatic*, and that if/when you move to a larger instrument the only difference is that you get more higher notes on each side. Nothing to re-learn. A 35 button Crabb Crane might look rough (mine did) but the reeds should be good.

 

LJ

 

*Well almost - on the left hand the C#4 is omitted in favour of an E4.

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1 hour ago, Little John said:

 

It would be worth contacting Chris Algar at Barleycorn Concertinas. He's bound to have a few in stock. The "stock selection" on his website is just that - a selection and not the whole stock. It's worth considering a 35 button instrument just to try the system, though you'll probably want to upgrade to a 48 (or more) eventually. Echoing David Barnert (above) small is beautiful! To my mind they start to get a bit unwieldy above 48 buttons - though plenty of other people seem happy to play the large ones.

 

A 35 button instrument is a bit limited in range, but there's still a lot you can do on it. I started on one. The good thing is that it's fully chromatic*, and that if/when you move to a larger instrument the only difference is that you get more higher notes on each side. Nothing to re-learn. A 35 button Crabb Crane might look rough (mine did) but the reeds should be good.

 

LJ

 

*Well almost - on the left hand the C#4 is omitted in favour of an E4.

 

I would suggest looking for a 48b.  I started on a borrowed 35b but bought a 48b when I was ready to buy. 

 

Barleycorn is a good idea if you can persuade them to ship to the US - they seem reluctant based on previous posts, but their web site still says, "For years Barleycorn has been exporting to America, Ireland, Europe and Asia, often through major dealers in those countries. Without realising it many people could be playing an instrument which originated here. We now have hundreds of American customers and if you are at all concerned please check out our feedback on the web and e-bay." 

 

I would suggest that you also check with Greg Jowaisas here in the US - you should be able to contact him through private message on this forum.  And you could put a post on Buy & Sell here and ask if anyone has a restored Crane that they'd like to sell.

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Don't forget the essential advantage of the Hayden, that it allows identical fingering over a range of keys, so when you've found (for instance) one major chord on the left hand you don't need to work out the shapes of other major chords but only where to move your fingers to. On other Duet systems you need to learn each chord shape, as on an Anglo or a guitar. I did dabble with a Hayden for a few years but eventually gave up because I never established a home position that I could find automatically as I can on an Anglo. But I might have succeeded if I'd made more effort.

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1 hour ago, Richard Mellish said:

...  when you've found (for instance) one major chord on the left hand you don't need to work out the shapes of other major chords but only where to move your fingers to. On other Duet systems you need to learn each chord shape, ...

 

It's swings and roundabouts, really. On the Hayden there's one chord shape for major and a very different one for minor; on the Crane there are three basic shapes, though major and minor are very similar.

 

1 hour ago, Richard Mellish said:

I did dabble with a Hayden for a few years but eventually gave up because I never established a home position that I could find automatically as I can on an Anglo.

 

Again, swings and roundabouts. The lack of an obvious home position on the Hayden is also the reason why you can use identical fingering over a range of keys. On the Crane there is an obvious home position, but you have to choose to modify the fingering slightly to accommodate different keys.

 

I'm a Crane player, but I'm not arguing that it's superior to the Hayden; just that each system has its different pros and cons.

 

LJ

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2 hours ago, Richard Mellish said:

a home position that I could find automatically as I can on an Anglo

 

I drilled a tiny hole in the centre of each 'A' button on my Hayden and glued in the cut-off head of a brass nail.  This lets me feel where 'A' is and relocate my fingers when they get lost.  Of course, the finger that touches an 'A' does change depending upon the key being played but that does not seem to be a big problem.  I ordered some extra buttons from the Button Box just in case this did not work out, or if I ever wanted to sell the concertina.

 

Clipboard01.jpg.b5695d268caa4b017ae1f5f3dbfb6994.jpg

 

FWIW.  These buttons are made of Delrin (acetal) which is basically un-glueable.  I used 'Gorilla' glue which is a moisture cured urethane glue that expands to 2-3x its volume when cured.  So the nails are actually held in by friction rather than adhesion.

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Good idea, Don! On my Wheatstone Crane I had Dave Robertson mount a slightly longer button in middle D position at reg maintenance, and on my Holden Crane I had Alex mount one with a slightly roughened texture at the same position (Cranes have a similar issue as Haydens, just 90° rotated). So haptically enhancing the keyboard to locate your home position manually is a good idea, and there are many ways to skin a cat. Yours is pretty nifty, congrats!

 

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Seconded, I have a dent in my A3 on the left and A4 on the right, that is enough to reposition my hands if I ever get lost. However, since I begun using thumb straps those dents aren’t really necessary anymore, as my static thumb position and muscle memory are enough to never get lost.

 

One word about Hayden isomorphism. While I love it and not really having to learn anything about different keys to play in them is great, it has one quite significant drawback: if you run into a phrase that is awkward/difficult/impossible to finger smoothly, then you cannot transpose to different key in search of easier fingering, they are all the same by definition. This of course translates to having to step out of your comfort zone regularily and naturally advances your playing and/or arranging skills, but is nevertheless worth to note. This also translates to Haydens not really having „home position” and semi-constant finger-note relation known from Anglos, as which finger goes where at which point depends on exact phrase, not general note.

 

And about chord shapes - I don’t know how constant chord shapes are on a Crane (I guess not that much since it is not isomorphic layout), but having distinctly different shapes for mayor/minor/all other chords is a feature, not a bug in isomorphic layouts. For some different type chords having same shapes, as on Anglos for example, one has to remember which exact chords those are. On a Hayden you don’t really care about anything other than purely geometric relations between buttons, both in chords and in melody sequences, as souds are secondary to geometry. On non-isomorphic systems geometry is secondary to sounds. This may be irrelevant for many, especially to those playing by ear, but for me personally this was fundamental to not only to be able to play on concertina fluently, but more importantly, to finally understand music theory. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Łukasz Martynowicz said:

And about chord shapes - I don’t know how constant chord shapes are on a Crane (I guess not that much since it is not isomorphic layout) ...

 

An illustration might help. There are three natural notes ("white" notes on a piano) in each row (or arc) and there are three corresponding chord shapes. In the attached chart:

 

Top left shows how D minor, G major and C major have the same shape, based on the fourth column from the left.

Bottom left shows how moving your finger to the outer column* of accidentals ("black" notes) changes major to minor and vice versa for the same three chords.

Top right show how the three major chords in the key of F have similar shapes, based on the second column from the left.

Bottom right shows that a few variations are possible. This is my favourite form of C major.

 

Chords based on the middle column follow similar patterns. So pretty well all chords follow one of three basic patterns, the variations being that the outer columns are used when "black" notes are required.

 

LJ

 

* Or using your little finger, as I do for that column.

 

Crane chord shapes.pdf

 

 

Edited by Little John
To clarify rows and columns

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Posted (edited)

Great, thanks, John, a very useful chart indeed!

 

One addition: Transposing a tune on the Crane a Fourth up (one row up) or a fifth down (one row down) is a very useful and enlightening exercise and comes fairly easy as long as one remembers that *exactly one finger* moves from an inward to an outward column  (or vice versa) in that process. That follows inevitably from the circle of fifths and (in my interpretation) paraphrases what  Lucasz wrote earlier: Music theory coming alive.

 

 

Edited by RAc

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3 hours ago, RAc said:

Great, thanks, John, a very useful chart indeed!

 

One addition: Transposing a tune on the Crane a Fourth up (one row up) or a fifth down (one row down) is a very useful and enlightening exercise and comes fairly easy as long as one remembers that *exactly one finger* moves from an inward to an outward column  (or vice versa) in that process. That follows inevitably from the circle of fifths and (in my interpretation) paraphrases what  Lucasz wrote earlier: Music theory coming alive.

 

 

You guys are making the Crane system more and more appealing the farther you go with this.

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8 minutes ago, Jim2010 said:

You guys are making the Crane system more and more appealing the farther you go with this.

 

I would not hesitate to confirm the appeal of the Crane system - you'll find a closely related "logic" with the English concertina, in this respect admittedly with the complication of scales which alternate between the left and the right hand 😎

 

If you want a "low" left side and a "high" right side, the Anglo is a fantastic option - but if you would tend to avoid the push/pull alteration (with accidentals in the third row just filling in where needed most) as well, the Crane is offering the entire world of ivories and ebonies right under your fingers...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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