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Crane System Bandoneon


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Hi.

I was in some exchange with Harry Geuns, thinking about converting existing by-sonoric 142 voice Bandoneon into something resembling Crane Duet.

Harry suggested that if at least 10 orders are placed, he will produce such an instrument, but instead of converting existing, he would build them new, using existing action, Bandoneon reeds etc., and true Crane Duet keyboard.

Can there be some people, actually wanting to learn Bandoneon, but scared by it's seemingly incomprehensible layout? Or perhabs some Crane Players may think of venturing into the world of Tango or simply long for richer, more powerful sound?

Harry suggested price of 4400 Euro. So that is out of question, when used bandoneons in very good shape, with true sound and look, can be obtained today from $500 to $2000. But let's discuss the price later.

If you are interested to see my conversion idea,

take a look below.

It's the right hand.

 

Bandoneon_Crane_R_004.jpg

 

 

 

And this is the left hand. It is asymmetric to the right, because it appears that the diagonal rows are asymmetric to the right. If I do this side symmetric, I will have to use the short pinkey for long stretches, and it's not working well.

 

 

Bandoneon_Crane_L_003.jpg

Edited by m3838
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Hi.

I was in some exchange with Harry Geuns, thinking about converting existing by-sonoric 142 voice Bandoneon into something resembling Crane Duet.

Your figures are indeeed Crane, but the conversion wastes a lot of the buttons. Conversion to Hayden would use more of them (and I could play it ;)

Harry suggested that if at least 10 orders are placed, he will produce such an instrument, but instead of converting existing, he would build them new, using existing action, Bandoneon reeds etc., and true Crane Duet keyboard.

I've seen rumors that Harry (working with Wim?) is already planning a Hayden bandoneon.

Don't know if there will be a register switch to cut off the octave reeds. Do players want that?

Can there be some people, actually wanting to learn Bandoneon, but scared by it's seemingly incomprehensible layout? Or perhabs some Crane Players may think of venturing into the world of Tango or simply long for richer, more powerful sound?

I think Bandoneons sound terrific, and Tango is great music. But yes, I'd be scared of that radiation-mutated Anglo bandoneon bi-sonoric layout!

Harry suggested price of 4400 Euro. So that is out of question, when used bandoneons in very good shape, with true sound and look, can be obtained today from $500 to $2000. But let's discuss the price later.

It seems that any different-system bandoneon (or quality Duet concertina, for that matter) is going to cost a few thousand Euro.

Harry (or Wim) makes a C-system CBA-style bandoneon that is intriguing, including a starter version that's a lot less.

If you are interested to see my conversion idea,

take a look below.

It's the right hand.

(snip)

And this is the left hand. It is asymmetric to the right, because it appears that the diagonal rows are asymmetric to the right. If I do this side symmetric, I will have to use the short pinkey for long stretches, and it's not working well.

(snip)

I'm confused. I believe that no Duet system is symmetric (mirror image). Thus no system allows the same fingerings on both hands. So a pinky note on one side is an index finger note on the other.

 

If you make the LH symmetric, then existing Crane/Triumph players would have to re-learn one hand :(

Correct me if I got this wrong. --Mike K.

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When I said "symmetric", I didn't mean Mirror image. That ofcourse, would be wrong.

I simply found, that in conversion, direction of slant in Bandoneon is not symmetric.

So with Crane system, left hand is going to go from up-close-to-strap -- to down-away-from-strap, and the right hand is going: down-close-to-strap -- to up-away-from-strap. But it's minor, no need to dwell on it.

Yes, Hayden would convert better, if to look at the buttons alone. Not sure what will be easier for reeds to re-shuffle. But for me the idea of Crane Bandoneon is to have fully chromatic instrument, not oriented towards diatonic music. Chromatic runs are very difficult and cumbersome on Hayden (at least from paper charts).

Minor chords in all inversions are not that easy either.

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I was in some exchange with Harry Geuns, thinking about converting existing by-sonoric 142 voice Bandoneon into something resembling Crane Duet.

Harry suggested that if at least 10 orders are placed, he will produce such an instrument, but instead of converting existing, he would build them new, using existing action, Bandoneon reeds etc., and true Crane Duet keyboard.

Because of the slanted "columns" and the lack of a pronounced arc or chevron shape to the rows, your "converted" keyboard isn't really "Crane", and Harry Geuns seems to realize this. I would think that current Crane players might be more interested in a Cranedoneon* by Harry than in a conversion.

 

I myself am curious as to what your Craneverted* would be like to play, with the somewhat different geometry- along with the (I presume) larger buttons and wider button spacing of a standard bandoneon. Curious, but not desperately curious.

*
:)
I hereby declare the names
Cranedoneon
(also
Cranedonion
)and
Craneverted
to be in the public domain, so that noone (not even myself) may claim exclusive rights or otherwise restrict their use.

Harry suggested price of 4400 Euro. So that is out of question, when used bandoneons in very good shape, with true sound and look, can be obtained today from $500 to $2000. But let's discuss the price later.

No, I think it needs to be discussed now. €4400 (about $6000) is not an outrageous price, even though few of us have that as petty cash. And that's not to be compared with $500-2000 for a conversion, but with the cost of a used bandoneon plus the cost of the conversion. Has Harry indicated what he would charge for such a conversion? Would it involve just rearranging reeds, or would other internal changes be necessary to fit the reeds in and insure that the resulting sound is not only balanced, but a "proper" bandoneon sound?

 

And this is the left hand. It is asymmetric to the right, because it appears that the diagonal rows are asymmetric to the right. If I do this side symmetric, I will have to use the short pinkey for long stretches, and it's not working well.
I'm confused. I believe that no Duet system is symmetric (mirror image). Thus no system allows the same fingerings on both hands. So a pinky note on one side is an index finger note on the other.

 

If you make the LH symmetric, then existing Crane/Triumph players would have to re-learn one hand :(

Correct me if I got this wrong.

When I said "symmetric", I didn't mean Mirror image. That of course, would be wrong.

I simply found, that in conversion, direction of slant in Bandoneon is not symmetric.

If I understand this correctly, Michael (m3838) is talking about a reflection (or not) of the slant of the columns of buttons only, but not of the locations of notes on the buttons of a given row.

 

To m3838 I suggest that (in his drawings) the buttons could be viewed as crossing diagonals, thus being slanted both ways. I think one could get the desired reflected slant of the layout in the left hand easily enough, and that if there's then a problem reaching buttons with the little finger, it should be solved by shifting the bar-and-strap handle (and thus the hand) to the left.

 

To ragtimer I'll point out that my Pitt-Taylor duet keyboard does have a mirrored layout, so that the notes under (e.g.) the index finger of each hand are the same (ignoring octave shifts). But as far as I know, that's unique... both the instrument and having a mirrored layout. And for what it's worth, I don't find the mirrored layout to be inherently either more or less "playable" than non-mirrored.

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I understand that Harry Geuns already has orders for Hayden Duet "Bandoneons" but still needs a few more to make it up to 10; with a much wider compass of notes on both sides than that proposed for the Craneodeon. i.e. LHS Bass C to b' (nearly 3 octaves) RHS g (same as bottom note of treble-english) to f"' again nearly 3 octaves. and repeated Ab & G#s and Ebs & D#s, full details on JAX (Jack Woher)s site.

With these repeated notes (I have them on my larger concertina) I have no difficulty in playing Chromatic Scales, runs, and decorations. For chromatic scales I did have to work hard when I first started them, but they now present no problem, you never run out of fingers and no finger jumping is needed. I have no difficulty playing chromatic decorations even on my smaller (46 button) concertina, and they seem to creep into trad Irish and Scottish tunes all the time. Minor chords in all inversions present no problem on a larger instrument, which has every fourth and every fifth on adjacent buttons so that any minor or any major chord may be played in any inversion with only 2 fingers.

This can be done on no other type of concertina!

Inventor.

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Seems to me that the best way to "convert" an instrument while retaining a bandoneon button geometry would be to get a MIDI bandoneon on which you can program the individual notes. Then you could experiment with pseudo-Hayden, quasi-Crane, various kinds of symmetry between the hands, etc.

The initial cost might be higher than a single conversion of a used bandoneon (or maybe not; I really don't know), but you could do a dozen additional conversions without any added cost. :) And all layout changes would be both reversible and repeatable, without deterioration.

 

I suspect that some C.net members might even be able to estimate the cost of converting a used regular bandoneon into a MIDI-bandoneon. Pay for one conversion and get the rest "for free".

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To reply to Inventor:

I really don't care much which system Bandoneon is, as far as it's not 3-legged Anglo.

There are many inherent problems with 142 voice bandoneons:

The range is smallish, redundancy of push/pull notes, but not full redundancy, so one 'has' to learn both keyboards, only certain chords are favored, or you have to go to larger instrument. When you go from, say 110, to 130-ish, to 142 and to 144 voice instruments - the layout is different all the time and you have to re-learn it. Or so I've been told by some players.

With Hayden or Crane you can go with smaller keyboard, then upgrade to larger.

I personally find Crane system been better, but would take Hayden too.

Now I can't justify $6000 for a toy like that. Our Yamaha upright was $4000 and it was a serious move. Now, ofcourse, it stands unplayed, so what was the point, right?

My experiment with 20 button Lachenal was a success, I totally chromatized it without ordering special holes drilled or paying too much.

So I was thinking about conversion.

To reply to Jim:

To convert existing Bandoneon you would only need to shuffle reeds inside. for this you need not true Bandoneon, but one with alluminium reedplates. But since there is no such thing as "true Bandoneon sound", it's OK. I would actually prefer double reeds MM dry to LM.

No action rebuilding is required.

Conversion to Hayden will not be more effective, as Hayden system is a bit wasteful.

It will occupy all the (or most) buttons, but will give same 2.5 octaves on the Right.

the fingering, though, will be more regular and without "slanting" problems. However, Hayden keyboards 'must' be slanted, and converted will 'not' be. Not sure if it is a problem.

But my initial idea was a "poor man's" instrument. To try to concoct something useable and stay within $2500.

I can't care less about MIDI. Also there is no need to have the full Symphony under your fingertips, when you can barely play a whistle. Whistle will suffice.

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When I said "symmetric", I didn't mean Mirror image. That ofcourse, would be wrong.

I simply found, that in conversion, direction of slant in Bandoneon is not symmetric.

So with Crane system, left hand is going to go from up-close-to-strap -- to down-away-from-strap, and the right hand is going: down-close-to-strap -- to up-away-from-strap. But it's minor, no need to dwell on it.

Well, the Hayden system has a prescribed slant too -- on both hands, the pinky end is farther from the strap (sounds backwards, but it works). If one side of a converted bandoneon were slanted the reverse way, it might take a couple mintues of noodling for a Haydenist to adjust to it.

 

But not as bad a problem as the missing chevron shape of the Crane, tho the bandoneon arc is similar.

Yes, Hayden would convert better, if to look at the buttons alone. Not sure what will be easier for reeds to re-shuffle. But for me the idea of Crane Bandoneon is to have fully chromatic instrument, not oriented towards diatonic music. Chromatic runs are very difficult and cumbersome on Hayden (at least from paper charts).

Minor chords in all inversions are not that easy either.

Chromatic, minor, and Klezmer scales do require more work on the Hayden, notably you have to use your pinky a lot -- but adding the redundant wrap-around notes (not found on the standard 46-key) helps a lot. In fact, a chromatic scale is quite regular as long as you don't run off the side.

 

All minor chords (and majors) are not that hard to finger in any inversion -- and you only have to learn each chord shape once, and it doesn't change in different octaves.

 

But the real question is whether there are enough bandoneons available (seems that there are, and pretty cheap), whether this is a proper way to treat an instrument, and whether the button layout really does adapt to any of the Duet systems. Looks like the last question answers "No."

--Mike K.

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To ragtimer I'll point out that my Pitt-Taylor duet keyboard does have a mirrored layout, so that the notes under (e.g.) the index finger of each hand are the same (ignoring octave shifts). But as far as I know, that's unique... both the instrument and having a mirrored layout. And for what it's worth, I don't find the mirrored layout to be inherently either more or less "playable" than non-mirrored.

Wow -- excuse my ignorance, but I don't recall hearing of the Pitt-Taylor Duet system. Another to add to the list of Maccann, Crane/Triumph, Jeffries, and Hayden.

 

Is there a thread or web site that shows the P-T layout, and lists its strengths and weaknesses? How many instruments and players exist? And I thought Jeffries were scarce and Haydens were fighting an uphill battle!

 

I sometimes wonder aobut how the Hayden would work if mirror-symmetric, and test it by playing chords in the RH (not hard) and playing melodies in the LH (much tougher, since the pinky gets a workout and my LH pinky jsut hasn't retained all its neural wiring from my piano days :(

 

So I'd probably vote to keep my Hayden LH layout as it is, if there were any question of changing it.

 

And I'll repeat that Guens is making a symmetric 3-row CBA bandoneon. --Mike K.

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[

Chromatic, minor, and Klezmer scales do require more work on the Hayden, notably you have to use your pinky a lot -- but adding the redundant wrap-around notes (not found on the standard 46-key) helps a lot. In fact, a chromatic scale is quite regular as long as you don't run off the side.

whether the button layout really does adapt to any of the Duet systems. Looks like the last question answers "No."

--Mike K.

 

The repetitiveness of chords in Hayden is very appealing, the trasposition is appealing, but having redundant notes for all this to work is a big problem.

Crane has less buttons for the same range, so less work to do in conversion.

The Chevron shape is not imperative, as your major chord shape

_oo

o

will change to

__o

oo

It's not big deal.

And the keybord's compactness is strengh.

I don't think that the phraze: "whether the button layout really does adapt to any of the Duet systems. Looks like the last question answers "No." - is correct.

There are C system and B system Gabla conversions,

Mirror and Russian system chromatic conversions,

There is another French system, based on C system chromatic, but with 4th row added, where you'll find notes octave higher and lower. All of these are adaptations, although they don't use existing instrument (to the point).

I did paper chart of my Crandoneon. Now it may be good idea ot "play" some tunes on it.

But after I hear back from Harry Geuns.

As for Mirror vs. non Mirror. Since Russian system is non-mirror, and Russian players are so good, I'd say it makes more sence.

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To ragtimer I'll point out that my Pitt-Taylor duet keyboard does have a mirrored layout, so that the notes under (e.g.) the index finger of each hand are the same (ignoring octave shifts). But as far as I know, that's unique... both the instrument and having a mirrored layout. And for what it's worth, I don't find the mirrored layout to be inherently either more or less "playable" than non-mirrored.
Wow -- excuse my ignorance, but I don't recall hearing of the Pitt-Taylor Duet system. Another to add to the list of Maccann, Crane/Triumph, Jeffries, and Hayden.

 

Is there a thread or web site that shows the P-T layout, and lists its strengths and weaknesses? How many instruments and players exist?

Note in your quote from my earlier post where I said, "...as far as I know, that's unique...."

 

To the best of my knowledge, the instrument I have is the only example of that Pitt-Taylor layout in existence. If you do a C.net search on "Pitt-Taylor", you'll find it mentioned in quite a few posts, but nearly all those posts are either by me or in response to my posts.

 

Here's an excerpt that I think addresses some of your questions:

Pitt-Taylor designed several different keyboard layouts, and mine is not the 1922 layout, but the much different 1924 one. (More can be found in this article by Brian, pp.15-17, with the diagram of my instrument on p.17.) It bears some resemblance to the Maccann, but with significant differences.

You might also find interesting the rest of the thread from which I took that extract.

Edited by JimLucas
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Note in your quote from my earlier post where I said, "...as far as I know, that's unique...."

OK. I thought you meant that mirror-imaging was unique to the P-T system.

To the best of my knowledge, the instrument I have is the only example of that Pitt-Taylor layout in existence.

So, did you build it yourself, maybe by converting another box? Did you keep the buttons in a strict square matrix, or stagger alternate rows?

 

You have the only one in the world -- quite a claim! And no need to worry about lending your box at an ale-soaked session :P

Here's an excerpt that I think addresses some of your questions:
Pitt-Taylor designed several different keyboard layouts, and mine is not the 1922 layout, but the much different 1928 one. (More can be found in this article by Brian, pp.15-17, with the diagram of my instrument on p.17.) It bears some resemblance to the Maccann, but with significant differences.

You might also find interesting the rest of the thread from which I took that extract.

Thanks very much. I skimmed and saved the Brian Hayden PDF file from "Concertina Magazine" (those were the days, eh?) and read the thread.

The P-T system would have all chords in the same shape for any key, provided you added wrap-around notes at each end (sound familiar?). In fact, Brian did say that this system was close to evolving into his own -- if the keys were at whole-tone instead of semitone intervals, I would add.

 

So -- do you find it playable? How is for for chords?

 

Also in the thread you gave the link to, you mention the value of redundant buttons in shifting the hand position. The basic Hayden layout has no redundant notes, and thus lacks this handy capability. Sometimes I throw extra decorative passing notes into a tune just to "jump" a finger without losing the flow.

 

In a large Hayden layout with redundant wrap-aroudn notes, I can imagine using the "wrong" side's button to positon the hands for what's coming next. THanks, Mike K.

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Hmm. This "thread" is becoming more of a "braid", made up of multiple strands. There's Misha's original different-keyboard-bandoneon strand, a minor Crane strand, and a very strong Hayden strand. And now maybe a Pitt-Taylor strand? :unsure:

 

Note in your quote from my earlier post where I said, "...as far as I know, that's unique...."
OK. I thought you meant that mirror-imaging was unique to the P-T system.

That quote continued, "...both the instrument and having a mirrored layout." (Emphasis added.) Maybe that wasn't as clear as I thought.

 

To the best of my knowledge, the instrument I have is the only example of that Pitt-Taylor layout in existence.
So, did you build it yourself, maybe by converting another box?

Nope. It's Wheatstone #30030. In the Wheatstone ledgers it has a (Maccann) duet model number, but is noted as "Special". Nothing to indicate how special. It was built in 1924, the same year the layout was patented. I presume it was built specially for the inventor, hence my expectation that it's the only one of its kind. It seems that there are several one-of duet keyboards in existence. C.net member aeolina has one in his avatar. (You can check his posts for more about it, including a large photo.)

 

Did you keep the buttons in a strict square matrix, or stagger alternate rows?

Sigh! Mike, you asked a question, but didn't wait for an answer, instead asking another question which assumes a particular answer... which happens to be wrong. :( As noted above, I didn't build it. It's a proper Wheatstone Æola. But ignoring the question of who built it, I need to answer your question about the layout, because that also seems to make false assumptions.

 

The button layout is neither "a strict square matrix" nor "stagger[ed] alternate rows". In fact, I don't believe I've seen any concertina layout that's "a strict square matrix". On all those with non-staggered rows, the individual rows have some sort of slant or non-straight contour. Even the rows of an anglo have a slight curve to them, as well as being offset each to the next. I presume that these are attempts at what we now call "ergonomic" design.

 

If you look at the keyboard layout of my Pitt-Taylor (in Brian Hayden's previously referenced article), you'll see that it provides an extreme example of the contour concept, with the two outer columns on the little-finger side dropped respectively one and two button spacings from the other buttons in the same "row". I haven't seen the relevant patent, but from Brian's description of it, those contours are fundamental features. Squashing the layout into a strictly rectangular form or staggering the rows would significantly alter how it would feel to play the instrument. Enough so that I don't think it would be proper to consider it to be "the same" layout.

 

And that harks back to my comment about Misha's "Crane" conversion idea. While the relative positions of the notes would be approximately the same as a true Crane, I expect that the significant slant of the columns of buttons would result in a very different feel to various melodic and chord configurations.

 

I skimmed and saved the Brian Hayden PDF file from "Concertina Magazine"

...

The P-T system would have all chords in the same shape for any key, provided you added wrap-around notes at each end (sound familiar?).

Sounds familiar, but 'tain't so on my Pitt-Taylor. E.g., compare the configurations of the E major and D major chords.

 

So -- do you find it playable? How is for for chords?

I'll start with the caveat that it's not my main instrument, nor even close to the top, and I've so far spent very little time working with it. That said, I nevertheless find it quite "playable".

 

As for chords, another caveat: I'm not particularly chord-oriented. I don't play either piano or guitar. I can puzzle out chords, but I'm much more comfortable with harmony lines. However, in my own attempts with chording, I haven't found this Pitt-Taylor to be either more or less difficult than the Maccann.

 

Also in the thread you gave the link to, you mention the value of redundant buttons in shifting the hand position.

I think you've misinterpreted what I said. My point was about various forms of spatial separation and spatial alternation being useful. I mentioned the redundancy of the duplicate G/A buttons on a standard anglo as a particular example which illustrated the principles of spatial separation and spatial alternation.

 

IMO, redundancy for its own sake is of no value. However, I think the separated locations of the redundancies in the extended Hayden layouts are useful, because they multiply the possibilities for spatial alternation, which I do think is important.

 

In a large Hayden layout with redundant wrap-aroudn notes, I can imagine using the "wrong" side's button to positon the hands for what's coming next.

Yep, that's my point. :)

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Hi.

I was in some exchange with Harry Geuns, thinking about converting existing by-sonoric 142 voice Bandoneon into something resembling Crane Duet.

Harry suggested that if at least 10 orders are placed, he will produce such an instrument, but instead of converting existing, he would build them new, using existing action, Bandoneon reeds etc., and true Crane Duet keyboard.

Can there be some people, actually wanting to learn Bandoneon, but scared by it's seemingly incomprehensible layout? Or perhabs some Crane Players may think of venturing into the world of Tango or simply long for richer, more powerful sound?

Harry suggested price of 4400 Euro. So that is out of question, when used bandoneons in very good shape, with true sound and look, can be obtained today from $500 to $2000. But let's discuss the price later.

If you are interested to see my conversion idea,

take a look below.

It's the right hand.

 

Bandoneon_Crane_R_004.jpg

 

 

 

And this is the left hand. It is asymmetric to the right, because it appears that the diagonal rows are asymmetric to the right. If I do this side symmetric, I will have to use the short pinkey for long stretches, and it's not working well.

 

 

Bandoneon_Crane_L_003.jpg

 

 

Ah yes,

 

finally you begin to see that flicker of light and realize the errors of your ways... The Duet, so abmonished, so cast asunder by hairy knuckles and scoffs of futility.

 

But whats the real goal? To make a bandoneon something that it is not?

 

rather than find 10 people to convert one box to another, better still find 100 people to group together to order the real thing, an actaul new Crane Duet.

 

That would rally the masses. Even now they wait along the sidelines in silence.

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But whats the real goal? To make a bandoneon something that it is not?

 

rather than find 10 people to convert one box to another, better still find 100 people to group together to order the real thing, an actaul new Crane Duet.

The goal is to combine the ingenious layouts of small concertinas with that soleful sound of Bandoneon.

I personally don't buy the sound of 1 reeded 'real' Duet. And judging by the abundance of multy-reeded instruments, I'm not the only one.

Low reeds of a concertina sound like a bunch of sea lions to me, and the high reedsd squeak. But the layout of 'true' bandoneon is so ridiculous.

Small Duet on the base of Bandoneon would be interesting to experiment with.

It's multy-key, fully chromatic, logical, easy to learn. It's possible to use accordion etudes, piano pieces, violin and fluite duet scores. But mostly, just picking a tune by ear to accompany singing friends.

So that's the goal. Tell me why it's wrong.

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Nope. It's Wheatstone #30030. In the Wheatstone ledgers it has a (Maccann) duet model number, but is noted as "Special". Nothing to indicate how special. It was built in 1924, the same year the layout was patented. I presume it was built specially for the inventor, hence my expectation that it's the only one of its kind.

If I recall Brian's patent article right, the design evolved over several patents, up till 1928. So you have an earely or middle version? May I assume yours has the "pure" Pitt-Taylor scheme, of ordered chromatic notes? That would at least be easy to memorize the layout. It seems later designs were influenced by the Maccann's alternating scheme, and sharp/flats moved off to the sides.

It seems that there are several one-of duet keyboards in existence. C.net member aeolina has one in his avatar. (You can check his posts for more about it, including a large photo.)

I haven't searched for his posts yet, but I can tell from his avatar that his button layout is unusual.

 

The button layout is neither "a strict square matrix" nor "stagger[ed] alternate rows". In fact, I don't believe I've seen any concertina layout that's "a strict square matrix". On all those with non-staggered rows, the individual rows have some sort of slant or non-straight contour. Even the rows of an anglo have a slight curve to them, as well as being offset each to the next. I presume that these are attempts at what we now call "ergonomic" design.

OK, by a "strict square matrix" I meant that, in columsn going straight out perpendicular to the hand rest, each column of buttons is in-line thru all rows. I would say the P-T (and maybe Maccann) are that way, despite the tilt or fall-off of rows near the sides.

 

A Hayden is "strict" only if you draw a slanted line up thru the sequence of 4ths. GOing straight up from the hand rest, the rows are staggered, and that's part of Hayden's design.

If you look at the keyboard layout of my Pitt-Taylor (in Brian Hayden's previously referenced article), you'll see that it provides an extreme example of the contour concept, with the two outer columns on the little-finger side dropped respectively one and two button spacings from the other buttons in the same "row".

Yes, the buttons drop by an integral row spacing, so it looks like a square matrix, but isn't. That must be done to accomodate the little finger's shorter reach, like the arc or tilt of other systems.

I haven't seen the relevant patent, but from Brian's description of it, those contours are fundamental features. Squashing the layout into a strictly rectangular form or staggering the rows would significantly alter how it would feel to play the instrument. Enough so that I don't think it would be proper to consider it to be "the same" layout.

I agree, and the slant and stagger and sligth overall tilt are parts of the Hayden system as well. Seemingly minor alterations to any of these could cause real trouble to an experienced player -- or maybe he could adapt after a few minutes of noodling? But it wouldn't be a "true" Hayden DUet.

And that harks back to my comment about Misha's "Crane" conversion idea. While the relative positions of the notes would be approximately the same as a true Crane, I expect that the significant slant of the columns of buttons would result in a very different feel to various melodic and chord configurations.

Exactly. An accomplished Craneist could not jsut pick it up and rip off a good performance.

 

I'll start with the caveat that it's not my main instrument, nor even close to the top, and I've so far spent very little time working with it. That said, I nevertheless find it quite "playable".

 

As for chords, another caveat: I'm not particularly chord-oriented. I don't play either piano or guitar. I can puzzle out chords, but I'm much more comfortable with harmony lines. However, in my own attempts with chording, I haven't found this Pitt-Taylor to be either more or less difficult than the Maccann.

Given the number of accomplished Maccann players out there, I'd say this makes a decently positive statement about the P-T's playability.

 

It seems to be that pairs or triples of chromatically adjacent chords and scales should play with the same fingerings, so you get some re-useability of learning, tho not as much as on the Hayden.

 

The P-T also has the advantage that if you want to flatten or sharpen a note, you know right where to go!

--Mike K.

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But whats the real goal? To make a bandoneon something that it is not?

 

rather than find 10 people to convert one box to another, better still find 100 people to group together to order the real thing, an actaul new Crane Duet.

The goal is to combine the ingenious layouts of small concertinas with that soleful sound of Bandoneon.

I personally don't buy the sound of 1 reeded 'real' Duet. And judging by the abundance of multy-reeded instruments, I'm not the only one.

Low reeds of a concertina sound like a bunch of sea lions to me, and the high reeds squeak. But the layout of 'true' bandoneon is so ridiculous.

I agree, at least in part. The low notes would benefit from the octave reeds, though the high notes might be squeakier than ever.

If all goes well, in a few weeks I may have a Hayden Duet bandoneon with M+H octave reeds. I'll be all over C.Net with postings on how it sounds and plays and looks, inside and out.

 

FWIW, I'd like to ahve M+M reeds in "wet/celeste/tremolo" tuning (sidewalk cafe, anyone?).

Small Duet on the base of Bandoneon would be interesting to experiment with.

It's multy-key, fully chromatic, logical, easy to learn. It's possible to use accordion etudes, piano pieces, violin and fluite duet scores. But mostly, just picking a tune by ear to accompany singing friends.

So that's the goal. Tell me why it's wrong.

Nothing wrong with the goal. I agree that a small Crane is probably the best fit of any Duet system to a bandoneon's button pattern, with Hayden a close second.

Whether the button pattern will fit a true Crane setup well enough to really play it, is a question that may not be answered till you've tried it.

And it may be worth sacrificing a bandoneon to test the idea, before signing up several grand to buy a newly made isntrument.

 

BTW, for a larger instrument, a Cheminitzer may have a more generous button layout. --Mike K.

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