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Kurt Braun

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Everything posted by Kurt Braun

  1. My first Crane was a 55 with a full octave overlap. My current 59 has less because the left hand is pitched an octave lower. I like the range of the 59 but preferred the additioanal overlap of the 55. On both, I use it all the and never had enough. I saw a Crabb Crane sell on ebay a while back that had everthing -- my first instrument's overlap and my current instrument's range. I suspect it is heavy -- you can't have everything. Bruce, I think I mentioned to you before that I'm a great believer in pouring oneself into a single instrument. Earl Scruggs has had the same banjo for 50+ years and the money to buy anything he wants. He says that when he reaches for a note he doesn't want to be suprised. All of these instruments have their advantages and the last time I picked up a 48 key I thought it was really sweet and loved the efforlessness of its lighter weight.
  2. I can't see the advantage of changing "the core." The Crane is fully chromatic and capable of playing in any key - like a piano. Who would consider moving the keys around on a piano? If you play in c all the time other keys will appear to be difficult. I started with simple tunes and stuck with simple keys (G, D, C, F). Then I began playing guitar music (G, D, A, E and . Then Hymns (C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab). In order to learn the different keys you must practice and play in them. What would I have gained to put the instrument in D or G? Ask an accomplished piano player if C is the easiest key. Many, more liekty most, will be emphatic about their "no." There certainly are advantages in playing on the outside two rows on a Crane. You just won't learn the advantages unless you to play in more keys. If you just want to play in a couple of keys, try an anglo? If you want to be able to play in any key, a standard for most instrumentalists, you will have to bite the bullet and practice and even an anglo will work (but in such a case, the Crane will have the advantage.)
  3. Things are busy in Baton Rouge with mostly work, lots of traffic and spare time used to take care of family, others and sleep. Not much music yet. Poor New Orleans!
  4. Baton Rouge is good. We even got back on the internet a few minutes ago. Lots of distraught New Orleans refugees are here and we are anxious about a few others.
  5. Resident family, supportive of concertina and just about everything else. Even my unsupportive dog who doesn't come when called will come to me, curl up and sleep as I play. Great poll, makes me feel lucky indeed!
  6. I'm always welcome to take my concertina (and a few other instruments) on family vacations. Saturday I leave for Lake Tahoe for a week with wife, my two children, a niece, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, all fine people who have vacationed with me before, and my concertina. I know I'm blessed!
  7. I had a very good time. I enjoyed meeting and hearing all of the other concertina players. Really good people! Really good players! The rest of the the festival was also very good. I have a new appreciation for old-time music and broke out my dulcimer when I returned home. Palestine is a charming town and the old high school and grounds were ideal for this sort of event. The auditorium was perfectly charming. I'll be back next year and will bring a friend or two with me.
  8. No, Jamie, definitely a Crane. However, it does have a couple of extra buttons outside the normal 5 rows. I presume that's because the unaugmented Crane layout has a slightly lower ratio of "black keys" to "white" than a piano, which forces the pattern of the layout to break down when you get enough buttons, and it's necessary to throw in an extra to restore the pattern. So... go for it. (And if you get it, bring it to the SSI. ) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> This is some speculation on the keyboard based on my own Crabb Crane (http://www.scraggy.net/tina), also with extra studs (Bbs and an F). The site has links to the stud layouts for each side. My bet is that the instrument on e-bay has the same layout with the exception of the upper rows on each side. So, on the left side the extra row extends upward to the g above middle c. I have often wished for such a row and think that this would be a valuable addition. (However any concertina purchase I made at this point would be at the expense of my kids' education fund and my banker wouldn't stand for it.) On the right, however, the extension would be from the third f above middle c upward to the next c. This is very high. I have never felt a need for such notes which would naturally be thin and of limited volume. Surely Geoff Crabb could speak more athoratatively on this. The big, and most interesting surprise would be if either side extended downward (below the bass cleff on the left or below the Bb just below middle c on the right). Having seen clown acts with concertinas, my first question would be "Do you really want something that large?" Something smaller and lighter might be better to clown around with. I used to have a 55 key Triumph. They are small and light and have lots of music in them. Kurt
  9. I root the least decerning stuff (left end). Crane duet. That is exactly right. When I first got a duet I concentrated on the right side. For several months I played it with just one hand (not that I'd recommend that to a beginner) with the right end facing my face. That is, I was trying to see what studs were being pressed and to visualize the relationships. My left hand just held the idle end down. (My 11-year-old who just started playing this week, plays the same way). Perhaps it could be said that the left end became the decerning end at the time I started to play two handed and began holding the instrument in my lap. In which case your first notion would apply. Another factor might be handedness. That is, I'm pretty strongly right handed -- so that may contribute to the facts that the left end is anchored and the right end is still decerning. On the other hand , the left side can get pretty decerning and I certainly wouldn't change the anchoring side because of that as I play.
  10. This professional stuff is personal and every one is different. Here is my experience. For seven years (many years ago) my only source of income was performing music. I had no day job and no unearned income. I have never worked part time as a musician so I can’t speak to that at all, but it doesn’t sound appealing. On balance, I’m very glad not to be dependent on music as a source of income. Here is my list of *personal* feelings about the two states (working musician and amateur; then and now). Though I haven’t worked at music for many years, I’m a better musician than I was then. (More to the point, in my life there have been a fair number of successful pros who weren’t really that good and another fair number of really excellent musicians who never “made” it, some because they knew they wouldn’t like it, some because the market wasn’t there for their very real talent.) I have better friends and coworkers than I did working as a musician. I have wider interests and a more “artful” life. That is, my life has more art in it, both music and not music. I’m much more shy about my music and less likely to want to perform. Paradoxically, I’m much less fussy about my “art” now that I can afford to be fussy. Back when I took it seriously, it was hard for me to make compromises I needed to make to get paid. I miss the kick of pulling a performance off in front of a large paying audience. I miss the confidence (though I’m really better than I was) I felt going on stage. I miss the applause and adoration of the audience, but more than that, of fellow musicians, especially those who I admired. I sleep in my own bed more often and I’m glad of it. I spend more time alone but am less lonely. I miss travel (seeing different places, cultures, etc.) I don’t miss travel (crappy hotels, airplanes, buses at weird hours, etc.) There were several years when performance demands were so high I didn’t have time to practice (improve my art). The idea that going “pro” frees you up to practice ain’t necessarily so. I no longer care if you are better (musically) than I am, or the other way around. I’m now much better at determining if you are better than I am and how so. Music is still as big a part of my life as it was then, maybe even more so.
  11. I find the song Dixie to be offensive. I've lived 40 years in the South and have some love for the place but would never play Dixie. I'm sure there are people who have opposite strong feelings On the other hand, it has been some 30 years since I can remember anyone playing it in public -- and yes I do get out often. On a related note, I love the tune and song Rally Round the Flag. I would never play it for Southerners I didn't know well. (Will those wounds ever heal!) Mostly, I'm not inclined to play emotionally charged songs when the emotion is a bad one (hate). This is probably for the same basic reason that there are people very thankful that we don't discuss politics here. I remember playing an Irish tune to and English woman many years ago. I still remember the tune, but the name isn't coming. She was very offended, but I don't recall why. She was very lovely and had I known it would have offended her, I wouldn't have played it. I am Catholic and a member of our choir. There is a really funny Tom Lehrer (sp?) song about Catholic liturgy. Many in our choir sang the song around a piano at a Christmas Party last year. We all enjoyed it. Then again, if one or two of our number had been there, we wouldn't. Context, audience and sensitivity are critical to this issue.
  12. Add to that in 1900 film, lenses, etc. were still very slow. They didn't do snap shots but rather posed. These souls very likely had be sitting for this picture and perhaps previous poses for many minutes and may have been very weary of it all. It is way too bad that we can't hear them.
  13. Isn't brass an alloy of copper and tin? Bronze is copper and tin. Brass is copper a zinc. There are those that think instruments (e.g. saxophones) made of bronze sound warmer than their brass versions. I guess they are actually (literally?) tinnier.
  14. any relation to Seth or Sam Lakeman? Here is more on Geoff Lakmen's progeny: http://www.equation.scoyote.net/equation/E...nfm/History.htm There is much more, but this will get you started.
  15. any relation to Seth or Sam Lakeman? Those are Geoff's sons.
  16. Thanks for the good wishes, Stephen. I credit you for the smooth flight to the Squeeze In. I had a great time.
  17. Weather security is looking to be more of a problem than airport security. As it stands now, I'm supposed to change planes in Atlana Friday morning on my way to Hartford. NOAA is currently forcasting Ivan to be a tropical storm centered very close to Atlana on Friday morning.
  18. It sounds like a concertina to me. More importantly, it sounds good. It is smooth and mostly centered with a natural reedy, sort of organic quality. It is kind of stupid to try to put words to a sound. I mean why describe a sound when you can just play it, except to describe what you like about it. Anyway, I like it. Why are you asking?
  19. I've been wanting to do this for years. I'm bringing my Crane duet and am very much looking forward to meeting and hearing fellow duet players and others I have gotten to know by reading this forum.
  20. If I'm thinking of the same tune, it really was a nice piece and and very nice playing. I'd like to know more -- name of the tune, where to get a copy if that is possible, was it really a duet and if so what kind? Kurt
  21. No, no, no and no!!!!! I must have failed to make it clear that I was quoting someone else. Trust me, I'm only ner do well with this theory stuff. I could just barely read it!
  22. And speaking of theory . . . This is very cerebral and appears to be directed mostly to improvisation. If you read it out loud, you could clear out any room on the planet. This is not for everyone and certainly isn't customized for concertinas, but I found it on another forum I traffic and thought that the odd concertina player here might find it interesting and possibly useful. I did: Modre’s Christmas Present (2002) There are only 12 notes. Then they repeat. C C# D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B repeat C These are all 1/2 step apart, called a chromatic scale. The major scale is awkward mathematically W W H W W W H C D E F G A B C but sounds "normal" because it was promoted by the church for centuries...Christmas Carols and all. Eventually, you'll need to know all 12 keys and all the scales pertinent to each...but here's the shortcut to "comprehending" which is the first real hurdle. Reason: you have to recognize 3rds, 5ths etc... to read a chord spelling...Inversely, when someone calls out a chord, you have to know what notes are in it. This is the foundation to that ability. If you hang in there for a while, you will gain the understanding to be functional soon...I'll go at a snail's pace. Instead of starting on the major scale, look at it mathematically...because you already deal in mathematics everyday with money and measures and such. Transfer that ability to this. So: Start with the whole tone scale.There are only 2 of them C D E F# G# A# © C# D# F G A B (C#) The interval between each/all notes is 1 whole step (two 1/2 steps). (play C [skip C#] play D...etc...) By learning these 2 scales, you've learned all 12 notes because 6 X 2 = 12 Next, add another 1/2 step between intervals. Three 1/2 steps between intervals. (play C [skip C#/D] play Eb...etc...) C Eb F# A C# E G Bb D F Ab B There are only 3 of these because 4 X 3 = 12 So far, the only thing you have to comprehend is the concept that: A. there are only 12 notes...no more. B. you can count by: 1's 1 2 3 4 5... by 2's 2 4 6 8... by 3's 3 6 9 12 ... and by grasping this theoretical concept, you can trust that it's possible to count by 4's, 5's etc...without actually knowing the particulars...but you HAVE the concept. Chromatic scale. Look at it as the full range of possibilities. Everything you do after that is merely a pattern placed over the range of possibilities. mentally extend (repeat the notes) the chromatic scale into a big empty palette like a piano keyboard layout. Major scale We dabble here for a second because the tradition of church influence dictates our language of the structure. Understanding that the pattern is W W H W W W H, replace the letters with numbers (degrees of the scale). C D E F G A B © 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and each degree has yet another name applied to it based from the root. Now go back to the chromatic scale C-octave B-Major 7th (M7) Bb-dominant 7th (b7) A- 6th Ab/G#-raised 5th/b6th (+5) G-5th F#-raised 4th/b5 (+4) F-4th (sus4) E-Major 3rd (3) Eb-minor 3rd (b3) D-Major 2nd (M2) C#-minor 2nd (m2) C-root # means go up 1/2 step b means go down 1/2 step + means raise the specific note 1/2 step M means "normal" m means drop the specific note 1/2 step augment means expand the distance diminish means shrink the distance Go back to the major scale C D E F G A B C We build chords by skipping notes...the tension created by the skipped notes vs. the sounded notes are what give us the "colors" of the sound. a "normal chord" (major) is 1 3 5 7 C E G B The upper structures are made by taking the notes you skipped and using them above the normal range. the 2nd becomes the 9th 4th becomes the 11th 6th becomes the 13th C D E G A B C so a C13 is spelled C E G B D F A same notes used differently. A C13 chord is only the major scale expanded over 2 octaves. Now, go back to the original concept of attacking the chromatic scale by playing mathematically understandable and balanced intervals...which is why (after chromatic 1/2 steps) we start with the whole tones...it skips every other note leaving each sounded note as a mathematically reasonable idea...each note being exactly one whole step apart... different from the church/traditional starting point of Major scale, but logically easier. The point is the traditional approach assumes you know M3rd from m3rd in all keys and is the hurdle that kills most folks right out of the gate. I want you to understand intervals first. Once you have that, the rest falls into place. Whole tone scales (only 2 because starting on any other note falls into either one or the other of these scales...by learning 2, you know all 12) C D E F# G# A# © C# D# F G A B (C#) extend them the full range of the horn, and get to where I can yell out any note, and you can fall into the proper scale effortlessly. Now back to the chromatic scale. look at the second thing. play C skip 2(C# & D) play Eb skip 2 (E & F) Play F# skip 2 (G & G#) play A C Eb F# A these are all m3rd intervals between notes. there are only 3 of these "scales" (4 X 3 - 12) C Eb F# A C# E G Bb D F Ab B (then Eb is a repeat of the first form...etc...) this is a diminished tetrad diad means 2 notes triad means 3 notes tetrad means 4 notes pentad is 5 notes sextad is 6 notes septad is 7 notes by learning C Eb F# A you've learned C dim, Eb dim, F# dim, and A dim. More on this later...just grab the form and concept for now...and memorize the m3rd intervals from these patterns...all the way up and down the range of the horn. back to the chromatic. next interval is Major 3rds. play C (skip3 C# D Eb) play E (skip F F# G) play G# C E G# © major 3rds. Where this is all heading is: when I say motorcycle, you think Triumph, BSA, Norton, BMW, HD, Hondamahazuki, etc... When I say WW II you think Hitler, Normandy etc... Same thing in music... one thought will immediately generate a dozen others related. This is the "magic process" in improvisation. C E G# © are M3rd intervals apart. C E G is a M triad. C E G# is an augmented because you raise the 5th. By learning this one item, you've learned C+ E+ G#+ chords. Now look at C E G# It's also contained in the original whole tone scale C D E F# G# A# © So whole tones are related to augmented chords There are 4 of these C E G# C# F A D F# A# Eb G B 3 X 4 = 12 By learning these 4 forms, you've learned all 12 augmented chords, and all 12 M3rd intervals. Now you can instantly recognize all major or minor basic chords by applying either the Maj or min interval patterns you've memorized, even tho you haven't yet dabbled in all 12 keys...that has to be done at some point, but it can wait a bit yet. You know Maj and min intervals. (disclaimer: This doesn't come overnight, no one expects it to.) There is no such thing as a teaching process...there is only a learning process. The "teacher" can only lay it out, it's up to the "student" to pick it up and internalize it. 4ths. (ascending) C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb/F# B E A D G © Notice if you do C F Bb then instead of playing that next Eb up, drop it down an octave then play up Eb Ab Db drop the Gb down an octave then play up F# B E drop down... A D G Same notes but by doing this the first note in each series spells out a diminished (C Eb F# A). This is the concept of patterns over patterns, Now do 4th intervals ascending by chromatics C F C# F# D G Eb Ab E A F Bb F# B G C etc... Do ascending 4ths dropping down by chromatics C F B E Bb Eb A E etc Do ascending 4ths followed by descending 4ths over ascending chromatics C F F# C# D G Ab Eb E A Bb F etc... Patterns over patterns. Next interval is tri-tones or b5ths (+4ths) C [c# d eb e f] F# [g ab a bb b] C splits the octave exactly in half. I call it the "which way did they go" interval Notice tri-tones are also contained in the whole tone scale C D E F# G# A# C So tri-tones are related to whole tones, augmenteds and thus Major 3rds. If you call that F an 11th instead of the 4th...you got raised 11ths. (remember the mc=Triumph/BSA/HD/BMW thing) C F# C C# G C# D Ab D Eb A Eb E Bb E F B F F# C F# STOP. notice that at this point the whole thing just inverts on itself. Because the next interval 5ths is merely an inverted 4th. C up to F is a 4th interval C down to F is a 5th interval At this point go back and look at that circle of 5ths key signature thing. flats= C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb sharps= C G D A E B F# One direction is 5ths...the other direction is 4ths, but they over lap at Gb/F# and you can fudge a spot or two either way as in Db=C# or F#=Gb while you're dabbling with these 5ths...cement the key signature circle of 5ths concept in there reeeaaalllll goooooood...it's important. OK. 5th intervals are C G D A E B F# C# G#/Ab Eb Bb F © There's always that crossover point where sharps turn into flats. C G C# G# D A Eb Bb E B F C F# C# G D Ab Eb A E Bb F B F# © Do some patterns over patterns to grasp these 5ths. +5ths C to G# is a raised 5th G#/Ab to C is a M3rd interval Whole tone scale C d e f# G# a# © Raised 5ths (augmented 5ths) related to whole tones, M3rds C G# E © Inverted augmented triad ( C E G#) C G# E © C# A F (C#) D A# F# (D) Eb B G (Eb) 6ths C-A is a 6th A to C is a min 3rd interval This is what they mean when they say the relative minor of the key of C is Am (A-)(-means minor) more on that later Notice C to A (6th) is contained in the dim tetrad C Eb F# A Invert the dim tetrad and you have ascending 6ths C A F# Eb C# Bb G E D B Ab F b7ths (dominant 7ths) C to Bb dom 7th is one whole step below the octave, thus related to whole tones. M7ths C to B 1/2 step below octave M7ths are back to the original chromatic scale. When you did the original couple of things (up to tri-tones), you were already doing the last few things only inverted. The reality is you only had to do a few fresh exercises then comprehend the concept of how things invert back on itself. That in a nutshell is the language and mathematics of it. Major scale/Modes W W H W W W H C D E F G A B C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do Do, a deer, a female deer Joy to the world W W H W W W H patten over the spectrum of possibilities...start on any chromatic note (key), but it's still the same sounding PATTERN. This is where you learn the Major scales in all keys (on your own) and collect all that crap from other "normal" books in your collection. Major vs. minor is all about the 3rd...which is why we started with whole tone/augmented/M3 and dim/m3rd) so you can ID that note quickly Major chord is 1 3 5 M7 C E G B the full color of this rascal (Joe Viola/Berklee) is: C E G B D F# A (more on that later) 1 3 5 M7 9 #11 13 May sound unusual, but let your ears absorb fresh thoughts. Church Modes start on the root, and it's Major (M7) C d E f G a B C Construct a scale starting on the second degree, and it's a minor, called a Dorian Mode. D e F g A b C D 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 8 Start on the 3rd it's minor called Phrygian. E f G a B c D E 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 8 Start on the 4th it's Major called Lydian. F g A b C d E F 1 2 3 #4 5 6 M7 8 Start on the 5th it's Major (dom7) called Mixolydian. G a B c D e F G 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 8 Start on the 6th, its the natural minor (A is a m3rd below the octave/root) mode is Aeolian. A b C d E f G A 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 8 Start on the 7th and it's diminished called Locrian...(Triad only ... doesn't include the bb7 normally used to complete the thought...full dim would be B D F Ab (1 b3 b5 bb7)... Leaving the A natural(b7th)leaves us with a half dim (1 b3 b5 b7). B c D e F g A B 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 8 The whole point is using those notes readily recognized in the C Maj scale, but using different starting points, that same scale turns into a whole rainbow of colors. What you want to do is be able to function from all sorts of perspectives...you see a rock, and you can anchor a boat with it, use it as a pillow, throw it as a weapon, build a shelter with it, study it for chemistry/age, race it down a hill, polish it to seduce women, etc...it's all the same rock...just different perspectives. Philosophy and Science "For what does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world but lose his soul" Bernie asked a while back on another site (paraphrased)"what good is it to do know this gobble-de-gook...when the reality is you're sitting amongst a handful of drunks busking for pennies at some corner dive?" He's right. You may have all the knowledge in the world under control, but there's d^mn few who take that journey with you to share in your victory...far better to play fun "money notes" in functional communication than to be the Wizard of Oz in pretentious isolation. Walking into a bank to get a loan with a bag full-o-boast & chops don't secure that loan in the real world. But...here's the forms and full colors of each: Major C E G full color 1 3 5 M7 9 #11 13 C E G B D F# A minor C Eb G full color 1 b3 5 M7 9 13 C Eb G B D A dom 7th C E G Bb full color 1 3 5 b7 b9 9 #9 11 #11 b13 13 C E G Bb Db D D# F F# Ab A min 7th C Eb G Bb full color 1 b3 5 b7 9 11 C Eb G Bb D F min 7th(b5) C Eb Gb Bb full color 1 b3 b5 b7 b9 9 11 b13 C Eb Gb Bb Db D F Ab dim 7th (full dim) C Eb Gb Bbb(A) full color 1 b3 b5 bb7 M7 9 11 b13 C Eb Gb A B D F Ab [putting these 2 dim scales together makes a W step/H step scale... C D Eb F F# Ab A B] After all's said and done, the best practice is to learn tunes and grab licks with your ear...it's a audial language that transfers thoughts and emotions. Being literate in the written math/science is a huge advantage over those who ain't, but it still comes down to funneling all that into a useful form that is transferable to folks who haven't made that journey. The object is to give them an escapist moment in exchange for the transfer their money into your pocket...and of course the joy of art for art's sake...beyond that is frivolous egotism...unless you just like to run for the adrenaline rush...but don't think for a moment it means anything. Merry Christmas.
  23. I'd be careful of the 1945 to 2001 analysis as it gets most of its power from the huge post war boom that is not likely to repeat -- and we also don't want that sort of thing to repeat as it was accomplished by huge non dollar costs in the years prior to 1945. There is also another "value" point of view that is being lost here. I played the Lachanel for about 10 years before it gave up and I used as a trade in. By the end of the period it had lost most of its resale value save the reeds. But it brought music back into my life, pulled me out of countless lows that life throws one over the years, and brought me to the point where I could sensibly "invest" in a better instrument and learn more songs and meet and relate to great people. Now I had no idea it would be a such a good investment for me. Luck is part of it, and over the years I've lost lots on things that looked to be smarter. But, hey, you have to be willing to take chances and those who buy from a passion to play are going to be winners way more often than those who think about the money too much.
  24. I looked at this site: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/resea...02/rp02-044.pdf and did some quick horse back calculation (I'd be happy to be corrected if I got it wrong!). In 1978 I paid 270 pounds for a 55 key lachanel in fair to good condition. If I did the calcuations right, using the info from the site above, that is 143 pounds indexed to 1974. Now the Wheatstone Crane sold for $2600 or about 1430 pounds. The index listed at the site above for 2001 (close enough) was .16 or 229 pounds indexed to 1974. So that is 143 vs 229. Considering that the Wheatstone is in better than fair to good condition and that it was probably a better instrument to begin with, I'm not seeing a huge increase.
  25. I might have just sent this to Geoffrey Crabb but thought others may have a something to contribute. My concertina is relatively large (http://www.scraggy.net/~tina). This was done to extend the range of the instrument downward -- a very welcome feature, I might add. Mr. Crabb took one pair of reeds (that for F# just below the bottom line of the bass clef staff) and added material to the tip of the reed. The reeds sound two octaves below middle C. To my ear the quality of these reeds are matched to the others of the instrument in all ways. That is they have the same timbre, readiness to speak and dynamic range of the non-tipped reeds. There may be something I'm not hearing. The left side of this instrument plays a fourth (fifth, by means of added keys) lower than a typical 55 key Triumph. It seems to me that Mr. Crabb could have added weights to the left side reed tips of a much smaller instrument and gotten the best of both worlds -- small and low on the left side. Intuitively, I'm certain that this was considered, probably briefly, and for obvious reasons rejected. What were those reasons?
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