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40-button anglo players: which buttons could you do without?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello !  

 

You might be interested to have a look at the layout of my 40b Wheatstone. During the renovation (by C. Dipper) I asked for a number of layout modifications, including a few within the core 30b. The most notable are the replacement of all pull D#'s by notes which I find more useful at their location (the D#'s being displaced elsewhere).

 

Among the extra or nonstandard notes, the one I use the most are precisely those replacing the D#s.

In order of usefulness :

1/ the pull E on the left (button 33 in my diagram). I really cannot understand why this note is NOT in the standard 40b layout. I use it constantly when playing in chord style ! And I find extremely handy to have this note in the location of the much less useful D#.

(I displaced this D# at the top of the inner row button 16, replacing a pull G# ; the latter being displaced to the RHS). 

2/ the upper-octave pull d' (button 64). It is also very handy to have this note here, opposed to a push c#', and much more practical than the remote button 66 where Wheatstone initially put the pull d' (and where I displaced my d#'). 

3/ c# on the "first" button of the RHS third row (button 61). This leads to a bidirectional c#. I know this modification is also favored by a number of players in the Irish style. 

 

To answer your question "which notes could I do without".

 

Well... on the LHS I have found utility to all notes and would not want to lose any ! Especially I would definitely keep my pull E in its current place, even if I had less buttons. I actually have other instruments with less buttons (a G/D 30b, a Bb/F 32b and a baritone C/G "Levitina" 37b) and have done the same modifications for this button (i can send the layouts if you are interested).

 

On the RHS there are more notes which I could (or can) do without.

First, I almost never use the very higher notes a', b', c'' .  on a C/G with less buttons I would not hesitate to

replace them by more useful notes (on a lower instrument such as G/D or baritone, on the other hand i would keep them).

The other notes I can do without are the extra G,A,e,d duplicating those on the LHS.

I've seen there has been some discussion about these notes... My personal opinion about them 

has evolved over the years. When starting to learn I initially regarded them as useful, 

for a better separation of hands (I expected to play melody mostly on the RHS and chords on LHS). 

Then, my beloved Wheatstone was sent for renovation to Dipper for almost one year. Meanwhile I acquired

a 30b, and realized that all I wanted to do could perfectly be done without those duplications. 

So I eventually asked to retune these notes to other choices

(among them the pull Bb on 01 and the bidirectional d# on 02 turn out to be the most useful).

 

I hope this is helpful !

 

 

 

 

 

Wheatstone_layout.pdf

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Thank you David, this is fascinating. I've (hopefully accurately) transcribed your layout here (edit: corrected as per comment below) to better explore and compare it against the "standard" layout.

 

I would have trouble without that pull LHS D# (I play a couple of tunes in D freygish/Phrygian dominant where it's essential, but that's probably just my weird repertoire). May I ask what type of music you're generally playing?

 

It's surprising to me that, given your comfort foregoing the "overlap" buttons for more useful alternates, you've got a few unisonoric buttons whose notes are duplicated elsewhere. Are you using those buttons for drone-style effects?

 

I've come to a similar conclusion about the highest notes on the RHS: namely, I could lose them on a C/G but would probably want to keep them on an instrument with a lower tuning.

 

On 11/17/2023 at 2:58 PM, david fabre said:

I actually have other instruments with less buttons (a G/D 30b, a Bb/F 32b and a baritone C/G "Levitina" 37b) and have done the same modifications for this button (i can send the layouts if you are interested).

 

Yes please, and thank you!

Edited by Luke Hillman
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Hi Luke

 

Thanks for your feedback ! you app is fascinating  ! and a great idea to share ideas about layouts.

 

My layout is correctly transcribed, except for one point : the note on the pull on button 16 (in my numbering)

is not D but D#... the one which you were puzzled to lose.

It's not lost but displaced to a location where i find it convenient for the few tunes where I need it.

I'm sure the fingering would also be practical for the jewish tunes you are playing !

 

About my own playing : well, initially I played mostly Irish session tunes.

Then I have explored traditional music from all around the world (I'm currently part of a band with a repertoire

including african songs, madagascarian, marrocan, spanish, occitan and much more).

I'm also playing a number of pop songs, both french and international.

And very recently having a try at bossa nova !

 

About the bidirectional notes.

I have kept the C/C "drone" on the LHS because I like it, and use it for instance in a few bourrées from central France.

I like the hurdy-gurdy-ish sound.

As for the c#/c#, I made this modification when I was playing mostly Irish music, in which this note is a difficulty. 

I made this modification myself, as it was a simple swich bewteen the pull d# and c# on adjacent buttons.

I could have reversed it but meanwhile I also made similar modifications to my other instruments, so I'm keeping it.

Finally, regarding the d#/d#, this is also a result of a modification I did myself. I wanted a push d# here. 

After swapping the reeds I had in my instrument, the only one which entered in the slot corresponding to pull

on the same button was also a d#... which i almost don't use because of redundancy.

If I was living close to Colin Dipper I would ask him to file a little bit the reed to raise to e, but I don't want to

do this myself.

Other modifications I did were also limited by similar constraints : I had some more radical ideas but dit not want

to alter too much a vintage instrument. For instance, the modification of the upper d' and d'# was also

a simple switch of reeds of the same size.

 

More to come...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Concerning my other instruments,

Here is a recent thread where I explained the layouts of both my "Levitina" 37b baritone C/G

and my Edgley 30b G/D.

Feel free to put them in your app, I will be very happy to play them virtually !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by david fabre
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... and to complete the collection, I have just transcribed the layout of my last toy : a miniature 13b Norman !

It is a one-row in D with three extra buttons. There are also modifications in the main row, both to have allow minimal

chords and "double-stops" (hence the low B, and A, which are the only bidirectional notes), and to give a few accidentals

to allow playing in adjacent keys to Dmajor.

 

This one I use mainly for irish session. people always find it cool and surprisingly loud !

 

 

NormanMiniD_Layout.pdf

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On 11/19/2023 at 10:38 AM, david fabre said:

the note on the pull on button 16 (in my numbering) is not D but D#... the one which you were puzzled to lose.

 

Ah! I see, yes, now it makes much more sense. I've corrected the link. I can see how a hurdy gurdy sound would fit your repertoire.

 

On 11/19/2023 at 10:44 AM, david fabre said:

Here is a recent thread where I explained the layouts of both my "Levitina" 47b baritone C/G and my Edgley 30b G/D.

Feel free to put them in your app, I will be very happy to play them virtually !

 

Wow, there's a lot to think about here. I'm particularly interested in the 37b "Levitina" layout (and what a beautiful instrument that is!). I'm still playing around with them myself, but as requested, here are your layouts (corrected as per your responses below):

I should probably write better documentation for this, but anyone can edit and share layouts. If you want to transpose your G/D to C/G, for example, you can click "edit layout" and then click the up button under "layout" five times. There's no database, and you don't need an account or anything like that; the layout is encoded in the link itself.

 

...And I should probably start a thread for all the layouts I've transcribed. I've got loads now!

 

Edited by Luke Hillman
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Hello Luke

Thanks for transcribing, I really really like your app !

For the Levitina, there were little errors on the first and last buttons of the inner row, RHS.

I corrected directly on the app :

https://anglopiano.com/?_100_eFHhJkNMmn_90_rQPPTSstVvxX._20_fdcGGIijkLMNnm_70_RsoOqpSRuTwU.giIHjlMNOopqLK_110_tWSrUTvuYwQn&title=Levitina CG 37

 

(NB the true range is not two octaves lower : actually I have two sets of reeds, one at the noted range and one at the lower octave).

 

With the app one can see directly a weakness of the layout : the range is limited to G6 and misses the upper notes.

As I explained on the other thread, based on my experience on the 40b I though I would not need these upper notes, which was an error. 

On the other hand, the lower octave is almost complete and only misses the C# and D#. 

 

I'll check the other layouts and tell you...

 

Edited by david fabre
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And yes, I would love to see the other custom layouts you collected, and it is certainly time to start a new thread !

If you want to make a database with custom layouts, you are welcome to include mine.

 

Some suggestions for you app :

- When visualising chords it may be useful to use a different color for the root note (and possibly the 5th degree). 

- One could include richer chords : 9, 7sus4, 7b5, etc...   

  (but of course the list is endless so it may be just as fine to stick to your "short list")

- I also wanted to suggest you to expand chords in full range, but I found this is already possible, by unclicking "Match octave".

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Thanks David, I've corrected my links. Clearly, it's extremely easy for transcription errors to creep in. Re: Anglo Piano, I've actually got plans for more chord options. At this point it's just a matter of finding time. If you wind up using it, I'm always happy to hear details so I can keep improving!

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Thanks Luke ! I’m looking forward to see more layouts. Seems we share the same obsession  :)

 

BTW, have you collected a “standard layout” for Lachenal 32 button ? I have one of these (the Bb/f) but I asked for layout modifications when I purchased it (and Emanuel Pariselle was happy to do them). So I don’t even know what were initially the notes on the two extra buttons …

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2 hours ago, david fabre said:

BTW, have you collected a “standard layout” for Lachenal 32 button ?

 

I haven't. Someone with more Lachenal expertise might chime in, but looking at Barleycorn's current stock selection (example one, two, three, four), the "extra" buttons on the Lachenal 32 layouts are all novelty sounds!

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I'll add my own variant to the list.  This is a 40-button Crabb C/G dating from the 1970s. I acquired it from a friend of a friend around 35 years ago, when information about layouts (or anything else for that matter) was harder to come by than today, so it is only in the last couple of years that I have come to realise that it is not in the standard Wheatstone layout. Geoff Crabb has been unable to shed any light on it, so I assume that it may have been modified by a previous owner.  It is well-suited to playing in A minor.  The only issue I have with it is that the duplicate D#5 notes are both in the same direction.

 

The button I use least is the Bb5/G#5.

 

 

Crabb 40 button layout.jpg

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