Ivan Viehoff Posted February 17, 2004 Share Posted February 17, 2004 As things stand, you can't play a triad of E-flat (major or minor) on the left hand of a a 46-key duet concertina, either Maccann or Hayden system, except in inversion. I have recently obtained a 46-key Maccann Duet, which I am teaching myself. As a pianist my inclination is to play chords with the left hand, and a tune on the right. In fact I selected this concertina precisely because with a piano background the duet seemed most likely to fit under my old fingers, you can get a decent quality Maccann for a modest investment. However the absence of an E-flat triad (except in inversion, or by picking out a note on the right hand) makes ordinary keys like B-flat major and even C minor, something of a headache to play in. To play every triad, major, minor or diminished, it suffices to provide a chromatic scale of 19 notes. Both Maccann and Hayden 46-key duets have 21 keys for the left hand, but the chromatic portion is only 18 notes long, in each case from E to A. It follows that precisely one triad (major and minor) is unachievable, and that is E-flat. The Maccann gives you additionally a C at the bottom and B and C at the top, whereas the Hayden gives you C and D at the bottom and B at the top. [in contrast, a 48-key Crane/Triumph has only 20 keys for the left hand, but they form a chromatic sequence from C to G, which allows one to play Onward Christian Soldiers in E-flat.] Now I assume "professors" Maccann and Hayden thought rather carefully about the key selection, after all they were/are good players and I am barely starting. However it does, perhaps hubristically, occur to me that a small adjustment to the key allocation would give me a more useful accompaniment instrument. How easy is it (for a professional repairer) to change a reed by small amount, say a tone or minor third - would it be a matter of retuning the reed, or would one need a replacement reed - if the latter is there serious engineering work to the reed pan? What would duet players think of the following alternative substitutions? 1. Change top G# to B-flat - still has only 11 triads, but the missing one is now the less useful C# (still be available in two inversions) - and the changed key is duplicated on the right hand 2. Change bottom C to E-flat - now has all 12 triads, but lose bottom C, and on the whole I would have rather more use for a bottom D than an E-flat 3. Change top C to B-flat - now has all 12 triads, top B-flat is a useful key, but more useful with the C If I selected option 1, I might also think about also changing the bottom C to a D, which would "give some life" to the bottom F# I have, since three C's in 21 keys seems a luxury in comparison to one D (when I have 2 F#s and G#s). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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