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Author Topic: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout  (Read 1590 times)

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pgroff

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C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« on: November 14, 2013, 03:02:45 PM »

Hi all,

In the recent Dallape Stradella thread*, the subject arose of C/B as a possible layout for 2-row "chromatic" box -- the reverse of the B/C system that's more familiar.  This would be like the two inside rows (only) of a G/C/B box, or like the Irish-American D/C# layout transposed down a tone.  I've actually experimented with this 2-row C/B layout but don't remember seeing a 20th century example from France or Italy.

However, I mentioned seeing a layout for the C/ B system here:

http://www.diatos-dedenis.org/pages/questions1.htm

And triskel mentioned both Faas and the possibility of 1950s Paolo Sopranis exported to Ireland in C/B.

Now that I have the loan of Pierre Monichon's book, "L'Accordéon,"  I see that on p. 64 Monichon discusses the C/B layout as an original proposition appearing in Paris:

"Elle utilisait une rangée en do avec une seconde en si (création Maugein): [diagram of the do / si layout follows]."

Can anyone cite an example of a Maugein, Dedenis, or other 2-row box with the outer melody row in C and the inner row in B? 

Thanks!

PG

*
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,11386.0.html

edited to add:  I did find a Maugein C/B, listed for sale unrestored and evidently original, see post below.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 04:25:04 PM by pgroff »
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triskel

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Re: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 05:07:07 PM »

I'm afraid Pierre was way-out in attributing the creation of the C/B system to Maugein, it existed long before they started up in 1919.
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triskel

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Re: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 12:34:12 AM »

I'm afraid Pierre was way-out in attributing the creation of the C/B system to Maugein, it existed long before they started up in 1919.

Take a look at the first American accordion Patent, No. 11,062, dated June 13, 1854, granted to Anthony Faas, of the city and county of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania, which switches between C/B and C/F systems, and describes the C/B system as "the ordinary semitoned accordion" - so it was nothing new back then:

Quote
When the notes produced by the large keys are those of the diatonic scale in the key of C, as represented in Fig. 6, the scale, represented by black letters on the small keys, (it will be seen,) gives all the intermediate semitones of that scale, and also the notes B, and E; so that, with these two scales, all the notes of the chromatic scale may be produced. Of themselves alone the black notes of the small keys give the diatonic scale in the key of B, arranged in the same manner. as the scale in C, of the large keys. Thus far, my accordion has nothing more than the ordinary semitoned accordion. But by the addition of the scale represented by the red letters on the small keys, I obtain a diatonic scale in the key of F, i. e. founded upon the subdominant of the scale of the large keys. `It Will at once be seen, on inspection, that this scale, When used in connection With said scale in C, Will enable the performer to produce chords which could not otherwise be obtained. Thus, for instance, the chord ofthe dominant seventh to the key of C, consisting of the notes G, B, D, F, may thereby be produced, Which/Would be impossible Without this third scale.

And I've got an original example of Faas' Patent accordion, if more proof were needed...  ;)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 02:06:08 AM by triskel »
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pgroff

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Re: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 01:36:07 AM »

Very interesting, thanks triskel! I've heard of a few other examples of two-row C/B diatonic or mixte accordions recently, but none going back that far. 

Here's what seems to be a Maugein C/B for sale:

http://www.akkordeon-maurer.de/pictures/akkd12-MAUGEIN-DoSi.jpg

PG
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triskel

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Re: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 02:13:06 AM »

I'm afraid Pierre was way-out in attributing the creation of the C/B system to Maugein ...

If I'd realised, I'd have taken the Faas with me when he invited me to visit him, but what he especially asked me to bring were my four Demian accordions, seeing that he was then working on his fourth book and coming to accept that Demian was the true inventor of the accordion, rather than Buschmann (as had been spuriously claimed by German nationalists).
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pgroff

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Re: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 03:12:41 PM »

Here's a photo and description of a C/B Grasselli box, sent to me last year by the late Peter Cashman.  Peter recently passed away, and will be very much missed, may he rest in peace. 

His description (making reference also to a Benvenuti Carlo G/F# box that I've discussed before on melnet):

Hi Paul
Here are some poor quality pictures of the Graselli.  As you can see the reeds are mounted on leather and held in place with nails.  The c row has brass plates and the b row zinc, but to my eye they seem original.  The fit the reed block perfectly, so if they were replacements, they must have changed the reed block also. There's a lot of room on the treble side and it seems like they could have easily had a 3rd voice.
The gold thing is some award notice that I haven't deciphered.
The ball and dart inlay appears to be of bone, and a few are missing.
Notice the inside lining on the bellows.  I find it a high quality box.
The air bar pallet is huge and on the inside, which is surprising given the amount of real estate the bass reeds cover.  This one has 3 raised steps for the bass buttons, unlike the Benvenuti where the last step is the bass case.
The overall size is 11x6.5x11 (including the fingerboard).


« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 03:14:14 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2019, 12:44:58 PM »

Another dated example of a C/B system: The Luigi Savoia instrument from 1915 shown here:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,23984.msg290443.html#msg290443

PG
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pgroff

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Re: C/B (do / si ) 2-row layout
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2019, 01:01:08 PM »

Moving ahead to the 1950s and 1960s, in that earlier thread triskel wrote:

I mentioned C/B above as a theoretical possibility just to spark a little interest in that "chromatic 2-row layout" concept, which was illustrated in a diagram by Dedenis and which would be like the inside 2 rows of a GCB, or a downward transposition of the D/C# system we know from the Walters and Baldonis.

Paul,

Whilst I think of it, I've just re-noticed the list of tunings available on Paolo Soprani 2-coupler boxes around 1957 (judging by the "horseshoe grille" boxes illustrated) and it mentions "B/C (tuned either row)" - suggesting that C/B was an option open to Irish players then. In fact there's a vague memory stirring in my mind that Brendan Mulhaire (Galway Shand Morino player and accordion tuner) might have mentioned something of the sort to me - I must remember to bring it up, next time I see him.

While I've never seen a horse-shoe grille 1957 Paolo Soprani in original C/B tuning (with C on the outside row and B on the inside row), a few years ago one of the "Irish American black 4 voice Paolo Sopranis" did come up on ebay, and the seller reported the keys as C/B. I checked with the seller via a series of questions, and it seemed that C/B was truly the tuning. I did not buy the instrument and don't know who won the auction. The "Irish-American Paolo Sopranis," with 10/9 melody keys and 4 basses, are usually tuned in D/C# (Irish-American tuning, with D on the outside and C# on the inside). Here is the C/B "Irish American Paolo Soprani" from ebay (photo attached below), probably very late 1950s - early 1960s. Photo from the ebay auction, archived on Ted McGraw's button accordion pages:

http://www.tedmcgraw.com/PS_-_Black.html

« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 01:18:12 PM by pgroff »
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