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24, 26, 28 Button Anglos


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Sometime earlier on this forum it was said that 24, 26, and 28 button

anglos were a good choice for learning rather than a 20 button, because

of the chromatic possibilities and the cost.

 

Are the accidentals on them pretty standardized? What notes are they?

Also how common are they and are they actually cheaper than 30 button

concertinas of similar quality?

 

thanks

Patrick

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Hi Patrick,

 

Rhomylly and I are getting 24 button concertinas from Frank Edgley. Much as he loves the two of us, he has sold these to many others and did not make them just for us.

 

They are a little cheaper than 30 button ones. I am getting the 24 because it has everything I want to play Irish music, accidentals going in both directions - neat, huh, lightweight and good for my small hands.

 

Frank puts a lot of time and effort into making them and they are of high quality. Of course he also makes the 30 button ones.

 

Good luck on your search. Perhaps it would help if you post what you want most in a concertina.

 

Helen

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The Edgeley Special (developed by Frank with Harold Herrington) is, I believe a new anglo system intended for Irish music. The 26-button concertinas I have encountered from Jeffries, Jones and Lachenal are more a cut-down version of a 30 button, that is, all the buttons that are present correspond to their counterparts in the same positions on a 30 button. Having owned a couple of 26 button boxes, I agree that you get an awful lot from those extra 6 buttons. If you can't afford a 30 button, a 26 button is a good thing to go for.

 

Chris

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I'm getting my Edgley 24-button for the exact same reasons as Helen, plus I just really like how his concertinas look. (even though aesthetics have nothing to do with sound, or action, or anything really relevant).

 

The layout chart I got from Frank indicates that the 24 buttons includes all the accidentals needed to play in pretty much any key -- which, combined with smaller size, was *the biggest* selling point for me. Price was a secondary consideration at that point.

 

Just don't ask what I'm doing for the money... :D

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:D I have a 28 button Jeffries and on the basis of that plus playing and observing other like models I would like to add a couple of comments. As far as I can tell, the 26 and 28 button vintage concertinas preceded the development of the 30 button models. You shouldn't always assume that a 26 or 28 button concertina is in some way inferior to the more buttoned models - at least not for a Jeffries. Mine is top quality and I'm familiar with similar quality 26 button models owned by others.

 

Make no mistake, there are some drawbacks and accidental row note position is one place were a number of changes are evident. For instance, on my 28 button Jeffries, the low press A is on the last (or bottom) button on the outside row and other note combinations are similarly shifted over one place by the absence of that 5th button on the outside row. This does change fingering a bit. The right side is less affected since in the Jeffries note layout the first and second buttons on the outside row are just inversions of each other. So the note assignments of the other button notes in that row are unaffected.

 

Overall, I am very pleased with this instrument. By virtue of the fewer buttons, it is lighter than 30 button models. One last and important difference is that these models (less than 30 buttons) are frequently less in demand and may be acquired for more attractive prices. So, to paraphrase an old TV ad, "Try it. You'll like it!"

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The layout chart I got from Frank indicates that the 24 buttons includes all the accidentals needed to play in pretty much any key...

Just note that the Edgley 24-button layout is quite different from that on vintage instruments. I.e., learning what Frank's can do tells you nothing about what the vintage ones can do. They can, however, do quite a bit.

 

The vintage instruments I've seen with 24-28 buttons are just "missing" some buttons/notes from the 3rd row. E.g., I have a 26-button C/G Lachenal where the left-hand 3rd row is C#/D#, A/G, G#/Bb and the right-hand 3rd row is the same, up an octave. That should include all the notes you need for playing most melodies in any key.

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could someone put up the layout for an Edgeley special?
Okeydokey, I've added something. Hope it is the right thing.

What in the world do the numbers mean? They certainly don't seem to be octave designations.

 

Looks quite usable, though I wonder about the lack of a high F#.

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Good question, Jim. Actually, the numbers are to specify which A, B, C etc. is being named. Without going into a lot of detail, the higher the number, the higher the note, going one up in number for each semitone. The basic 20 buttons are pretty standard for an anglo concertina. The numbers on the diagram will tell how the extra notes relate to each other. No, there is no high F# ( which you would find on the R-1-5 button of a standard 30 button), because you (at least I) rarely, if ever, use it. Most Irish music falls within the fiddle range, in first position---rarely above the B, which is the R (ight)-1 (st row)-2 (nd) button. :)

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Actually, the numbers are to specify which A, B, C etc. is being named. Without going into a lot of detail, the higher the number, the higher the note, going one up in number for each semitone.

So your middle C is C15, and I guess that would make A two octaves above the lowest note on a piano A0. The notation I generally use identifies each octave with a number, with each numbered octave ranging alphabetically through A-G#. My A1 is thus the lowest note of the piano, C1 the C just above it, C4 is middle C, and the note usually tuned to A-440 is my A5 and your A24.

 

No, there is no high F#, because you (at least I) rarely, if ever, use it.

Right. I find myself wanting it when I play an octave up or parallel octaves -- things the Irish aren't known for, -- and then I often wish for the A and B above it, as well. :)

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  • 3 years later...
AND we only have to worry about TWO rows.

Out of curiosity, could someone put up the layout for an Edgeley special? I haven't yet seen it, and I am very curious (about the layout that is - whether I am curious in myself is for others to decide...)

 

Chris

 

Here's a graphic image of the button layout for these.

post-4259-1179947154_thumb.jpg

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