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  2. Earlier in the year, I had a go at writing a quartet, for 2 concertinas, a melodeon, and an accordion. It was a fun thing to try, so I've written and recorded a second part, and put the two together in a little set. With some post-production work to make the whole thing sound like church music. There's no organ here, but it's interesting how the various free-reeds can sound so much like one...Stream James Fitton | Listen to The Light in the Darkness playlist online for free on SoundCloud
  3. I had not come across the tune before Brian Mcamara's recording. I can't think of a recording of Mrs Crotty playing it. Mary McElvaney was part of a group of young fiddlers that emerged in Dublin during the seventies, with her sister Bríd, Roma Casey, Edel McWeeney etc. She recorded with the Pipers Club Ceiliband at the time and was part of Macalla during the eighties. Macalla reformed for a concert in Ennis when Mary MacNamara was awarded the Mór Glór award, just before Covid hit (which was quite lovely, I had last seen them in 1984 or 85 just before they became a group with a name and all that). I should have photos but I am a bit sketchy putting names to faces in that group so I better not risk posting a portrait of the wrong person. But here's one snap from a once off reunion of the Pipers Club Ceiliband in 2015. They are Mary Corcoran, keyboard, Gay and Seán McKeon, pipes (Seán was sitting in for Peter McKenna who played pipes beside Gay in the original line up) , Deirdre Hodge, concertina, Edel McWeeney, Roma Casey, Bríd and Mary McEvaney, fiddles. Aidan Vaughan was playing the drums in the back on the day.
  4. Today
  5. If it is a wood screw you can cut a piece of wooden tooth pick and put it in the hole, and then put the screw back and tighten it.
  6. Thanks everybody-- the concertina has been sold, in Ireland .....
  7. Yesterday
  8. According to this page: https://www.cranfordpub.com/recordings/mcnamarajewel.htm Is this tune not originally from the Kilrush area? Does anyone have any information on Mary McElvaney?
  9. How do I send a personal message? I'm 75 and behind on technology. Thanks, John
  10. It is indeed good to know that "fretting" is a good thing..! 😀😀😀😁😁🌝
  11. Ok, my thoughts are that a 1950 Aeola would usually sell for far less than a 'top period' era model for reasons of quality of materials, , production short cuts and craftsmanship used at that time, unfortunately. So finding a sensible sale price between the kudos of its looks and its playing qualities can be difficult and making an offer without first trying the instrument even harder. So, perhaps you might send me a personal message with your 'bargan price' and I will think about a safe way to transport the instrument to Europe. Geoff.
  12. A word about „fretting”. From my personal experience of my various hobbies and interests, „fretting” about one’s passion is as important as following said passion. It is so, because bouncing your enthusiasm, ideas and achievements off of someone with similar interests is an additional source of both motivation and knowledge. When I bought my first concertina, a no-name 20b DDR Anglo, I knew nothing about concertinas and very little about music itself outside of natural singing an whistling. After just a year of „fretting” I knew enough about concertinas and music to build my first instrument - a MIDI Hayden, and then, after another couple of years, to start a very long, bumpy but rewarding journey of building my very own acoustic concertina. It would’t have happened if I had no community to „fret” about concertinas.
  13. Hi Geoff, I had put it on concertina.net 10 or 12 years ago but didn't receive an offer that I wanted so I put the concertina on the shelf and haven't played it at all because of my arthritis. I don't really know for sure if it's real tortoise but I suspect it is. I'm willing to sell it for a bargain price since I'm retired and on social security, needing money. Thanks for your inquiry.
  14. Hi Johnneenah, I love the look of your concertina but , am I right in thinking you have been trying to sell this 56k Aeola for the last 12 years ? If so, have you been able to verify if the ends are real tortoise shell or an imitation material ?
  15. An interesting nest of questions. The first thing is that there is no such thing as the concertina. At the very least, there are the English, Anglo, and duet: 3 very different instruments, linked only by name, general shape, and some aspects of construction. The English, Anglo, and duet are as different as the guitar, banjo, and ukulele. (And, yes, a guitarist or banjoist would say that there is no such thing as "the" guitar or "the banjo" for similar reasons.) The next step is that many would argue that if you have a significantly different number of buttons, you essentially have a different instrument. I play Anglo, and have to use different techniques and to some extent choose a different repertoire, if I play my 20 button or my 30 button. The fundamental difference between my 20 and my old 38 was even more striking. However, the more general point is that concertinas are now niche instruments, which fall outside the usual scope of pop, rock, blues, country, jazz, or classical music. They seem to have found a home within folk and traditional music, but even there, they are quite niche. Because concertinas are not widely known outside of the concertina community, there is very little expectation of what they "should" be playing. That means that it is a pleasant surprise when a concertinist plays a fine piece of violin or flute music, or does a good job of approximating a piano piece. I have witnessed the same effect when a melodeonist has played a medley of Chuck Berry songs in the pub: it is not so much that it is done well, as that it is done at all! However, the English concertina was created to enable someone with a reasonable level of musical knowledge to play things such as violin or flute music. The duet was created to give the musician a "portable piano". The original 20 b Anglo was very much a simple instrument to play the simple tunes of the simple working man, but versions with more buttons were quickly developed so that it could play a wider repertoire. When playing your chosen type of concertina, you will find that certain patterns of notes fall readily to hand, and that will tend to encourage you to compose and play in some styles more than others. So at bottom, what are we saying? Concertinas are quirky and surprisingly versatile instruments. It's fun to talk about them, but even more fun to play them.
  16. Thanks for the advice Simon. I am still able to play it OK but I've had the ends off a couple of times trying to sort out a couple of slightly stickinging buttons. I have been very gentle with the screws. I'll wait and see if anyone has some of that tech advice.
  17. All concertinas become part of your personality, as much as any musician's other instruments.. even more so because they are almost machine like in their appearance; with their buttons, and shape... They are all lovely in their own way of course; that is why if someone were to criticise a particular make which is favourite of one's self.. it can be quite concerning. My own one and only concertina has been criticised, but I carry on with playing it regardless. The fretting word is not so much a criticism, but more to encourage people who can tend to worry over the does or don'ts as to music, to let go and get on also with playing.. We all should enjoy playing them, whichever kind we use, and whether they cost ( British pounds!); £300 or over £3000 plus. They all have value! I do not myself have favour over one to another, and like the look of the historical ones; many featured on this net site.. and have as someone who rarely had chance to share my interest in playing "alternative instruments".. found it very rewarding to share that great interest with others. A tune a day cheers everyone up!😃
  18. Who are you talking about? I'm not pleased with the contradistinction (is this the right word in English?) you suggest. I love my instrument for the music it let me play. That's what I do at home, with and without people around me. But I also love my tina for its looks, for its history, for its construction, for its place in its family of instruments. And I am fond of this community of experts and enthusiasts who share their love for and their knowledge of our concertinas in all its aspects. That's not fretting! And now I turn off my computer and go and play me a tune.
  19. There's some good info about duet options in this article: https://www.concertina.net/iv_duetguide.html .
  20. Here are a couple from the American comic strip writer and artist Walt Kelly, taken from his book Songs of the Pogo.
  21. Huh. Obviously I posted the next day that it wasnt me playing on each clip, so why the picking about? "But but you didn't do it like we wanted". Doubt if I'll ever post anything here again.
  22. Hi everyone! I've been looking to buy my first concertina for awhile now and I just bit the bullet and bought this really interesting one second hand online from goodwill. It was listed as "Vintage Scholer German Concertina Accordion No. 517" but I've never seen a Scholer (or any other brand for that matter) that looks like this one or has tan plastic button boards. Albeit I am very new to concertinas so my knowledge is very limited. It came in a red box with a label that looks like what Scholers are originally packaged in, which I included a picture of. It also has a stamp on one of the button boards which says "GERMANY USSR OCCUPIED". There are no other maker's marks or symbols anywhere I can see. It's a 20 button Anglo and all the buttons/reeds work fine, although the high notes are a bit soft and quiet. Does anyone recognize or know what model or make this concertina is? I have a feeling that it's not a Scholer and was just packaged in a Scholer's box, but I'm just really curious as to what kind this concertina is! Thank you!
  23. Last week
  24. I have that problem on my[ 1999 purchased] Anglo [hohner name originally Italian made 30 key ].. but there again after over two decades one could expect this to occur after servicing it myself over time. I would not worry too much, as I am sure you will get good advice on how to remedy the problem. My own does not stop me playing it at all; and I always ensure I do not ever force the screws back in, if I have opened it up; always I use hand pressure and small manual screw driver only - with correct end tip; never force the screws in, and keep the angle straight down into the holes, do it gradually. [that is to me the main bit of advice]. It is at the end of the day metal, or wood, and wood is very forgiving material to screwing in, and filling, etc.. Someone else will I am sure give you more tech advice than I can.
  25. Looks lovely. If this is real tortoise shell check CITES regulations for selling abroad.
  26. There's guitar's, pianos, Organs, and so on; all have been and are still used on which to not only hear musical sounds, but also on which to write new ideas with the aid of.. [ to create music with in other words]. I often think when a less standard instrument is then used to play or write with, it gives a different approach to creative expression as a result; because it is less 'mainstream' in a way Centuries of development has allowed violins, and keyboard, to develop into standard repertoire; whereas free reed has always just remained on the outskirts of general acceptance into mainstream music. In a way this is a good thing because it has not quite frightened off potential new students by frighteningly over the top pieces, or characters [for example a Lizt, or other such demanding personality.. [ as far as piano goes]. Of course not to say there has been Regondi, and modern ,masters to boot;. Sometimes I often feel that people can forget the potential neutral approach to playing free reed family, particularly concertinas; and they can become to fixated on the number of buttons, on then tradition, the key it may be made in, or the makers name, and I feel they can forget to get on with playing the instruments ; fretting instead over whose is conceived as being better than there one is! Or how to do this or that better.. There's many valid opinions of course, as many as buttons on English concertina! But See the instruments also as needing playing; get on with enjoying your music, it is after all notes in a conveniently made portable box; a miniature reed organ. A means to an end; to express yourself or [in my case also] - something to write new music with and then try it out on [ often for the first time]; which is very rewardingly different sound than piano, guitar, or [much more similar to organ] for that matter. Play concertos, solo pieces, transcriptions from other instrumental books; but at the end of the day do one thing.....and that is simply fret no more - Get on and play your tunes; enjoy it !..
  27. Wheatstone Aeola extended treble tortoise shell 56 button English concertina serial no. 35692. This serial number places the date of manufacture to 1950. The original Wheatstone ledger page that describes it is included in the photos. I purchased it in 1982 from Lark in the Morninig. It's in very good condition - the in reed for high D is stuck, all the other reeds and buttons work fine. There is minor wear visible, most on the right thumb leather. The ends and bellows are all in excellent condition, no leaks. It has a Wheatstone leather case but I don't know if it is the original case for this concertina - it has more wear that the concertina with original hinges replaced with leather and the carrying strap replaced before I bought it. I can't play anymore because of arthritis in my hands and I've been keeping it for sentimental reasons, but now I need to sell.
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