Melodeon.net Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new melodeon.net forum

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: D/G melodeon chord voicings  (Read 1108 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5933
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping
D/G melodeon chord voicings
« on: January 12, 2019, 11:08:48 AM »

This is a spin-off topic from another thread:
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,23302.msg278455.html#msg278455

Over the last few years I have been noting the chord voicings for various D/G instruments which have passed through my hands for one reason or another - my own instruments or work carried out for others.

There can be quite a lot of variation in the inversions of the chords from one manufacturer to another, which partly accounts for why someone might say "my instrument sounds different from yours". Chords which have their upper notes at A4 or higher can sound quite strident (e.g. Dino Baffetti 'Binci Special'), and conversely, chords with their lower notes at G3 or lower can be mellow and a bit growly, (e.g. Hohner Pokerwork, Erica).

Speaking of Hohners, the push D and pull D chords on the same instrument are often voiced in different inversions. Not sure why; no other maker appears to do this.

For what it's worth, I've collected the information together in a set of staves to show the differences and similarities between the various instruments in my experience. It's likely that different manufacturers may change their voicing set up over the years, so don't regard my chart as necessarily correct for all instances. It may be of use or interest to some of you, or it may not. There are two pages in the attached PDF file. Make of it what you will.
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk

rileycat

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 242
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 11:16:37 AM »

I find the tonal difference between the push and pull D's can be quite satisfying in song accompaniments.  Good old Hohner!
Logged

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 4484
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 11:28:36 AM »

An interesting bit of info, thanks Steve.
Do you know if the EriKa follow the same voicing as the EriCa or Pokerwork?
i.e. a Hohner rule of thumb.
( Or perhaps you've not had one come through your hands. )

I'm constantly amazed at the sound of the Erika basses and chords, which make a lovely contrast to the herd of Castagnaris that colonise the room!
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Winston Smith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 1871
  • AKA Edward Jennings
    • "Our Luxor B&B" Luxor life, slice by slice.
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 11:38:01 AM »

Thanks for those, Steve. Very useful, I think.
I remember the Dino Baffetti Organetto, which I had for a while, having the same chords repeated on the left but with quite different sounds due to the different voicings. These comparisons will come in handy if and when I come across chords which don't appeal. Now I'll be able to change them for something which I can have an idea of how they're going to sound before I struggle through all the work!
Logged
Although I can carry on messing with melodeons, the ongoing attention of the Ministry of Truth and the Thought Police will (no doubt) eventually teach me to really love Big Brother!

Anahata

  • This mind intentionally left blank
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4831
  • Oakwood D/G, C/F Club, 1-rows in C,D,G
    • Treewind Music
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 01:31:18 PM »

Speaking of Hohners, the push D and pull D chords on the same instrument are often voiced in different inversions. Not sure why; no other maker appears to do this.

My Dino Baffetti/Oakwood prototype does this. I don't know if the Dino Baffetti Binci (which mine resembles externally) also does.
With thirds out, it means I have a bare 5th in one direction and a bare 4th in the other.
The only justification I can imagine is to make the G/D and D/A changes smoother, which in turn would depend on how the G and A chords were voiced.
Logged
I'm a melodeon player. What's your excuse?
Music recording and web hosting: www.treewind.co.uk
Mary Humphreys and Anahata: www.maryanahata.co.uk
Ceilidh bands: www.fourhandband.co.uk www.barleycoteband.co.uk

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5933
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 02:38:08 PM »

Do you know if the EriKa follow the same voicing as the EriCa or Pokerwork?
i.e. a Hohner rule of thumb.
( Or perhaps you've not had one come through your hands. )
Sorry, I can't comment on this. I've not had the opportunity to study a D/G-converted Erika. I think the voicing of the chords would also depend on whether it had been de-clubbed or not. Others may be able to advise further.
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk

IanD

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1422
  • Too many melodeons...
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 02:56:52 PM »

Between us Smiffs have got more than half a dozen Oakwood Baffetti Bincis, and the basses aren't all the same, except for the lowest note always being the fundamental (no inverted chords).

On mine (and a couple of others) the lowest note in the chords is always the tonic, and the lowest one is the C (B is high)
Two others are the same (tonic lowest) except the lowest note is B (A is high).
One is the same (tonic lowest) except the lowest note is A (G is high).

On the one that goes down to A the lowest reed is a slow to start and tends to choke or pull flat when played hard (e.g. for morris, which is what these boxes are often used for because they're great for this). The ones going down to low B have less of a problem, but then this is played much less often than A so it's less obvious anyway. The ones which go down to C are bomb-proof even when played hard.

My guess is that they've all got the same size reed blocks/reeds which are perfect for low C, a little bit small for low B, and definitely too small for low A.
Logged
Oakwood Model 4, Castagnari Dony, Castagnari Tommy, Baffetti Binci, Hohner Preciosa, Melos, Lightwave SL5 and Kala California fretless basses

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 4484
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 08:52:43 PM »

Ok Steve, thanks.
Fair enough, was just wondering if you knew....
Cheers
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

ChrisLDD

  • Good talker
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 64
  • ... but which way is up?
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 10:44:49 PM »

Thank you, Steve.

This is a really useful reference.
Logged
Trying to learn enough magic to make my own melodeon.

Mike Hirst

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 981
  • Primatona IV D/D#, Tritone G/C/B, One Row in D
    • Berking Mad Ceilidh Band
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 11:42:59 AM »

This is a great resource.

This has always remained a bit a of a grey area for me, but one that has huge implications in terms of sound and playability.

Does anyone know how this work on instruments with a thirds stop? It would be my expectation that removing the thirds should leave an open fifth, but I'm sometimes hear an ugly fourth on some instruments I have tried.
Logged
feel free to be yourself

Gena Crisman

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 327
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2019, 01:01:57 PM »

Well, on Steve's PDF, pretty much every manufacturer kept to within the space of about an octave for the notes they build the chords from, eg A3 to A4 or B4, or the Pokerwork, F#3 to G4. Since the root notes for all of the chords you have span almost a full octave (some permutation of eg C D E G A B), you can see that those two ideologies do not jive with one another, as you'd end up with eg if you make your B chord the lowest, low B, elsewhere on the instrument you have an A chord with a high root A note + an even higher E fifth. Hence, they invert some of the chords to keep them in the same octave. I suppose it would be a bit like picking a single chord shape on the guitar and playing it up 10 or 12 frets as a bar chord, that jump in pitch could have serious implications for the way the accompaniment works acoustically.

You can actually see on the stave another part of the reason why you might play with the inversion a lot: for the inversions chosen, the pairs of chords often share notes in vaguely similar positions on the stave, so that a single reed plate doesn't always have a large disparity in the notes that it plays. Since the chords themselves are separated by fifths, eg, G<->D, E<->B etc, to keep them all in root position, you'd be talking about having the two notes on the reed plate be a fifth apart, and my understanding is that that could impact the quality of sound and performance of one of the two reeds on that plate, due to the different lengths and resulting impact on that individual reed's ideal reed chamber characteristics. So, if you can invert some of the chords, you get options to have the notes you need for the chord be closer together: so eg the B major / E minor chord pair, you could do: B3 with B3 (±0 semitone), D#4 with E4 (±1 semitone) and F#4 and G4 (±1 semitone), rather than B3 with E4 ±7 semitones etc. So, I suspect it's a solution born from both practical and musical concerns.

It looks like almost all the instruments on his chart use 1st inversion G chord, and 2nd inversion D chord though. Just how often do you hear an 'ugly fourth'?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 01:06:23 PM by Gena Crisman »
Logged

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11041
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2019, 01:15:11 PM »

Hit the nail on the head Gena!
I’ve played one or two boxes where the chords were all in root position and the result was not pleasant.  On I recall wher B has the highest bass, and as a result the whole B chord sounded much too high. The owner got me to alter the voicing to bring all the chords into a narrower compass.
Logged
Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

Proprietor of The Box Place for melodeon and concertina sales and service.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for stock updates.

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5933
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2019, 01:24:36 PM »

I’ve played one or two boxes where the chords were all in root position and the result was not pleasant.  On I recall wher B has the highest bass, and as a result the whole B chord sounded much too high. The owner got me to alter the voicing to bring all the chords into a narrower compass.
Exactly my experience too. With all the chords in root position, some are just right, but others are either pitched too low (muddy sound) or too high (strident sound).
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5933
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2019, 01:32:19 PM »

Does anyone know how this work on instruments with a thirds stop? It would be my expectation that removing the thirds should leave an open fifth, but I'm sometimes hear an ugly fourth on some instruments I have tried.
On instruments with a thirds stop, the reed plates for the thirds are usually on the same side of the reed block which allows a perforated slider to close or open the vents. That leaves the tonics and the fifths in the chords mounted on the other side of the reed block. Depending on whether the chord is in root position or an inversion, the remaining chord is either an open fifth or an open fourth.

So long as the notes are tuned properly, both open fifths and open fourths should sound OK. In equal temperament (ET), there will be a slight beating on both chords, which can become noticeable when the thirds are removed using the stop. The remedy is to tune the fifths notes 2 cents sharp of ET (precisely 1.8 cents, but 2 cents is close enough). This renders the open fifths and open fourths chords sweet with no beating. The discrepency in tuning is not sufficient to clash with the treble end notes.
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5933
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping
Re: D/G melodeon chord voicings
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 08:22:13 AM »

You can actually see on the stave another part of the reason why you might play with the inversion a lot: for the inversions chosen, the pairs of chords often share notes in vaguely similar positions on the stave, so that a single reed plate doesn't always have a large disparity in the notes that it plays. Since the chords themselves are separated by fifths, eg, G<->D, E<->B etc, to keep them all in root position, you'd be talking about having the two notes on the reed plate be a fifth apart, and my understanding is that that could impact the quality of sound and performance of one of the two reeds on that plate, due to the different lengths and resulting impact on that individual reed's ideal reed chamber characteristics.
Here are a couple of schematic diagrams showing the layout of the chord reed plates (a) for a generic D/G Castagnari 8-bass instrument and (b) a D/G Hohner Pokerwork.

The main differences in chords are that the Castagnari layout has all the thirds on one side of the reed block so that they can be switched in or out by the thirds stop/switch. In contrast, the Hohner thirds are distributed on both sides of the reed block, which means that it is not straightforward to retrospectively fit a slider to control the thirds. As well as needing to build the slider mechanism, it is also necessary to shift some of the reed plates around and some retuning is needed.

With the exception of the unisonoric C chord reeds, Hohner reed plates have opposing reed tongues tuned a semitone or a tone apart, whereas Castagnari chord reed plates have opposing reed tongues tuned a fourth or a fifth apart. The wider interval on the Castagnari reed plates* doesn't seem to make any difference to the pitch stability or playability.

*Antonelli reeds (older models), Voci Armoniche reeds (newer models).
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 


Melodeon.net - (c) Theo Gibb; Clive Williams 2010. The access and use of this website and forum featuring these terms and conditions constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.