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Myrtle's cook

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Posts posted by Myrtle's cook

  1. The description appears on the site appears taken from what is perhaps the maker's description or a bill of sale (or similar), my italics:


    'Colin Dipper forty-eight button 'English' system concertina tenor (viola range) with top note F and the top notes of the normal 48 keys are located at the bottom. Ten-sided amboyna wood on hardwood core with hand cut fret and ebony edges. Aircraft aluminium action levers, naval brass capped lightweight buttons, best handmade steel reeds in brass frames, ebony finger plates. It has dark green Scottish hand finished goatskin bellows and was made in the 1980s. It comes with a hard carrying case.'


    If I understand this correctly, then this is a custom layout - and a little unusual - I am taking this as the bottom 4 buttons on each side playing the four notes usually found at the top of each keyboard. Am I missing something here, not seen this before, but can see it has some utility??

  2. Your instrument appears to be a 'flutina' and a member of the wider family to which concertinas belong.


    The letters/numbers in the photos are unlikely to be makers' initials and are more likely to be batch or component numbers, aiding the assembly/reassembly of the instrument. I wonder if those on the first photo stand for something along the lines of 'type 2 reed pan with notes range G - e'???


    Flutina's do not appear to be as regularly signed/labelled by their makers as concertinas. I have a rather larger version, with lots of inlay and use of mother of pearl, but which is completely unsigned, with only a retailer's label in its original wooden box. I understand the majority were made in Frmance and exported widely, with Busson the primary manufacturer.


    Others here will be far more knowledgeable on this subject, but I hope this helps start things off. I recall there are a couple of recordings of flutinas on Youtube - which are worth checking out in terms of background.

  3. Hi Fusty


    There's a wealth of information on another site, dediated to Crane/Triumph system instruments. http://www.craneconcertina.com/index.html

    You'll see in the gallery section a brigade of Lachenal instruments, the latest numbered 4934 - suggesting your instrument is nearer to the end of Lachenal's production (and existence).


    If I recall correctly, Lachenal Crane and Maccann duets have their own numbering system, separate from the sequences for their Anglos and English concertinas.


    One forumula for dating the duets is as follows:


    For the Duet system:    (serial number divided by 111 ) + 1873 (from Concertina.info website; there may be more recent improvements to this numbering formula(?).


    Happy squeezing!


  4. Has any one on the forum got one of these they might be thinking of selling? I would expect such an instrument to have most likely been for band use and have fewer keys than usually encountered.


    To avoid any confusion, I am not looking for a standard tenor/tenor treble (I have these already).


    Please PM me if you might have such a box you'd be willing to sell. Thanks for looking.

  5. I do not have any interest in this sale either as vendor or agent - just the curiosity of an EC player 'looking over the fence' - but thought it might be of interest to forum members.


    The box is labelled as C Morris Handley, but looks Lachenal-esque(?) and is 13cm in diameter - according to the auctioneers.



  6. A few thoughts from an EC player...


    I have two instruments which have non steel reeds - a Wheatstone Baritone with brass reeds from 1860s and apparently quite 'high end', and a Scates labelled (probably George Case made) amboyna treble with silver nickel reeds.

    - there are different standards of brass etc reeds (just as with steel). The best wheatstone brass reeds are robust, have good dynamic range and volume, need relatively little air, speak quickly and do not seem to readily go out of tune. The cheapest (e.g. basic lachenal models) seem to have far less dynamic range, be slow to speak and need quite a lot of air. I understand such reeds are a little more prone to fracture

    - I purchased the two concertinas above because I loved their mellow sound which combines with good reponse and dynamic range to provide a very satisfying playing experience . I use them for song. Both would struggle to be heard in a good session - perhaps a plus if you want to develop confidence, but less so if you want to really get 'stuck in'.

    - Brass/non-steel reeds can play any sort of music, just as well as steel reeds. However, if you are used to listening to Irish tunes played on growling Jeffries anglos then the tone of the brass reeds will be different and might take a little mental adjustment (a little less 'bark and bite' to use a phrase a Jeffries owning friend describes some of his accompaniment style).

    -With good reeds (and mechanism - which is part of the speed equation) high speed is possible if the fingers are willing and coordinate!

    If you are considering buying from Chris Algar ('and other dealers are available', including those who regularly contribute to this forum) you may well be able to get the instrument on approval and if it doesn't meet your expectations return it - as long as it is in the same condition.


    Good luck - we all started somewhere - my first instrument, which I still love, is in fact technically pretty poor - but it got me playing and gave an enormous amount of pleasure.

  7. The serial number would suggest this is a Lachenal. Wheatstones with 55### onward, including 55870, are anglos. Still, potentially a good starter instrument for someone - it looks in decent condition and the non original thumb straps look quite recent replacements suggesting it has been loved or at least well cared for.

    Good luck with the sale.

    • Like 1
  8. In addition to Geoff's suggestion, you might also want to check out the Concertina Museum Collection (part of Neil Wayne's collection acquired by the Horniman Museum), the title page for the Rock Chidley instruments should be found at this link: http://concertinamuseum.com/SiteS4d.htm and contains a helpful overview of Chidley and his concertinas, the pages that follow detail individual Chidley concertinas in the collection.


  9. Hi Christine

    I managed to look out my treatment notes over the weekend and located the following 'introductory' form of PMR, developed by a physiotherpist. it's one I often come back to (although I'd managed to foget it's name!)




    Hope this is helpful.

  10. Hi Christine


    I expect there are those who will say practice and confidence - and I' sure that's a large part of it.


    As a sufferer of chronic pain for some years I stumbled upon Progressive Muscular Relaxation as means of managing tension/stress when playing/performing, as well as condition management. There are various manefestations of this in on line resources, and as every person is different I suspect different methods suit different people. It is based on systematically working down the body, tensing then releasing different areas, and can be used in conjunction with breath control (i.e. slow breath whilst drawing left hand into clenched position, slow out breath whilst releasing the hand, and repeating for each area to be tensed and released). WHen initially doing this I found spoken instructions useful - there are some on Youtube and also on the Insight Timer app.  Some of the approaches have their origins in physiotherapy, others seem to have been adapted and developed in mindfulness techniques. I try to find a quiet space in which to sit (car or toilet(!)) before playing, and if a long session, having a similar break halfway. There's quite a good check list within this arcticle:




    One advantage may be that tension in one area of the body can sometimes manefest in another muscle group/limb during exertion. This method goes some way to minimising overall tension in the first place, making this less likely. By combining with slowed breathing it might also help control the cocktail of chemicals our bodies sometimes delivering whilst playing that promote stress/tension (cortisol, adrenalin etc).


    I was very cynical of this technique when it was first suggested to me, but after a little practice found it was genuinely useful for both pain control and [getting on the first step to] a Zen like state whilst playing.


    Hope this is helpful.




    • Like 1
  11. What system are you playing Christine? I am asuming Anglo (quite possibly wrongly). The stresses and strains of playing English concertina are well documented on this site, but less so Anglo and Duet. If it's a system with lower notes largely on the left hand side is there an element of trying to emphasise/underplay these which is adding to the tension and consequent pain.


    Glad to hear it passed easily at any rate.

  12. The shot of the mechanism (photo 8 in the listing's sequence) showing a lever arm supports does look like those on my own EC/Duet Lachenals. That said, I understand Jones to have used a number of different mechanism solutions. The serial number also seems to read as 162021 - I may be wrong, but do Jones instruments go much beyond the 20,000s??

    The adjustable handrails definitely look 'custom' and unusual - as if the use of metal which seem to be more associated with Jeffries/Crabb than Lachenal or Jones. INteresting to hear form an Anglo player as to the practicality/utility of such adjustable rests (short/long fingers enable to reach upper/lower registers??).

  13. Returning to ridges/flanges etc....


    Following on from Jim Lucas's survey of instruments, I took a look at the little finger rests on my concertinas. I noticed that on my Aeola 'pinhole' treble EC (no. 21477), the rests are a further variant where the metal is thinnned towards the outer edge or chamfered. This appears to have been done at the time of manufacture. Until I noticed it I had not been aware of any particular difference it makes to my playing. On reflection it does enable rather freer movement of my little finger as the remaining fingers wander across the keys - particularly when compared to another rest with the flange/ridge.


    I wonder if this form, the plain form and the flanged/ridged form are little more than examples of the areas of choice manufacturers offered for their better instruments in the late C19th-earlier C20th?


  14. Perhaps the leather sheafing of the rests was more prevalent in the earlier period of concertina manaufacture and use (when primarily a parlour instrument), i.e. up to c.1870/80s. On later instruments, less common, perhaps reflecting the developing uses and users of concertinas. A quick peruse of the instruments in the 'Concertina Museum Collection' supports this hypothesis.

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