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Can the Crane system be bettered?


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On 12/19/2021 at 4:57 PM, RAc said:

Well, I now have been able to program a 5CC keyboard for my concertina simulator (isn't a lockdown in combination with the festive season good for something after all?...).

 

So far I am, well, flabbergasted. ...

I envy your opportunity to try this out. I'm sure I would find it fascinating, but in the end I have to go with your later sentiment:

On 12/21/2021 at 8:45 AM, RAc said:

... every minute argueing about layouts is a minute wasted on practicing your chosen system instead, ... I'll stick with the Crane system as it is and try to get better at it, ...

but if I had come across it much earlier I would have been sorely tempted to make the change!

 

On 12/20/2021 at 10:22 PM, Don Taylor said:

How do Crane players think about the movement of notes in a scale?

I don't really think about it now, but in my earlier days I tended to think of it as right-to-left: D E F (up a row) G A B etc.

 

I also wondered why the original design wasn't right-to-left: C D E (up a row) F G A etc.; ie why the "D" and "E" columns are interchanged to give the 1-3-2 pattern of fingering. My conclusion lay in the right hand accidental column. If you think of them as being related to the adjacent column then the CDE pattern would yield Eb, Ab, Db, Gb and Cbb (yes, C double flat). The actual CED pattern gives D#, G#, C#, F# and Bb which is much more intuitive.

 

On 12/20/2021 at 10:58 PM, Łukasz Martynowicz said:

The layout that seems to be best suited for Crane conversions is called Harmonic, spans over 5 columns of the hex layout ...

I actually played a mouth-blown version of this once. The keys were hexagonal so there were no gaps. However following the link and studying the layout makes it clear that you couldn't convert a Crane as even a single chromatic octave takes 7 columns.

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7 hours ago, Little John said:

I envy your opportunity to try this out. I'm sure I would find it fascinating, but in the end I have to go with your later sentiment:

but if I had come across it much earlier I would have been sorely tempted to make the change!

 

I don't really think about it now, but in my earlier days I tended to think of it as right-to-left: D E F (up a row) G A B etc.

 

I also wondered why the original design wasn't right-to-left: C D E (up a row) F G A etc.; ie why the "D" and "E" columns are interchanged to give the 1-3-2 pattern of fingering. My conclusion lay in the right hand accidental column. If you think of them as being related to the adjacent column then the CDE pattern would yield Eb, Ab, Db, Gb and Cbb (yes, C double flat). The actual CED pattern gives D#, G#, C#, F# and Bb which is much more intuitive.

 

I actually played a mouth-blown version of this once. The keys were hexagonal so there were no gaps. However following the link and studying the layout makes it clear that you couldn't convert a Crane as even a single chromatic octave takes 7 columns.

Ah, you’re right. I just remembered it exists, scanned through it briefly on musix when posting and my phone cut it to five chromaticized columns. My bad. I have clearly overdosed isomorphic layouts into one, big, isomorphic blur :D

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  • 6 months later...

A quick thought leading from a discussion I'm having with a client.

 

The Viennese prototype for this system has English-style thumb loops and little finger rests, and straight rows that are angled towards the thumbs (photo by @Eshed )

DSC_0059_edit_r.jpg

 

Another option is to build an instrument that has Anglo-style handrails and curved rows arranged exactly like a Crane, but with the 5CC note arrangement. It seems to me like the latter may be more ergonomic, particularly for an instrument with a smaller range (approx 46 buttons), so you only need to reach about five rows rather than the eight of the original.

 

Any thoughts?

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Hi, As a crane player, I like the idea a lot. The Wiener 5CC seems logical and symmetrical. And why not use a handrail and arrange the buttons under your fingers. For my own orientation, I made a sketch about the arrangement of notes. (don‘t take the colouring too serious).

B2CCB814-990A-4D2C-B3BB-01B384899970.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Ende said:

Hi, As a crane player, I like the idea a lot. The Wiener 5CC seems logical and symmetrical. And why not use a handrail and arrange the buttons under your fingers. For my own orientation, I made a sketch about the arrangement of notes. (don‘t take the colouring too serious).

B2CCB814-990A-4D2C-B3BB-01B384899970.jpeg

 

For those unfamiliar with the German notational system, in the above diagram, what Ende calls “B” is what most of us would call Bb and what Ende calls “H” is what most of us would call B natural. Hence, when Bach wrote Bb, A, C, B natural into the bass line of the 2nd Brandenburg Concerto approaching the end of the first movement, he was spelling his name: BACH.

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9 hours ago, Ende said:

Hi, As a crane player, I like the idea a lot. The Wiener 5CC seems logical and symmetrical. And why not use a handrail and arrange the buttons under your fingers. For my own orientation, I made a sketch about the arrangement of notes. (don‘t take the colouring too serious).

 

Hi Ende, I have been thinking along these lines:

wiener_button_layout_1.png

 

That is a core of 20 + 25 = 45 buttons, with possible extensions shown in dashed circles.

 

Note that I have made a couple of assumptions based on other duet systems:

1. The hands are symmetrical. i.e. on both sides the notes on the rows ascend from right to left in a conventionally oriented button diagram. The alternative would be a mirrored arrangement, where the notes ascend from index finger to pinky finger on both sides.

2. The right hand layout is the same as the left hand transposed up one octave. The alternative would be for the right hand layout to be an upward extension of the left hand layout, starting on the C4 row.

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Thank you, David, for the Bb and B, of course you are right.

 

Alex, the extension is tempting. I wonder how many notes would finally fit into the box. Surely it depends on the size of the box, but let‘s say a smaller one, and Crane like with one overlapping octave.

 

Abot mirroring: The ascending from index finger to pinky on the left hand seems more natural for me, remembering the violin.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Ende said:

Alex, the extension is tempting. I wonder how many notes would finally fit into the box. Surely it depends on the size of the box, but let‘s say a smaller one, and Crane like with one overlapping octave.

 

I think 20+25 is certainly doable in a standard 159mm hexagonal box, if I build it like Holden No. 10 with long scale reeds on the right only, and one inner reed chamber on the right. We might consider exchanging some of the less useful buttons from the edges of the core range for more useful ones from the extension set, e.g. maybe swap Eb4 for A4 on the left.

 

It might be possible to squeeze in a couple more buttons in the form of inner chambers similar to Holden No. 7 (21+26=47), but the action starts to get significantly trickier to build.

 

P.S. getting a full octave of overlap means a bit of modification to the core range of one or both sides, e.g. we could start the right hand a full row lower or the left hand a row higher.

Edited by alex_holden
P.S.
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Nice. The Nr. 10 is great with the A included.

 

As for the overlap and starting the right hand row lower, I‘ll study the pieces I like to play, and look if the notes are needed often enough. Same with the left hand side and a convenient arrangement for chords.

 

Like RAc I want to build a Midi-tool (IPad version) to try it out. (RAc, you are a super inspiration). So, good to know how many buttons apriximately I can use.

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