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Improving The Wikipedia Article "concertina"

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#1 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:08 AM

I do a ton of work on Wikipedia (under this same username) and off and on I've noticed that the article https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Concertinacould really use some improvement.

 

The current article is written rather densely, and mixes major details up with a lot of minutiate not really applicable to the layman. I think the article doesn't really do good service to the general reader who might see concertina in a movie, or see it mentioned in the liner notes of an album, and wonder what the creature is all about.

 

I imagine we have at least a few Wikipedia editors here, and a larger number of folks who are familiar with the body of published books and articles discussing the instrument, and others who might have access to good images (current or historical photos and drawings) that we can use to improve the article.

 

I have my own ideas, but I'd invite y'all to take a quick look at the article as it stands and let me know your impressions. Where is it too dense for a layman? What huge facts/issues does it miss? What detailed material might be better used in a separate article ("English concertina"?) linked off from this main overview page?

 

 

Remember, we can only include facts which are attested in published works. "Original research" is expressly forbidden on Wikipedia, since it's a "tertiary source", so we can't submit things like a personal analysis that X movie really brought a lot of players to the instrument, unless we can cite a particular published book or article that makes that direct observation. So we really need to "clear our heads" of personal knowledge and focus on documented facts which we can cite.

 

Hopefully with the combined smarts of folks here, we can get the article into a easy-to-digest yet informative piece with clear images to inform readers wanting to know more about our passion.


Edited by MatthewVanitas, 10 November 2014 - 12:08 AM.


#2 alex_holden

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:23 AM

Thanks for working on this Matthew! My contributions to Wikipedia have mainly been limited to correcting grammar, spelling and particularly egregious factual errors. I have had some content (which I knew for certain to be accurate) deleted because of the "original research" thing and it was pretty discouraging at the time, though I can understand the reason behind the rule.

One very common point of confusion for the layperson that I think could be explained better is what makes concertinas different from small button accordions/melodeons. After all they are both little wooden boxes with bellows and buttons, and music comes out when you squeeze them! ;)

#3 JimLucas

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 02:53 PM

Remember, we can only include facts which are attested in published works. "Original research" is expressly forbidden on Wikipedia....


First I've heard of that rule.

Then again, I've never tried to post anything to Wikipedia.


Aside from the fact that I'm sure I've seen many things on Wikepedia that violated that rule, are they really saying that if I compile a discography of Peter Bellamy's recordings I would be forbidden to post it, but it would be perfectly fine for me to plagiarize someone else's discography... or for them to post mine, if I first happened to "publish" it somewhere on a non-Wikipedia page?

Whatever the original purpose of that rule, it seems to me that its potential for damage far outweighs its potential for good.
 
But, as hinted at above, maybe there's a way around it?  We could use this thread to develop a mutually acceptable article for Wikipedia, then refer to this same thread when posting the finished result to Wikipedia.  After all, when it comes to concertinas, this is as close to a peer reviewed journal as can be found, and it's probably more rigorously reviewed than most academic journals.



#4 alex_holden

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:00 PM

But, as hinted at above, maybe there's a way around it?  We could use this thread to develop a mutually acceptable article for Wikipedia, then refer to this same thread when posting the finished result to Wikipedia.  After all, when it comes to concertinas, this is as close to a peer reviewed journal as can be found, and it's probably more rigorously reviewed than most academic journals.


I think that would be unlikely to count as a 'reliable source':
http://en.wikipedia....blished_sources

#5 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 04:05 PM

 

Remember, we can only include facts which are attested in published works. "Original research" is expressly forbidden on Wikipedia....


First I've heard of that rule.

Then again, I've never tried to post anything to Wikipedia.


Aside from the fact that I'm sure I've seen many things on Wikepedia that violated that rule, are they really saying that if I compile a discography of Peter Bellamy's recordings I would be forbidden to post it, but it would be perfectly fine for me to plagiarize someone else's discography... or for them to post mine, if I first happened to "publish" it somewhere on a non-Wikipedia page?

Whatever the original purpose of that rule, it seems to me that its potential for damage far outweighs its potential for good.
 
But, as hinted at above, maybe there's a way around it?  We could use this thread to develop a mutually acceptable article for Wikipedia, then refer to this same thread when posting the finished result to Wikipedia.  After all, when it comes to concertinas, this is as close to a peer reviewed journal as can be found, and it's probably more rigorously reviewed than most academic journals.

 

 

The rule actually makes a lot of sense, in that it instills a certain level of quality control. "Stuff everybody knows" is often wrong in life, and though published works are not always right, at least we can track the error back to a specific author and publisher.

 

For your example of a Bellamy discography, the fact that Album X or Album Y exists isn't controversial, so discographies don't really have to be sourced per se. However, if you personally happen to know, becaues Bellamy once told you, that Album X was heavily influenced by his love of Pablo Neruda's poetry, we can't just put that in. Nor can we put it in "Ref: Jim Lucas from personal discussion with Bellamy in 1979". It needs to be a documented fact that the average reader could access; optimally online, but it's okay to cite things that only exist in print, old back-issues of whatever magazine, etc. If we just allowed anyone to put anything, we'd have no way of verifying the facts, "Verifiability" being a core policy.

 

Yes, there are a goodly chunk of articles on Wikipedia that lack proper sourcing, but over time as it evolves the standards are getting stricter, and unsourced articles are getting either cleaned up, or if nothing in them at all can be proven (or be proven to be significant), the article is deleted. We're not going to delete "Concertina", clearly, but a lot of facts in it are of little use unless they can be verified somewhere, and there's a *lot* of technical stuff that takes even me a moment's pause to parse out, much less a layman.

 

I'm going to start out by sectioning out Anglo, English, and Duet to their own articles so we can deal with the minutiae of those in due course, but I want to get the main article trimmed down to something more accessible as first-thing.

 

We also need a better pic for the top; the current photo is from 2004, low-res, poor lighting, and the model is wearing dark clothing that blends in with the instrument. The overall composition is decent in that it gives a feel for size, and also the angle allows one to see both part of the button layout and the bellows, but we need something more visible. Perhaps too it'd be smart to pick something a little more common like a 48b hexagonal English? In contrast, Ted Kloba's photo lower down of a Chemnitzer is great: good lighting, shows both body and ends, great sense of scale, etc.



#6 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 06:14 PM

Okay, made some big chops today. I split English, Anglo, and Duet off into their own articles (which will later need polishing), leaving short sections explaining each variant in simpler terms. Cut out some of the excess technical stuff (best left in the more detailed sub-articles), added in some proper footnotes, noted the date of first patent of a Duet concertina, etc.

 

Note, we could rather use a biography for Carl Friedrich Uhlig (inventor of the German concertina family). I could knock it out in about 10 minutes just checking works freely available on GoogleBooks, but if anyone here has been intending to try their hand at writing a Wikipedia article, let me know and I can walk you through it in a "sandbox" (tryout page) on Wikipedia, so that you can get it polished up at your leisure, and submit it for publication only when ready, nice and easy.

 

 

 

We could also use a good primary photo for the top of "Concertina", and we could use a decent end-view of a Duet concertina since there appear to be no such images yet available on Wikipedia. If nothing else, I can take a photo of my Crane, but if someone has a nice, clear photo showing the end of a Duet and its layout (whatever system) in a cool-looking photo, we can just upload that.


Edited by MatthewVanitas, 10 November 2014 - 06:16 PM.


#7 wayman

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 08:05 PM

Here's a potential photo. If y'all think it's a promising candidate for Wikipedia, I will ask the photographer (a close friend) if she will approve the use. (Photo credit: Sarah Strong)

 

815.jpg


Edited by wayman, 10 November 2014 - 08:08 PM.


#8 Steve Mansfield

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 01:53 AM

For those of you who've not seen it, this xkcd cartoon neatly sums up Wikipedia's policy on citations ...

http://xkcd.com/978/

The changes so far look good. Let's just hope there's not some bloody minded eejit just waiting to get into an edit war.

#9 Rod

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 02:28 AM

Do Wikipedia define exactly what they mean by the word ' published '. ? A word with more than one interpretation I would guess. I have had conventional books published but was more interested in the word ' copyright '.

#10 RAc

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 04:30 AM

.


Edited by RAc, 04 March 2016 - 05:01 PM.


#11 Steve Mansfield

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 05:50 AM

One thing I would query is the statement on the English section, 

But it also renders chords more difficult to learn than scales.

 

 

 

Quite apart from the awkward sentence structure, I suspect that will get pounced on fairly quickly by the Wikipedia hierarchy as an opinion, rather than a statement - they're usually pretty hot on that sort of thing (whereas glaring factual errors and urban myths just sail along unchallenged for months or years, or get enmeshed in endless edit wars). 

 

I'd also, more importantly, query it as an English player; whilst I'd be the first to agree that many EC players concentrate on melody rather than chording, the EC keyboard layout is conducive to working out where the notes of a chord sit, inventing interesting accompaniment options, and so on. 

 

I would suggest dropping that whole sentence.

 

Nice to see the Wikipedia page getting an overhaul though, so well done on that.



#12 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 02:06 PM

Do Wikipedia define exactly what they mean by the word ' published '. ? A word with more than one interpretation I would guess. I have had conventional books published but was more interested in the word ' copyright '.

 

 

This is covered pretty extensively at: https://en.wikipedia...eliable_sources

 

Basically, they want something that's been signed-off on with people with something to lose. That is, publications in peer-reviewed journals are good, since not only the author, but the peers and the journal staff are putting their butt on the line for quality. Same for newspapers, etc. Someone's Angelfire page might have some outstanding research, but at the end of the day it's just one guy who's staking any rep on the facts he puts up.

 

 

@Wayman: The photo quality is good, but does the from-behind positioning make it harder to get a feel for scale, shape, etc? I'm happy to help add in whatever photos the community finds helpful, so we have some time to bounce around ideas on image to maximize educational value to novices.

 

 

 

@Ruediger and Steve: On "English concertina" I hadn't done much more than just split it off to its own article, but I'll take a closer look now, remove some awkwardness and technical rambling, etc.

 

As an example of footnoting, check out https://en.wikipedia...Duet_concertina; note the History and Systems sections have footnotes for pretty much every major fact, allowing any readers to trace those facts back to a citeable source.

 

"Anglo concertina" is going to be a bit more of a mess, as is the History section of "Concertina". Anyone have any suggested facts/phrasings, sources, etc? What I want to ensure is that the overall History section gives a balanced view, not leaning too much to one niche or the other. I also really want to ensure that the articles aren't too Anglocentric, that there's sufficient mention of Boermusik, Zulu squashbox, Latin American English concertina, things like that. Would like to give the reader a good feel for how prevalent the concertina was in the past, not just the pieces that have survived to the present.

 

 

EDIT: For "Duet concertina" I have the patent dates for Maccann, Crane, and Hayden. Anyone have the patent date for Jeffries?

 

EDIT: We could also use a biography article on "John Hill Maccann", if anyone wants to give that a shot. Again happy to help any novices learn the basics in a low-key way.

 

EDIT: Made some big changes to the History section for "English concertina". I wanted to capture both its art-music uses for classical and music hall, but also mention its limited role in folk music, particularly its (somewhat ahistorical) adoption into the English Folk Revival. Speaking of which, we also lack an article for Alistair Anderson, if we have any other fans here.


Edited by MatthewVanitas, 11 November 2014 - 03:13 PM.


#13 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:36 PM

Just threw together a short article for Lachenal & Co.

 

We don't have too many articles about concertina producing firms, so again if anyone wants a hand in starting up an article for George Jones, John Crabb, etc. let me know and I can walk you through some pretty easy and at-your-own-pace steps to get an article on there.



#14 Ann-p

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 01:19 PM

Matthew, How about these? 55 key New Model Lachenal Maccann no 805. I couldn't upload any more! I could take some better ones without the sofa!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20140517_200655.jpg
  • 20140517_201324.jpg

Edited by Ann-p, 17 November 2014 - 01:20 PM.


#15 Steve Mansfield

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 01:22 PM

In for a penny, in for a pound; I've created a wikipedia account and had a first pass at improving the English concertina page, particularly around my area of comparative expertise which is the Folk Music section. Be gentle ... 



#16 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 03:11 PM



In for a penny, in for a pound; I've created a wikipedia account and had a first pass at improving the English concertina page, particularly around my area of comparative expertise which is the Folk Music section. Be gentle ... 

Steve, great work! That helps catch some missing details, introduce some more names, etc.

 

I've sectioned "Folk music" by region, showing the different areas (England, Ireland, Latin America). Any suggestions on other regions/cultures with a documented history of at least some use of the English?

 

https://en.wikipedia...tina#Folk_music

 

 

@Ann-p: Photo looks good, would you like to go ahead and add whichever you prefer to Wikipedia? Though I could do it, for legal reasons it's way easier if it's you to check the box "I took this photo and I release it under Creative Commons". Otherwise there's an email form I'd have to send you, etc.

If you want to give a shot uploading, in under three minutes you can sign up for an account at https://commons.wikimedia.org, then just click the "upload" button and follow the clear instructions as to how to mark the image, and we can then easily add it into the article.

 

 

So glad to see a few folks willing to chip in; I've got good wiki skills, but I'm not the greatest concertina expert, so happy to help the concertina-savvier folks get down the utter basics of editing Wikipedia. Steve, did you find it intuitive enough at first? Your edits look well-formatted and clear, seems you've taken to it fine.

 

Also, if someone can find one or two ITM players who use English, where we can cite a serious article/paper/book that notes said musician and their use of the English in ITM, that'd be a  great fleshing out of that small section.


Edited by MatthewVanitas, 17 November 2014 - 03:13 PM.


#17 Steve Mansfield

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 03:27 PM

Cheers Mathew, glad there's no howlers in my first attempt. Your additional edit looks good to me; hopefully someone else can expand on the classical and historical side of the article. 

 

I didn't find the editing particularly intuitive as such ... but my concertina habit is funded by my day job of computer programming with a strong element of getting disparate proprietary systems to talk to each other, so I'm very comfortable diving head first into bizarre and unfamiliar syntaxes, guesstimating what they do to create the end results, and using the result to my own purposes. 

 

Now if you'll excuse me I've spotted a couple of omissions in the article on the wonderful (if concertina-deficient) band Blowzabella ... 



#18 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 04:10 PM

Pretty empowering to be able to add info, isn't it?

 

I'm feeling a little clever for a bit I found to add to Duet Concertina:

 

 


Despite the predominance of the Anglo concertina, the instrument found a small level of adoption in the [[Boeremusiek]] of the [[Afrikaner]] people of South Africa, who refer to the Crane and Maccann duet systems as the ''5-ry'' ("five row") and ''6-ry'' ("six row"), respectively.<ref>{{cite web|title=Musical Instruments: Concertina|url=http://www.boeremusi...g|accessdate=17November 2014}}</ref>

 

The source didn't mention what the Afrikaans word for 5-row or 6-row is, so I had to do a little bit of googling, and managed to figure out that Afrikaans spells "row" as ry rather than the modern Dutch rij, and finally I managed to google up SAfrican sales adds selling concertinas as "5-ry" and the like, confirming the spelling. I did need a source to prove that the Boer use the instrument, but finding the correct Boer term for it is kosher as a common-sense extension of the fact.

 

 

 

Steve, while you're fixing English, Dan Worral notes at least one notable Boer musician playing the English: http://books.google....certina&f=false

 

And note per the Boeremusiek.org.za site I cited above, the English is called the "four row", which would be "4-ry" in Afrikaans. The same site also notes that the Boer use the term "English" to mean "English-style build" vice German, so "English concertina" doesn't mean what we call English, but rather an Anglo by Lachenal or Wheatstone (or in niche cases an English or Duet).

 

Note: if there are any GoogleBooks pages you want to cite, http://reftag.appspot.comcan instantly turn any GoogleBooks links into a full Wikipedia footnote with just a click.


Edited by MatthewVanitas, 17 November 2014 - 04:19 PM.





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