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Concertina Palm rests or wrist supports

Guran 22 Jul 15 - 10:08 AM
The Sandman 22 Jul 15 - 03:12 PM
Guran 26 Jul 15 - 03:36 AM
Guran 26 Jul 15 - 04:13 AM
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Subject: Concertina Palm rests or wrist supports
From: Guran
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 10:08 AM

In the General discussion forum of concertina.net a thread with the title "Palm Rests" was iniated 13 July ( SteveS )

19 July there was a reply (Stephen Chambers) saying:

"Hand rests were tried long before Göran recommended them. They are to be found on the "double" concertinas (which are similar in appearance/ergonomics to "English" models) in Charles Wheatstone's 1844 Patent (though I've never seen one that still had them), and on the English concertina in William Wheatstone's 1861 Patent, but both of those designs also dispensed with the finger rests, whilst William Wheatstone's one majorly altered the centre of gravity of the instrument, so that it balanced better on the thumb straps.
But hand rests never caught on generally".

IF someone is interested in the matter - just to keep things in order some corrections of the statements above ought to be made.

1. They are NOT to be found - "on the double concertinas in Charles Wheatstone's 1844 patent".
Not a word is said about them and there is no drawing of anything alike

2. The "Double" concertinas should NOT be regarded as -"similar in appearance/ergonomics to English models"
The handles suggested for them are rather analogous to those on Anglos and common Duets ( Maccann, Crane etc )

3. In William Wheatstone's 1861 patent ( page 11 line 6) it says:
- "a semicircular or other suitably shaped rest for the wrist or ball of the hand is provided"
NOT a "hand rest". With this term we better mean the trad. sort of arrangement with Anglos and common Duets, since ergonomically there are significant differences between hand rests, palm rests and wrist supports as the stability differs and the movability of the hand is varying to a great degree, much depending on associated straps to make a complete "handle". This is absolutely essential !

4. S.C : "William Wheatstone's one majorly altered the centre of gravity of the instrument, so that it balanced better on the thumb straps"
Entirely wrong ! The centre of gravity was NOT altered at all! - but the location of the thumb straps was changed so that they came on the other side of the centre of gravity than with the common english models(1844 patent style). The idea obviously being to get better total balance. This however may be achieved only with the instrument resting on the knee ( or a table...) since no strap for the wrist was suggested stabilizing the connection

5. S.C : "But hand rests never caught on generally"
THAT obviously IS true. The reasons are interesting but probably can only be speculated upon. William Wheatstone died soon after and maybe had not managed to inspire for realisation of the ideas which no doubt were splendid theoretically ( excluding the idea with patented "direct valves" which was naturally aborted likely since being terribly complicated production wise ) and the original layout described in the 1844 patent at this time (1860s) was a market success so "why change a winning concept" ?

Summing up: Looking back we can only regret that the ideas which William Wheatstone presented were not adopted and generalizwed for ALL concertinas. This would have been beneficial for generations of concertina fans. Maybe too late to change by now but individual players can make simple modifications of their instruments and the habits handling them to facilitate playing and gaining very much musically from improved tonal control. For most music it IS more
interesting playing fewer notes well - than a plentiful of nasty notes....


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Subject: RE: Concertina Palm rests or wrist supports
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 03:12 PM

hello Guran , you have been quiet for a long time.I hope you are in good health, hows the bollocks chris timson doing?


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Subject: RE: Concertina Palm rests or wrist supports
From: Guran
Date: 26 Jul 15 - 03:36 AM

Thanks Dick!... partly been occupied with other duties and health much being inverted to ageing... leaving that and other personal matters aside from the debate I am still fit for fight concerning conservative objections against well founded improvements or reforms that might help firstly newcomers on the concertina scene to get along with their unfortunate struggle with an obsolete instrument with such great potential in music generally.
I have never expected old dogs being interested in re-learning themselves but it is unfortunate that they ( like SC in this case ) don't want to open up just a slot in their minds. Chris Timson by the way initially long ago (when I first presented the "new handles") referred to the "ideas" positively at his own website but has for some reason later on attached himself to the devoted opposition.


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Subject: RE: Concertina Palm rests or wrist supports
From: Guran
Date: 26 Jul 15 - 04:13 AM

I have to correct myself partly on one point:

I said before:

"2. The "Double" concertinas should NOT be regarded as -"similar in appearance/ergonomics to English models"
The handles suggested for them are rather analogous to those on Anglos and common Duets ( Maccann, Crane etc )"

The tutor for the Double by Joseph Warren, to be found here:
http://www.concertina.com/double/Warren-Double-Tutor.pdf

shows and arrangement with thumbstraps but no fingerrests and says on page 2 "Holding the instrument" "leaving the first, second,third and fourth fingers ready to act..."

The arrangement thus is similar to the William Wheatstone 1861 variant but still NOT to be regarded as -"similar in appearance/ergonomics to English models"

Yet, nothing is said in the 1844 patent papers about hand rests on the Double and I have a vague memory that I have seen one instrument in real having the common Anglo/Duet arrangement I talked about. I would not be surprising if both ( or more) concepts were tried on the limited number of instruments in use.
Would be interesting to know how many actually were produced. To my knowledge just one example ( maybe a prototype ) has come up of the William Wheatstone 1861 patent model,


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