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Kurt Braun

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Everything posted by Kurt Braun

  1. My vote is that you keep the concertina. It sounds to me it is in good hands.
  2. These are good guys. I dealt with them some many years ago. However they are mostly chemnitzer players-- not much Irish, more like Polish Polka music. Still, a good bunch of folks and very good musicians. Kurt
  3. Since I play a Crane duet, I really don't have an option to go "contemporary." Perhaps I haven't been reading thoroughly enough. Has this topic, Vintage versus contemporary playability and other "pain in the ass" issues, ever been discussed? I might not be able to contribute to such a conversation, but I'd sure read it. Thanks, Kurt
  4. There was a Macccann player in Champaign, Illinois around 1978 or 79. Any ideas who that might have been?
  5. There is a pretty thorough discussion of this topic here: http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=11273 My own feeling as a former oboist (the guy the orchestra tunes to) is that 440 is standard pitch and anything else is either sharp or flat. Slightly sharper can make one sound a little brighter (singers, lead player and soloists often like the trick). But where does it all end? Plus, I don't think they make both 440 and 442 oboes!
  6. I can see why you would like such an instrument. I have a 59 that also includes an F below the G --- plays hymns really well. However, that top row on the "regular" 55 might be missed more than you think. Better to have one of each, I guess.
  7. One of the rubs is getting a courier to properly insure an "antique". There must be a way, or a service that does this, but it has eluded me thus far. Greg I'm confused about this post. What does it take to get an instrument in duty free if it is over one hundred years old? I'm not sure what a courier would have to do with this. Thanks in advance for any help.
  8. It has been a long time ago since I did studio work (and never on concertina) but I don't recall getting the music ahead of time. It was more like one time without the mic and with record button pushed down the next. Fortunately, there were others who screwed up more obviously than I most of the time. So there was some cushion with the retakes, but you had to read. Otherwise, they got someone who could. On the up side, you were done hours and hours before you got bored And... Screw ups involved phrasing, balance, articulation, style, tempo etc. Not wrong notes.
  9. Kurt-- Thanks for posting this! I don't play Crane well enough yet to comment intelligently, but I appreciate your ideas and your systematic approach to the four fingers/five columns issue on the Crane. Did you come up with the concepts on your own? Thank you. Yes, pretty much.
  10. Attached is a little ditty with thoughts on Crane fingering salient to a couple of other threads. Comments, corrections, etc. welcome.Crane Fingering Considerations.pdf
  11. I have to admit that I have never really developed the technique of multiple fingers on the same key for speed. However, I do remember learning the technique when briefly a student of the piano. On the piano I had the benefit of a teacher. I've always thought that someday I'd run across a passage where I'd need it and then take the time to get the technique under my fingers. If it ever happens, I bet that I'll not regret taking the time to practice it. If you learn it, I'd like to know of your experiences.
  12. I'm sure that with good measurement that significant (but probably not important!) differences in finger strength can be found. When I play concertina, I rarely, if ever, favor one finger over another. I see very little favoring of one finger in the pedagogy of piano, violin and most other instruments. Woodwinds, in particular, make extensive use of little fingers. For me, a finger is a finger -- at least when playing the concertina. Put another way, the effort to press a key is so well within the strength constraints of any finger, it just doesn't matter.
  13. As pointed out earlier, these old tutor fingering do not, for the most part, take into account details of articulation. Still it is worth pointing out that a slightly more modern tutor for the Crane is available here.
  14. I play a Crabb Crane. Lot's of info on the instrument here: Scraggy.net It is very helpful to me to know that this is of use to other players of other systems. Thanks much, Kurt
  15. FYI. A Solution. Not that there wouldn't be others, but this works for me -- No consecutive notes on the same finger. See attached. Scan.pdf
  16. First Questions. No. Related question(s): Two studs with one finger: First, it is nearly impossible to accomplish this on the lower end of the keyboard. So you may as well learn not to do it. Same finger hitting two notes in a consecutively (fourth or otherwise) should be avoided. You lose much in doing that - the most important is the ability to slur the two notes, which might be musically tasteful. That said, it would be disingenuous not to admit breaking these rules on occasion. I occasionally use one finger on two studs the upper keyboard. And when playing two parts on the same hand ( when doing four part harmony ) I am unable to work out schemes where two consecutive notes with the same finger can be practically avoided. This occurs relatively often. Fortunately, when there are four voices, a lapse in phrasing between just two notes in just one voice isn't well heard. Finally, when the two notes are well separated, it doesn't really matter, does it?
  17. Attached is a handout used in a workshop in March on Accompanying Tunes and Songs. I had two purposes. First to share my own experiences. Second to see if what I had learned might be useful to others (including Anglo and English Players). It was a small workshop (maybe 6 other players). I polled them and got the impression that what I was trying to share was useful for duet players, less useful for Anglo players and much less useful for English. In the workshop, I was able to talk more freely and to give examples, so I know that this forum might not be as useful. Nevertheless, I would be interested in the views of others on this topic and also get the views of a wider audience. There have been other discussion relative to accompanying on various types of concertinas and this might be helpful in sorting things out there as well. Thanks, Kurt Accompanying Tunes and Songs.pdf
  18. I just found out through facebook that Rhomylly passed away last night as a result of chemo complications. I thought people here would want to know. She was a great contributor to this community.
  19. Recently I had a workshop presentation at the Palestine festival and have recently managed one Skype lesson. I'm interested in doing more to help other concertina players, especially duet players and of course Crane players. I have had a Crane duet since 1978 and have played regularly since then. Until retirement two years ago, the amount of time I could devote to playing was limited but I managed to play it at least some nearly every day. Examples of my playing are at scraggy.net. In addition, I studied music in college for over three years and worked professionally as a bandsman (United States Air Force) playing saxophone, oboe and clarinet for four years. I do not hold a degree in music. I do hold advanced degrees in education but not music education and most of my work has been in research and measurement, rather than actually teaching. I feel very competent to assist players in the following areas: Playing and interpreting music written or arranged for duets Playing and interpreting easy keyboard music and adapting it for duets Playing and interpreting any type of music from a lead (fake) sheets including folk, country & western, blues, jazz standards, old time, traditional and most other popular music Accompanying singers or instrumentalists from a lead (fake) sheet (same genres) Playing and interpreting some guitar music with adaptation for duets Playing and interpreting four part (SATB) scores -- especially four part hymns With those credentials and caveats, if you have an interest in learning about Crane's or duets (not specific to keyboard issues) please let me know and we can try to work something out.
  20. Mark Gilston told me that he does his Youtube videos with his Iphone. They sound okay to me. Pretty simple route for a "not-computer-geek."
  21. People have added harmony to melodies on all concertina types. Both the Anglos and Duets do it quite naturally. When done well on an English, it is usually done more sparsely (and often quite elegantly) but it certainly works. You might do well to just do some more listening to players of all threes classes. Try searching "English Concertina," "Duet Concertina," and "Anglo Concertina" or go to these sites cranedrivinmusic.com, jodykruskal.com, www.concertina-academy.com. There will be examples of harmonized melody playing by all three types on these site and there is much, much more out there.
  22. I'm a Crane player, so I favor it as well. But the reason for my bias is the years I've put in. If you are just starting out, there are advantages and weaknesses in all systems. Not having a bias is a very good thing in this market. If you find a duet that plays well and appears rugged, buy it! and get on with learning it and maximizing the pluses and minimizing the minuses. Any system will do you just fine!
  23. When you say duets are rapidly going up I envision a curve or line on data that shows higher prices over time and enough data points so that there is a base line and then some sort of surge of concertinas being bought and sold close together with significant upward direction in prices. So my question is, where are you collecting all of these data points (sales) that show that the prices are taking off quickly? I've only see one or two (Crane) duets for sale in the past couple of years. I can't get near enough data points to plot a trend in terms of where things might be going. I've put feelers out over two years and have gotten virtually nothing, zip, nada back. I'm looking for a Crane Duet with a chevron (a la Crabb, but there are some Wheatstone examples as well) keyboard. Fifty-five keys would be ideal, but I'd consider anything at this point just to give myself a spare.
  24. We missed you Rhomylly. It was great. Old Pal is nothing if not reliable. The music was fantastic and so was the weather and flora. But the best was the people and we had some really good new ones this year. Definitely high points of the each of the last seven years for me. The old friends are too numerous to mention. It was particularly good to meet face to face c netters Rod Wagoner with his impeccable Crane duet and Tom Rhoads and his Carroll. Great guys and great concertinas.
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