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The Very First Insanglo Concertina


caj
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insanglo.jpg

 

This is actually a Norman Model H, with the reedpans removed, and a custom set of accordion reeds installed to follow an absolutely daft and nonsensical note arrangement.

 

I completed it this afternoon. The package store down the street just started to carry my favorite Catalonian wine, just in time for me to celebrate its completion.

 

This note layout was designed to have all sorts of crazy mathematical properties, which as a grad student I confirmed using extensive computer simulations (on MIDI files generated from ABC tunebooks.) They are:

  • All keys are equally "easy" to play;
  • The layout minimizes the probability that two consecutive notes require two different buttons in the same column. I hate it when that happens;
  • All melody notes are on the first three fingers, no pinkies except for harmony and alternate notes.
    This is even true on the low end of the concertina's range;
  • All scales, major minor etc, are semi-smooth, requiring two direction changes per octave;
  • Playing in octaves is possible over the entire range of the instrument.

Okay, the downside is that the note arrangement follows no pattern that makes sense to any sane person. Basically it took me 15 minutes to find the G scale, and I designed the thing. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. But my design assumption is that, like typing and playing the Anglo, patterns don't matter; all that matters is practice and muscle memory.

 

So over the next week I will try to learn to play a few tunes on the thing. I will also tweak the mechanics, because my reedpan-building skills are not perfect.

 

Caj

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Great photo! Interesting idea. Just what we need, another concertina system. There could not possibly be enough of them already.

 

As for right hand melody/ left hand accompaniment, did your computer figure out if there are great voicings of chords that match up with the push/pull requirements?

 

Looking forward to hearing further reports about your playing experience.

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Yes, please share the layout.. as one who has spent many (wasted) hoours trying to come up with something that would be more friendly to a box player...I am curious

 

 

So, enough about the concertina... what's the wine?

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff H
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You're right, it isn't Catalonian. I mistyped: this was wine I had when in Catalonia.

 

The layout is as follows:

 

(Pull/Push)

				 Left side								 Right side

E5/C5 F#5/A5 A5/E6 C6/F5 C#6/G#5		 Bb5/Eb6 B5/F#5 D6/G5  G5/B5  F5/D5	  (high)

E4/C4 F#4/A4 Bb4/Eb5 B4/F#4 D5/G4		A4/E5 C5/F4 C#5/G#4 G4/B4   F4/D4	  (medium)

D3/C3 F#3/A3 A3/E4 C4/F3 C#4/G#3		 Bb3/Eb4 B3/F#3 D4/G3  G3/B3  F3/E3	  (low)	

  pinky ----> index finger				   index finger<---pinky

 

I may have the octaves a bit wrong there (but thankfully not in the box.)

 

The outer two columns are extra notes and allow chords. The inner 3 columns on each side are for

playing melody. Note that a scale jumps all over the map. Pick any scale in any key, and follow

the buttons in the 3 inner columns (index-ring) For example, a C scale is:

 

L2 R3 L3 R2 L1 R1 L2 R2

 

Whereas a full chromatic scale over all 3 octaves is

 

L2 R2 R3 L1 L3 R1 R2 L2 L1 R3 R1 L3

R2 L2 L1 R3 R1 L3 L2 R2 R3 L1 L3 R1

L2 R2 R3 L1 L3 R1 R2 L2 L1 R3 R1 L3

 

Caj

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Left side Right side

 

E5/C5 F#5/A5 A5/E6 C6/F5 C#6/G#5 Bb5/Eb6 B5/F#5 D6/G5 G5/B5 F5/D5 (high)

 

E4/C4 F#4/A4 Bb4/Eb5 B4/F#4 D5/G4 A4/E5 C5/F4 C#5/G#4 G4/B4 F4/D4 (medium)

 

D3/C3 F#3/A3 A3/E4 C4/F3 C#4/G#3 Bb3/Eb4 B3/F#3 D4/G3 G3/B3 F3/E3 (low)

 

Completely insane. Good work! applaud[1].gif

 

Seriously though, it looks like hell on wheels to me - it may work as a melody instrument but you've seriously restricted your possibilities for chording (which, granted, may not be anything like as important to you as it is to me :) )

 

That said, I'm full of admiration for anyone who seizes the bull by the horns, comes up with a design and actually sees it through. :)

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Seriously though, it looks like hell on wheels to me - it may work as a melody instrument but you've seriously restricted your possibilities for chording (which, granted, may not be anything like as important to you as it is to me :) )

 

I believe that most chords can be played, save for a couple very obscure ones.

 

The original design allowed all chords in all keys, over the full range of the instrument, but this had the tragic disadvantage that some crucial melody notes weren't available in both directions (towit, D) Adding D and A to the extra buttons restricted a few weird chords.

 

Caj

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