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Keyboard Layouts - 3 Row Diatonic Accordion
Apart from some Alpine instruments not listed here, the 3 row is the big daddy of the melodeon family. Normally just an extension of the 2 row melodeon with an extra key to play in and 12 basses. The most common by far in England is the A/D/G system, but elsewhere in the world G/C/F and F/Bb/Eb are also common.

Other systems with 3 rows include the C#/D/G which is a kind of hybrid between the diatonic melodeon and the irish chromatic system featuring fingering from both C#/D and D/G. Then there is the D/G/accidentals system which is basically an extension of the 2½ row system but as every keyboard I've ever tried with this system has been different from the previous, publishing them all would just be confusing. Finally, the B/C/C# or "British Chromatic System" invented by the late Jimmy Shand Snr. is a very versatile extension of the B/C system - usually found with Piano Accordion basses but sometimes with a 12 bass system, this layout has also been used by John Kirkpatrick and Tim Van Eyken.

THREE ROW LAYOUTS

 

All pages and diagrams in this section are by John Spiers, apart from where noted.


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