Posts posted by Jonathan Taylor
I once told an aunt what I carry my concertina around in, and her reaction was:
You don't need to keep and feed the hamsters all the time, you could rent them from a glove maker and return them when you had finished tuning.
The podcast was uploaded this afternoon. Don't wait too long to download it; they tend to be replaced after about a week.
MC at concert after we'd finished our slot: "Isn't it amazing, the music you can get out of one of those double cheeseburgers."
could you confirm that the left hand keyboard has D and D# at the top left corner and a C# in the top right corner? These notes being extra to a normal 56-58 key layout.
Also, what is the 'across flats' size of this instrument please ?
Would you say the tone is sharper sounding ( more cutting) than your Aeola ,or not ?
No, top left are G# and G, and top right is F#. Unless I've made a mistake in checking, the layout is identical to that of the 60 button Lachenal #4083 in Robert Gaskins' chord charts, page 34 ("How to Play Chords on Any MacCann Duet concertina") on www.concertina.com.
Across flats size is 199 mm.
No, regarding the tone quality, I can't really hear any difference between the Edeophone and my TT Aeola, although I also have a treble metal-ended Aeola which is a bit brighter/sharper/more cutting than either.
This instrument carries the number 4018, and is in excellent condition.
It has a nice bright sound, comparable to my metal-ended tenor treble Aeola (if that helps). It has been retuned to A = 440 Hz, and the bellows are very tight, more so than aforementioned Aeola. However, there is no case except for a Stagi soft gig bag.
I'm selling this for a Swiss friend with limited knowledge of English. He originally acquired it from a Swiss accordion dealer and collector, without knowing much about concertinas or their various systems. He taught himself to play it, but always had the feeling that it was a little too "sophisticated" for him. In one of life's little coincidences last summer he met another accordion collector, who happened to have among other things a Crane duet, to which he very quickly took a liking. Hence the Maccann becoming surplus to requirements.
We're seeking to get GBP 2000 for it (incl. CNet contribution, but excl. shipping), which I hope is not unrealistic. More high-resolution photos are available if anyone's interested. If I had any interest in learning the Maccann I would buy it myself at that price.
I suspect this didn't go into production because by 1861 people may have, already, got entrenched in the original design (if it ain't broke- don't fix it) - not an uncommon attitude to change even today!
Something for EC players to try:
On the 1861 prototype, the thumbstraps and lowest keys are in practically the same positions as on a normal EC held back to front.
So, holding an EC back to front and twiddling the keys which are accessible would provide some idea of what the 1861 prototype would have been like to play. Remember to ignore the pinkie rest.
I would be interested to hear what you think.
And while I'm here, somewhat predictably:
Swiss Cottage (applying the crossbow gambit)
That is an interesting thought. I have recently been granted electronic access to the British Library's great Mornington Crescent archive, a great honour as you know
But not half as great an honour, I warrant, as being allowed to rummage in Samantha's drawers.
We are planning a trip to Canada shortly, and will be visiting the Maritimes (based in Halifax) between 11th and 25th May. (Also visiting Montreal 25th May to 1 June).
This is a long way from Australia, and I was wondering if anyone could recommend some music events or things to do there during this time. We will have a car.
We were in Montreal last September before going to Cape Breton for the Celtic Colours Festival in October. 25 May is a Wednesday so that'll mean the session in O'Regan's, rue Bishop. The Fuschia session on Monday was also very nice, and definitely don't miss the Québecois session at Vices et Versa. Get there early and start sampling the 33 beers on tap.
Other stuff: we liked the McCord Museum, the Centre d'histoire de Montréal and the Canadian Railway Museum. And the restaurants.
Getting late here so I'll have to cut it short for now...
Well, some of our Morris side were having a pre-Christmas beer or three on Thursday night, and one of them wanted to know what, exactly, was an English concertina. As I was explaining at length, Squire butted in and said, "They're the ones that stop working when it snows."
Coaches depart upon the bell of midnight.
...and immediately turn into pumpkins.
(Sorry, couldn't resist it.)
(That'smyphoto, of my keyboard and a very alive bird.)
No but seriously, Jim, what is a rather poorly looking goldcrest doing apparently scratching its bum on your numerical pad?
The Blackbirds here in Somerset this season are noticeably less nervous of human contact than is usual. Reports from elsewhere in the country have been saying much the same thing.
Word obviously spreads fast; maybe Barry had access to the internet.
You just made me spit my tea over my keyboard in laughter.Laughter?(That'smyphoto, of my keyboard and a very alive bird.)
Looks like you just spat it out.
You shouldn't try to eat live goldcrests, Jim; they're much tastier fried in batter.
I tried to taunt people who play ITM on english to send clips to no avail.
OK, I'll try to work out how to make videos and put them on Youtube, but I've never done it yet, so please be patient.
Meanwhile, I'll have to admit I was wrong thinking english concertinas could be technically limited to play irish music. In perspective, I'd even say it's stupid to think so! My new theory is that many english concertina players who play ITM don't apply themselves enough to play irish music in an interesting way. This is my new extremist point of view, yeah!
Now that I agree with that completely. As mentioned before, this topic pops up time and time again, and this is what I think about it. The topic was "Should I Switch From English To Anglo?"
PS: Zizi, listen carefully to the phrasing in the english concertina clip... now imagine a fiddle player playing very fast tunes and never changing bow direction... this is pretty much how it sounds to my ears, not you?
Now imagine an uilleann piper playing very fast tunes and never changing airflow direction...
Ah, great stuff. But it's nothing like ITM.
Jonathan, have you considered octave tuned?
Yes, I did consider it. Marc Untersee did a quick reed swap on one of his melodeons so that I could make a direct comparison between octave tuned and double-voiced in unison in the same instrument. Octave tuned was more like carpet slippers, compared with the steel toecaps of the double-voiced. So I'll be going for that.
Now that I've announced it I'd better get a move on. Next step is to make 1:1 mockup ends to establish optimal button positions and sizes. Possibly slightly wider apart and larger than a standard EC. Also to find out what range I might hope to get.
OTOH one of the advantages of having a 2- or 3-voice button box that is not totally dry-tuned is that even a very light tremolo takes most of the harshness out of major thirds. On tina there is no escape... except uneven temperament.
Hmm the idea of a slightly 'wet' tuned double/triple voiced concertina.......I wonder.... must have been tried before.
I am actually seriously looking into this to get a very loud EC for Morris. These guys might be able to make it if they can fit an EC keyboard into their existing design. It would look somewhat like this.
They mentioned one problem with very dryly tuned double-voice boxes: if the reeds are tuned too close together, sympathetic resonance takes over and they synchronize into unison, unless (if I get this correctly) the two banks of reeds are physically separated, e.g. using a cassotto (I think). Which might be difficult in the limited space of a concertina.
There was also the Lachenal Accordeophone, but I can't remember how wet it was tuned.
If that was you at The Royal at Dungworth near Sheffield the other year Jonathan I'd say you play Irish music with as much stykle and feeling for the tradition as anyone I've heard. I think there are quite alot of EC players who I'd be proud to sound like ( I play Anglo) , as I've already said I know some fine players who could hold their own. I wish they'd comment on this discussion.
I was there in November 2008. I came with Gill and Mike Noppen, and Neil Wayne dropped in with some flyers for new CDs of his which he had just brought out. I also remember joining in with someone playing "from Night till Morn". Not you by any chance?
If you still think it was me, I thank you for the compliment.
Several dealers offer a full-price trade-in program for the Jackie and Rochelle models (English and Anglo respectively). Maybe ask somebody if you could buy both, decide which one you want to play, and trade them both in for a better model of the type you choose. Or find some other way to try one of each for a little bit. I bet Button Box can rent you something if you ask.
Just to those who pointed out, that I would be better served buying a better instrument. I just don't have the money to throw around. If I had 1000€ or more to spend wherever I wanted, I'd probably go the refund route Ransom adviced. The thing is, that I don't have the money for even one at the moment (I am saving and it will be soon enough). Also there are no concertinas in where I live that I could try. I know that would be the best thing. I could try everything in very slow motion and I'd probably know if I would be able to get this at normal speed. If anyone here is from germany and owns both tell me. I'd probably manage to come by if it isn't to far.
Renting might be an option, but it's probably annoying with customs and everything you rent, costs you money that you can't spend to buy.
Have a look at these guys: The Music Room, Yorkshire, England. They sell Jackies and Rochelles. If I understand their terms and conditions correctly, perhaps if you send them a big enough deposit, they might agree to send you one of each to try out, and return the one that's not suitable. I tried a Jackie once and they are not bad at all.
Where in Germany are you? I can actually see a bit of it from my bedroom window (Schwarzwald), but it's a long way to the other end. I could try and find someone near you who could perhaps help (if the e-mail addresses I have still work...).
One guy whom you may wish to contact is Rainer Süssmilch. He is a professional musician who works a lot for theatre, and he plays jazz English concertina, among other things. He is due to work in a production in Basel in September (near to me). I could try to contact him, if you like.
Well thank you for your reply, however I was just trying to help the questioner who maybe wants to play
more than just ITM. I am sure the two young women I listened to last weekend who both play sessions of
ITM using their EC or Duet concertinas would be insulted by your suggestion that their way of playing
ITM is not just as valid as yours. I am not trying to tell anyone what they should play, I am just
trying to explain the difference between the instruments.
Yes, you meant to reply to me about this, not Tom. I'm sorry to say so, but when you start going around saying that it's totally possible to play 'x' type of music on 'y' instrument, I would expect you to know 'x' type of music very well, and be a good player of 'x' music yourself, or at least long time listener, before making such a bold statement, that's all. As for myself, I don't go around talking about stuff I don't know, that's why I keep my stuff only about ITM, which I can say I know decently well, but you certainly won't "hear" me comment about english music or other styles.
Are you claiming that shaunw is not competent to make that statement? If so, on what basis?
I have been playing and listening to ITM for 35 years, and playing ITM on the EC for over 15 years, and on that basis I can say that in actual fact, he is basically correct. I can't speak for duets, but neither the English concertina nor ITM have any characteristics which make them unsuitable for each other.
This claim crops up at regular intervals.
Of course, it's possible to play ITM on an English concertina. But why would you invest in one instrument with the goal to emulate another one? Why not go with the second one in the first place? At any Irish concertina workshop (particularly in Ireland), you'd be the odd one out with an English and you'd be pretty much left to your own devices on particular technical issues.
And although it is possible to play Irish traditional music on an English concertina, in most cases it still will sound like an English concertina - just compare the aforementioned Simone Thoumire's playing with that of well known players of the Anglo concertina such as Noel Hill, Edel Fox, Kate McNamara, Micheal O Raghallaigh, etc. A lot of the differences comes from the pulse and bounce, which is so important for ITM. Also, the Anglo concertina in ITM has its own set of ornamentation, which makes the Anglo playing very characteristic. If it's the Anglo concertina that attracted you to Irish traditional music, go with an Anglo.
Sorry, but what gives you the idea that the EC has to be indistinguishable from the Anglo when playing ITM?
I am aware, that the pushing and pulling of the bellow might result in bad emphasis (i.e. emphasizing down beats).
You should be able to emphasize or "de-emphasize" whatever individual note you want on either Anglo or English. A necessary change of bellows direction on the Anglo doesn't always coincide with a down beat but can occur at any place in the tune. It's the tune (or your interpretation thereof) that tells you which notes to emphasize and which not, not the instrument.
So how does the oh-so-important-for-ITM Anglo "pulse and bounce" fit into this last paragraph? Or did you just contradict yourself?
- It is very possible to play the English Concertina with the same feeling as the Anglo. Even when playing Irish Traditional Music.
If it's the bouncing natural for push/pull, it's only relevant for amateurs. For a future professional it's passing gimmick. Noel and Nial both use alternate fingering to overcome natural bounce. In fact, they use Anglo in EC way, alternating from left to right.
I heard exactly the same thing in a workshop with Aogán Lynch (BTW, I play ITM on the EC). Not only that: he suggested what to do if you don't have the desired alternative fingering when you have only a 30-key, not a 38-key like himself:
In such cases, he thought it better to search for an alternative NOTE, rather than break the flow of the music (especially in reels) by a bellows change.
However, EC's ergonomics don't allow for aggressive push/pull.
You may be right, but for me personally, that is not important, since there is nothing to stop me using aggressive push/push or pull/pull instead.
Model Canal boat on Antiques Roadshow
in General Concertina Discussion
I think it was just the small gentleman's belt buckle.
I got one of my concertinas on a narrowboat (sort of).
We were on a narrowboat holiday in NW England one September and I was looking for a metal-ended Aeola. I was going to Concertinas@Witney afterwards, but to get first dibs on one, while we were in the Potteries I rang Chris Algar and he came down to the canal with a couple to try out. I picked one, and we arranged that payment and delivery would be at Witney. The rest of the trip was getting spent enough cash together for it (£150 a time) from most of the cashpoints along the Trent & Mersey and the Shropshire Union.