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Author Topic: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages  (Read 1457 times)

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Grape Ape

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I would like to start a thread on the relative merits/ disadvantages of the three systems.  I am not a musical theory guy so if we could keep things simple I would appreciate it (Chris Ryall 😘).

What are the key differences between Heim and MP? What the advantages/ disadvantages of each?

I have an accordion with what I think is the MP system.  I like the layout quite a bit, but it does get a little squirrelly at the knee end...

What would be the main differences with the Heim system?

The reason I ask is because I have a GCF Handry that I bought at a good price.  I like GCF as a system, and think that it too has its advantages, including being relatively chromatic all the way to the knees, but in the end I think I would prefer to convert it. 

I will also be curious what about the GCF (aside from the GC rows) that I can keep the same (I will post the layout soon).

I really appreciate thoughts on this, and failed to find a previous thread that compares and contrasts the advantages and disadvantages of these different systems.

Thank you in advance,

Frank
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Grape Ape

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 11:11:27 PM »

Here is the layout for the GCF Handry.  For some reason whoever wrote it switched the Dminor and Amajor basses, but they are correctly laid out on the box.
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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 12:05:40 AM »

Hello,

There are multiple versions of the Heim system. I think the most recent uses the socalled Dutch reversal on the second row, and favours the push F on the third row. The earlier layout was the 2 first row as on a regular 2-row melodeon, and the third with a given note order.

The main advantage of the Heim 1 is that you keep your habits on the two home rows, and just have to integrate the third row. At the expanse of having to fit the reversal (pushed A, pulled G) on the third row, thus losing one button per octave, and having to further shift the gap between rows. I hope I'm clear. It should get clearer further on.

I think the Dutch reversal on a 3 rows is the most sensible approach : by giving out parallelism between rows 1 and 2, you gain in regularity on the whole keyboard. That's the idea behind both Heim 2 and Milleret/Pignol. And actually they are very much alike.
After many years of thinking about such considerations, I now advocate for what a friend of mine nicknamed "Alt-F4", that is : 1st row as is, Dutch reversal on the second row (G and A swapped), and for the third row, you repeat, in pull, the four missing notes : Eb, G#, Bb, C#. You then have to chose between 3 notes on the push. On the Heim 2 you have the 3 notes : Eb, F, G#, on the Milleret-Pignol you have : Eb, F, F# (although some variations of Milleret-Pignol are with Eb, F, and G# as for Heim 2). The only difference between Milleret-Pignol and Heim 2 apart from that is that the pulled G and G# are inversed between row 2 and row 3.
With that method, at the (IMHO very small) price of changing a little your habits on the C (middle) row, you have for each row : the same 3 notes repeated on the push, the same 4 notes repeated on the pull. It doesn't get rid of the increasing gap between push and pull as you go up, but at least there's a regularity on the whole keyboard. And you have the full chromatic scale available on the pull.
I attach the layout (in G/C and D/G), it will perhaps be clearer.

I always find the G/C/F not very satisfying for the kind of music I play. It's great in the sense that it generalizes the principle of the 4th-apart system, but I think I would like it more on lighter boxes. While you can very well go for push and pulled style with the Handry, it has a rather heavy feel that lighter boxes do not have.
It's of course very dependent on the kind of music you like to play. I'm perfectly fine with somewhat less regular systems such as Milleret/Pignol or Heim 2, because it allows me to have in most bands only one accordion to have with me.

The other issue is for the bass-end. In your case where you start from a G/C/F, the main "issue" is that it's rather a C/F with and added G row than a G/C with an added row as are the Milleret/Pignol and Heim systems. So I would rather pledge for not starting from the current layout : for a 18-basses, you have a lot of duplicates. (the 18 basses is, even more than the right-hand side, a matter of compromises).
My advice would be to at least stick with the regular 8 basses (the reasoning behind that is that it's only for the home keys that you'll be able to easily do the oom-pah style accompanying). And for the others, well... Depends on your taste. I always find it a waste of energy when, on the additional buttons, the same notes on the push and on the pull are not on the same button. For instance, in the layout you posted, the pushed G# and the pulled G# are not on the same button, it's way too frustrating on the long run. The sorting of the notes on the remaining 10 buttons is very much a matter of taste, and of what you have chosen on the right-hand : usually, Eb and G# are on the push; F#, C# and Bb on the pull. All other notes are reversals : you just have to chose if you prefer to have the E or the C on both sides (I recommend the C pulled, but it's as you like/need).

On the bass side, the difference between Milleret/Pignol is that it has a row (the inner one) of bass only. That's what I went for because I rarely use chords on "foreign" keys. In such a system, you have all the 12 basses both ways and still can play oom-pah on the home keys. Note that it requires for your tuner to adjust/make new bases for the reeds inside the accordion, so it's more expensive.

Let me know if something wasn't clear, it's always a pleasure to explain, if it can help you.


Edited: corrected some indications on the Milleret-Pignol 3rd row push layout.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 10:04:17 AM by -Y- »
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

Grape Ape

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 12:05:14 AM »

The multiple versions of the Heim system sounds a bit daunting for a guy who plays by ear and tablature to decide exactly what I want. Is there only one Milleret Pignol system? I will post a picture of my layout on my Gaillard but as it is in BbEb it is very confusing to me. I was told by someone that it is the MP layout but I have never confirmed. I do like the MP system quite a bit. 

I have been told that bass reversals for the inner row might not be possible depending on the current reed blocks that were used. If that is the case would it still make sense to do the MP layout on the right hand and come up with some other possibilities for the bass/chord combos of the inner most row of basses?

I agree with you regarding the home keys 8 bass configuration as it should be for GC. That is the number one reason for the change. As you said, it is more of a CF than a GC.  I would also probaby keep the the other four of the outer twelve the same as the MP system as well as it works for me on the Gaillard. I agree with a C on the pull. It is the one feature on the GCF that I completely like better.

As far as reeds having to be purchased, I have been made well aware of what I am getting into, but it would still be a lot less than purchasing one new even if I could find a buyer for this one, which is a conundrum due to it being a GCF Handry and all. (Too heavy for tex mex too GCF for a Handry)
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Grape Ape

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 12:07:09 AM »

Layout on my Gaillard
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Grape Ape

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 12:09:08 AM »

Also I am really not sure about this dutch reversal idea. Reminds me of a gleichton.
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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 01:13:51 AM »

Yours is nearly a MP layout. The left-hand, apart from the strange E/A (which duplicates the pushed A, but maybe's that a typo), is a MP layout.

For the right-hand, you don't have the Dutch reversal the MP has, and the B and Bb are not swapped as they are on an MP layout. Which yields an oddity in the sense that you just have one B, on the 2nd button of the 2nd row.

In Bb/Eb, proper MP layout reads:

1st row : Bb D F (push), C Eb G A (pull) | starting on the 3rd button
2nd row : Eb G C (push), F, Ab, B, D (pull) | starting on the 4th button
3rd row : Ab, A, F# (push), Bb, Db, E, F# | starting on the 4th button

The idea is not so much to have something similar to the gleichton but to have all the 12 notes on the pull AND to keep a regular progression. Also, it helps for harmonic reasons.

I think it totally makes sense to have MP on the right hand, but regular bass/chords pairs on the left hand. If you want the 12 basses standard, you may as well go for what has slowly become a standard for 18 basses. I've attached what it looks like, and added the BbEb transposition for you to be able to compare more easily with your Gaillard. + means major chord, - the minor chord.
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(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

Grape Ape

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 01:53:22 AM »

Hmmm you have been extremely helpful.  I am not 100% sure that the layout as written for the Gaillard is correct. It was provided to me by the shop I purchased it used from.  Also I am not 100% sure it is or was intended to be the MP layout or maybe a personalized version of it.  Either way I do love it.  I am almost convinced to go with a straight MP layout. The extra basses are something I think I would prefer at the knee as opposed to chin end as you show it on the 18 bass GC.  Otherwise it seems to have most of what I want, if only because it is what I am already used to.  Do you think (with the ability to drop thirds) that it would be a bad idea to leave the D bass chord of the home keys as Dminor? (Which has a lovely sound) or just stick to it as intended?
To really understand the differences between my Gaillard and standard MP (aside from the dutch reversal which I am thinking on) I would need to hear them both next to each other to really understand how it affects playability.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 02:03:42 AM by Grape Ape »
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Grape Ape

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 02:00:06 AM »

Also is the current pdf on the Castagnari site labeled Pignol1 the layout we are talking about? I am having the work done by a Castagnari dealer and want to make this as easy as possible for them.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 02:13:13 AM by Grape Ape »
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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2019, 10:01:56 AM »

I'm attaching a layout that summarizes the discussion: the regular Milleret-Pignol on the right-hand side (yes, it's the one on the Castagnari website), with the somewhat standard 18 basses, with the additional notes at the bottom.
The two most noticeable differences with your Gaillard are the reversal on the 2nd row, and the G and G# that are swapped between 2nd and 3rd row. An experienced tuner on this parish could confirm, but I think it's not that hard to undo, if ever with time you feel it does not suit you.
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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2019, 10:04:32 AM »

For the D minor, well, I don't really know. It hugely depends on your playing style I would say. Seeing that you can have the Dm7 by using the F chord, I'm not entirely sure it's worth changing your habits, but if you feel you need it, that's up to you!
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playandteach

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2019, 03:08:54 PM »

On another thread someone suggested I look into playing things such as Bach or Telemann (actually my words here) on the melodeon to reawaken my interest. I've tried what I can over the last couple of days, but quickly found that I need more notes than I have on my 2 +2 instrument. I have full reversals in every octave - am I right in thinking that this would be most like the Milleret Pignol system, if I were to move to a 3 row - I'd like to keep with that reversal layout? I can see that the MP system does have reversals, but I'm not sure if all reversals are done the same way.
Also, being a GC player, I'm not sure I'd need a 3 voice. Are Riks ever in GCacc or are they GCF? Or would I really need more that 12 basses (want to keep the weight fairly light)?
Lastly, are there any players in the north of England that have an MP 3 row I could try? I'd be having to sell my existing 2 melodeons to part fund an upgrade, so I'd like to know what I'm getting into. I don't think this is a thread drift because of the bit in bold. But if it's better to pm me, then please do.
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Chris Ryall

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2019, 03:53:53 AM »

François Heim has the dutch reversal. it is VERY logical and his box is great for playing harmonic minors, which hi likes a lot!

I tried it for a summer in 2005, and suffered. The oroblem is unlearning all yoor old tunes! If you hit the reversal “in the flow” its usually a very nasty dischord. Were I a starter I’d probably go for it. We don’t need 2 Ds, and 2 Es both same way!

MP’s CF boxes have C# rather than C on the F row, ie it’s built on a D harmonic minor scale. Both I think are fullly chromatic on pull- The difference is that MP actually play most suff on the pull, usually in D,  be that minor, major, or melodic (mix of both). Or in the modes of D scale …

François is more trad in his approach and his box seems to suit his balkan repertoire

The,MP 18 bass is a work of genius which I recommend to anyone going 3 row.

I’d recommend nstural GCF system to anyone whose local sessions use those keys, and of coursevthei4vmodes. Great system. XY+accs (any layout) are more about playing in off piste keys
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 04:04:39 AM by Chris Ryall »
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arty

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2019, 11:06:23 AM »

On another thread someone suggested I look into playing things such as Bach or Telemann (actually my words here) on the melodeon to reawaken my interest. I've tried what I can over the last couple of days, but quickly found that I need more notes than I have on my 2 +2 instrument. I have full reversals in every octave - am I right in thinking that this would be most like the Milleret Pignol system, if I were to move to a 3 row - I'd like to keep with that reversal layout.........

Sounds to me, that you need a good chat with Marc Serefini. He might even offer you a good deal on your R2D2.
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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2019, 05:58:20 PM »

I've been looking at what appear to be very good value 3 row 18 bass versions of what I've already got. Maybe I should sell my DG first. I'd certainly be happy to keep with a Serafini. In the meantime I need to check out the Heim 2 system.
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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2019, 07:35:40 PM »

It's all up there in this thread. You mean it for the 3rd row, or the basses layout?
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(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

playandteach

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2019, 08:43:25 PM »

3rd row first. As I'm used to an unusual 2 row, I want to find the closest fit for the basic 2 row, then find the accidentals, then worry about the basses. Just need to grab my instrument and look at the layouts.
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playandteach

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2019, 10:10:39 PM »

Looks to me that I have a 2 row version of the MP system - apart of course for the low accidentals I have for buttons 1 on both rows, which would be there on the accs row.
I don't fully understand this from you;
 The only difference between Milleret-Pignol and Heim 2 apart from that is that the pulled G and G# are inversed between row 2 and row 3.
With that method, at the (IMHO very small) price of changing a little your habits on the C (middle) row, you have for each row : the same 3 notes repeated on the push, the same 4 notes repeated on the pull.

Are you saying this in favour of MP or Heim 2?
I'm getting excited by this.
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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2019, 11:02:57 PM »

I'm saying that for both systems : my point is that the price to pay is getting used to a different middle row (be it the dutch reversal for Heim 2 or the reversal + change for the G#), but that you have in either case a very consistent scheme all over the keyboard.
I'm curious about your 2 +2 layout, could you tell us more ?
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

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Re: 3 Row GC Heim, Milleret Pignol, GCF questions about merits/ disadvantages
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2019, 11:41:48 PM »

Hi Y
It is exactly as the MP system you posted, except for the first buttons which in my case are the lower accidentals to the Bb/G# Eb/C# middle two helpers.  That's why I'm so please that that seems to be an approved system. It was my own agreement with Theo to set it up that way. I can't remember if he entirely agreed, or perhaps even suggested it - knowing my style of playing - but it's like I've discovered that I was separated at birth from the 3 row MP system. Of course I don't have the 3rd row accidentals except the middle octave - and I don't have the bass buttons - but it's a little like the Field of Dreams - you build it and they will come. All tongue in cheek of course, except that I am delighted that there is a progression route from the layout I have.

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