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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:04 pm
Posts: 282
I'd like to learn to play the concertina and I am interested in the Duet system, where the low end is on one side and the higher notes are on the other side, I understand that in this way it is also possible to play the conceryina a bit like an accordion, i.e with melody and accompaniment together at the same time, which (if I am not wrong) is not possible with Anglo and English concertinas ?
Can you confirm and/or advise on this ?
Also, for a beginner, is a Elise Hayden Duet a good instrument to start ? Thanks !

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:57 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: Montreal
Try contacting member BoneQuint, who plays a Hayden duet and has put up videos on YouTube of his rather handy playing. viewtopic.php?f=17&t=64438&p=847872&hilit=duet#p847872

Although he hasn't visited the forums for almost a year.

Failing that, you'd do better to ask you question on the forums at

Never having played any kind of concertina, from what I hear people doing and what I read about it is possible to play very rudimentary chordal accompaniment on the Anglo, and the same thing plus a bit of counterpoint on the English.

The thing about the duet is that you have two independent keyboards, so that you can play a melody or a harmony entirely on either side (something that most accordions aren't capable of). The tradeoff is that duets are notoriously difficult to master. The Hayden system is supposed to be very logical but whether this makes it easier than the other duet systems I have no idea.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:45 pm
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Location: San Diego, CA
I have a Maccann system Wheatstone that I take out now and then when I'm feeling far too happy, and I need to be reminded that playing an instrument is supposed to be a horrible, humiliating exercise in near-suicidal frustration.

If you're thinking of a stradella type arrangement with bass and chord buttons on the left, duet concertina is a very different. Imagine an accordion with two piano keyboards, one on each side. Or think of piano itself, with each hand covering a different portion of the same keyboard. That's more like the duet experience. Ir's really like simultaneously playing two separate instruments. And then your head explodes.

Of course, you can play oom-pah style accompaniment. But it's suited for more contrapuntal or polyphonic accompaniment.

My impression is that the Hayden system is somewhat easier than Maccann, and is what I would choose if I were serious about playing duet.

@Steve: Yes, you can do a bit of that on English system (which I play). But the left-right and up-down interleaving makes it very tricky and awkward.

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Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.

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