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chris vonderborch

Unusual Lachenal Baritone

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I have what appears to me to be a rather unusual baritone concertina. It is a Lachenal, serial number 40848. The instrument is slightly larger than a Wheatstone Aeola baritone, and it is 6-sided. However, in order to incorporate the large bass reeds, 2 sides of the hexagon are longer than the others...a "squashed" hexagon. The ends are rosewood, and it is one of the more up-market Lachenals, because the fretwork etc is very well done, and the reeds are carefully made. It is in a rosewood case with an appealing brass carry handle. The bellows are typically Lachenal and are in mint condition. In fact, it looks as if it were constructed last month! It is quite loud, and would compete with a church organ, I would guess! The concertina is in concert pitch, and the reeds do not show signs of drastic re-tuneing, so it may not have been a Salvation Army instrument.

Has anyone come across such a beast?

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...2 sides of the hexagon are longer than the others...a "squashed" hexagon.

I'm used to that style being called "stretched", rather than "squashed".

Has anyone come across such a beast?

I've certainly heard of others. Also, I have a Lachenal double-action contrabass (bottom note 2 octaves below treble, though only a 2½-octave range, making the top note middle C) which is a stretched hexagon.

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CHRIS: can't say that i've seen many of them. . . .and if memory serves me correctly, they've all been basses rather than baritones. . . .................allan

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From the description it does not sound as a "beast" at all but one of the most common standard concepts of baritones..i.e. particularly those having long scale 'harmonium type' reeds in the lower range, mounted straight, while the rest of the reeds ar mounted radially. The larger ones fixated by screws and the rest as 'usual' being dovetailed.

It was not mentioned how many buttons and the exact measures or if the ends are raised (being the "New Model" style)...things that could tell a bit more if unusual or not....

 

Goran Rahm

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The Lachenal is a 50 button one. Indeed, it has the sets of parallel harmonium bass reeds and radial others. Its dimensions are: 20cm across the larger "flats" of the "stretched" hexagon (thankyou, Jim), and 21 cm across the other 2 flats. The lowest note, which is on the left side, is F2 (F in the second octave, using my Korg piano-tuner). The highest note is Csharp6. The ends are flat, by the way.

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Like I said - it sounds basically 'standard-like' - regarding that the most

'regular' baritone might be a 48 key one with g2 as the lowest note.

i.e. the same keyboard as the regular 48 key treble but transposing an

octave down.

So a bit 'unusual' still ..extended down to f2....it does have the f#2 also??

That c#6 sounds a bit strange to me...expecting c6 to be the highest note.

Any other irregularities? If it has both f2 and f#2 and if you get the common 48 on top of that you have your 50 alltogether and no place for c#6....

It is fairly common that the top button transversal rows are equal, meaning that

the top c (or analogue) is missing and the normally missing ab (or analogue) has¨replaced the 'lost' top c(or analogue)

 

Goran

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The lowest note, which is on the left side, is F2 (F in the second octave, using my Korg piano-tuner). The highest note is Csharp6. The ends are flat, by the way.

Now you have me curious... about the note layout. Is the G above the lowest F situated in the right hand where the low G would be on a normal treble or baritone, or in the opposite row? Or another way of putting it (assuming no radical departures from the standard English keyboard pattern), is the keyboard exxentially like a normal baritone, but extended downward to that low F? Or is there some sort of mirroring involved on the ends? Or is it possibly even in a different key? (If it were in F or Bb, then the Bb's would be in the inner rows and the B-naturals would be the outer rows.)

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The Lachenal baritone, as I described, has F2 as its lowest note, which is on the left side. It does not have Fsharp2, however. Csharp6 is the highest note; the top left-hand button on the right side. Basically, if one ignores the F2 button, it can be played like a normally-tuned English concertina.

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Chris,

Jim introduced as aspect I didn't think of first. The instrument evidently is not the most common 'standard' anyhow and one reason could be ordering for band use and in a different key originally.

If you check the reedworks closely right through you may find signs that there has been some re-arrangement of reeds indicating switch of 'natural' key...?

The "harmonium type" reeds for example....irregular holes somewhere? Different style reed somewhere?

.....Conditionally that it now does play exactly like a treble transposing an octave down...(having c3 level with the midth of the left thumbstrap)

 

Goran Rahm

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