Elise-Hayden Duet 34 Key Concertina-The Elise is a 34 key hayden duet concertina,duet concertinas produce the same note on both bellows directions (push an draw)The low notes are on the left side, and the high notes on the right side.The Elise comes complete with gig bag and easy to understand tutor book.The Duet Concertina is probably the hardest to play, but the most versatile. Like the English, the same note plays in both directions, but like the Anglo, the treble notes are on the right hand end, and the bass notes on the left.There are four common types of Duet, all with a different keyboard layout, Hayden, MacCann, Jeffries and Crane (or Triumph).The Elise-Hayden Duet 34 Key Concertina is a wonderful instrument,and has the ability to perform to a good standard of playing.It is very well constructed and should give you years of pleasure.
Comes complete with a superbly written tutor book and a heavy duty gig bag to keep it safe and sound.
HISTORY Back to Top
The concertina was invented by Charles Wheatstone, and the earliest examples, which he called the symphonium, were made in 1829. The general idea of the free reed instrument had been around for some time however, and in its earliest form, the Chinese Sheng, for thousands of years. At the time of the first concertinas, Harmonicas and Melodeons (or hand harmonicas) were already developing in Germany.
Wheatstone’s concertina was carefully designed to get the best out of the free reed system, and he published several scientific papers on the subject. Among other details, he established that a cylindrical shape would be most efficient, hence the six sided shape which approximates the ideal. Later 8 and 12 sided models got closer to perfection, Lachenal introduced the 12 sided Edeophone in 1890 and Wheatstones 8 sided Aeola came in 1901. All the early concertinas were English system ones, as designed by Wheatstone. His clever design gives the same range as a violin in a handy size, and it quickly caught on in the drawing rooms of Victorian England, where it was typically used to perform the classics. In fact a great deal of music, including concertos, was published specifically for the instrument.
The development of the Anglo system, around 1850, has been attributed to George Jones, who is known for other advances, such as his broad steel reeds. It may well have been that he simply brought the idea back from Germany. The system combines the German push-pull note arrangement of the harmonica, with the handy size, and refined sound of the concertina, and was originally known as the Anglo-German system. This new system brought the concertina to the masses, with Lachenal and Co. producing around a quarter of a million units over the years, most of them Anglos, until the factory closed in the slump of the thirties. The German factories in Saxony also made enormous numbers of cheap anglos but not many of these were well enough made to survive.
If Lachenal were the biggest concertina makers, then Charles Jeffries was considered to be the best, at least for Anglos. He had worked with Jones at one time, but soon he was producing superb concertinas, with reeds made from steel that seemed better than anyone elses. Charles Jeffries died in 1906, but his sons continued the business into the 1920s. Another concertina maker of note was Crabb, who started up about the same time as Jeffries, but whose company lasted the longest of all, sadly finishing in 1989 with the death of Neville Crabb. C. Wheatstone & Co stayed in business right up until the late 1960s latterly owned by Boosey & Hawkes.
Coincidentally with the rise of the Music Hall for entertainment, the Duet system was developed and patented by Professor Maccann and licensed to Lachenal and later Wheatstone. This at last provided a concertina that a professional musician could get his teeth into! and was widely used by music hall artists. It separated the treble and bass keyboards, and allowed the left hand to play counter melodies that crossed over with the range of the right hand. Alexander Prince, probably the best known Concertina player of all, made many recordings on the MacCann system. Other Duet systems have been invented, most notably the Crane system, renamed the Triumph by the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army was an important supporter of the concertina, and supplied its members with a large number of instruments of all the major fingering systems, nearly always with a plain black bellows.
Nowadays there are not many concertinas made in England, although after a short period of inactivity Wheatstone are making small numbers of concertinas as good as those of the past. The biggest concertina makers are now based in Italy, where the Stagi range is made, and Chinese made anglos and English system models are beginning to appear and quite playable too.
The Elise is a wonderful Duet concertina,and has the ability to perform to a good standard of playing.It is very well constructed and should give you years of pleasure.
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