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Is this the Jones Piano fingered concertina that you are copying?
If so, I have one of these in excellent original condition and have a few thoughts about the layout.

Regards

Peter

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As a trained pianist and teacher, but admittedly amateur concertina player, the ergonomics of this don't make any sense to me at all.

 

To use a piano layout effectively, two of the most most important things for fluid playing are the ability to 'tuck' the thumb under and to have freedom of wrist position. Neither of these are possible on a concertina with this layout. Perhaps this is why they never really took off, I suggest.

 

Maybe they existed as a novel idea, so that those with a knowledge of being able to play a keyboard instrument were able to play rudimentary tunes.

 

I'm open to disagreement and discussion! 

Edited by JimmyG
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13 hours ago, Peter Smith said:

Is this the Jones Piano fingered concertina that you are copying?
If so, I have one of these in excellent original condition and have a few thoughts about the layout.

Regards

Peter

thanks do you have a way to show the layout?

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4 hours ago, JimmyG said:

As a trained pianist and teacher, but admittedly amateur concertina player, the ergonomics of this don't make any sense to me at all.

    ...

I'm open to disagreement and discussion!

No disagreement here.

 

I had one of these, years ago, and I gave it up as "useless" for playing actual music.  (If I remember correctly, I gave it away.)  I found that -- in general -- it was awkward and inadequate for almost anything I wanted to play.

 

@Bassconcertina.net:  A few points...

 

1) The keyboard in the photo you've referenced is 11 buttons wide.  Even on my 45-button Jeffries anglo, the widest row is 7 buttons wide.

 

With the hand constrained by a strap, how is one supposed reach the buttons (notes) on either extreme end?  (Maybe with the end resting on a leg and the strap loose, so that it's not the strap that controls the position of the ends?  I admit that my perspective is that of a person who generally plays with the instrument suspended in the air, held there by my hands... even my bass English.)

 

2) How big a range do you intend to have?  Currently, the "minimal" duets are: 34 buttons for the Hayden layout; 35 buttons for the Crane layout; and I think it's 37 on a Maccann, but I'm having trouble finding a reference to anything less than 45.  Meanwhile, I see 18 buttons (not counting the "air" button) on the right-hand end in the picture you referenced.  Doubling that for both ends would give 36,  although the left-hand ends on most duets have fewer buttons/notes than the right.

 

So that would put the pictured instrument in the "minimal" class.  A much greater range is generally desired for "serious" playing... at least 48 or even 55 buttons  for a Crane duet, and at least 58 for a Maccann.

 

3) So, if you want to extend the range, where would you put the additional notes?  On a piano keyboard, it's done by extending the keyboard to the side... sides, if we include the "bass" end.  On a piano the hands are free to move as far as the player can reach  in any direction.  With the way a concertina is held, that's not possible, and one certainly can't move either hand to work buttons on the "other" end.

 

It seems to me that no matter where you put any additional notes, you would be deviating significantly from an actual "piano" layout.

 

4) So I suggest that before you actually start building, you create mockups of your proposed button layout drawn (to scale) on paper, and try "playing" various tunes and arrangements with your fingers on those "buttons" to see whether it is actually "comfortable".

 

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Hello ,Some years ago I had a 50key piano keyboard duet made by Crabb, I am certain that Geoff Crabb will remember. I sold it to a French bandonion player who used it to travel regularly between Paris and the USA as his bandonion was to big for cabin luggage.

Mike

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21 minutes ago, Mike Acott said:

Hello ,Some years ago I had a 50key piano keyboard duet made by Crabb

 

I'm curious as to the actual arrangement of the buttons and notes, and how they "map" to an actual piano keyboard.

 

Also your comments as to your experience when playing it.

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The layout of the Jones Piano concertina is attached. Its a bit like the Rust 'Piano' duet system (see the bottom of  http://www.concertina.com/williams/hayden-chat/index.htm)

I find I can reach the buttons alright but the split of the notes between the left & right hand is a bit strange. You can play a tune but I playing harmonies is much more difficult. The extra buttons may be there to help the transition between left & right hand and moving around the keyboard. As JimmyG suggests, movement along the rows is not all that fluid.

I also have a Jedcertina, which I find easier to play (perhaps because its smaller) - though again its just limited to playing the tune, with few harmonies. (e.g. see http://manningsmusicals.co.uk/concertina/the-jedcertina-concertina-by-lachenal/) The range is 1.5 octaves from middle C to A (left hand) then B (& Bb) to G (right hand). Again, it has the swap over between hands at A to B.

If I were building a piano duet, my preference would be - left hand G2-C4 & right hand B3-G5 - but that's getting rather large if you use a piano style layout!

I find other duets better for playing, with a greater range of notes and some overlap between hands.

Peter

 

35 key Jones Piano Concertina layout.xlsx

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5 hours ago, JimLucas said:

With the hand constrained by a strap, how is one supposed reach the buttons (notes) on either extreme end? 

i had the idea of having the handle be able to turn about 30 digrees in both sides and have the keyboard be curved like thisA 1930'S ITALIAN SCANDALLI SCOTT WOOD FOUR VINTAGE ACCORDION with curved  keyboard and green decor

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25 minutes ago, Richard Mellish said:

How many buttons are there in one row on a Franglo?

 

Looks like 7 here. If the one on the right is also a Franglo then I guess it’s variable.

 

54511097_211934009764572_846147502161963

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The Franglo right hand has more buttons than the left (25 buttons over three unequal curved rows) and a totally different hand strap/rail arrangement, with an English-like thumb loop for stability.

 

I'm not sure if this photo link will work; you might need to be a member of the Concertinas are Cool Facebook group to see it:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4287587201269643&set=p.4287587201269643&type=3

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You could consider a Hohner Basso piano accordion.   They crop up on ebay.de from time to time, usually pretty cheap.  Well made instruments though.

Edited by Theo
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4 hours ago, alex_holden said:

I'm not sure if this photo link will work; you might need to be a member of the Concertinas are Cool Facebook group to see it:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4287587201269643&set=p.4287587201269643&type=3

 

Thanks. I had no trouble seeing it and I’m not a member of Facebook at all.

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On 4/24/2021 at 9:47 AM, Theo said:

You could consider a Hohner Basso piano accordion.   They crop up on ebay.de from time to time, usually pretty cheap.  Well made instruments though.

believe it or not I all ready own one. ( keep in mind this video is from back when I first got the instrument back in 2019, this is also on my youtube channel and recorded on chrome book.) 

 

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On 4/24/2021 at 12:31 PM, alex_holden said:

The Franglo right hand has more buttons than the left....

 

I'm not sure if this photo link will work....

 

It worked fine for me, and it showed rows up to 11 buttons wide.  Even with the loop-and-strap way of holding it, I'm not sure I could reach the edges, especially with my rather short little fingers.  Leaves me wondering about the length(s) of Emmanuel Pariselle's fingers.  (And Colin Dipper's, since I know that he also plays the franglo.)

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