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Accordian-ish Instrument ??

artbrooks 05 Oct 10 - 09:54 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Oct 10 - 10:15 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Oct 10 - 10:18 PM
JohnB 05 Oct 10 - 10:45 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Oct 10 - 11:14 PM
artbrooks 05 Oct 10 - 11:20 PM
Ernest 06 Oct 10 - 01:50 AM
open mike 06 Oct 10 - 02:02 AM
Howard Jones 06 Oct 10 - 02:46 AM
treewind 06 Oct 10 - 03:11 AM
Desi C 06 Oct 10 - 07:20 AM
greg stephens 06 Oct 10 - 07:44 AM
The Sandman 06 Oct 10 - 05:42 PM
open mike 06 Oct 10 - 06:19 PM
artbrooks 06 Oct 10 - 09:43 PM
Noreen 07 Oct 10 - 05:55 PM
artbrooks 07 Oct 10 - 06:31 PM
Noreen 07 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Oct 10 - 10:31 PM
jennbrooks 10 Oct 10 - 09:17 PM
jennbrooks 10 Oct 10 - 09:18 PM
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Subject: Accordion-ish Instrument ??
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 09:54 PM

We have acquired an accordion-ish instrument from Jenn's sister. The brand is Hohner. It is about 6 inches by 10 1/2 by 10 1/2, has 8 buttons on the front (on the edge), 21 buttons on one side (in 2 rows) on a shelf and one switch on the opposite side. It has a leather strap on the side with the switch and what appear to be the remnants of 2 other straps (top and bottom) to hold the bellows closed. There are no other identifying markings, unless they are inside (and I hesitate to start taking it apart).

Anybody have an idea what we might have?


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:15 PM

If it has no piano keys, but only buttons, then it is a 'button box' of some sort.

It depends on whether you get a different pitch on bellows open/close.

Also the switch sounds like a 'register switch' - which adds or removes extra sets of reeds to alter the tone.

Without seeing it, I'd guess that the 21 buttons would be the melody side' (right hand), type depends on whether you get a different pitch on bellows open/close - and the 8 buttons could be 4 bass buttons with 4 chord buttons - again type depends on whether you get a different pitch on bellows open/close

A picture could be helpful, but you may not be able to easily do that- since you don't play that type of instrument it's understandable that you can't know all the tricks ... -)


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:18 PM

Some people might call it a 2 row melodeon, but I don't play that type, so I don't want to start a religious war .... there are multiple subtypes, the 2 rows are probably 'diatonic scales' - which you might be able to work out what scales, which helps identify what type.


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: JohnB
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:45 PM

If it is Black with a Gold Pattern on it, it is one of these, a Hohner Pokerwork
The "switch" allows you to open or close the bellows without playing a note, in effect to breathe, to get more room if you are runnung out of stretc on the bellows, or gasp more air in if you are running out on the push stroke.
It is essentially a verrrry large mouthorgan.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 11:14 PM

I bow to JohnB...


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 11:20 PM

That is exactly it, JohnB. Now I guess we need to decide what we're going to do with it!


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: Ernest
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:50 AM

(Since you have opened Pandora`s box with your posting from 05 Oct 10 - 11:20 PM:)

Swap it for a banjo!

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: open mike
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 02:02 AM

i am not sure, cannot picture this, but there are instruments which have a bellows which basically sit on the floor...a harmonium.
these were popular in India...


there is also a melodeon.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melodeon


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 02:46 AM

I suggest you have a look at Melodeon.net where there is lots of information, including keyboard layouts. There is a very active forum where people are very happy to advise newcomers.


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: treewind
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 03:11 AM

decide what we're going to do with it!
Learn to play it!
The Hohner pokerwork is a good and popular instrument - a robust and respectable melodeon from the cheaper end of the range, an excellent model to learn on and good enough to keep.

Each row will play a scale in a different key following a push-pull sequence the same as a harmonica. The outer and inner row will most likely be in D and G, but C/F, G/C and other pairs keys a fourth apart are possible. Alternatively they will be a semitone apart e.g. B/C but that's rare on a Hohner pokerwork.

We Brits call it a melodeon: most of the rest on the world calls it a diatonic button accordion.

Strictly speaking a bisonoric diatonic to distingush it from a Russian Garmoshka which is diatonic but unisonoric.
(I'll get me anorak...)


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: Desi C
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:20 AM

It sounds like an instrument my grandmother played, that was a harmoneum (spelling?) it's a very good make by the way


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:44 AM

Before we go any further, we need to establish what the relationship of the two rows is. So, take a look at the side that has the two long rows of buttons. Open up the bellows, hold down a few buttons on one row(and only on that row) and squeeze. If the reeds are in OK nick, you'll hear a major chord. What is that chord(check with guitar, piano or whatever). Then repeat the process with the other row of buttons. So what have we got? D/G, B/C, C#/D? There are many possibilities.
Treewind says a D/G is most likely. I would be prepared to place a small bet that it isn't a D/G, in the absence of any additional information. Let's see!


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:42 PM

i bet its a BC.


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: open mike
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 06:19 PM

pictures? photos?


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 09:43 PM

Laurel, it is exactly like the one in the link JohnB provided eartier...with allowances for lack of repair.


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: Noreen
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 05:55 PM

Got a tune out of it yet?
:)


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: artbrooks
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 06:31 PM

It is carefully wrapped in a couple of old t-shirts and a plastic bag in the back of the car - which is where it will stay until we get home. We are about 2/3 done with a 2000 mile drive home.


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: Noreen
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM

Ah... I'll give you another coupla days then :)


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 10:31 PM

G'day Artbrooks,

The image supplied by John B was an example of what the Brits call a "Pokerwork" melodeon. In fact, the real pokerwork instruments were blonde (softwood) with a pattern burnt into them by a heated metal dye ... but the last decent wood round Hohner's factory was all turned into Mauser stocks by the end of WW 2 ... and they used less attractive wood, painted black and overlaid with a screen print in gold paint!

The next models up in Hohner's range are all clad in coloured 'perloid' these days ... so a close-bonded plastic finish ... usually in mottled red ("mother of toilet seat"!) ought to be a later model.

There are models where the rows are a semitone apart (the smallest instances of "British Chromatic accordions") and models where the outside row is a 'fourth' below the inside row - these are the standard diatonic button accordion.

If it is a 'perloid' model, there should be a name on the left-hand side (in front of the broad left hand strap) ... such as "Erica" (the most common diatonic). However, if the box is bare / painted / "pokerworked" timber it does not have a model name ... just a model number - probably not marked!

I play Ericas (some Red, some black) ... a real pokerwork (blond pine and burnt decoration ... roughly 1925 vintage model ... and assorted 3-rowers (A/D/G home keys, G/C/F home keys ... and a non-standard D/G/F box that started life as a B/C/C# Hohner Trichord.

There are a lot of these boxes around the world ... they seem to have been played in the Australian 'Bush' by the sons of the older blokes who played the 'German' or 'Anglo-German' concertina in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries, which share a lot of the basic diatonic tuning scheme!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: jennbrooks
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 09:17 PM

Thank you, all, for the advice and references. I joined the "Melodeon.com) website and downloaded a chart of my keys (since with it's help, I could figure that out) and yes, thank you, tunes have now been coaxed out of it. The reeds seem to be in good shape. Does anyone know of someone reasonably near Albuquerque who could repair some of the wood for me and incidentally, I would like to know of someone who could repair a very old Lachenal concertina, too, since I seem to be on a roll with these bellows instruments. And here's a smile--I told my sister (who gave it to me) that somebody suggested I trade it in for a banjo and guess what? She has a banjo in her garage that she meant to give me, as well. Guess I'll have to go visit her again. I think she should look up whoever is playing old time music there in Henderson, NC. She's a flautist and a better musician than I'll ever be. She's always been able to get a tune out of any instrument, and I think she could have a good time instead of passing all this stuff along to me, what do you think?

Thank you again for your help.


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Subject: RE: Accordian-ish Instrument ??
From: jennbrooks
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 09:18 PM

Oy. I meant Melodeon.com, no ), and I do know better than to put an apostrophe in "its". Sorry.


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