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The Anglo Concertina Music Of William Kimber


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#37 Dan Worrall

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 02:08 PM

Alan and Geoffrey,

Many thanks for the kind words. I'm especially happy to hear that someone is actually working through the tunes to play around with Kimber's phrasing...it is really a unique style, and surprising in many ways. Geoffrey, on the errors you found in Hunting the Squirrel, you are quite right....the fingering of the first G in measures 2,3,6,and 7 should read P1, not P4. I've been keeping a running tally of the inevitable errata on the note in this string dated Nov 28, and have edited it today for this newly found error number 5. Noting and proscribing fingering for anglo is very tedious and finicky work (I don't think I shall ever try this again!), and amongst those +/- 8000 fingerings are some hiding clinkers. If you or any other readers find any more, please email them to me and I'll keep the errata sheet updated.
By the way, Geoffrey is right to point out that, if a problem is found, the notes are a better reference than the fingerings. There was a way in my software to play back the notes on a speaker, so they were much easier to correct.

#38 m3838

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 08:28 PM

Gentlemen (including the better part of the humanity)!
I just got William Kimber CD from the Button Box.
Unfortunately it is not to my liking.
I'd like to either swap or sell it to anybody who would like to help me with this
transaction.
$20 and shipping is on me.
Thanks.

#39 Rengaw

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 11:49 AM

This is to encourage all Concertina players that would like to improve their ability to play by 110%! The tutor is called The Anglo Concertina Music of William Kimber by Dan M. Worrall. For myself it is a godsend because I've been playing the 2 row Concertina for 17 years and this is the first book I have discovered Irish and English music for the concertina with the chords actualy written in with the melody line. There are 28 tunes in the book all transcribed dilligently by the author Dan M. Worrall. If you never bought a music book for your Concertina then this is one that you should purchase!! Hats off to
Dan Worrall for a job well done!! I can now enjoy my own playing all because of two men that took the time to assist other Concertina players, these are William Kimber and Dan Worrall. Thank you and the book can be purchased at teh Button Box in Sunderland, Mass.

Edward M. Wagner
:)

#40 Brian Peters

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 06:29 PM

kimber surely played straight up and dowh the rows in their home keys if he had a g d or an bflat f
he would have played in those keyswhich is more the point stylewise .so why not a gd or bflat f .dick miles


Dick -
He didn't just play up and down the rows (see previous threads including this one: http://www.concertin...showtopic=3365). And although the fingering and playing style would have been more or less the same whatever the key of the instrument, the sound of Kimber's music depends very much on the fact that he used a relatively high-pitched instrument, in C/G.
All the best,
Brian

#41 Dan Worrall

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 11:36 PM

kimber surely played straight up and dowh the rows in their home keys if he had a g d or an bflat f
he would have played in those keyswhich is more the point stylewise .so why not a gd or bflat f .dick miles


Dick -
He didn't just play up and down the rows (see previous threads including this one: http://www.concertin...showtopic=3365). And although the fingering and playing style would have been more or less the same whatever the key of the instrument, the sound of Kimber's music depends very much on the fact that he used a relatively high-pitched instrument, in C/G.
All the best,
Brian

Dick,

Just to add a bit to Brian's comments above, with which I agree, Roger Digby and I had the rare opportunity (and honor) last May to play Kimber's concertina, so I know first-hand it was a CG. But beyond that (and to follow up on the thread Brian quotes), there are certain chord choices that show you for sure that old William didn't play just along the rows. The pulled C chord is one of them, but there are enough other examples so that you can see, with some study, that he plays his right hand melodies moving through both the C and G rows in a fairly set way (see discussion of his scales in that thread). If you try out some of the tunes I transcribed, you'll see there is not much option otherwise in many if not indeed most passages.

I'm sure you'll agree this is one of the real joys of anglo playing. Unlike most instruments, there are lots of choices how and where you play either individual notes, chords, or passages on this thing, especially in terms of fingering and bellows direction, let alone style and cultural differences. I find it fascinating to see how various people will approach the same box in such amazingly different ways.

Cheers,
Dan

ps. Thanks, Edward for the kind comments, above. It is great to hear that someone enjoys learning the Kimber arrangements!

#42 jmullen

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:55 AM

Just a note to let Forum readers know that my collection of transcriptions of William Kimber's tunes is now available from the EFDSS website: http://folkshop.efds...ance/index.htm#. The book contains notation for 28 tunes showing both melody and chords as played by Kimber, including suggested fingering for left and right hands. There is some discussion of the elements of Kimber's style as well as some historical notes on the anglo concertina.

The book includes a Foreword from Roger Digby, who suggested the publication and was extremely helpful at all stages of the project. Additional thanks go to Randy Merris, Robin Harrison, and Bob Gaskins, who all helped in various ways. All proceeds benefit the EFDSS. I understand that the Button Box will soon have copies on hand in the US.

I've attached an example of a first page from one of the tunes; the numbers refer to suggested buttons and fingering on each hand.



#43 AnnC

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 03:12 PM

:D I've an old LP ' The Art of William Kimber' with exactly the same photo on the sleeve as on Don's book.
It's a Topic record, published in 1974 with sleeve notes by the Rev. K. Loveless. According to the sleeve the recordings are taken from the original 78's and a booklet with the record gives details of where the tunes were originally recorded. The earliest set is from July 1935, the latest from June 1948.
Quote from the booklet on the instrument used by William Kimber on this record ......''The concertina is a 30 key chromatic Anglo-German concertina made by C.Jeffries of Praed Street, Paddington. The instrument has silver plates affixed at each end, one reading 'WILLIAM KIMBER. From the Audience, Steinway Hall, March 4, 1909' and the other 'Bequeathed to KENNETH LOVELESS by WILLIAM KIMBER, ob. Headington Quarry, Boxing Day, 1961, aged 89'

#44 Robin Harrison

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:12 PM

the sound of Kimber's music depends very much on the fact that he used a relatively high-pitched instrument, in C/G.

Interesting..............I must say I've never thought that.I believed it was to do with the instrument itself.........a Jeffries...........rather how it was keyed.
I'm now wondering if in fact it had anything to do with it's temperement as well..............I'm wondering, Dan, if you and Roger had any comments re.the temperement of his instrument after having played it.
Regards Robin

#45 Dan Worrall

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 10:41 PM

the sound of Kimber's music depends very much on the fact that he used a relatively high-pitched instrument, in C/G.

Interesting..............I must say I've never thought that.I believed it was to do with the instrument itself.........a Jeffries...........rather how it was keyed.
I'm now wondering if in fact it had anything to do with it's temperement as well..............I'm wondering, Dan, if you and Roger had any comments re.the temperement of his instrument after having played it.
Regards Robin

Robin,

I think Brian was saying that Kimber's C/G playing sounds high pitched relative to that of those modern morris anglo players who play G/Ds; a tune played in G would be an octave lower on the G/D than Kimber would have played it.

I am still kicking myself that I don't know anything about the temperament of Kimber's instrument, although I had it in my hands (however briefly). It is an interesting question. Kimber plays so many thirds, it seems it must have been in some sort of non-equal temperament, because thirds sound so grating in ET. Yours truly blew a chance to check it out...I wasn't thinking about that when a held it. Roger played it much more...let's see if he remembers that.

Dan

#46 PeterT

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 04:42 PM

I am still kicking myself that I don't know anything about the temperament of Kimber's instrument, although I had it in my hands (however briefly). It is an interesting question. Kimber plays so many thirds, it seems it must have been in some sort of non-equal temperament, because thirds sound so grating in ET. Yours truly blew a chance to check it out...I wasn't thinking about that when a held it. Roger played it much more...let's see if he remembers that.

Dan

Hi Dan,

I was doing a booking in Regent's Park, last Saturday, so paid my first visit to CSH since 1991! I bought a copy of your excellent book on William Kimber, and am working my way through one or two tunes.

From what I recall of the brief period that I had Kimber's concertina in my hands, it sounded particularly "sweet" in the key of C. As William played much of his music in this key, it is not un-reasonable to speculate that it might have been fine-tuned to sound best in this key.

Three thoughts spring to mind:

(1) It would be interesting to compare recordings of William Kimber and Father Kenneth Loveless playing the same tunes on the same instrument. Although Kenneth learnt from William, over a lengthy period, their playing was significantly different (in my opinion). This would help establish whether it was the instrument, or the musician, who produced that "unique" sound.

(2) Bearing in mind point (2), does anyone know when Kimber's instrument was last tuned, and by whom?

(3) Kimber's instrument could be played, nowadays, in C and other keys, to establish how it is currently tuned, and whether it sounds "off" in keys other than C/G and related minors.

Regards,
Peter.

#47 David Barnert

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:16 PM

Is any information to be gained (re the temperament of Kimber's concertina) from digital analysis of extant recordings?

#48 PeterT

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 06:11 AM

Is any information to be gained (re the temperament of Kimber's concertina) from digital analysis of extant recordings?

I've just spoken to Colin Dipper, and thought to ask him about Kimber's concertina. Notes as follows:

(1) Colin re-tuned this instrument about five years ago. It is currently in equal temperament, and was when he received it for tuning.

(2) Colin advised that during the period that Father Kenneth Loveless had the concertina, it was tuned by Crabb.

(3) When Kimber's playing was recorded, the instrument may, or may not, have been in equal temperament. As indicated, above, by David, digital analysis of the recordings would be the only way to determine the tuning.

Regards,
Peter.

#49 Dan Worrall

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 08:06 AM

Is any information to be gained (re the temperament of Kimber's concertina) from digital analysis of extant recordings?

I've just spoken to Colin Dipper, and thought to ask him about Kimber's concertina. Notes as follows:

(1) Colin re-tuned this instrument about five years ago. It is currently in equal temperament, and was when he received it for tuning.

(2) Colin advised that during the period that Father Kenneth Loveless had the concertina, it was tuned by Crabb.

(3) When Kimber's playing was recorded, the instrument may, or may not, have been in equal temperament. As indicated, above, by David, digital analysis of the recordings would be the only way to determine the tuning.

Regards,
Peter.


Peter,

Good sleuthing, and thanks for the information. I hadn't thought of asking Colin.

I'm not the one to do the digital analysis...way beyond me...but my first thought is that that task would be really difficult, as the notes are not long enough to get a good reading for such a fine measurement. Maybe someone else would know better.
Also, we should remember that that concertina was a gift to Kimber in 1909 or so....its temperament might not have been his choice, or even something he knew much about. His 'real' instrument was the two row he learned on, in my opinion (regardless of the fact that the 1909 instrument is that he used in the recording). That older instrument had a higher likelihood of being in unequal temperament, and that one (or an older one still) is that one that generated his style. But we will never know for sure much about that one.

BTW, if you are learning some tunes, please remember to check the errata found earlier in this thread...and let me know if you find more bugs!

Best,
Dan

#50 PeterT

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 08:56 AM

BTW, if you are learning some tunes, please remember to check the errata found earlier in this thread...and let me know if you find more bugs!

Hi Dan,

I'm just trying to understand what Kimber was doing, and why. We chord very differently, but then I've had a 36 key instrument for 25 years, and tend to skip across all three rows (on the draw) to keep the chording light most of the time.

I thought that I'd found one or two bugs, however, more study induced me to think "Why, on earth, did he do it that way?".

"Bean Setting" is a good example. For someone who tried to avoid the melody dropping onto the left hand, why did he allow a couple of notes, in the "B" music, to do just that. Cecil Sharp collected this tune (from Kimber, presumably), and, unless he "arranged" part of the melody, his notation would have kept the whole melody on the right hand (the way that I play it) [Note: the Bacon Book lists the tune in "G"].

Kimber starts "Bean Setting" with a "C" an octave above the melody, and finishes the same way. I start the tune without this octave "C", but bring the tune up to this note to finish.

Interestingly, Kimber and I play the right hand "C" scale differently in the couple of tunes which I have examined:

Kimber’s Right Hand “C “ Scale:

1P - 2D -2P - 3D - 3P/6P - 7D - 7P - 4P

Trimming’s Right Hand “C” Scale:

1P - 2D - 2P - 3D - 3P - 7D - 7P - 4P/8D


Regards,
Peter.

#51 Dan Worrall

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 08:46 PM

BTW, if you are learning some tunes, please remember to check the errata found earlier in this thread...and let me know if you find more bugs!

Hi Dan,

I'm just trying to understand what Kimber was doing, and why. We chord very differently, but then I've had a 36 key instrument for 25 years, and tend to skip across all three rows (on the draw) to keep the chording light most of the time.

I thought that I'd found one or two bugs, however, more study induced me to think "Why, on earth, did he do it that way?".

"Bean Setting" is a good example. For someone who tried to avoid the melody dropping onto the left hand, why did he allow a couple of notes, in the "B" music, to do just that. Cecil Sharp collected this tune (from Kimber, presumably), and, unless he "arranged" part of the melody, his notation would have kept the whole melody on the right hand (the way that I play it) [Note: the Bacon Book lists the tune in "G"].

Kimber starts "Bean Setting" with a "C" an octave above the melody, and finishes the same way. I start the tune without this octave "C", but bring the tune up to this note to finish.

Interestingly, Kimber and I play the right hand "C" scale differently in the couple of tunes which I have examined:

Kimber’s Right Hand “C “ Scale:

1P - 2D -2P - 3D - 3P/6P - 7D - 7P - 4P

Trimming’s Right Hand “C” Scale:

1P - 2D - 2P - 3D - 3P - 7D - 7P - 4P/8D


Regards,
Peter.

Hi Peter,

I'm on the road right now and concertina-less...but I'll give it a go.
As I remember, there is a tricky bit on the last 4 notes of Bean Setting...should it be played all in one direction or not? I cannot remember right now what I decided about his playing of that, and how I put it in print, but do remember someone else mentioned that the B part of that tune didn't seem quite right. I wouldn't be too particular if there is a better way on that that appeals to you (especially that last phrase)! Even Kimber would change things around a lot and was less dogmatic about things than the good Reverend Loveless let on....at least, that is what his recordings show.

In general, however, the scale that you ascribe to him is indeed how he played it most of the time. One can tell, because the third interval (left hand) chords he plays in many tunes show that he drops down to the bottom row before you do (his left and right hands USUALLY are on the same row at any particular time, as his chords are just octaves to which third intervals have been appended, up or down). Those chords are the most distinctive things about his playing, and I myself like the sound of them so would be loathe (myself) to change that. But there is nothing set in stone about it! The other thing that is utterly distinctive about his playing is that it is contained completely within the bottom two rows...if you keep off the top row you will sound more like Kimber and will be more prone to chord like him (rather than more modern oom pah style accompaniment).

Hope that helps...I'll check that tune again when I get home to my toys.

Best,
Dan

#52 PeterT

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 03:23 AM


"Bean Setting" is a good example. For someone who tried to avoid the melody dropping onto the left hand, why did he allow a couple of notes, in the "B" music, to do just that. Cecil Sharp collected this tune (from Kimber, presumably), and, unless he "arranged" part of the melody, his notation would have kept the whole melody on the right hand (the way that I play it).

Kimber starts "Bean Setting" with a "C" an octave above the melody, and finishes the same way. I start the tune without this octave "C", but bring the tune up to this note to finish.

Interestingly, Kimber and I play the right hand "C" scale differently in the couple of tunes which I have examined:

Kimber’s Right Hand “C “ Scale:

1P - 2D -2P - 3D - 3P/6P - 7D - 7P - 4P

Trimming’s Right Hand “C” Scale:

1P - 2D - 2P - 3D - 3P - 7D - 7P - 4P/8D


As I remember, there is a tricky bit on the last 4 notes of Bean Setting...should it be played all in one direction or not? I cannot remember right now what I decided about his playing of that, and how I put it in print, but do remember someone else mentioned that the B part of that tune didn't seem quite right. I wouldn't be too particular if there is a better way on that that appeals to you (especially that last phrase)! Even Kimber would change things around a lot and was less dogmatic about things than the good Reverend Loveless let on....at least, that is what his recordings show.

In general, however, the scale that you ascribe to him is indeed how he played it most of the time. One can tell, because the third interval (left hand) chords he plays in many tunes show that he drops down to the bottom row before you do (his left and right hands USUALLY are on the same row at any particular time, as his chords are just octaves to which third intervals have been appended, up or down). Those chords are the most distinctive things about his playing, and I myself like the sound of them so would be loathe (myself) to change that. But there is nothing set in stone about it! The other thing that is utterly distinctive about his playing is that it is contained completely within the bottom two rows...if you keep off the top row you will sound more like Kimber and will be more prone to chord like him (rather than more modern oom pah style accompaniment).

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your concertina-less response!

I'm sure that what you have transcribed, for "Bean Setting", accurately reflects William Kimber's playing of the tune; I just don't understand why he did it that way. My fingering of the last two bars has exactly the same changes in bellows direction, only with three of the last four notes an octave higher than written.

Traditionally, as I understand it, "the Morris" was only danced in the Spring, at Whitsun. [Fortunately for us, Headington Quarry MM danced out of season, at Christmas. Without this event, plus Cecil Sharp being in attendance, the concertina and Morris worlds might have been very different today!]. Nowadays, Morris sides practice, or dance out, most weeks, and there is a chance for musicians to keep their tunes polished up. My understanding is that the traditional sides only practised for a few weeks before Whitsun, with older dancers teaching the younger ones the "correct" steps, and (I presume) musicians remembering tunes from one season to the next. Unless your, or other, research confirms that Kimber kept his Morris tunes polished up during the winter months, this could explain some variation to his playing over the many years that he played for the Headington Quarry MM.

On the subject of chording, I just wonder what Kimber would have done had he started on a 30 key instrument instead of 20 key!

Regards,
Peter.

#53 PeterT

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 08:19 AM

The other thing that is utterly distinctive about his playing is that it is contained completely within the bottom two rows...if you keep off the top row you will sound more like Kimber and will be more prone to chord like him (rather than more modern oom pah style accompaniment).

Hi Dan,

Just to complete the picture, I've scanned through the rest of your book, and can only find three tunes where William Kimber's playing of the melody "strays" onto the left hand:

Bean Setting - as discussed.
Blue-eyed Stranger.
The Wonder.

In "Blue-eyed Stranger", bar 3, I can understand why Kimber plays most of this bar on the left hand, using buttons 8 & 9 (notes G/A/C), as he avoided the top row. I use left hand button 4a a lot, especially on the draw, so can use this button to move this bar onto the middle/top rows for the melody.

As far as I can see, on a 30 key instrument, part of both "Blue-eyed Stranger" and "The Wonder" has to drop onto the left hand, however you finger it.

Regards,
Peter.

#54 Dan Worrall

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 09:18 PM

Hi Dan,

Just to complete the picture, I've scanned through the rest of your book, and can only find three tunes where William Kimber's playing of the melody "strays" onto the left hand:


As far as I can see, on a 30 key instrument, part of both "Blue-eyed Stranger" and "The Wonder" has to drop onto the left hand, however you finger it.

Regards,
Peter.

Hi Peter,

Still travelling and concertina-less!

Your comment above just goes to show how unique the anglo is...for English-style playing it is a nearly perfect duet. An old style Irish player will see it as a completely different fingerboard. Always amazing to me, somehow.

On polish, somehow I don't think Kimber ever worried about that. I did notice that, every now and then, he'd miss a note or two as he warmed up. Most if not all of his tunes were likely recorded as one-offs with no chances for retakes. The idea of him practicing an early-learned tune just to play it extra nicely for some event...doesn't fit his MO, to my mind, but who knows.

BTW, am traveling the last few days on "The Crooked Road" in Virginia...a loosely defined part of southwesternmost Virginia where old time music can still be commonly heard (you can google their website). Sort of like driving through the west of Ireland; you are never far away from a welcoming session. Of course, that welcome may be because I am concertina-less! I did hear, on the radio here, an early recording of an old time duet that included an accordion with a guitar.

Cheers,
Dan




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