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#37 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 09:32 PM

Not only players use 3 fingers per side, they often dismiss pinkie rest alltogether and use all four fingers. It's dramatic change of style and possibilities, much like 3 row Bayan versus 5 row and complete redesign of playing school. And I saw a photorgraph of you with concertina on thin neck strap. Very dangerous adventure and God help you.

Actually, neither of those techniques are anything new or revolutionary - they go right back to the playing/teaching of the concertina's greatest virtuoso, Giulio Regondi, who started performing professionally on the instrument as recently as 1835. :rolleyes:

Thats' precisely my point ...

Really? :blink:

... original design needed improvement right away.

It did, and it was improved right away*, but not in the way you are suggesting - which is more a question of playing technique. After all, is adding a strap to the guitar (Regondi's other instrument), to play it standing, actually a "design improvement", or likewise playing guitar with 4 fingers and a "floating" hand, instead of 3 with the pinkie resting on the belly of the instrument (which is how he is known to have played it)? :unsure: It would surely be more correct to say that the technique of the (very) newly-invented concertina needed to evolve, and especially at virtuoso level...

*Regondi would have been playing an open pallet concertina, of limited range, in 1835 (similar to Captain Gardnor's one in my avatar) and improved models very rapidly appeared. The instrument continued to develop until reaching a peak of design, materials and quality around 1910.

Now you might suggest that things have therefore stagnated (at least, you have previously :rolleyes: ), but it is generally agreed that the best violins were made around 300 years ago, the best Bandoneons in the 1920s/'30s, and the best banjos also in the '30s, whilst there has been no significant change in the design of the "modern" classical flute since 1849, and some professional players consider 19th century flutes by Louis Lot to be the best ever made - meanwhile (the inventor) Boehm's ergonomic "crutch", for the lefthand thumb, has been universally discarded by flute players...


Edited by Stephen Chambers, 29 May 2009 - 09:43 AM.


#38 m3838

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:27 PM

Now you might suggest that things have therefore stagnated (at least, you have previously :rolleyes: ), but it is generally agreed that the best violins were made around 300 years ago, the best Bandoneons in the 1920s/'30s, and the best banjos also in the '30s, whilst there has been no significant change in the design of the "modern" classical flute since 1849, and some professional players consider 19th century flutes by Louis Lot to be the best ever made - meanwhile (the inventor) Boehm's ergonomic "crutch", for the lefthand thumb, has been universally discarded by flute players...


It is very interesting and informative.
I have several observations regarding your post though:
We haven't heard Regondi play. Whether he was a virtuoso in our modern understanding, is uncertain. A new sensational instrument may have provided unexpected income at lower level of expectations. After all, Regondi was an entertainer.
It is not generally agreed that best violins were made 300 years ago. It is agreed, that 300 years of playing did something to the structure of wood and altered the sound in desired way. Best violins are made today. To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that 300 years of constant research and technological improvements went backwards.
Best Bandonions are also made today, in Germany. One is made by Harry Geuns, the other is Klaus Gutjahr. Pigini makes good one too.
http://radioanyway.o...gini_sample.mp3 -- Pigini Bandoneon
http://www.klausgutjahr.de/ -- Gutjahr Bandoneon
What AA is good for is that "old-timey" sound, and it may be result of time and/or the composition of metal.
Considering other designs: we are not talking about flutes. A flute may or may not have reached the best all around design 10 000 years ago. But concertina, esp. English system, has not. Yes, you are absolutely right, proper technique and muscle conditioning helps to overcome awkwardness, but proper design of the handle would have expedited the progress and (wha's more important) expressiveness of the instrument.
It's been discussed and logic routinely discarded.
A school of playing guitar with 3 fingers is fundamentally different from school of playing with 4 or 5. 3 row button accordion is fundamentally different from 5 row accordion. 20 button Anglo is entirely different from 45 button Anglo, unless you underuse it, in which case you simply play 20 button Anglo, no matter how many buttons you have. It's like playing 12 string Lute, using only one string, and claiming it's simply a big balalaika. Or using Stradivarius violin, if you like it better, as a back scratcher.
-------------------------
So, a 2 finger "pinkie" rest can be shortened and made more comfortable for pinkie, does it not?
For those who play with 8 fingers, pinkie rest can be abolished and air button/lever added, because these players use more air, as they play bigger chords and accompaniment - is it not?
For pull/push bellows driven instrument handle is of outmost importance, is it not?
If so, it's location/balance/grip is number one priority, is it not? But is it's location/balance/grip optimal?
For playing sitting, as these players frequently do, round shape of instrument is not well suited, no?
There are good designs for EC handle, are there not? Same goes for all other types.
So why most of players want this?
It's because they want this,
although this is faster.

Edited by m3838, 29 May 2009 - 12:33 PM.


#39 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 09:29 PM

We haven't heard Regondi play. Whether he was a virtuoso in our modern understanding, is uncertain.

Whatever "our modern understanding" of the term may be (?), Regondi was certainly a virtuoso in the original meaning of "a skilful theorist or composer as well as a performer." You have only to look at the music he composed and performed, for both guitar and concertina (and his didactic works for the latter) to realise that he was an absolute master of both instruments, and whilst contemporary critics sometimes expressed regret about his choice of those instruments (which were both seen as unworthy at the time, and holding him back from wider recognition), there was universal acclaim for his technical skill and the sheer musicality of his playing.

After all, Regondi was an entertainer.

That remark may be more applicable to someone like Paganini (who, by the way, praised Regondi's playing), a showman whose virtuoisity I doubt if even you would impugn, but how can you justify that slight against Regondi? :huh:

It is not generally agreed that best violins were made 300 years ago ... Best violins are made today.

Perhaps you should try to convince the likes of Itzhak Perlman (General Kyd Stradivarius 1714, Soil Stradivarius 1714, Sauret Guarnerius del Gesu 1743 and ex-Kreisler Bergonzi 1740), and most other leading violinists, of that?

It is agreed, that 300 years of playing did something to the structure of wood and altered the sound in desired way.

Is it? :blink: So any violin that has been played for 300 years is just as good as a Stradivarius?

To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that 300 years of constant research and technological improvements went backwards.

There may have been attempted "technological improvements" in violin construction in the past 200 years, such as these:

Posted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image


But they've never caught on and the violin hasn't changed since the first half of the 19th century - whilst most of the research by violin makers and scientists, over the last couple of centuries, has been about trying to discover "the secrets of Stradivarius" (his instruments were already regarded as exceptional that long ago).

I happened to be in Austin in January, when Joseph Nagyvary, a professor emeritus of biochemistry at Texas A&M University revealed his findings that it's all down to a chemical cocktail intended to preserve the timber, but that's only one theory amongst many... :rolleyes:

Best Bandonions are also made today, in Germany. One is made by Harry Geuns, the other is Klaus Gutjahr. Pigini makes good one too.
http://radioanyway.o...gini_sample.mp3 -- Pigini Bandoneon
http://www.klausgutjahr.de/ -- Gutjahr Bandoneon

I know Harry Geuns (bandonion-maker here on C.net), we've met several times and corresponded at length, but seeing that he's Dutch, I fear he might not be altogether happy that you've described him as a German maker! I've also shared a very interesting weekend, in Germany, with Klaus Gutjahr. They both make excellent Bandoneons, and I think they'd both be very flattered to hear that you consider they make better ones than Alfred Arnold - but you might have trouble convincing the Argentinians, who have to be the ultimate arbiters in such matters...

And in fairness, here is Harry's website to add to your list: http://www.bandonion.com/ (You'll find some of my early German instruments are on it, if you look through the History and Collection section, as a result of our collaboration on the Sehnsucht aus dem Blasebalg exhibition.)

Considering other designs: we are not talking about flutes. A flute may or may not have reached the best all around design 10 000 years ago.

As I'm sure you realise, I'm simply trying to demonstrate that many of our "modern" musical instruments actually reached their present definitive form quite a long time ago. It doesn't mean that they couldn't possibly be improved, but so far any attempted/claimed "improvements" have been rejected by players. But interestingly, in the case of the flute, it is the inventor's "improved handle" that is the feature that has been universally rejected.

But concertina, esp. English system, has not.

Most of us seem perfectly happy with it as it is, thank you.

Yes, you are absolutely right, proper technique and muscle conditioning helps to overcome awkwardness ...

Now you're putting words into my mouth, but yes, doesn't that apply to a lot of things in life?

A school of playing guitar with 3 fingers is fundamentally different from school of playing with 4 or 5.

Yes, though playing with 3 fingers was once accepted classical technique (and is still accepted folk technique), but 5 fingers? :unsure:

3 row button accordion is fundamentally different from 5 row accordion.

Only in so far that the two outside rows of the 3-row are duplicated as the inner ones on the 5-row, but plenty of players prefer a smaller instrument with only 3 or 4 rows.

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 31 May 2009 - 10:18 PM.


#40 m3838

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:23 AM

Whatever "our modern understanding" of the term may be (?), Regondi was certainly a virtuoso in the original meaning of "a skilful theorist or composer as well as a performer."

Says you, who haven't heard him play. Music written is not music heard. Just the logic, nothing against Regondi.

That remark may be more applicable to someone like Paganini (who, by the way, praised Regondi's playing), a showman whose virtuoisity I doubt if even you would impugn, but how can you justify that slight against Regondi?


Now, logically, your rebuttal of Paganini is just as my (assumed) rebuttal of Regondi. Have you heard Paganini and Regondi play? So it stays open. We assume their worth by the words of others and by music composed. Virtuocity has tremendously improved, not the least by wide availability of recordings and printed materials.
(by the way, I have 2 CD's with Regondi's music. I personally find the music boring and primitive. I guess I have bad taste.)

It is not generally agreed that best violins were made 300 years ago ... Best violins are made today.

Perhaps you should try to convince the likes of Itzhak Perlman (General Kyd Stradivarius 1714, Soil Stradivarius 1714, Sauret Guarnerius del Gesu 1743 and ex-Kreisler Bergonzi 1740), and most other leading violinists, of that?


Exactly what I said below. Aside from this, you wouldn't argue that not all Stradivarius violins are created equal.

It is agreed, that 300 years of playing did something to the structure of wood and altered the sound in desired way.


Is it? :blink: So any violin that has been played for 300 years is just as good as a Stradivarius?


Yes, all violins made tuday, having been played for 300 years, will sound better than new. Does this clarify my argument?

To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that 300 years of constant research and technological improvements went backwards.

There may have been attempted "technological improvements" in violin construction in the past 200 years, such as these:

Hmm. You provided novelties as "technological improvements", hoping to laugh me down. Have you played brand new Stradivarius and compared it to brand new best modern brand? Your opinion is based on hearsay, I base mine on common sense. You may be right and I'm wrong, but don't attempt to laugh me down, please.

I happened to be in Austin in January, when Joseph Nagyvary, a professor emeritus of biochemistry at Texas A&M University revealed his findings that it's all down to a chemical cocktail intended to preserve the timber, but that's only one theory amongst many... :rolleyes:

Wow, that's great. He must be world renown scientist, that professor. So the secret is decaying wood in Sea water and treat it with bug repellant. Stupendous news. "The consensus was that Nagyvary's instrument surpassed the Stradivarius in each category by a small margin." Doesn't it prove my point? Best violins are made today! :D It's pure idiotism, of course, this comparison and the whole article, to be fair.



I know Harry Geuns, but seeing that he's Dutch, I fear he might not be altogether happy that you've described him as a German maker!

Stupendous rebuttal! Congratulations.

I've also shared a very interesting weekend, in Germany, with Klaus Gutjahr. They both make excellent Bandoneons, and I think they'd both be very flattered to hear that you consider they make better ones than Alfred Arnold - but you might have trouble convincing the Argentinians, who have to be the ultimate arbiters in such matters...

Yes, that's exactly Argentinian players, who expressed such an opinion on Bandoneon forum. It's only an opinion, and I am only the messenger.


As I'm sure you realise, I'm simply trying to demonstrate that many of our "modern" musical instruments actually reached their present definitive form quite a long time ago. It doesn't mean that they couldn't possibly be improved

Yes, of course I do realize it. I also realize that you passed by all of my questions about possible improvements of concertina. All of them.


Most of us seem perfectly happy with it as it is, thank you.

Most is not all, and most of "us" suck. Most of us don't get to the point where design holds us back. Ask pros, whould they like to see such and such improvement? Would they like to try and give a feedback? Then we'll be talking. I base my opinion on comparison between dynamics expressed in Pauline de Snoo (professional) and Goran Rahm's (amateur) videos.
Goran's are much more expressive. It feels that it is easier for him to do so. He claims it's the result of improved handle. Why would I doubt it?
I'm not talking about who's playin is better, only in who's hands Concertina begins to "sing" in unexpected way.

A school of playing guitar with 3 fingers is fundamentally different from school of playing with 4 or 5.

Yes, though playing with 3 fingers was once accepted classical technique (and is still accepted folk technique), but 5 fingers? :unsure:
1. using thumb
2. playing piano-style

3 row button accordion is fundamentally different from 5 row accordion.

Only in so far that the two outside rows of the 3-row are duplicated as the inner ones on the 5-row, but plenty of players prefer a smaller instrument with only 3 or 4 rows.


No. Extra 2 rows are not mere duplicates for easy transposing. It's never been the goal. It's to use all 5 fingers for easier passages on complex music. Playing 5 row accordion as though it has 3 rows is like scratching back with violin. It works.
All I'm saying is that Concertina, a new mechanical instrument, is far from perfection, and it may be the reason we don't see maestros on the level of even accordion, another new mechanical instrument of the same family.
If you think otherwise, please state your findings instead of attempting to laugh me out of discussion.

Edited by m3838, 01 June 2009 - 01:36 AM.


#41 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 09:19 PM

Gosh, talk about "thread creep"! :rolleyes: This one seems to have spiralled completely off topic and become so fragmented at this stage that I don't really know what it's about anymore... :unsure:

So I've opened a new thread dealing with m3838's English concertina "improvements", to open up that discussion in a more appropriate place.

I'll just tidy up a few loose ends here, and then (hopefully in the next few days) bring this thread back on topic - I already see a connection I can use to do that!

Anyway, here goes:

Michael,

We generally (with odd exceptions! ;)) accept the validity of what the same leading music critics of the day wrote about Regondi's contemporaries Mendelssohn, Schumann or Paganini, though we haven't heard any of them play either, so why not Regondi himself?

Let me quote from a review by the renowned London critic Henry Chorley (who was not easily pleased, and not a fan of either the guitar or the concertina for that matter), writing in the Athenaeum for 30th June 1855:

Yesterday week Signor Regondi gave his concert, himself playing the guitar and concertina (on the latter leading one of Beethoven's Quartets, and appropriating Spohr's Scena Drammatica for the violin) with that verve, vigour and delicacy which make up the highest musical style, and, whatever be thought of the instruments elected, entitle its possessor to rank among the highest artists of his time. ..., the concertina may never find an expositor of higher class than Regondi.

Yet, (seemingly) without grounds, you dismiss the man as "an entertainer"!

I guess I'd have rather more CDs of his music myself (half a dozen maybe), since his guitar works seem to be attracting quite a bit of attention in the classical guitar world these days (and his concertina music likewise in the classical accordion world - seeing that they've nothing from the Romantic era to come near it); in fact I've even seen him described as "the Chopin of the guitar".

To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that 300 years of constant research and technological improvements went backwards.

There may have been attempted "technological improvements" in violin construction in the past 200 years, such as these:

Posted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image


But they've never caught on and the violin hasn't changed since the first half of the 19th century - whilst most of the research by violin makers and scientists, over the last couple of centuries, has been about trying to discover "the secrets of Stradivarius" (his instruments were already regarded as exceptional that long ago).

Hmm. You provided novelties as "technological improvements", hoping to laugh me down.

I'm intrigued by your indignant response to what are probably (i) the most rational and (ii) the most technologically-advanced violin designs to be created in the 19th century - though you dismiss them both as derisible "novelties" and accuse me of attempting to laugh you down with them. But aren't you seeking to alter the English concertina in ways that are just as identity-changing and drastic? :unsure:

(i) The instrument in my first two pictures was made in 1819 and designed by François Chanot, a French former naval engineer who came from a family of Mirecourt violin makers, and I'd consider it to be very elegant and supremely logical - there is nothing about it that wasn't done for very good reasons, in a genuine and serious attempt to improve the design of the instrument he loved.

(ii) My third picture shows the very important, and successful design of the engineer, and pioneer of sound recording, Augustus Stroh, who (coincidentally) worked closely with Wheatstone for many years and patented the "gliding reed" principle with him in 1872. The Stroh violin was first patented in 1899, with improvements in 1901, and it employed the latest gramophone technology of the day to make a louder, more directional violin, for both recording and performance purposes. They were used by many classical players in the early days of recording and by leading artists in various other forms of music, including the Scottish "Strathspey King" James Scott Skinner and the Irish fiddler Michael Coleman. They are also believed to have inspired the Dopyera brothers in the United States to design their "Dobro" and "National" resophonic guitars, that have become mainstays of country music and blues music respectively.

Mere novelties? :huh:

So what "technological improvements" in violin construction were you referring to then? :unsure:

Have you played brand new Stradivarius and compared it to brand new best modern brand? Your opinion is based on hearsay, I base mine on common sense. You may be right and I'm wrong, but don't attempt to laugh me down, please.

Oh, just a minute, I'll jump into my time machine and set the dial for Cremona in 1709... :o

No, of course I haven't played a new Stradivarius (though I did once have a real one in my hands for a few minutes - thanks Andy! :) ), and neither has anybody else in something like 270 years - your whole proposition is (of course) preposterous, and an attempt to laugh me down - is it not?

But his violins have been the most preferred by virtuosi over the past 200 years, so I'll happily form an opinion based upon theirs - after all, don't they know better than you or I? Anyway, his violins already had a good reputation when they were new, that has only increased with time, and doubtless they have improved with playing - as all good instruments do.

I know Harry Geuns ... but seeing that he's Dutch, I fear he might not be altogether happy that you've described him as a German maker!

Stupendous rebuttal! Congratulations.

Not a rebuttal at all, just pointing out an error that could offend some people. However trivial it may seem to you, you might feel very differently about it if you were Dutch...

... Argentinian players ... expressed such an opinion on Bandoneon forum. It's only an opinion, and I am only the messenger.

That's very interesting and I'd love to read their opinions for, and against, the new Bandoneons versus the old - could you provide me with a link to that discussion?

A school of playing guitar with 3 fingers is fundamentally different from school of playing with 4 or 5.

I know the thumb is counted as a finger in some languages, is that perhaps the case in Russian? It isn't in English - so when we speak of 3-or 4-finger picking on the guitar, we aren't counting the thumb - though its use is nevertheless implied.

Mind you, a small proportion of people do have 5 fingers. :huh:

... the two outside rows of the 3-row are duplicated as the inner ones on the 5-row, but plenty of players prefer a smaller instrument with only 3 or 4 rows.

No. Extra 2 rows are not mere duplicates for easy transposing. It's never been the goal.

Never been the goal? Well that may be true for how you learned to play the modern 5-row Bayan, but originally, when the chromatic system started off in 1850s Vienna, it was as a 3-row instrument with a diatonic bass end - though it has undergone considerable development, in various directions/countries, since. In Vienna they still play the original style, for their Schrammel music, whilst in France, where the chromatic system is very popular, they'd still use 3- and (especially) 4-row instruments, including the classical "Harmonéon" or "Accordéon de concert" that Pierre Monichon invented in 1948.

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 08 June 2009 - 10:58 AM.


#42 m3838

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 06:37 PM

We generally (with odd exceptions! ;)) accept the validity of what the same leading music critics of the day wrote about Regondi's contemporaries Mendelssohn, Schumann or Paganini, though we haven't heard any of them play either, so why not Regondi himself?

Very good and logical point. My very good and logical point is as before: Paganini's culture is alive and (hearsay) improved. Regondi's concertina culture is gone. You blame others: fashion, PA. We can bring WWI or plague. I suspect ergonomics. That's the only thing I'm saying.
As for new instrument, check this: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=5JqeSU7lSLE
Inventor of this instrument, Vasily Andreev, created new technique of playing. His Balalaika virtuosos were far cry from the guy on the Youtube clip.
They received wide acclaim nonetheless.

Let me quote from a review by the renowned London critic Henry Chorley (who was not easily pleased, and not a fan of either the guitar or the concertina for that matter), writing in the Athenaeum for 30th June 1855:


My main questions are: Where is it? Where has it gone? Why?
And sub-questions: Was it as good as described then? Wasn't there some sort of optimistic selling of future profits? What caused Regondi's depression? Could it be his inability to keep up the plank?


The instrument in my first two pictures was made in 1819 and designed by François Chanot... the rest is omitted

You caught me here. I had the impression you are showing some outrageous inventions. I'm not expert on violins and have no interest in them. All right then, my apologies, I pulled the trigger too fast. It's hard for me to imagine that 300 years ago violins were better made. If thickness of the veneer and wood is important, it's more precise today, more evenly cut etc. 300 years ago is before the industrial age, the tools were rougher. To drill a hole took quite some time and the hole was not even. The drills were very different from today's. It's like saying that 1920 Rolls-Roys is better made than today's. But again, perhaps I'm wrong and the best violins, concertinas, banjos, guitars were made 100s of years ago.

But his violins have been the most preferred by virtuosi over the past 200 years, so I'll happily form an opinion based upon theirs - after all, don't they know better than you or I? Anyway, his violins already had a good reputation when they were new, that has only increased with time, and doubtless they have improved with playing - as all good instruments do.


I think I was only saying that 300 years old well made instrument may sound just as well as today's well made instrument, played 300 years from now.

That's very interesting and I'd love to read their opinions for, and against, the new Bandoneons versus the old - could you provide me with a link to that discussion?

bandoneon@yahoogroups.com
But that particular discussion was held a while ago. You can ask a question though. You can also check this: http://www.bandoneon.../harrygeuns.htm I don't know about you, but my breath is taken away by both, the playing and the sound.

I know the thumb is counted as a finger in some languages, is that perhaps the case in Russian?


That's exactly the case.

originally, when the chromatic system started off in 1850s Vienna, it was as a 3-row instrument with a diatonic bass end

What makes 12 button bass "diatonic"? And what correlation it has to whether 3 row school differs from 5 row school?
2 extra rows are presenting new opportunities, that were immediately used by players, for whom transposing was not an issue.
They created the school. It's different from previous school. 3 row chromatic was not necessarily created in Vienna. It probably was designed in many places at the same time. Russians consider Accordion master Beloborodov to be creator of first Russian made garmonica with chromatic layout. It more likely had Russian 21 button bass system on the left.

Edited by m3838, 08 June 2009 - 06:39 PM.


#43 Ken_Coles

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 07:24 PM

There is actually a small but devoted cult among U.S. "old-time" fiddle players who prefer and seek out cornerless (Chanot) instruments. Of course the originals are out of reach but very credible copies are available. Hey, some of these design ideas fly the second time around! B)

Ken

#44 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:34 PM

There is actually a small but devoted cult among U.S. "old-time" fiddle players who prefer and seek out cornerless (Chanot) instruments. Of course the originals are out of reach but very credible copies are available. Hey, some of these design ideas fly the second time around! B)

Ken,

Indeed so - the Stroh violin is very much alive & kickin' these days too! It's been used by artists as diverse as Tom Waits and The Kryonics, whilst new ones are now being made in Thailand: http://strohviolin.com

#45 m3838

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 03:37 AM

There is actually a small but devoted cult among U.S. "old-time" fiddle players who prefer and seek out cornerless (Chanot) instruments. Of course the originals are out of reach but very credible copies are available. Hey, some of these design ideas fly the second time around! B)

Ken,

Indeed so - the Stroh violin is very much alive & kickin' these days too! It's been used by artists as diverse as Tom Waits and The Kryonics, whilst new ones are now being made in Thailand: http://strohviolin.com


self made amplified violin
phonofiddle
romanian folk fiddle
Nickelharpa
Balsa wood, modern design violin
Modern design violin
All above are violins, regardless of their shape, materials and even number of strings: from 1 to 5.
Suzuki overdrive harmonica
pipe humming
Trumpet Harmonica
All above are harmonicas, nothing so drastic, as to change the very perception of an instrument.
I don't see how adding details to concertina handle, buttons and shape can drastically alter it and turn into another instrument.
P.S.
And another design alternations that I think would be useful: swiveling thumb loop for EC and air levers instead of buttons for AC.
To Jeoff Crabb: you are right. Unfortunately it seems a long wait untill a pro turns to you with inquiry about some useful experimental improvement. Until that day you may want to experiment and present yourself as someone, capable of such improvements.
Paganini legacy
Regondi guitar legacy
Couldn't find Regondi's Concertina legacy. Can anybody post some?

Edited by m3838, 09 June 2009 - 03:54 AM.


#46 Larry Stout

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:48 AM

Indeed so - the Stroh violin is very much alive & kickin' these days too! It's been used by artists as diverse as Tom Waits and The Kryonics, whilst new ones are now being made in Thailand: http://strohviolin.com


self made amplified violin
phonofiddle
romanian folk fiddle
Nickelharpa
Balsa wood, modern design violin
Modern design violin
All above are violins, regardless of their shape, materials and even number of strings: from 1 to 5.


The first 3 are variants on the Stroh, the last two are modern variations on the form of the violin. But a nickelharpa isn't a variant on the violin, it is a relative of the hurdy gurdy. The distinguishing feature is that it is played using keys, not fingers on strings.

#47 m3838

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 02:13 PM

Indeed so - the Stroh violin is very much alive & kickin' these days too! It's been used by artists as diverse as Tom Waits and The Kryonics, whilst new ones are now being made in Thailand: http://strohviolin.com


self made amplified violin
phonofiddle
romanian folk fiddle
Nickelharpa
Balsa wood, modern design violin
Modern design violin
All above are violins, regardless of their shape, materials and even number of strings: from 1 to 5.


The first 3 are variants on the Stroh, the last two are modern variations on the form of the violin. But a nickelharpa isn't a variant on the violin, it is a relative of the hurdy gurdy. The distinguishing feature is that it is played using keys, not fingers on strings.


Yes, you are right. Only it gets very difficult to distinguish, if you make Hurdy-Gurdy without keys.
I'd say, Nickelharpa is closer to violin, because it is bowed and has several strings. Bowing seems to be more important element of expression than fingering. But it's all irrelevant. What's relevant is the fact that horses, cats, lions, bears, monkeys and donkies are all quadrupeds, but people, birds, cangaroos are not. (It's my way of reassuring Stephen that I'm not trying to transform beloved Concertina into something different).
And by the way, Stroh seems to be abandoned from professional scene because it's loudness was achieved at the expense of tone. The tone is the most important quality of instrument. So if you "improve" (note the quotations) the handle, the tone of concertina will still be the same, thus leaving the most defining element of instrument un-altered.

#48 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 12:32 AM

Very good and logical point. My very good and logical point is as before: Paganini's culture is alive and (hearsay) improved. Regondi's concertina culture is gone.

The obvious answer is that Paganini played a very respected mainstream classical instrument - the violin (though you may not be aware that he also played the guitar, since that was not considered a "proper" instrument in his time), whilst (as I keep saying) the critics were full of praise for Regondi's musicianship, despite repeatedly expressing regret at the unworthy instruments (guitar and concertina) that he chose to play.

It wasn't until the 1920s that the guitar even started to gain acceptance in classical circles, and only since the Second World War has it become truly accepted, though it is centuries older than the concertina and reached its definitive design in the work of the Spanish maker Antonio de Torres in the second half of the 19th century.

You blame others: fashion, PA. We can bring WWI or plague. I suspect ergonomics.

I was on the verge of accusing you, in my last reply, of trying to prove that "the English concertina couldn't have had any virtuosi, because the handle's wrong" - and now you've admitted it! :lol:

Mind you, WWI did have a part to play in the story too...

That's the only thing I'm saying.

If only! :rolleyes:

As for new instrument, check this: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=5JqeSU7lSLE
Inventor of this instrument, Vasily Andreev, created new technique of playing. His Balalaika virtuosos were far cry from the guy on the Youtube clip.
They received wide acclaim nonetheless.

I don't know why. :huh:

What caused Regondi's depression? Could it be his inability to keep up the plank?

I don't really understand your questions, so I'll take you literally here:

Sadly, Regondi died relatively young, aged 49, in 1872, and he was very ill, with cancer, for the preceding 18 months. His final works (of which I possess the manuscripts) were for the baritone concertina, and are of a melancholy and nostalgic nature.

It's hard for me to imagine that 300 years ago violins were better made. If thickness of the veneer and wood is important, it's more precise today, more evenly cut etc.

But lutherie is an art, not an exercise in production engineering. Each piece of wood is different, and needs to be thicknessed more according to its flexibility, or the note it makes when tapped, rather than to precise measurements.

There is no "veneer" in a violin.

You can also check this: http://www.bandoneon.../harrygeuns.htm I don't know about you, but my breath is taken away by both, the playing and the sound.

I'm afraid your link is only to the site, not to any recordings, but this is the Bandoneon playing and the sound (of a 1930 "doble A") that really takes my breath away: René Marino Rivero

What makes 12 button bass "diatonic"?

The same as makes a melodeon, Bandoneon or Anglo "diatonic" - playing a different note on press and draw. "Bisonor" is now the more trendy term for it.

And what correlation it has to whether 3 row school differs from 5 row school?

Nothing, thank goodness! :rolleyes:

Though I love the melodeon for folk dance music, or the CBA for French musette/swing music; I have a strong aversion to the accordion as a "classical" instrument - for which it seems heavy-handed and to be too much about "novelty" and "effect", whilst lacking in refinement or musicality, in fact a victim of too much pseudo-virtuosity. :(

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 11 June 2009 - 01:34 AM.


#49 m3838

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:12 AM

Regondi's concertina culture is gone

The obvious answer is that Paganini played a very respected mainstream classical instrument - the violin

That's blame laid to the outside. I don't buy it. Regondi and concertina were accepted eagerly, creating censations across Europe. Very vew people travelled then, and Regondi did quite some travel. He was one of the best paid performer in Europe, if not The Best. Him not been a mainstream helped quite a lot by eliminating competition. That's what I'm talking about, lack of competition. Perhaps his novel act stopped been novel and different expectations were put on Concertina. Which expectations were not met. You know what I blame for it. Not a violin.

last reply, of trying to prove that "the English concertina couldn't have had any virtuosi, because the handle's wrong" - and now you've admitted it! :lol:

Well, you're right. That's the brand of oil I'm pouring into the fire. Only I'm actually saying it a little differently: I'm saying that EC virtuosi could have achieved better results, had their instrument been designed more ergonomically.
And as a result of those results (blah) EC could have never disappeared from musical scene. Just a wild guess.

What caused Regondi's depression? Could it be his inability to keep up the plank?

I don't really understand your questions, so I'll take you literally here:

Way before he became symptomatic, he experienced deep depression. It can be medical and have nothing to do with his art. A comparison can be made with Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, of about the same time. When Pushkin approached his 30s, he became very depressed, because he thought he wrote everything he could and started repeating himself. A very bitter state for a genius that he was considered to be. I'm not stating anything, just explaining a twist of my thought.


But lutherie is an art, not an exercise in production engineering. Each piece of wood is different, and needs to be thicknessed more according to its flexibility, or the note it makes when tapped, rather than to precise measurements.

I'm not sure it's "art" though, as art is made to produce emotion, and violin by itself doesn't produce anything, no matter how well it's made. But yes, craft involved must be unparalleled, esp. when the right tools are not invented yet. A comparison can be made with surgeons from former USSR. Their standard complain was lack of tools. They often envied american colleagues and said that compared to americans they have to use axes for surgeries. They have gotten pretty good with axes, the joke goes.

You can also check this: http://www.bandoneon.../harrygeuns.htm I don't know about you, but my breath is taken away by both, the playing and the sound.

I'm afraid your link is only to the site, not to any recordings, but this is the Bandoneon playing and the sound (of a 1930 "doble A") that really takes my breath away: René Marino Rivero

You would have to follow links to get to Gabla's music. Rene Marino Rivero I heard before. Truly an amazing master and his instrument has charactristic "ringing" in tone. Very nice, but if you are going to play classical music on it, it is a bit too "folky", too "ringy".

What makes 12 button bass "diatonic"?

The same as makes a melodeon, Bandoneon or Anglo "diatonic" - playing a different note on press and draw. "Bisonor" is now the more trendy term for it.

Bisonoric is the only term to use. Russian diatonic accordions are unisonoric. C/C# is chromatic push/pull, and Shand accordion with Stradella is completely chromatic, although has push/pull nature. Chromatic harmonicas are bisonoric, and there are actually both chromatic and diatonic unisonoric harmonicas. Bandonion is fully chromatic, yet bisonooric. Large duets are fully chromatic, and unisonoric. 40 button Anglo is fully chromaitic, yet bisonoric.


Though I love the melodeon for folk dance music, or the CBA for French musette/swing music; I have a strong aversion to the accordion as a "classical" instrument - for which it seems heavy-handed and to be too much about "novelty" and "effect", whilst lacking in refinement or musicality, in fact a victim of too much pseudo-virtuosity. :(

Ha! It's taken a turn, isn't it? Now you sound like me, only the subject of negativity is accordion in classical music.
I thought the same way until some accordion player, a lady from Russia, with whom I was corresponding, sent me her albom of classical music. I was hooked. She and her friend played PAs. I still have their CD somewhere.

#50 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

Paganini's culture is alive and (hearsay) improved.

The obvious answer is that Paganini played a very respected mainstream classical instrument - the violin

That's blame laid to the outside. I don't buy it.

Well, that's your problem! :D

The fact remains that none of the new instruments invented in the 19th century (rather than old, established ones that were improved/modernised) managed to become accepted by the classical establishment, except perhaps as occasional novelties, though many of them have had their pioneers/composers/virtuosi along the way and have had their flirtations with classical music - I'm thinking of the accordion, concertina, Bandoneon, harmonica, harmonium, American organ, melophone, cecilium, Saxophone, Sarrusophone, banjo, autoharp, dulcitone and even the cornet... :unsure:

In fact "the instruments of the orchestra" are still pretty much the same ones that became established in the 18th century, though they may have been modified/"improved" to make them louder/more chromatic/easier to play in tune! :huh:

Regondi's concertina culture is gone

Is it? How do you measure that - in terms of clips on YouTube? :rolleyes:

In the broader sense, the very fact that we even have a website devoted to the concertina, on which we can discuss the matter, is evidence of the success of "Regondi's concertina culture". After all, if it wasn't for Regondi playing/teaching/composing/arranging for it, "Charlie Wheatstone's little squeeze-box thingy" might never have come to anything or ever been heard of, and we wouldn't be here today.

In the narrower, there may have been a gap (of a generation or two) in concertina players learning from his tutors/playing his, and other classical music (though even then, there were still a handful, like our own Allan Atlas in New York - who studied with the maestro Boris Matusevitch there), but that's because the concertina itself went out of fashion for a few decades (displaced by the piano accordion, which has since fallen out of favour in its turn) and was kept going only by a few diehard enthusiasts. Those "old guys" were still playing classical concertina music (including Regondi's) back in the 1970s when I (amongst many more) first became interested in the instrument - however, that '70s concertina revival/movement was very much a "folkie" one, whilst the more specific "Regondi concertina culture" has had to wait a little longer to be revived - but it's now growing again.

Regondi and concertina were accepted eagerly, creating censations across Europe. Very vew people travelled then, and Regondi did quite some travel. He was one of the best paid performer in Europe, if not The Best.

That's rubbish.

After his arrival in London in 1831 as a child prodigy, with his exploitive supposed "father", he only performed on two tours in central Europe, in 1840-41 & 1846 - though I can't help but wonder if doubts about his true identity, place of birth and nationality might have inhibited him from travelling more. Certainly my own research has revealed that, returning to England in 1841, he lied and told the ship's captain (who had to submit a List of Aliens to the authorities) that he was "English born", but he probably had no passport/papers/documents - a stateless person who didn't really know who he was in fact... :(

Financially, we know that he lived comfortably, but modestly, in rented rooms (and frequently moved house), and earned his living chiefly by teaching music.

Rene Marino Rivero I heard before. Truly an amazing master and his instrument has charactristic "ringing" in tone. Very nice, but if you are going to play classical music on it, it is a bit too "folky", too "ringy".

I guess you never heard his Che Bandoneon album then? On it he plays 3 of the Bach organ Toccatas and Fugues (in D minor, D major and F major) in such a way that you'd swear his Bandoneon was a church organ.

Bisonoric is the only term to use. Russian diatonic accordions are unisonoric. C/C# is chromatic push/pull, and Shand accordion with Stradella is completely chromatic, although has push/pull nature. Chromatic harmonicas are bisonoric, and there are actually both chromatic and diatonic unisonoric harmonicas. Bandonion is fully chromatic, yet bisonooric. Large duets are fully chromatic, and unisonoric. 40 button Anglo is fully chromaitic, yet bisonoric.

OMG, I don't have the energy to go down that road - it could start a whole new thread, and an argument, of its own! :blink:

Anybody else like to have a go?

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 13 June 2009 - 02:40 PM.





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