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Three row chromatic fingering?

dunlustin

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Clearly I was mistaken to be negative about your experience.
Good luck with your project - looks as if you'll enjoy it.
I admire your positive thinking.
 
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dunlustin said:
Clearly I was mistaken to be negative about your experience.
Good luck with your project - looks as if you'll enjoy it.
I admire your positive thinking.

Nothing wrong with a little healthy scepticism :D Without the background info, I may well have felt the same way.

End panel is now off. Oooh 'eck! I didn't know what I'd expect to see, but it wasn't that! :p  (never seen the inside of an accordion before)



I've tried lifting up some of the sunken pushrods from underneath the support rails, and some seem quite free, as if there's weak springs, or some of the tension has gone due to the jammed buttons. Others are locked solid, and I do need to take the cover off to work backwards from the reeds back to the buttons. No broken pieces rattling around inside, no glaringly obvious misalignment. No obvious decay, except for some minor tarnishing of axles. Not fixed yet, but looking promising I'd say. I think next step is to make a protective plastic collet, so I can unscrew all the button tops with screw pliers without marring or cracking them
 

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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer said:
dunlustin said:
Clearly I was mistaken to be negative about your experience.
Good luck with your project - looks as if you'll enjoy it.
I admire your positive thinking.

Nothing wrong with a little healthy scepticism :D Without the background info, I may well have felt the same way.

End panel is now off. Oooh 'eck! I didn't know what I'd expect to see, but it wasn't that! :p  (never seen the inside of an accordion before)



I've tried lifting up some of the sunken pushrods from underneath the support rails, and some seem quite free, as if there's weak springs, or some of the tension has gone due to the jammed buttons. Others are locked solid, and I do need to take the cover off to work backwards from the reeds back to the buttons. No broken pieces rattling around inside, no glaringly obvious misalignment. No obvious decay, except for some minor tarnishing of axles. Not fixed yet, but looking promising I'd say. I think next step is to make a protective plastic collet, so I can unscrew all the button tops with screw pliers without marring or cracking them

The buttons are fairly durable, and should free off after a half turn or so. In fact on all of mine you can start them off by hand. I have a Cavagnolo, a Maugein, a Marinucci, and a Hohner made for the French market with more or less identical buttons to yours, and I can loosen them all off by hand. The odd one might be a bit stiff, but there is usually no problem. The laborious bit is unscrewing them all until you can get them off (and on again). Those button tools would make it all a whole lot easier, but at €160 a set they are a major investment. 

Seems like you'll have the aptitude to work it out and carry out any correction to the bass mechanism as required. 

The bass side of an accordion frightens most people who see it for the first time. There are always one or two tricky bits, but you'll get there. The treble side on a CBA is more open, and the control levers are a lot sturdier. The real nightmare with the treble side is when you remove the buttons you can rarely get them all back to the same height above the keyboard. You won't be surprised to learn there is a tool for that as well, but I doubt whether the cost would justify the expense. 

You're probably already aware that most accordions in the UK have the usual peg push in buttons, but I understand the internal workings to be similar in principle to those with mushroom buttons such as ours. The advantage they have over us is all they need to do is unscrew the bass keyboard plate and lift it straight off. No unscrewing of buttons to contend with. You'll also probably notice that the mushroom buttons are a bit noisier in operation than the standard peg buttons, but there's nothing that can be done in that respect.

Hopefully you'll be playing it in a week or two.
 

TomBR

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A bass mechanism is a wonderful thing, highly comprehensible, just loads of repetition!

"....next step is to make a protective plastic collet" These words give me great confidence in your ability to make a success of your project!
Good luck
Tom
 
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We have progress... and it's good news!

All keys now returned to their upright position. The jamming is purely the innermost (bellow side) row of bass buttons, or more specifically button stems, sticking as they pass down through the body. With a combination of prying the offending button away from the bellows, and a nudge upwards on the bottom of the push rod, the linked array all fully return to the home position. I'll still need to remove the cover to identify remedial action, which I think will either be bent top sections on the pushrod, or the plastic stems strained or damaged in some way where they join the pushrod.

Cause: I'm guessing that row of buttons got sprained during the wrapping process, OR possibly the UNwrapping process, (I'm not going to automatically assume the seller is at fault here) but I am confident that one way or another, I'll get it sorted.

Another possibility, is there might be some debris between the hole and the stem. All these mushroom capped buttons have felt underneath, so they don't land heavily on the plastic casing when being played - on both bass and treble side - and some are looking a bit dog-eared, and fraying a bit. It could easily just be that "lint balls" of that stuff are getting jammed in and is complicating matters.

Are those felt pads a freely available consumable, or do I need to get myself a sheet and a leather punch for knocking discs out?

Other good news... with the keys all in the upright position, I lifted the accordion by the bass side body, and bellow creep was very slow. So leakage is minimal. Certainly not at a level I need to be concerned about during the learning stages anyway. More importantly, no reeds sounded, so all the valves are good... or at least not leaking... I obviously have still to check for sticking ones, and I don't think my neighbours would appreciate me doing that at 3:30AM somehow

The "bag of spanners" is thankfully proving to be just a few teething problems. Yeah, some reeds might need a tweak later, but I'd think all second hand accordions can be prone to issues there.

It shouldn't be too much longer before I can get this thread back on track, identify each of the buttons, figure out what the chords are (by observing which axles turn through that access panel), and start putting together my own manual of finger patterns for whatever system this eventually turns out to be. Of course, anything I put together will be uploaded here for any English speakers who stumble across one of these in future.

Thanks again for all input so far on this thread. Don't all go running off though, I might still need you all as I negotiate the next few stages :D
 
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Tom, Dingo40, thank you both.

I've had a quick play with the treble side. Rows are 15/16/15 buttons, with the central button on the innermost row being middle C (C4). This takes the treble side range from C#2 to Bb5, with at least two reeds sounding. A very "full" sound... is that what's called wet tuning? Second voice drops one reed an octave lower by the sounds of it.

I think the treble side plays lower notes at the top of the keyboard than the bass side does...

I can start putting charts together for the treble side now, along with determining the associated common chord shapes and scale patterns, which was the original aim of this thread :D
 
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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer said:
Tom, Dingo40, thank you both.

I've had a quick play with the treble side. Rows are 15/16/15 buttons, with the central button on the innermost row being middle C (C4). This takes the treble side range from C#2 to Bb5, with at least two reeds sounding. A very "full" sound... is that what's called wet tuning? Second voice drops one reed an octave lower by the sounds of it.

I think the treble side plays lower notes at the top of the keyboard than the bass side does...

I can start putting charts together for the treble side now, along with determining the associated common chord shapes and scale patterns, which was the original aim of this thread :D

AW,

Great progress, and glad you are getting to grips with your new toy.


With Belgian bass your high notes are at the bottom, and the low ones are at the top (i.e. the opposite way round from the normal Stradella bass.) The C button counterbass in the third row may (should) have a countersunk indentation in it. 

If you find a Stradella bass chart, you can work out what each row is by moving in the opposite direction, so G will be the row above C rather than below it, and so on. 

You can buy ready made felt washer dampers for your bass buttons from various locations. If you put a post on here asking about them I'm sure somebody with a current link to a retailer will probably pick it up. Only caveat is some retailers will only supply in bulk, and not every retailer will have felt washers for mushroom bass buttons in stock, unless such bass systems are common in their own country. 

If your French is up to it try interrogating the French web for sources, although there aren't all that may French repairers these days, and some of them may not be keen to send out small quantities of accordion components to private individuals. I did know of a place once in France who had a fairly extensive stock of spares, but can no longer remember the name of it, or even where it was. They used to advertise in a French accordion magazine which went out of print a few years ago.
 
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maugein96 said:
AW,

Great progress, and glad you are getting to grips with your new toy.


With Belgian bass your high notes are at the bottom, and the low ones are at the top (i.e. the opposite way round from the normal Stradella bass.) The C button counterbass in the third row may (should) have a countersunk indentation in it. 

If you find a Stradella bass chart, you can work out what each row is by moving in the opposite direction, so G will be the row above C rather than below it, and so on. 

You can buy ready made felt washer dampers for your bass buttons from various locations. If you put a post on here asking about them I'm sure somebody with a current link to a retailer will probably pick it up. Only caveat is some retailers will only supply in bulk, and not every retailer will have felt washers for mushroom bass buttons in stock, unless such bass systems are common in their own country. 

If your French is up to it try interrogating the French web for sources, although there aren't all that may French repairers these days, and some of them may not be keen to send out small quantities of accordion components to private individuals. I did know of a place once in France who had a fairly extensive stock of spares, but can no longer remember the name of it, or even where it was. They used to advertise in a French accordion magazine which went out of print a few years ago.

I explored the bass side today, so I could understand what's supposed to be happening, before I remove the cover and potentially disturb something. You're correct that descending the bass keyboard, the tone ascends as per the circle of fifths... D, A, E, B, etc.

The rows (or columns, depending how you view it) are staggered as follows:

Minor 3rd (Eb)
Major 3rd (E)      all these three rows sound in octaves
Root (C)
           Major Chord (C, E, G)
           Minor Chord (C, Eb, G)
           Dom 7th minus root (E, G, Bb)

So the chords for C, are actually located in line with the F root button.

I haven't figured out how the Dom 7th keys are used for diminished chords yet. That's beyond my current appreciation of theory. I haven't figured out where the octaves switch either. My ears are playing tricks on me, and it always sounds like it's ascending (or descending) no matter where I start, but I suppose that's the whole point... although I'm not playing it properly yet either, as I still have the end panel and bass wrist strap off.

I'll probably do a separate thread with finger patterns for this bass system when I figure it out, just like I'm trying to do with the three row treble side in this thread.
 
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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer pid=69396 dateline=1579120831 said:
maugein96 pid=69381 dateline=1579084161 said:
AW,

Great progress, and glad you are getting to grips with your new toy.


With Belgian bass your high notes are at the bottom, and the low ones are at the top (i.e. the opposite way round from the normal Stradella bass.) The C button counterbass in the third row may (should) have a countersunk indentation in it. 

If you find a Stradella bass chart, you can work out what each row is by moving in the opposite direction, so G will be the row above C rather than below it, and so on. 

You can buy ready made felt washer dampers for your bass buttons from various locations. If you put a post on here asking about them Im sure somebody with a current link to a retailer will probably pick it up. Only caveat is some retailers will only supply in bulk, and not every retailer will have felt washers for mushroom bass buttons in stock, unless such bass systems are common in their own country. 

If your French is up to it try interrogating the French web for sources, although there arent all that may French repairers these days, and some of them may not be keen to send out small quantities of accordion components to private individuals. I did know of a place once in France who had a fairly extensive stock of spares, but can no longer remember the name of it, or even where it was. They used to advertise in a French accordion magazine which went out of print a few years ago.

I explored the bass side today, so I could understand whats supposed to be happening, before I remove the cover and potentially disturb something. Youre correct that descending the bass keyboard, the tone ascends as per the circle of fifths... D, A, E, B, etc.

The rows (or columns, depending how you view it) are staggered as follows:

Minor 3rd (Eb)
Major 3rd (E)      all these three rows sound in octaves
Root (C)
           Major Chord (C, E, G)
           Minor Chord (C, Eb, G)
           Dom 7th minus root (E, G, Bb)

So the chords for C, are actually located in line with the F root button.

I havent figured out how the Dom 7th keys are used for diminished chords yet. Thats beyond my current appreciation of theory. I havent figured out where the octaves switch either. My ears are playing tricks on me, and it always sounds like its ascending (or descending) no matter where I start, but I suppose thats the whole point... although Im not playing it properly yet either, as I still have the end panel and bass wrist strap off.

Ill probably do a separate thread with finger patterns for this bass system when I figure it out, just like Im trying to do with the three row treble side in this thread.

Looking at the photo of your instrument, there doesnt appear to be a bass coupler changer on it, i.e. there is no scope to switch any of the bass reeds out. That is common on smaller CBAs and I have a Hohner 96 bass like that. It is usual for there to be 4 sets of bass reeds in such an instrument as the one you have. I have no knowledge at all how they are tuned.


When I get the time Ill look up the difference between 7th chord notes on French/Belgian accordions, compared with the more usual 7th chord combination, and hopefully find out which 7th button gives you the dim7. It may be the case that you need to depress more than one bass button to get the dim7, but Im not sure. 

I dont know enough about the Belgian bass to be of much use as to the layout, but you seem to have it worked out. 

[font=Tahoma,Verdana,Arial,Sans-Serif]Keep plodding away and youll get there.[/font]
 

dunlustin

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'My ears are playing tricks on me.... but I suppose that's the whole point,'
On a more helpful note than last time - you're right, the octave tuning is designed to trick your ears so a simple octave sounds much more than it is.
Good innit?
And
For a useable Dim chord:
Say I is C = c e g
A full dim chord = piled up minor 3rds = c, eflat, f#, a
Its IV7 chord = a,c,eflat – without the root of f.
So using the IV7 chord next to the I gives a usable dim chord it just doesn’t have the f#.
And this is true for any I/IV7 combination – try it with, say, D and G.
 
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dunlustin pid=69403 dateline=1579128944 said:
My ears are playing tricks on me.... but I suppose thats the whole point,
On a more helpful note than last time - youre right, the octave tuning is designed to trick your ears so a simple octave sounds much more than it is.
Good innit?
And
For a useable Dim chord:
Say I is C = c e g
A full dim chord = piled up minor 3rds =  c, eflat, f#, a
Its IV7  chord =  a,c,eflat – without the root of f.
So using the IV7 chord next to the I gives a usable dim chord it just doesn’t have the f#.
And this is true for any I/IV7 combination – try it with, say, D and G.

Ahh... OK. So it can be dropped to a triad with no real detriment. Thats useful. So I really need to keep my eye open for useful inversions on the bass side, particularly with it only being an octave range. Food for thought

Many thanks


maugein96 pid=69400 dateline=1579124677 said:
Looking at the photo of your instrument, there doesnt appear to be a bass coupler changer on it, i.e. there is no scope to switch any of the bass reeds out. That is common on smaller CBAs and I have a Hohner 96 bass like that. It is usual for there to be 4 sets of bass reeds in such an instrument as the one you have. I have no knowledge at all how they are tuned.


When I get the time Ill look up the difference between 7th chord notes on French/Belgian accordions, compared with the more usual 7th chord combination, and hopefully find out which 7th button gives you the dim7. It may be the case that you need to depress more than one bass button to get the dim7, but Im not sure. 

I dont know enough about the Belgian bass to be of much use as to the layout, but you seem to have it worked out. 

[font=Tahoma,Verdana,Arial,Sans-Serif]Keep plodding away and youll get there.[/font]

Well if I wanted the full Dim7, Id need the relevant root, plus the Dom7 key for a root a semitone higher... if Ive calculated that right.

So C Dom7 uses C as the root, plus the Dom7 key below it, but for C Dim7, youd need the C which is the counterbass to the G#, plus the Dom7 root below the C#.

Yup, no switching of the bass blocks on this. Just a one octave range, with each note sounding in two octaves if played as a solo note. No voice or register selections, and just two voices on the treble side. 

4 sets of bass reeds? Theres just an upper octave and a lower octave on the bass, I think. I suppose thats four if you double it for the push and pull reeds. Ive not got to grips with a lot of the terminology yet.
 
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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer pid=69406 dateline=1579131295 said:
dunlustin pid=69403 dateline=1579128944 said:
My ears are playing tricks on me.... but I suppose thats the whole point,
On a more helpful note than last time - youre right, the octave tuning is designed to trick your ears so a simple octave sounds much more than it is.
Good innit?
And
For a useable Dim chord:
Say I is C = c e g
A full dim chord = piled up minor 3rds =  c, eflat, f#, a
Its IV7  chord =  a,c,eflat – without the root of f.
So using the IV7 chord next to the I gives a usable dim chord it just doesn’t have the f#.
And this is true for any I/IV7 combination – try it with, say, D and G.

Ahh... OK. So it can be dropped to a triad with no real detriment. Thats useful. So I really need to keep my eye open for useful inversions on the bass side, particularly with it only being an octave range. Food for thought

Many thanks


maugein96 pid=69400 dateline=1579124677 said:
Looking at the photo of your instrument, there doesnt appear to be a bass coupler changer on it, i.e. there is no scope to switch any of the bass reeds out. That is common on smaller CBAs and I have a Hohner 96 bass like that. It is usual for there to be 4 sets of bass reeds in such an instrument as the one you have. I have no knowledge at all how they are tuned.


When I get the time Ill look up the difference between 7th chord notes on French/Belgian accordions, compared with the more usual 7th chord combination, and hopefully find out which 7th button gives you the dim7. It may be the case that you need to depress more than one bass button to get the dim7, but Im not sure. 

I dont know enough about the Belgian bass to be of much use as to the layout, but you seem to have it worked out. 

[font=Tahoma,Verdana,Arial,Sans-Serif]Keep plodding away and youll get there.[/font]

Well if I wanted the full Dim7, Id need the relevant root, plus the Dom7 key for a root a semitone higher... if Ive calculated that right.

So C Dom7 uses C as the root, plus the Dom7 key below it, but for C Dim7, youd need the C which is the counterbass to the G#, plus the Dom7 root below the C#.

Yup, no switching of the bass blocks on this. Just a one octave range, with each note sounding in two octaves if played as a solo note. No voice or register selections, and just two voices on the treble side. 

4 sets of bass reeds? Theres just an upper octave and a lower octave on the bass, I think. I suppose thats four if you double it for the push and pull reeds. Ive not got to grips with a lot of the terminology yet.



French and Belgian accordions arranged 3+3 like yours use the three notes E,G, and Bb to make the C 7th chord. The tonic C is eliminated to use the French description. By that means your C7 button doubles as Cdim7, if you can work all that out. 

It is more usual for the 7th chord to be made up of C,E, and Bb, and eliminating the 5th or G (getting all technical now!), but thats not how its done in France and Belgium. I appreciate the accordion was made in Italy, but it is to Belgian specification, and as such should have the Belgian version of the 7th chords as I mentioned above. 

For a two voice treble accordion it is often the case that there are 4 bass voices, but I wouldnt know what that looked like in the innards, as Ive never taken much interest in what lies beneath the hood of any of mine. Fortunately, other than that Cavagnolo I mentioned, all of mine have been problem free, and as such Ive never had any inclination to see what goes on behind the cases. 

Did you say your two treble voices were an octave apart? If that is the case youll have bassoon reeds and flute (clarinet) reeds, which would be pretty unusual. Appears you probably have two MM reeds with one of them tuned quite a bit sharper than the other. That is known as wet tuning, and it varies according to the preference of the player, and/or the factory spec of the maker. The tuning can be altered to suit but it is a task best undertaken by pros. 

Try the app in this link to determine how far apart your reeds are tuned. The free version is all youll need to establish that, but youll only get the freebie to assess your tuning degree on the A diapason. Youll need to read the instructions, but it is fairly easy to work out. That way youll also discover what basic tuning the accordion has. Could be 440Hz or 442Hz that is common in France and Belgium. On the other hand it could be something else altogether, but the app will tell you. 

https://www.dirksprojects.nl/index.php?Lan=english&Page=Tuner/accordion_tuner_22.php
 
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Ooh 'eck, that app looks fancy! Unfortunately I have a Blackberry phone, and Linux on the laptop, so I can't use it.

In the meantime, I think we might have confused each other with the voices... I'll try to describe what's happening as best I can.

Treble side:
The voice selector slide only has two positions. With the slide set one way, two or more reeds sound at the same pitch (save for a few cents offset to give that "wet" tone). So play B4, and you'll get multiple reeds all around that note. As an analogy, two or three clarinets playing the same note.

Set the slide the other way, and it plays two notes an octave apart, so play B4 again, and you get both B4 AND B3 playing together. As an analogy, one of the clarinet players has swapped his clarinet for a bassoon. Same with any note you play on the keyboard, you either get two registers (if that's the right term?) in play together, or multiple reeds playing (approximately) the same pitch, depending whether you've got the selector up or down.

(could this be the MM and LM or MMM and LMM I've seen mentioned?)

Bass side:
On single notes, that split over the octave happens automatically on every single individually played note. So play a B on either the root, major 3rd, or minor 3rd row on the bass side, and you'll get a simultaneous high and low B playing, an octave apart. I have no idea how many reeds are playing each, whether it's one high and one low, or two high reeds and two low reeds, or whatever, but you have the same note sounding on two adjacent octaves.

Playing the chords, doesn't play both octaves for each note. It only plays the higher octave of the two. So play a major chord button, and there's only three notes being played. To illustrate this, lets say that a C major chord plays C3, E3, and G3 for example. If you played that chord as an arpegio with the individual buttons, it would play C3 and C2 together, then E3 and E2 together, then G3 and G2 together. You cannot play single notes in only one octave on the bass side.

Depending on where the octave starts and finishes (remembering there's only 12 pallets to open and close on the lower set), you might get an inverted chord on the three chord rows, but you can "force" the root note, by playing the chord and the root note you want at the same time, so that the root note sounds in the lower octave as well. So for example, playing C Major and G, would give G2, C3, E3 and G3, whilst playing C major and E would give E2, C3, E3, and G3.

I hope that's clearer.
 

dunlustin

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Very thorough.
One extra comment - on chord inversions:
If you wanted to know which, find the lowest bass note by playing a scale.

You are already getting lots out of your box - great to see the enthusiasm and curiosity. Accordions make me smile lots.
Oh, and some more Stradella (or circle of Fifths) genius: once you've learnt the maj/min scale patterns on the basses it is of course repeatable anywhere.
One more - spot the pattern for chromatic runs on the basses.
... and did you notice the treble rows are piled up minor thirds.
 
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maugein96

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AimlessWanderer said:
Ooh 'eck, that app looks fancy! Unfortunately I have a Blackberry phone, and Linux on the laptop, so I can't use it.

In the meantime, I think we might have confused each other with the voices... I'll try to describe what's happening as best I can.

Treble side:
The voice selector slide only has two positions. With the slide set one way, two or more reeds sound at the same pitch (save for a few cents offset to give that "wet" tone). So play B4, and you'll get multiple reeds all around that note. As an analogy, two or three clarinets playing the same note.

Set the slide the other way, and it plays two notes an octave apart, so play B4 again, and you get both B4 AND B3 playing together. As an analogy, one of the clarinet players has swapped his clarinet for a bassoon. Same with any note you play on the keyboard, you either get two registers (if that's the right term?) in play together, or multiple reeds playing (approximately) the same pitch, depending whether you've got the selector up or down.

(could this be the MM and LM or MMM and LMM I've seen mentioned?)

Bass side:
On single notes, that split over the octave happens automatically on every single individually played note. So play a B on either the root, major 3rd, or minor 3rd row on the bass side, and you'll get a simultaneous high and low B playing, an octave apart. I have no idea how many reeds are playing each, whether it's one high and one low, or two high reeds and two low reeds, or whatever, but you have the same note sounding on two adjacent octaves.

Playing the chords, doesn't play both octaves for each note. It only plays the higher octave of the two. So play a major chord button, and there's only three notes being played. To illustrate this, lets say that a C major chord plays C3, E3, and G3 for example. If you played that chord as an arpegio with the individual buttons, it would play C3 and C2 together, then E3 and E2 together, then G3 and G2 together.  You cannot play single notes in only one octave on the bass side.

Depending on where the octave starts and finishes (remembering there's only 12 pallets to open and close on the lower set), you might get an inverted chord on the three chord rows, but you can "force" the root note, by playing the chord and the root note you want at the same time, so that the root note sounds in the lower octave as well. So for example, playing C Major and G, would give  G2, C3, E3 and G3, whilst playing C major and E would give E2, C3, E3, and G3.

I hope that's clearer.

AW,


I'm pretty short on theory and cannot follow your bass explanation. You are describing it OK, I just don't know enough about music and the way accordion bass systems work to comprehend. Maybe somebody else will be able to pick up on what you are saying? 

The treble side as you describe it is something I've never come across before. 

Two treble voice accordions are usually available in France and Belgium as MM, or less commonly as LM. On both of those versions one single treble coupler is used to switch either the sharp tuned M or the L bassoon reeds on and off. 

For ease of tuning the instrument one of the settings should give the bank of M reeds that are tuned to pitch on its own. 

Play around with your coupler selector and see if there is in fact another position on it that switches off everything except the straight tuned flutes (i.e. you should only be hearing a solo clarinet playing). 

If you find such a position then you could have an LMM accordion right enough. 

If there is no such position the switch may only be capable of selecting MM and LMM, which would be very unusual indeed. 

I have an old Cavagnolo LMM accordion with only three instead of the usual six couplers required to operate the treble on a French LMM. However, the couplers are of the dual function variety, and each one has a different effect depending on whether it is in the up or down position. 

It is possible you have a similar sort of arrangement on yours.

FWIW mine works as follows :- Lever 1 up - all treble reeds switched off (to allow operation of factory fitted midi - long since removed). Down gives bassoon only.

Lever 2 up - MM swing tuned. Down gives all three reeds LMM

Lever 3 up - Straight M only. Down gives straight M and L (bandoneon). 

Because it only has three treble coupler switches, most people who look at my Cavagnolo don't realise it is a three voice (until they pick it up, as it has a tone chamber and weighs a ton). 

If none of those descriptions apply to yours, then I'm stumped, at least for the time being. The box appears to have been built in the late 40s or 50s, although I'm not sure where you'd get any further info on it.
 

Glug

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The easy way of course is to take the top off (ie. disconnect the bellows on the treble side) and take the reed blocks out and see what the treble coupler does.
(make sure to note where the blocks are and which way round, eg. write something on the block with a felt tip, or stick a label to it or something).

Usually the coupler moves a metal 'comb' to block the air holes, I think there's also an alternative where the 'combs' are built into the reed blocks.
You should also be able to tell from the length of the reeds how many of L and M you've got.

If you do that you can also count the bass reeds.
 
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dunlustin said:
Very thorough.
One extra comment - on chord inversions:
If you wanted to know which, find the lowest bass note by playing a scale.

You are already getting lots out of your box - great to see the enthusiasm and curiosity. Accordions make me smile lots.
Oh, and some more Stradella (or circle of Fifths) genius: once you've learnt the maj/min scale patterns on the basses it is of course repeatable anywhere.
One more - spot the pattern for chromatic runs on the basses.
... and did you notice the treble rows are piled up minor thirds.

Thanks Richard,

I will play the scale properly to understand the bass octave, once I get the end cover and strap back on, but I won't be doing that till I've sorted the sticking keys outout.

As to pattern recognitions, that's next. Having the additional minor 3rd row introduces multiple ways of hitting a run or scale. I haven't settled upon one yet, but will be making fingering charts for all thos things on this box.


maugein96 said:
AW,


I'm pretty short on theory and cannot follow your bass explanation. You are describing it OK, I just don't know enough about music and the way accordion bass systems work to comprehend. Maybe somebody else will be able to pick up on what you are saying? 

The treble side as you describe it is something I've never come across before. 

Two treble voice accordions are usually available in France and Belgium as MM, or less commonly as LM. On both of those versions one single treble coupler is used to switch either the sharp tuned M or the L bassoon reeds on and off. 

For ease of tuning the instrument one of the settings should give the bank of M reeds that are tuned to pitch on its own. 

Play around with your coupler selector and see if there is in fact another position on it that switches off everything except the straight tuned flutes (i.e. you should only be hearing a solo clarinet playing). 

If you find such a position then you could have an LMM accordion right enough. 

If there is no such position the switch may only be capable of selecting MM and LMM, which would be very unusual indeed. 

I have an old Cavagnolo LMM accordion with only three instead of the usual six couplers required to operate the treble on a French LMM. However, the couplers are of the dual function variety, and each one has a different effect depending on whether it is in the up or down position. 

It is possible you have a similar sort of arrangement on yours.

FWIW mine works as follows :- Lever 1 up - all treble reeds switched off (to allow operation of factory fitted midi - long since removed). Down gives bassoon only.

Lever 2 up - MM swing tuned. Down gives all three reeds LMM

Lever 3 up - Straight M only. Down gives straight M and L (bandoneon). 

Because it only has three treble coupler switches, most people who look at my Cavagnolo don't realise it is a three voice (until they pick it up, as it has a tone chamber and weighs a ton). 

If none of those descriptions apply to yours, then I'm stumped, at least for the time being. The box appears to have been built in the late 40s or 50s, although I'm not sure where you'd get any further info on it.

Thanks again,

I'm convinced the coupler has just two positions. There isn't really enough travel for a third, nor any intermediate "home" position to quickly stop at. Seems like it's akin to just having your lever #2, MM or LMM.


Glug said:
The easy way of course is to take the top off (ie. disconnect the bellows on the treble side) and take the reed blocks out and see what the treble coupler does.
(make sure to note where the blocks are and which way round, eg. write something on the block with a felt tip, or stick a label to it or something).

Usually the coupler moves a metal 'comb' to block the air holes, I think there's also an alternative where the 'combs' are built into the reed blocks.
You should also be able to tell from the length of the reeds how many of L and M you've got.

If you do that you can also count the bass reeds.

I have to take the bellows off the bass side to fix the sticking keys, so I'll be able to count the bass reeds. I probably won't drop the treble side off unless I discover other issues such as reeds not sounding, or whatever, and again that won't be till I fix that row of bass keys and get it all back together. I might take the cover off above the keyboard though, just for academic purposes :)
 
M

maugein96

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AimlessWanderer said:
dunlustin said:
Very thorough.
One extra comment - on chord inversions:
If you wanted to know which, find the lowest bass note by playing a scale.

You are already getting lots out of your box - great to see the enthusiasm and curiosity. Accordions make me smile lots.
Oh, and some more Stradella (or circle of Fifths) genius: once you've learnt the maj/min scale patterns on the basses it is of course repeatable anywhere.
One more - spot the pattern for chromatic runs on the basses.
... and did you notice the treble rows are piled up minor thirds.

Thanks Richard,

I will play the scale properly to understand the bass octave, once I get the end cover and strap back on, but I won't be doing that till I've sorted the sticking keys outout.

As to pattern recognitions, that's next. Having the additional minor 3rd row introduces multiple ways of hitting a run or scale. I haven't settled upon one yet, but will be making fingering charts for all thos things on this box.


maugein96 said:
AW,


I'm pretty short on theory and cannot follow your bass explanation. You are describing it OK, I just don't know enough about music and the way accordion bass systems work to comprehend. Maybe somebody else will be able to pick up on what you are saying? 

The treble side as you describe it is something I've never come across before. 

Two treble voice accordions are usually available in France and Belgium as MM, or less commonly as LM. On both of those versions one single treble coupler is used to switch either the sharp tuned M or the L bassoon reeds on and off. 

For ease of tuning the instrument one of the settings should give the bank of M reeds that are tuned to pitch on its own. 

Play around with your coupler selector and see if there is in fact another position on it that switches off everything except the straight tuned flutes (i.e. you should only be hearing a solo clarinet playing). 

If you find such a position then you could have an LMM accordion right enough. 

If there is no such position the switch may only be capable of selecting MM and LMM, which would be very unusual indeed. 

I have an old Cavagnolo LMM accordion with only three instead of the usual six couplers required to operate the treble on a French LMM. However, the couplers are of the dual function variety, and each one has a different effect depending on whether it is in the up or down position. 

It is possible you have a similar sort of arrangement on yours.

FWIW mine works as follows :- Lever 1 up - all treble reeds switched off (to allow operation of factory fitted midi - long since removed). Down gives bassoon only.

Lever 2 up - MM swing tuned. Down gives all three reeds LMM

Lever 3 up - Straight M only. Down gives straight M and L (bandoneon). 

Because it only has three treble coupler switches, most people who look at my Cavagnolo don't realise it is a three voice (until they pick it up, as it has a tone chamber and weighs a ton). 

If none of those descriptions apply to yours, then I'm stumped, at least for the time being. The box appears to have been built in the late 40s or 50s, although I'm not sure where you'd get any further info on it.

Thanks again,

I'm convinced the coupler has just two positions. There isn't really enough travel for a third, nor any intermediate "home" position to quickly stop at. Seems like it's akin to just having your lever #2, MM or LMM.



Hi,

Can't figure that out at all, although in the world of accordions something new tends to crop up with amazing regularity. 

At some stage it may be worth exploring how many voices the treble side has. I regret to say that I could not tell just by looking at the reed blocks how many there would be. There is a way to do it, but the truth is in the last ten years I've spent more time playing guitar than accordion, and I've forgotten most of what I knew about accordions. 

All I can say is I've never seen an LMM, MM, or LM instrument that has no facility to play the straight tuned M reeds on their own.  

I am making yet another assumption that when you are playing the treble side you aren't touching any of the bass buttons, or none of the bass buttons are perhaps still stuck down enough to cause one or more of the bass valves to be open when the bellows are being moved? That could give the impression that the treble side had bassoon reeds, although if that were the case they would sound out of tune depending on which treble buttons you are pressing.

I'm fairly confident you'll get there eventually. I suspect the fact your instrument is of unusual configuration means that several members who would ordinarily step into the discussion are possibly reluctant to get involved at this stage, due to unfamiliarity with the type. 

The infernal (not a typo) workings of the accordion are sadly not in any of my knowledge databases. 

I know there are two wire locked bolts securing the cover to the central warning panel of the now defunct Wessex (Sikorsky) Mark V helicopter, and there are 123 tiny screws that secure the terminals to the contacts. I also know if you lose any of those screws the helicopter cannot fly again until you find them. If you did hit any problems during a component swap, the Royal Navy gave you a free seat during the subsequent test flight, just to make sure you never had any little screws left in your pocket! 

However, any time I've looked inside an accordion I'm just glad no poor b...… had to fly one!
 

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