For a change to be successful and accepted it must address a need and provide clear improvements which meet that need, thus providing advantage for the person who will be expected to adopt it.
That every concertina player is likely to have some individual issues or problems, be it with the particular design of their instrument, the hand of finger size nature has given them or with muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, or skin sensitivity disorders is a perfectly reasonable assumption.
That we are all afflicted or affected by the same common set of problems is I think clearly unreasonable.
Again, you are to be commended for your work towards addressing particular needs and for making the results of your findings available to all. What you seem unable to accept is that the large majority of players do not share your difficulty in holding the instrument nor do they find 5mm buttons to be non-functional ‘instruments of torture’.
Your ideas and proposals are formulated from, and tailored by, your own individual experiences, perceptions and problems. Your solutions have hopefully made a big difference to you playing and personal comfort and will likely benefit those others who share similar difficulties.
I have my own set of quite different issues and preferences. I have large hands and fingers but comparatively short little fingers. I have no problems holding the concertina and my favourite instrument is a Bb/F Jeffries fitted with original 3mm (1/8”) buttons which I find that I prefer over their 5 and 6mm cousins. To compensate in part for the little finger problem the palm rests are very slightly angled and I can play for hours and experience no discomfort from the buttons. Given your difficulties with 5mm buttons, playing this concertina might well give you great problems in accurate note location and clearly have you writhing in agony!
As I said, we are all different and the above suits my particular needs admirably.
I wonder if I am correct in assuming that you have converted your collection of Aeolas and Edeophones and the like to 10 or 12mm buttons, with restrictions to the range and altered spacings and layouts.
If not, I don’t think that you are in any position to suggest to me that I thus convert my Jeffries instruments in order to try out solutions to your problems.
Given that we are all different, (that surely must be beyond dispute), unless every concertina is tailor-made to the individual’s anatomy and preferences, then some compromises must be accepted. It is very much like the difference between a bespoke tailor-made suit and one mass produced to a ‘standard’ pattern and sold ‘off the peg’. The experiences of players and makers alike over many, many years have resulted in a range of quite reasonable ‘one size fits nearly all’ compromises. This can be improved on for the individual by buying ‘off the peg’ and having minor alterations done to improve the fit.
The unfortunate minority who, in some way, fall beyond the common parameters must either accept a less than optimum fit, pretty major alterations to the instrument or be prepared to pay for bespoke hand made goods.
Where concertinas are concerned I fall into the first group and where clothes are concerned, having a ‘non-standard’ 54” chest, decidedly within the latter category.
A far more important concern for many folk on this forum is the shortage of reasonable quality starter particularly intermediate grade instruments. There are folk out there trying their best to address this issue be it by outsourcing parts and labour, the use of modern ‘alternative’ materials and production methods or by innovative changes in design, they deserve and have my greatest respect. I am not against change if it fulfils a useful purpose and is effective.
As Paul Groff pointed out :
<A forum such as this has limited persuasive power. Words will rarely convince a serious musician that some design change in a musical instrument has value.>
Again, if you truly believe that that your ideas are of universal benefit to all , then I suggest that it is today’s makers and tomorrow’s designers that you will have to convince if your proposals are ever to be truly tested in the field.
Unless such initial development were to be made to order or otherwise underwritten by someone, makers would, I suspect, require an awful lot of convincing before embarking on a project for which, as Clive points out, they might never see a return.
That, my friend is your dilemma not ours.
That your problems are not shared by many others on this forum would appear to be well supported by the fact that of 3885 forum posts in total, the Ergonomics Forum has attracted 25 replies to 6 postings, three of which were started by yourself.
I hope I have made my viewpoint clear to all and reckon that's about all I wish to contribute to this issue.
I must now take the only means available to me of ending my involvement in this thread that is to leave the field clear for you Goran to have the last and un-contested word.
Oh no I don’t. I’m back !
As a post Script and of no direct relevance to the above argument :-
I kept a small flock of sheep until the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. This is not to be confused with Foot In Mouth disease, a different ailment endemic in this forum and to which I have occasionally succumbed.
I used to shear by hand using traditional bow sprung shears which gave the sheep an efficient if, in my unpractised hands, somewhat rough and ready, ‘haircut’.
On one occasion I had I had to dag (shear round the tail end) of several sheep to control an outbreak of ‘Fly Strike’ (believe me you really, really don’t want to know!) With no shears available, I resorted to an emergency alternative and used heavy upholstery scissors.
The resultant nerve damage in my thumb caused a complete loss of feeling from the root to the tip for very nearly six months.
So if that old ‘Shears/Scissors’ analogy is dragged out yet again I shall not be held responsible for my actions…..
Surely everyone (except perhaps you Goran??) could see with their own eyes that the moon was round?
I confess to having had some difficulty accepting that the Astronauts saw Earth as a Circle and not a Hexagon…….. But I’m over it now….I think……?
Edited by Dave Prebble, 05 December 2003 - 12:28 PM.