Jump to content

30 or 38?


Recommended Posts

The extra buttons on a 38 key seem like a lovely thing, but as a player of Irish music the notes they bring do not make sense, and of course they were created for an entirely different canon. Some time ago I attempted to enlist help to decide on extra notes which would be an asset in Irish music with a view to creating a layout which was not so extensive, perhaps only 34 keys as a compromise on weight and room, but with every key being right on the money. Another way of putting this is, what would people put there now if there was no historical flywheel? I could not find anybody ready to offer an opinion. So let me try again. If you could have two more buttons on each side at the head of two of the rows what would they be..?

 

On the left side I see the F#, the E/F, and the C buttons as contenders. On the right the F# and ?

Ah, Chris, you're inviting us into a minefield. So let me add some sniper fire. :ph34r: :D

 

As a start, I have a low F# on the RHS second button accidental row and this has shown me the handiness of a note situated well away from its peers.

But isn't that what the English system is all about? :o ;)

 

What else from the LHS would work on the right? What if the two RHS side buttons were a low E/F reversed, and a low C/F#. And if the left buttons were a high F#/C# and what else?

And if you're really proposing to depart from the "historical flywheel", as you put it, why not also make changes in the "core" 30 buttons, or at least in the "accidental" row?

 

But I recommend that if we're going to start discussing keyboard (re)design again (it has been a while since the last thread on this subject), we start a new Topic, preferably in the Instrument Construction & Repair subForum.

 

Oh, never mind, I'll do it myself. :)

And here it is.

 

Edited to add the link.

Edited by JimLucas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 51
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Hello all!

I have decided to order an ebony-sided C/G from Juergen Suttner, and have met the following obstacle:

30 or 38 buttons?

I am playing Irish music, and have thought it handy to have a few extra buttons/alternates, but what are the pros and cons?

Is there any difference in the spacing of the buttons?

Slight weight difference.

Price..

Most players of Mr. Suttner's instruments I have seen, have 38s with a few exceptions.

 

regards Snorre

 

(this is also posted at http://angloconcertinaplayers.ning.com)

 

***edited for punctuation***

I don't play Anglo anymore, and don't play Irish, and don't have experience with 38 button layout. But I'd like to compare it to Bandoneons.

A Bandoneon with 142 tones has lots of similarity with 38+ button Anglo. They basically the same. The reason for lots of keys and reversals on Bandoneon is to make it chromatic and fit all kinds of music. The pay off is size, weight and hard to learn keyboard.

Do you NEED full chromaticity? Do you play Jazz, Samba, Bach, Mozart on your Anglo?

I would think that if you are mainstream Irish player, you don't even need 30 buttons - too many. I'm sure out of 30 you have some you rarely or never touch. Then what's the point of having yet more?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello all!

I have decided to order an ebony-sided C/G from Juergen Suttner, and have met the following obstacle:

30 or 38 buttons?

I am playing Irish music, and have thought it handy to have a few extra buttons/alternates, but what are the pros and cons?

Is there any difference in the spacing of the buttons?

Slight weight difference.

Price..

Most players of Mr. Suttner's instruments I have seen, have 38s with a few exceptions.

 

regards Snorre

 

(this is also posted at http://angloconcertinaplayers.ning.com)

 

***edited for punctuation***

I don't play Anglo anymore, and don't play Irish, and don't have experience with 38 button layout.

But I'd like to compare it to Bandoneons.

A Bandoneon with 142 tones has lots of similarity with 38+ button Anglo. They basically the same. The reason for lots of keys and reversals on Bandoneon is to make it chromatic and fit all kinds of music. The pay off is size, weight and hard to learn keyboard.

Do you NEED full chromaticity? Do you play Jazz, Samba, Bach, Mozart on your Anglo?

I would think that if you are mainstream Irish player, you don't even need 30 buttons - too many. I'm sure out of 30 you have some you rarely or never touch. Then what's the point of having yet more?

 

I find it hard to believe that Suttner would accomodate extra buttons by reducing the overall spacing between all the buttons. It would make life difficult, if not impossible, for those with stouter than average fingers. If there is adequate room within a standard sized Anglo for the extra mechanism of levers, pads, posts etc. there is certainly room for some more buttons within comfortable reach of the finger tips without departing from standard button spacing.....I would have thought ? For those of us who support the weight of the instrument on a thigh when playing, any increase in overall weight would be of negligible significance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you NEED full chromaticity? Do you play Jazz, Samba, Bach, Mozart on your Anglo?

 

Not yet......I don't know what degree of chromaticity I will need 5 or 10 or 20 years down the line. My only experience in that department is fiddle, and I know that the better I've become, the more difficult tunes I have taken on, sometimes with a higher degree of chromaticity.

 

I would think that if you are mainstream Irish player, you don't even need 30 buttons - too many. I'm sure out of 30 you have some you rarely or never touch. Then what's the point of having yet more?

I think the point is to have the right buttons. Granted, I very rarely use the notes extremely high in register. But I would more than likely use alternates to "common notes", like G#, Bb and F#.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the point is to have the right buttons. Granted, I very rarely use the notes extremely high in register. But I would more than likely use alternates to "common notes", like G#, Bb and F#.

So you answered your question. Get 38 for peace of mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the point is to have the right buttons. Granted, I very rarely use the notes extremely high in register. But I would more than likely use alternates to "common notes", like G#, Bb and F#.

So you answered your question. Get 38 for peace of mind.

When I ordered my Suttner I was in doubt and I finally decided to order the 38 buttons models, because I play mainly galician music and there are many modern tunes with a lot of accidental notes (in C minor, etc.), and because I wanted to have more chord possibilities. As I play usually with my Dipper 32 keys model I didn't explored by now the possibilities of my Suttner 38 buttons model. But I have them and I am in peace of mind ;-).

If I played only irish music perhaps I didn't ordered the concertina with them. If you play only irish music and you expect only to play it in the future perhaps you could ask irish music players, but if you have a suspect that in the future your music way explore another musics perhaps you would want the buttons.

Perhaps it is a similar thing that occurs with pipers, bigger and with more drones is always better!

Félix Castro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I play exclusively Irish. When I ordered a Suttner almost 5 years ago, I went with the 38 button A4 in C/G. In the interim, I was able to buy a couple of great C/G's with 30 buttons, including a new Dipper. So, I felt that I had no use for another C/G, even if it had 38 buttons. One additional factor was the spacing of the buttons. Juergen said they were closer together on the 38 button model.

 

So when my Suttner order came to the top I changed to an Ab/Eb A2 (30 buttons plus drone). (I already have an excellent Bb/F from Wim, or I would have chosen that tuning.) I am very happy with the Ab/Eb, and play it often when playing alone. It has a beautiful tone that gives wonderful warmth in Eb & Bb (equivalent of G & D). The point is: no matter what you choose now, you can change your mind later, and (at least in my experience) Juergen will not penalize you in price for making a switch. Good luck, Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got confirmation from Mr.Suttner about the spacing (slightly wider on the A-2) and on deciding (don't have to decide now).

This means I can try both models when in Ireland next, and make a more qualified decision. Oh Happiness!

 

Thanks to all contributors for making this thread interesting!

 

Snorre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't play Anglo anymore, and don't play Irish, and don't have experience with 38 button layout. But I'd like to compare it to Bandoneons.

A Bandoneon with 142 tones has lots of similarity with 38+ button Anglo. They basically the same. The reason for lots of keys and reversals on Bandoneon is to make it chromatic and fit all kinds of music. The pay off is size, weight and hard to learn keyboard.

Do you NEED full chromaticity? Do you play Jazz, Samba, Bach, Mozart on your Anglo?

I would think that if you are mainstream Irish player, you don't even need 30 buttons - too many. I'm sure out of 30 you have some you rarely or never touch. Then what's the point of having yet more?

Re-reading this thread, it seems to me that some regard the Anglo as an ITM instrument, some as a Morris instrument, others perhaps as a shantyman's instrument, etc., etc.

 

When I think about it, this attitude is - let's say - a bit disrespectful to the Anglo. I don't see it as "one of the above". I see it as a musical instrument; period.

 

For me, there's more to music than attending a mono-culture session (whatever genre) once a month. Like accompanying popular songs at the campfire. Or playing nursery rhymes for the childern. Or supporting the friends' parodies of familiar folk songs at people's birthday parties. Or leading the hymns in church. Or accompanying my own singing of folk songs or drawing-room ballads, or playing arrangements of them. Or playing melody in an ensemble. I could go on ...

 

I play a 30-button C/G, and can do some of these with ease, and some with a bit of ingenuity, but some make me wish for a few extra buttons. (Like a push Bb for a decent C7 chord.) So I'd say that a 38-button Anglo is a better instrument than a 30-button.

I wouldn't see the extra buttons as an embarrass of riches - I know that I'd be able to play all my existing arrangements and extemporise just as well as without them, but I also know that my new arrangements would quickly take possession of the new territory. That happened many moons ago, when I switched from a 20-button Klingenthal Anglo to a Bandoneon. At first, I used only the central 20 buttons, but I very soon stumbled over the additional and alternative notes, and started using them. I now find the 30-button Anglo limiting in some kinds of music, but OTOH it's simpler than the Bandoneon.

 

So why haven't I upgraded to 38 buttons? Quite honestly, the expense would be prohibitive for me (I've already searched the family's garages and attics ;) ), and with the Crane duet I've got even more flexibility for much less than half the price. OK, I'm having to learn a new system - but that's a good way to stay young when you've passed the 60 mark :P

 

Cheers,

John

(Edited for typo: 30 -> 38)

Edited by Anglo-Irishman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't play Anglo anymore, and don't play Irish, and don't have experience with 38 button layout. But I'd like to compare it to Bandoneons.

A Bandoneon with 142 tones has lots of similarity with 38+ button Anglo. They basically the same. The reason for lots of keys and reversals on Bandoneon is to make it chromatic and fit all kinds of music. The pay off is size, weight and hard to learn keyboard.

Do you NEED full chromaticity? Do you play Jazz, Samba, Bach, Mozart on your Anglo?

I would think that if you are mainstream Irish player, you don't even need 30 buttons - too many. I'm sure out of 30 you have some you rarely or never touch. Then what's the point of having yet more?

Re-reading this thread, it seems to me that some regard the Anglo as an ITM instrument, some as a Morris instrument, others perhaps as a shantyman's instrument, etc., etc.

 

When I think about it, this attitude is - let's say - a bit disrespectful to the Anglo. I don't see it as "one of the above". I see it as a musical instrument; period.

 

For me, there's more to music than attending a mono-culture session (whatever genre) once a month. Like accompanying popular songs at the campfire. Or playing nursery rhymes for the childern. Or supporting the friends' parodies of familiar folk songs at people's birthday parties. Or leading the hymns in church. Or accompanying my own singing of folk songs or drawing-room ballads, or playing arrangements of them. Or playing melody in an ensemble. I could go on ...

 

I play a 30-button C/G, and can do some of these with ease, and some with a bit of ingenuity, but some make me wish for a few extra buttons. (Like a push Bb for a decent C7 chord.) So I'd say that a 38-button Anglo is a better instrument than a 30-button.

I wouldn't see the extra buttons as an embarrass of riches - I know that I'd be able to play all my existing arrangements and extemporise just as well as without them, but I also know that my new arrangements would quickly take possession of the new territory. That happened many moons ago, when I switched from a 20-button Klingenthal Anglo to a Bandoneon. At first, I used only the central 20 buttons, but I very soon stumbled over the additional and alternative notes, and started using them. I now find the 30-button Anglo limiting in some kinds of music, but OTOH it's simpler than the Bandoneon.

 

So why haven't I upgraded to 30 buttons? Quite honestly, the expense would be prohibitive for me (I've already searched the family's garages and attics ;) ), and with the Crane duet I've got even more flexibility for much less than half the price. OK, I'm having to learn a new system - but that's a good way to stay young when you've passed the 60 mark :P

 

Cheers,

John

 

well, i think that we make a distinction, rather than considering the anglo an irish instrument. i think the overarching theme is that you do not need more than 30 buttons for irish music, but it is nice, while for other types of music more buttons is more essential. this does not mean we assume it is an irish instrument, but rather that we assumed the player was playing irish music, as this is what he told us.

 

if he had told us he was playing another type of music, we would thus have catered our responses to that genre more specifically.

 

i wonder at your comment that there is more to music than attending a mono-culture session. what's wrong with that? those of us who do attend such sessions usually do so for a good reason--either a strong affinity to that type of music, or a connection to the tradition the created the music. i myself play irish music because that's all i ever imagined i would do, and all i have ever wanted to do, because my earliest memories are of irish music.

 

i can agree with you that it may sound strange, but it's no more strange than listening to american music for your whole entire life--rock, blues, country, hip-hop, jazz, etc. most people i know only listen to american music, or music based on american music--although the beatles and rolling stones were british, they learned their trade imitating american blues and rock and roll musicians. it is no more strange for someone who plays the anglo and who plays irish music to only play irish music than someone who plays the guitar to only play rock, pop, and american folk.

 

i can think of many people who only listen to jazz music, and spend their whole lives teaching jazz, playing jazz, listening to jazz, and having jazz-musician friends. do you think they are boring as well, mono-cultured musicians?

 

personally, i do aspire to play multiple types of music, but i dont think it is boring to play music from only one culture. saying that there's more to music than mono-culture sessions is like telling bob dylan he doesnt get it, or telling ravi shankar that he should stop playing so much hindustani.

 

i do agree with you, though, that it is just an instrument, and that many people view it's capabilities as limited, but personally i think as time goes on more and more people will push the boundaries of the anglo and duets and englishes making all of us will look like narrow-minded, old-fashioned types.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it hard to consider Irish Music a monoculture. Monoculture suggests its members can agree. I assure you that nothing can be farther away from the truth :). Ask two trad players for their opinion on something and you'll get three different answers.

Of course now it is the duty of one of my fellow trad heads to disagree with me :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it hard to consider Irish Music a monoculture. Monoculture suggests its members can agree. I assure you that nothing can be farther away from the truth :). Ask two trad players for their opinion on something and you'll get three different answers.

Of course now it is the duty of one of my fellow trad heads to disagree with me :P

Unsure of your meaning.

Do you mean the head of one of your fellow trads?

Or do you mean that you yourself have more than one head, and that they disagree with each other?
:unsure:
:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it hard to consider Irish Music a monoculture. Monoculture suggests its members can agree. I assure you that nothing can be farther away from the truth :). Ask two trad players for their opinion on something and you'll get three different answers.

Of course now it is the duty of one of my fellow trad heads to disagree with me :P

Of course Irish music is not a monoculture! As an Irishman born and bred I know very well that it embraces far more than what is now called "traditional" or "folk". From Carolan to Enya via Thomas Moore, so to speak.

Nor was I suggesting that all sessions are monocultures (I didn't even mention ITM sessions, but if the cap fits ... :P ) but, de facto, some sessions are monocultures.

I wasn't even critisising monoculture sessions - they definitely have their place in familiarising you with the traits of the genre involved - but they are not the be-all and end-all, either for me personally or for the Anglo concertina!

 

What I'm saying is that there are two approaches to deciding how many buttons your new Anglo should have:

1) I want to play Genre X - how many buttons do I really need?

2) I want to play the Anglo concertina - what capabilities and limitations do 20, 26, 30, 38 buttons have?

 

The question does not arise with the fiddle, because all fiddles, from the cheapest entry-level to the authentic Strad, have the same configuration, and can play the same music. You pay for the sound, not for the notes.

 

Cheers,

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it hard to consider Irish Music a monoculture. Monoculture suggests its members can agree. I assure you that nothing can be farther away from the truth :). Ask two trad players for their opinion on something and you'll get three different answers.

Of course now it is the duty of one of my fellow trad heads to disagree with me :P

Of course Irish music is not a monoculture! As an Irishman born and bred I know very well that it embraces far more than what is now called "traditional" or "folk". From Carolan to Enya via Thomas Moore, so to speak.

Nor was I suggesting that all sessions are monocultures (I didn't even mention ITM sessions, but if the cap fits ... :P ) but, de facto, some sessions are monocultures.

I wasn't even critisising monoculture sessions - they definitely have their place in familiarising you with the traits of the genre involved - but they are not the be-all and end-all, either for me personally or for the Anglo concertina!

 

What I'm saying is that there are two approaches to deciding how many buttons your new Anglo should have:

1) I want to play Genre X - how many buttons do I really need?

2) I want to play the Anglo concertina - what capabilities and limitations do 20, 26, 30, 38 buttons have?

 

The question does not arise with the fiddle, because all fiddles, from the cheapest entry-level to the authentic Strad, have the same configuration, and can play the same music. You pay for the sound, not for the notes.

 

Cheers,

John

ok, that makes more sense. but what is wrong with the first approach? now, it is funny that i am saying this, of course, as we all remember the hooplah that arose when i tried to suggest we treat the concertina as an instrument of possibilities, rather than limitations (cough cough virtuoso discussion. i wont even link it so i dont have to read it again).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


Make a Donation


×
×
  • Create New...