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Horizontal or vertical Anglo buttons?

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30 button Anglo, like my own, considering a beginner's first getting their hands on one( any make).. could seem a little daunting; with all the buttons at both sides, and then once they realise two notes are on the one button, during use!

A lot of people consider them ( I believe unfavourably) easier to play, but we know, on the net, of course this is NOT always the case.

Some instructors say that to help visualise the Anglo button arrangement as vertically arranged, as viewed from the player; but I have always thought it much simpler to see them on a horizontal axis, when holding up, in order to get to know the buttons.

Once seeing the three 'horizontal' rows with their 5 buttons ( for nearly every finger, ).. I think is a more practical way of aiding someone's first visualising the instrument, than being seen as the other way on. It is more logical, and relates each button to a finger.

This regardless of how you play them regarding position ( sitting, standing etc..).

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Do you mean the orientation of a button diagram?


As in this:



Versus this?



If so, I also like the horizontal layout better. But I've encountered people who strongly prefer the vertical arrangement and find the horizontal one totally nonsensical.

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Yes pretty much what I meant; in the way you can visualise the notes and buttons. To me, it seems more logical to see them in terms of horizontal viewpoint, and with the 5 buttons per row, like number of fingers on the hand, ( even if finger use varies in practice).

With this in mind, I would imagine a beginner may find it less confusing, than being faced with diagonal viewpoint ( just my own view) When I was early on learning 30 key, I also began to see as in terms of horizontal rows of button notes, rather than the other way up.

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1 hour ago, Owen Anderson said:

I always visualize them horizontally, even though I know it doesn’t make sense physically. The fact that I am a solid touch typist may influence this. Visualizing then as three horizontal rows makes it very analogous to touch typing.

Actually, describing them horizontally makes much more physical sense if you consider player’s perspective as a reference point. If you want to see buttons clearly while strapped you either turn the side of the box as you would turn steering wheel in the car, or you lean back over the side, ending in a position, in which buttons are aligned more towards horizontal view axis than vertical view axis. 

That said, I can understand vertical diagrams easily except for the most bizzare diagrams used by Wim Wakker for CC duet boxes, which are vertical and from an audience perspective (concertina bellows bent inwards) instead of player’s perspective (bellows stretched outwards) resulting in switched LH/RH sides on the diagram. This is really confusing and unnatural for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I guess different people have different ways of interpreting spatial representations.

My mother-in-law was the best mother-in-law a man could have, but she had one unsumountable weakness: if she encountered an unfamiliar electric cooker that had the control knobs on the front, vertical surface, she just couldn't correlate the symbols beside the knobs (you know, little squares with a small circle in one corner) with the hot-plates on the horizontal top surface of the cooker. If the knobs and their symbols were on the top of the cooker, she had no problem.


As to button layouts: a 20-button Anglo is conceptually two mouth organs, tuned a fifth apart, sawn through the middle and built into a bellows. My graphical representation of the notes just reassembles the two mouth-organs, resulting in horizontal rows.



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