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  1. Yesterday
  2. Jewish Leprechaun

    Need some help, Pairing a tune with Scarborough Fair

    Haha well now I think I'm torn between Drowsy Maggie and Fig for a Kiss. I guess I'll just have to rotate between the two 😄
  3. wayman

    Reed Chamber Length Experiment

    I think the Dipper baritone I looked at had differently-sized pad holes, and I made measurements / notes about this, though I don't think I did experimentation about how this affects reed response... and I hadn't even considered the possibility of a differently-shaped hole (so the same amount of air can travel through it, while none of it gets too much of a "head start" towards the tip end of the reed). Nice insight, and I'd love to see whether that idea bears fruit. Another project for someday, if you don't experiment with it first... 🙂 W
  4. wayman

    Reed Chamber Length Experiment

    Good spot, Adrian. This would corroborate my findings that the length of air travel made more difference than the total size of the chamber in the ESB prototypes... Okay, it seems like I will have a new hobby the next time I'm back in the UK where my test bellows live, Dana! Not quite as crazy as the guy who carried a piano up Ben Nevis, but definitely a bit out of the ordinary... It'll give me a good excuse to do some hill climbing 🙂 W
  5. Wolf Molkentin

    MacCann 46 button

    Hi Pete, congratulations (if deemed appropriate) to having acquired this new instrument. I can‘t make much of your photographs, however the four digits might very well point at a „batch“ (and not serial) number. What you’re describing re the metal ends seems to be just what is called „raised ends“ (allowing the ends to be smaller apart from the raised section). Good luck with the restauration project! Best wishes - 🐺
  6. Hi all I have just acquired a 46 button metal ended MacCann, with the ambition to restore and learn to play this instrument. Serial No seems to be 2133 so presumably fairly early? The metal ends have a raised section where the buttons are which I have not seen before on a metal ended instrument. It is in modern concert pitch and has been "restored" before, at present there is nothing between the ends and the button levers which I guess is not original? What should I use to replace it. Some dove tail slot have been cut in the ends? again I have not seen this before. Is this original? Looking forward to the answers!! Pete H.
  7. well, let me first of all express my thorough thanks and appreciation to everybody who answered. It appears that the topic I raised resonates and thus does fill sort of a void so I'm glad I asked, and distilling the essence of all the answers will hopefully improve my (and possibly other people's as well) playing. As Wolf pointed out, the discussion has sort of branched into two distinct threads - one that tried to (hands-on answers to my question) formulate rules and guidelines for the problem I was facing, and one that questions the need for those rules in favor of musical expressiveness. I see the validity in both approaches, but the second approach (as Wolf also pointed out) is directed at a different target group and does not take into account that any musical instrument is (among other things) a tool, and tool usage can and should be analyzed, studied so it can be taught and internalized systematically. If I understand the musical learning process correctly, I see it (roughly) as a two-step process: First, learn how to use the tool by the rules so that in the second step, you can take the liberty to break them. Without a fundament (even if it appears constraning), few buildings stand strong. So I was looking for a (to my best knowledge) undocumented section of the tool handbook to tackle a very hands on issue, namely the problem that I was running out of air which in turn adversely affected the listening experience. Again I am very grateful to Wolf for establishing the link by pinpointing the issue. Geoff's and Adrian's points are undoubtedly valid and valuable but come from the point of view of those who have long passed the point where the rules can be broken which is certainly useful for many in a like situation (who hopefully can thus also benefit from this discussion). Regardless, I believe it is widely undisputed in the folk dance scene that the primary guides to the fingerboard should be the ear and the feet. Thus, stipulating (hypothetical) rules that roughly read "we indicate the bellows reversals in the sheet music and you translate them to the keyboard" would be as mechanical and undesireable as its - by many, including myself - not well regarded cousin, the classical "we give you black dots on white paper and you translate them to your instrument" approach. But establishing rules such as shining through here (along the lines of "figure out the phrasing and the heart of the tune and align the changes to them") I don't think mechanical and soulless at all, and they certainly beat not worrying about the issue at all and thus grinding errors into the playing that end up hard to iron out. Again, thanks to everybody and also to the forum admins for providing a place in which discussion like this can be held!
  8. Looking at results, only, I think we need more examples like this:
  9. Got this download CD recently and have hardly stopped playing it. Simply a delight to listen to the rolling rhythms and subtle playing and ornamentation. A bit of a trend to fast tunes with many young players in Scotland just now so this is real tonic. Pure quality.
  10. Just something about airiness; as a dance fiddler I agree with most of what's been said about bowing similarities but my breathy Jeff Duet allows more gusto and variation when played in the middle of the bellows range than my Wheatstone of the same pattern which I find too tight to really rip into a tune. Maybe I'll try working the air button a bit to free things up.
  11. Geoff, it‘s just that listening to some English or Duet recordings or videos is creating sort of an urge (here:) to reverse with the bellows - in me, as an audience. Like: Why is he or she (not) doing this (or that). It‘s as simple as that. I wouldn’t claim to teach or whatever myself here (albeit having been a teacher of related and non-related matters at some point). Just wanted to share a notion being quite obvious to me (re where a certain fellow concertinist „stands“ at that moment).
  12. Robin Harrison

    Reed Chamber Length Experiment

    It was, Will, after conversations with Adrian. Alex.....very neat jig, well thought out both intellectually and in its simple construction. I don't think you said as much, but do you use this jig for tuning the low reeds ? They can be hard to tune due to the slow response on a tuning bellows and this jig would be easy enough to modify to obviate the problem would ? Robin
  13. I read into these comments, Wolf, that you are in favour of suggesting (or creating) guidelines ( or rules) for using bellows direction changes to help others improve the sense of their music making. For most musical instruments it is possible to find a teacher to help with things like this but with these , somewhat out of fashion squeezeboxes, where most of us are self taught, an element of intuitive experience is of the greatest help. Where we have come from, musically, can be very important but trying to pass on those autodidactic elements in a formal way might prove worthless to the recipient I feel. But then I'm no teacher.
  14. Wolf Molkentin

    Scored A Miniature Lachenal

    for the basic version (called „tutor“ model by some today, with black and red stained keys) - yes; however, five fold or more may be preferable...
  15. wunks

    Scored A Miniature Lachenal

    As a note of possible interest, I've come across a Lachenal 48 key that's small in the other dimension; It has only four bellows folds and fits snugly in it's original case. Is this common?
  16. Wolf Molkentin

    Two recent Dapper's Delight videos

    Adrian, I‘m greatly enjoying your version of Peter Bellamy‘s take on this beautiful ballad, the using of your very own singing voice while providing the essence of his approach to the anglo. Best - 🐺
  17. Hi Adrian, surely no one who has once been listening to your music would or even could be inclined to discount your findings. Having said that I wish to point to the origns of this discussion - a fellow concertinist (@RAc) who had his own playing videotaped and posted here. My initial take on that take was, in terms of supportive critique, that bellows reversals did occur at rather odd points whereas at then-following endings of phrases or even sections there was no such expression (it could be added now: neither reversal nor mimicking of any kind) So undoubtedly having discussed advanced techniques for variety etc. and be pointed to the musicality that only can provide meaning (as in the more recent posts) is of great interest and certainly helpful. However IMO this does not make hints to basic techniques which can provide a, can we say tangible, base for adding expression to a tune unnecessary. Refing may come later then (possibly even to the point where the basic tool appears as dispensable). Guess this is two (however related) discussions in one, don‘t you think? Best wishes - and my greetings to Rufus + Susanna - 🐺
  18. Here are a couple of videos taken during our recent trip to Australia - our live version of “John Barleycorn”, without the recorder overdubs we used on the studio recording: Plus my solo of The “Trees They Do Grow High” - I’d be happy to hear from fellow Bellamists what they think of my version…. Adrian
  19. I completely agree with you Geoff. I think on the anglo, it’s an easy trap to fall into to use the frequent bellows reversals to give the tune “lift”. This is of course a strong point of an anglo, but if you rely on it too much, it can limit your expression to what you can achieve via the reversals - in other words, your “lift” starts to sound all the same. I’ve always found on all squeeze boxes that finger control is just as capable of adding "lift" as bellows reversals, you just have to work at it a lot more. For practice, I sometimes try to use a repeated “bouncy in/out” sequence, mimicking in the repeat, the sound of the first sequence while going in only one bellows direction. It’s quite a revealing technical exercise and I think it can teach you a lot about finger control. In the end, my feeling is that it’s best to be ever alert to your phrasing and try not to get stuck in a rut by always doing things the same way. Adrian
  20. Oh ,of course Wolf. I am not saying one should not use bellows reversals for emphasis , but that it should share the role of playing expressive music on the concertina with the quality of one's fingering. I spend a lot of my musical time these days playing my unisonics with my bisonoric neighbours ,here in France, who's bellows reversals on the Diatonic accordeons are so neatly fitted into their playing as to be unobtrusive. Crossing rows on the melody side, as much to stave off direction changes at inappropriate places as to having the air in the correct direction for the left hand chords.
  21. Last week
  22. Geoff, I can easily agree - and still I would insist that a bellows reversal is a powerful and - what may be more - highly accessible tool for making a difference, Having said that I can only emphasise the notion of „working“ with the bellows in any way, move around one end, support what might be in your head, and get it to happen there through this expressiveness. Best wishes - 🐺
  23. It seems to me that if the phrasing and rhythmic content of a melody is not in you head then no amount of bellows direction changes will improve the outcome. Because the EC does not give the player any movement help with regards to rhythm, as one finds on many instruments, like the guitar or violin and other squeeze boxes where there is one hand that can be doing something directly with the timing, all the input with regard to this aspect of playing has to come from within the player. If I think about anything whilst playing it is not " oh I need to change bellows direction to pronounce a phrase" but only how I feel the emphasis should be and how it sounds when I'm listening to what sounds I am making. On a Duet it can be similar to the EC or one hand can be designated to produce rhythm and the other does the melody... but bellows use is all about BREATHING and changes can occur without they being direction changes... being more about varying the amount of air flow / pressure. It's a lot about feel and understanding of a genre. The quickest ( cleanest) bellows direction changes can be made when the bellows is near to being fully closed, as the least amount of material stretch occurs and the reversal of air is most immediate. At the other end of the bellows extension a softer, more legato effect , can be utilised, dampening any abruptness of bellowsing. This would suggest that a long enough bellows ( and an airtight instrument ) would allow access to the various effects possible at different extensions. On other keyboard instruments phrasing and rhythm comes from the way the keys are struck... On a Piano the keys can be pressed gently or hammered on, and every shade in between . This allows access to the Piano's large dynamic range but on the Harpsichord or the Organ one cannot use variation in loudness for emphasis in this way therefore, the timing accuracy of the fingering is vital. I think precision of fingering, attack, accuracy of note length, varying note length, exact starting and stopping etc., is the first thing that needs to be addressed before bellows action is added to the mix.
  24. Hi Dick, I seem to understand that your „fanning“ suggestion isn‘t referring to the notion of permantly closing the lower side of the bellows with velcro or similar but a free movement of the bellows which might give the impression of a serpent - in which case I would wholeheartedly agree... Best wishes - 🐺
  25. Poor bellows control with a lack of phrasing to suit the tune is a major fault of many EC players and is the main reason why EC is not respected as a tunes instrument, as opposed to the anglo. There is no reason why the bellows cannot be worked more like an anglo to give the tunes lift. I now pay much more attention to bellows phrasing but it has taken me a long time to break the suck til full, push til empty habit. I have found that fanning at bellows reversals is especially important to get crisp notes; linear reversals, especially at full stretch or empty, rob you of all control of articulation. Dick.
  26. W3DW

    Need some help, Pairing a tune with Scarborough Fair

    The proper title is Shaking of the Sheets, recorded by Steel Eye Span. The lyrics begin: Dance, dance the shaking of the sheets, Dance, dance when you hear the piper. I've attached the music from www.thedancemacabe.org. The music is written "square" but is played with a strong swing like a hornpipe. Daniel
  27. W3DW

    Need some help, Pairing a tune with Scarborough Fair

    Eileen Og (or Oge) is found in The Session as Pride of Petravore. A composed song, you'll find multiple versions on YouTube. I couldn't find The Dancing of the Sheets in Google, either. It appears that "Dancing IN the Sheets" is some big popular song. I'll work on this - it's a song about the Black Plague (lots of fun!) and has a fine melody. I've known the tune forever and don't know where to find it... Daniel
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