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"piccolo" Vs. "treble"

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This is a response to this Topic in the Buy/Sell subForum, but it's a digression that I think is more appropriate here. Actually, it's two digressions, the second of which probably belongs in Concertina History, but I'm not bothering to start two new Topics.


... sounds like a lovely instrument.

I'm confused however that you would descibe it as a "treble" rater than a "piccolo"?

The ledgers describe it as a piccolo and 5 1/2 " is the standard size, I believe, for an Aeola piccolo.There's no way you could get all the reeds needed for a 48 key treble in a concertina of this dimension.It's rarity value is because it IS a piccolo.

Robin, I'm sorry you edited your post to remove the comment about the instrument being a "piccolo", even though it did seem a bit silly after Peter's own emendations to his original post. But I'm glad that Peter quoted you in his second post, so that I could see it and respond. Because... your confusion points up some interesting facts:

  • It is a piccolo-sized instrument, but previous discussions (no time to Search them out right now) have revealed that a few (likely very few) instruments do exist which are piccolo-sized, but true trebles. So it is possible to "get all the reeds needed for a 48 key treble in a concertina of this dimension". Need I say, though, that I would very much like to see photos of the reed pans, to see how they did it. I would guess that the reeds are all slightly smaller than in a standard treble Æola, but tuned to lower pitch than usual for their size. But that's speculation. I'd rather have photos and dimensions. Note also this Topic, about Juliette's bass-baritone, which is similarly of a size smaller than a standard bass: 8-3/4" across the flats for a 64-button instrument, while my 56-button bass Æola (same lowest note, but doesn't go as high) is 9-1/2" across the flats. And I once had the pleasure of trying a baritone-treble that was the size of a standard tenor-treble, noticeably smaller than my own baritone-treble.
  • The previous discussion (mentioned above, without link) revealed an interesting fact about the Wheatstone ledgers: In at least some cases, the "model" recorded doesn't match the range of the instrument, but rather a standard instrument for which the ends of that size were used. The piccolo-sized trebles are among those. Another is my Pitt-Taylor duet, for which the model number of a standard Wheatstone (Maccann) duet is recorded, and then the word "Special". No indication of what is special, which includes that both the geometrical arrangement of the buttons and the layout of the notes on those buttons are unlike any other. Also, the handles don't have standard straps, but something resembling fingerless gloves.

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FOLKS: about sizes. . . .bear in mind that at the 1851 Grand Exhibition, Wheatstone exhibited a bass concertina that was designed SPECIFICALLY FOR LADIES and that was smaller than the regular size. . . . there are at least two or three sales for such instruments in the sales ledgers...................you can find them in my article on concertina.com. . . "Ladies in the Wheatstone Ledgers"..........allan

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