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goran rahm

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. Jim:"And I recall both of them saying that what "works" for a particular individual is more important than slavishly following a particular method. I.e., neither claimed that the other's method was "wrong"." Goran:I don't wish to initiate a new quarrel on this item but I mean two different issues are important to remember: 1) the above as one principle...what works for one individual in one specific situation is *right* ....even if the 'master' says differently...:-) 2) we do have anatomic and physiologic conditions that direct what is feasible..or more or less practicable...and another principle ought to be never disregarding these prerequisites In consequence of 2) the superiority of using (or at least providing liberty for using..) all four fingers freely ought not to be questioned since this is necessary for optimal 'fingering'... ...conditionally that means are provided for simultaneous demands of importance for the specific performance! (This firstly concerns management of the bellows and its importance for tone control/articulation) (Additionally:...in reverse...when optimal 'bellowsing' has priority it may be necessary compromising with the conditions providing 'best' fingering options!) I have said this so many times: 'the concertina concept' contains an inborn conflict between 'flexibility' and 'stability' ..between 'fingering' and 'bellowsing' ....which is very difficult to solve and a source for lots of misunderstandings and futile hopes for finding *the* 'right' or 'best' way of performing. QUOTE IF using a 'four finger method' a couple of details are evidently individually important: 1) the length of the 4th finger 2) the stability of it 3) the strength of it 4) the degree of attachment to the 3rd finger 5) the coordination of it Jim:"I would further say that while 1 cannot be altered (except possibly through surgery?), 2, 3, and 5 can be improved through exercise, and to some extent even 4. (The actual "attachment" may be unalterable, but the flexibility of the attachment and independence of movement can be increased somewhat. It's something taught generally to players of other instruments, such as piano, guitar, etc.)" Goran:I'm afraid that optimism regarding such effects easily gets unrealistic and in such cases causes a great deal of disappointment. Of course practise and training is needed for all skills but I think the foreseeable results should be carefully judged prior to any recommendations and THAT is the clue....it is so difficult not to say impossible regarding 2-4 above. 5) is basically what is influenced by 'practise' and along with that some effect on the 'endurance' component of 3) may be expected. The best method of getting there however likely is just 'playing'. QUOTE(Goran) Alsepti claimed it had never been published before...which I doubt since the structure of it so obvious and simple that it likely could have been used before for some other instrument. Jim:"Perhaps he meant that it had never been published with fingering for the concertina?" Goran:I have no guess...Regondi's fingering or his own?? Was it Regondi's at all or was that just a marketing gimmick by Alsepti?? I have not seen it verified if he actually was a pupil of Regondi or not...or in what degree?? (Some musicians claim they have been 'pupils' of some 'star' after one lesson....not 'untrue'..) QUOTE The original fingering in the Alsepti version of this exercise to me is a bit strange in some details and definitely not suitable for my own hands. I have just made some changes in the 14 first bars in the attached example. Jim:"You make an interesting point. I, too, was puzzled by some of the fingering choices. E.g., why 1-3-2 for the very first three notes, rather than 2-3-2, 1-3-1, or 1-2-1?" Goran:Yes there are many examples and in the rest of the Alsepti tutor there are inconsequent instructions which is puzzling.....or rather.....there are quite few fingering instructions which is even more puzzling.... Of course you can always wonder what the pedagogic aim with a certain exercise is...this example I regard as a typical 'warming up' or 'getting settled' procedure firstly. Otherwise you may use odd fingerings as an intentional way to 'do a little more than necessary' ...training for stretching out, getting wider range, more confidence in the normal range...and so on..but in such case the 'normal' procedure is using progressive etudes with specific targets. My first guess is that this tutor (like many others throughout history) is a mixture between considered pedagogic aims...compromises due to time limits or pure idleness (well not entirely since it is demanding anyway...)..... and business expectations...or the publisher's business expectations rather.... (Nevertheless the possible use of the 'bowing valves' remains a bit of a challenge for knowledge..) ( I really wish to know how Alsepti distributed the fingers on the rows himself!... and to what extent he used the valves.....) Goran Rahm
  2. Joe:"Would I be right in saying Alan Atlas opts for the 3 finger and Wim Walker the 4?" Goran: I believe "opts for" does not quite express the situation. Allan uses a 'three finger method' himself and Wim a 'four finger method' himself and their didactic approach likely is formed according to this. Allan's outspoken intention in his tutor is a design for the more common 'three finger method(s)' and thus this variant of the Regondi exercise. (Maybe Allan joins us for clarifications....) Fingering generally due to anatomical circumstances is in the end a very individual matter so I think it is hazardous trying to follow 'instructions' too closely any time! IF using a 'four finger method' a couple of details are evidently individually important: 1) the length of the 4th finger 2) the stability of it 3) the strength of it 4) the degree of attachment to the 3rd finger 5) the coordination of it I have weak, curved and short 4th fingers myself, nevertheless I regard 'four finger methods' generally superior for matters of principle...BUT there are definitely specific situations when 3 (or even the 'original' 2...) finger methods may 'do the job better'.... The original fingering in the Alsepti version of this exercise (Alsepti claimed it had never been published before...which I doubt since the structure of it so obvious and simple that it likely could have been used before for some other instrument) to me is a bit strange in some details and definitely not suitable for my own hands. I have just made some changes in the 14 first bars in the attached example. With the four finger methods you have some different systems to choose from: 1) the Alsepti way 1st finger 1st row and so on (but he himself is not consequent for natural reasons..it does not work:-) 2) using 1st finger on 1st and 2nd row and 4th only when it comes in handy on 4th row firstly 3) using 1st on 1st row firstly and 4th as often as possible on 3rd and 4th rows 4) all fingers on all rows The actual fingering recommendations in the Alsepti version are not consequent for any type as I see it and some advice seems merely strange to me, like - 2nd bar 5th note Bb using 4 is possible only IF the 4th is long enough. - 3rd bar 4th note B using 2 on 2nd row is awkward (just teasing the student??) - 7th bar 6th note Eb using 2 here seemingly another riddle Goran Rahm
  3. I hardly think that any of the modern makers will take up this mechanism. Howard Mitchell Depends if you mean an exact copy of it or particular features in principle? It has got two solutions which are not at all strange themselves: 1) a forked stable lever post. The principle has some definite advantages and has been used 2) the periferic located long arm springs. This also has been used. Spring action is 'safe' and causing no friction. Accurate spring force/valve tightness is easily provided. Springs are not interferring with levers or buttons Goran Rahm
  4. Robin:"I wonder if it is the original construction that makes them variable or just that they respond to how well they are looked after." Goran:Since the definite majority of old instruments all people come across have been used, 'reconditioned',repaired....the hearsay about quality features becomes "variable" firstly due to "how well they are looked after".... Very few (if any..) have had instruments in truly original conditions...so what do 'we' know...?!? We can only try to identify, compare and judge each feature by itself and analyse the causes of variations...I'm afraid there are lots of rumours around...
  5. Dear Stephen, no reason to be upset....I am NOT questioning your general expertise in this field and I am the first to welcome your presence in these pages .....and the simplest way to proove THAT is taking advantage of your willingness to share your knowledge with me/us!! This however is definitely not an "academic" 'forum' and I am of course no "expert in concertina history" whatsoever!....you are perfectly welcome to regard me as the ignorant savage bombarding you with any idiotic questions that come up...but without questioning we do not learn.... I also mean that this issue maybe needs a break for a while...this below is not said for 'last-word-ism' just to round off in that case: Stephen:"I had been hoping to share the fruits of more than twenty-five years of research with this community, but you have single-handedly stopped me in my tracks. It is obviously not going to work in this medium, so in future I will go back to publishing only the occasional formal paper." Goran:Sorry about that unfortunate perception of the situation Stephen but I can trust I speak for many who would miss your presence enormously so DO stay!.. and *I* will stay within bars! ....and other topics will come up allowing enjoyable conversations.... I believe you were just unlucky slipping into one of the major riddles in my own 'concertina history book' making my eagerness to find a quick and simple answer a little manic.... Stephen:"If the 1829 Patent did not cover the concertina, as you state, why did nobody else, in "England, Wales and the Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed", start to make them until 1844, the very year it expired ? " Goran: I don't state it...C. Wheatstone himself 'did' by formulations 1829 and 1844. The patent 1829 covered the 'particular 2+2 row keyboard dividing the diatonic scale on both sides' (my formulation)... Without that 'keyboard' the *concertina* could not be fabricated by others without interferrence with the patent. Goran before:"..What date is the earliest notation of "concertina" in the ledgers?" Stephen:"Sorry ! I took your question to be a straightforward one, I did not realise that it too was disingenuous. Now you have made your meaning clear to me : To the best of my recollection the word Concertina is never mentioned in any of the Wheatstone ledgers, so using that "evidence", and taking your argument to its reductio ad absurdum : The concertina was never invented, never patented and never manufactured. Therefore it cannot exist ! " Goran:This above misunderstandings exemplify why it is so important to make proper formulations of a 'theory/hypothesis' and the requirements for proof. It really is not easy to create 'understanding' : 1) no generally accepted definition of the term *concertina* exists 2) consequently one will always be limited so some sort of 'working definition' 3) the historic/occasional use of the term therefore needs to be referred to 2) in any sort of successful analytical communication 4) the origin(s) of the term is not known (secondary documentation exists) 5) the common meaning(s) of the term have changed from 1830s to now On top of that it certainly happens that I misunderstand and misuse the english language....!:-) Cheer up Stephen! Goran Rahm
  6. Rich, Any maker?...what are the keys?? Pitch? Any sensible reason for the 5 sides...and where have they hidden the reeds (common reed plate(s)? and where does the mechanism go? Goran
  7. QUOTE (Göran) While playing (as fast as possible) in the lowest octave your hand "configuration" is not supposed to "change dynamically" at all...no excuse... Jim:"My sarcastic response: You, Göran, as the world's most proficient and acclaimed performer on the concertina, know all about what works best!" Goran:You don't even need to have touched the concertina for playing yourself to know how the above "works" Jim. Concerning the relevant knowledge in this particular field I have suggested some times before that either you could read some elementary book or consult some physician, nurse, physical therapist or athletics instructor who you trust to learn some more anatomy, physiology... Jim:"But I also constantly make adjustments to the position and motion of the instrument as I play, for purposes of expression, but also to distribute both the effort of playing and the opportunity to relax across many different muscles and joints. In the long run, I believe that this increases control -- by exercising as many muscles as possible, -- while it also reduces fatigue." Goran: Probably fairly correct...but what has that got to do with the issue...? What do you want to say with it?? and what on Earth do you mean by "*I* also conctantly make adjustments...."EVERYONE does that!!! but IF you play 'the lowest notes' - 'in the lowest row' - 'in the lowest octave' you have to maintain the position with the extended wrist and flexed fingers which is different from when playing 'the highest' notes - 'in the highest row' - 'in the highest octave' OR like Joe suggested if the whole keyboard was relocated further towards the 'top'....in the later case being able to maintain a position with neutral wrist position and less flexed fingers. In all a position demanding less static load and that is one point..another being the mentioned more direct tendon pathway which will offer less friction, greater efficiency and greater maximal speed (unless excessive pressing load on he button in this case interferes by greater momentum of stretched fingers and may induce a different optimal position of them) (The later issue comes up for piano playing but hardly with concertinas....except possibly for an individual with quite low muscular power...a relevant additional question....) QUOTE (Göran) QUOTE (Jim) Note that in my description, I do not claim any extreme flexing. Extremes aren't necessary. I am relaxed. I "cock" my wrists, and I gently arch my hands and fingers. Goran:"I just don't believe it until I see it " Jim:"So what? You can disbelieve the law of gravity, for all I care." Goran:You ought to care more that I don't believe what YOU said....:-) Present a photo by all means! Jim:"However, I think it would be worthwhile to hear of others' experiences and opinions regarding the matter. (That's why I started a new Topic.) " Goran:Not mine though I guess.... so I controlled myself for a couple of days..... Goran Rahm
  8. Moving the button pattern up on the treble would help the english player reach speed. Joe QUOTE (Göran) You are as always regarding yourself and your performance Jim as the rule for everything. When Joe said that playing would be faster in the upper part than the lower this probably was not referring only to the playing of Jim Lucas! Jim:"And I didn't say it was. Once again, Göran, you are misrepresenting what others have said. Joe isn't arguing with me, you are." Goran:Nonsense! You replied before to Joe that this above did not include YOU... But true: Joe has not argued with YOU..only YOU with him..see any difference? I said (Jim): QUOTE I haven't met any competent players of the English who have difficulty playing tunes "up to speed" on a responsive instrument. I further said(Jim): QUOTE ...there are numerous other concertina players of my acquaintance whose playing is just as fast in the lower button range as in the upper. Goran:Possibly correct so far.... but this naturally says nothing about the true matter which you ought to understand...so you are just obstinate, searching an excuse for a meaningless debate, fight, or excuse for 'saying something' whatever... You said: QUOTE (Goran) ...it is technically not possible to achieve the same speed in the lowest as highest octave... To which I responded: QUOTE (Jim) Theoretically, I suppose there could be a difference, but at performance speed -- even on fast Irish reels -- it's insignificant. Goran: Who's performance ?? The one of JL of course!?? Everything else is "theoretical"...? Jim:"The only speed that matters is speed while playing music, and I claim that a skilled concertina player can play quickly enough in even the lowest register to do ornamented fast Irish reels or Baroque violin pieces at proper speed. I myself can certainly do so, and can play some Irish reels at speeds which good fiddlers consider too fast." Goran: "I myself can certainly do so"...and you are not referring to yourself????? Does not matter....you can not *play as fast*! (this was the original issue..now you suddenly are into "Irish reels or Baroque violin...)..unless you are a very *slow* player both in the top and the lower part...:-) The prerequisites for this statement of course are that YOU do play as YOU have described by holding your (standard treble ) concertina with a grip between your thumb and little finger, bend (extend)your wrist back and bend your fingers to reach the lowest notes. (This is the meaning of what you said...find the original text if you like) Have you revised your opinion on the 'technical' difference between lowest and highest octave too??...:-) You do have some baritones...have a go...! And don't play your reels...just make some trills with two fingers that is more compareable... Well you can play your reels on a treble and a baritone of course for a comparison....Speed it up...otherwise you may not notice the difference and just get back saying triumphantly: 'There is no difference, not with my playing!!'...... Goran Rahm
  9. Due to an occasional fit of consideration I will try being short in order hopefully to give you a chance getting on with more urgent matters Stephen....Stalled or not I propose again that maybe putting in print some formulations of our respective 'theories' and the requirements for prooving them could give structure to continuing research. This in turn might have the direction of being either purely descriptive or analytical... QUOTE (Goran) What reliability do the statements below have.... from the 1950s catalogue, the blue one: "1825 The 24 key Symphonium invented" Stephen: "11) I have already said that this is incorrect." QUOTE "1829 The 24 key "English" Concertina Invented and patented" Stephen:"12) In essence this is correct, as the first form of the "symphonium with bellows" appears in the 1829 Patent. It is inconsequential that the more developed instrument, bearing the name concertina, did not appear for another 4 years." Goran:Hmmm.... 1) Now I'm confused...have we not sort of agreed that there are in reality NO PATENTS registred either for the *instrument* Symphonium or for the *instrument* Concertina....?? The patents BOTH (one relating to the Symphonium 1829 and one to the Concertina 1844) ARE explicitely claiming ONLY the specified keyboard layouts and some other "improvements" of the said *instruments* NOT the complete devices as such I am not 'picky' about this.. just trying to be correct 2) Technically speaking the description and attached figure in the 1829 papers hardly ought to be approved as sufficient material to claim rights for the 'complete device'....and this is NOT done either!!... Very precisely expressed in the text. My *interpretation* of this situation is that later on Wheatstone(s) (the firm) themselves or journalists and other authors have misunderstood/misinterpreted the implications of the patents....and this in turn is colouring 'our' view on it all... QUOTE "1835 The earliest 48 key concertina in existence" (single action) Stephen:"13) The first 48-key in the ledgers is number 154, sold to Mr. Purdy, 22 Oct. 1837, but they are not a complete record of production, so there could have been an earlier one." Goran:Excuse me...have I missed a reply...? I asked before:...What date is the earliest notation of "concertina" in the ledgers? Goran Rahm
  10. I actually find it quite saddening that childish jokes like my recent one on the finger length results in any replies or comments AT ALL... I made it so absolutely idiotic I possibly could since the (purposeless) remark that provoked it asked for maximum of silliness but why continue??? Really?!? We do have very interesting, informative and progressive exchanges of knowledge and ideas in these forums on and off and some humouristic points now and then are of course natural and welcome but SHAPE UP FOLKS ! ...it is so easy to step down to junior school or baracks room jokes, pub or party small talk, nonsense limericks or alike....and it may be ever so enjoyable ..for a while...but is that what we are in here for?....Or the semantic nitpicking that seems inevitable as soons as there is the most distant excuse or when constructive arguments dry up.... I know I have irritated a few and tired some others with repeated presentation of views which are interferring with tradition, nostaligia, affection for the instrument and its origin and most of all individual satisfaction with playing habits. Just to put a couple of things in place almost nothing of this is is 'my ideas' as some make it.... Most of the questioning of the 'established ways' has come up in many various forms before and the motives have hardly been to irritate people but presenting possibilities for improvements. Is the 'concertina community' a static sort of club with the main interest focused on the 1830s and on conservative adoration of the originator (s).... while those in fact were progressive technicians who started something of a social revolution in music life??!? Paradoxal I think..... Keep in mind that many novelties in history pass three phases of development: - being ridiculed - being resisted - being selfevident..... Goran Rahm
  11. Stephen:"My interpretation of the first two paragraphs [with an explanatory addition] follows : *The English Concertina was invented by Professor Charles Wheatstone, (afterwards Sir Charles Wheatstone) and was first introduced to Public notice [by Giulio Regondi, in Dublin,] in June 1834. The first Instrument was sold to Capt: Gardnor of the 2nd Life Guards in 1833, it was then called the "Symphonion" with bellows, and not until December the 27th in that year was it named the Concertina.* I cannot prove it, of course, but it is based on my research of source documentation and is not just wild speculation." Goran:Very sorry Stephen but if we don't get more hard substance we seem stalled here... Roylance thus should be reponsible for - miswriting 1834 for 1838 for the "introduction" - not knowing the year of the Gardner purchase - not knowing or misreferring concerning the year of naming Mr Roylance reliability as a source looks a bit unsecure.... Your own additional research is of great importance but I do get the impression we are still putting a jigsaw puzzle together without yet knowing the final picture.... QUOTE Goran: Nevertheless it would have been bloody insulting to use exactly the same 'name' UNLESS it was more or less accepted as a general term! Particularly between business collegues as Alexandre and the Wheatstones seemingly were. Stephen:"But it was going on all the time ! Also, there was nothing Wheatstone could do to prevent it, even if he had wished to." Goran:Sure...but it would be so startling that you would expect things to develop otherwise. Skip the talk about 'patenting names' and so on which is not relevant. Like I have said 'the option of naming/baptizing an invention' is so decisive for the identification, 'honour' of inventorship, advertising market value, 'role' in history, and so on.... Like You Stephen rightly has remarked....often the patent rights are merely a formal - not a real - hinder for others to profit on a novelty. Legal procedures and fights for benefits of patents are innumerable, in some segments 'the normal thing' *Names* is 'hard stuff' also when not possible to take legal proceedings against...and patent or not you *may* still do that and even earn some money on it....not unusual at all. Today....I don't know about 1833 but that has been happening longer than so... I remain wondering... QUOTE Stephen:"The name "Accordion" appears in Demian's Patent, but, as we have seen, it didn't prevent that name from being applied to the first German concertinas and being used by many others." Goran: True! ...Known! ...BUT: do we have ANY knowledge about the term *accordion* having been used at all prior to Demians own hand (!?) formulation in his patent application?? Stephen:"No" Goran: And that is why we still with good conscience keep on referring to Demian as the originator of the term *Accordion*....(well aware that it meant something different than mostly assumed....) Stephen:"On the question of Charles Wheatstone having allegedly "patented" the name "Symphonium", it is worth adding that the firm thereafter always used the spelling "Symphonion", in all their publications, thus seemingly negating any alleged "patent" claim." Goran:Not for ever evidently....Any idea when they started printing *Symphonium* again?? What reliability do the statements below have.... from the 1950s catalogue, the blue one: "1825 The 24 key Symphonium invented" "1829 The 24 key "English" Concertina Invented and patented" "1835 The earliest 48 key concertina in existence" (single action) Goran Rahm
  12. well ...Chris....humility certainly may be in place both when being right and when being wrong but maybe first of all when not being knowledgeable Goran
  13. In these days of truly marvelous cosmetic and corrective surgery and given the unwillingness of those who actually play the concertina to change to an, as yet unavailable, 'ergotina', perhaps you could write a design brief (with thumbnail sketches if not scale drawings, of course) for a Surgeon to re-model the human hand to suit existing vintage instruments. Dave Goran:That is so simple it needs no sketches Dave....You just chop the ends of fingers 1-3 off at the distal joint and their length will be close enough to the 4th. Loosening the connective tissue links between tendons of 3rd and 4th fingers might help but being a bit hazardous...I'm afraid you introduce requirements for still some more modifications of the instrument as well...
  14. Lester:"I have found that finger strength affects the speed at which I am able to play. I have used a guitarist's finger exerciser to increase the strength. After a number of weeks of usage my playing speed increased significantly. I also found my little finger was better able to cope with long playing sessions. Pre-emptive strike for Goran - No I have no scientific proof of this it is all purely subjective, and yes it may well only work for me, and I am in no way involved in the manufature, sale or benefit in any other way from the sale of such items " Goran:We discussed this at length long ago Lester. Keep in mind now like then that your own perception of "increased strength" is not an unambiguous matter. Secondly the relation between *possible* increase of strength and your playing speed is not that easily evaluated either.....not for yourself...not for someone else... "Scientific" or "subjective" ...in both cases the observation(s) are so vague that sadly enough it is very hard to *know* anything what is going on! Again: I do NOT question your impression as such and of course this is something positive for you...WHAT the explanation for it is is the tricky matter. It is long ago we had the discussion before. Can you today tell 1) how long have you used the exerciser 2) for how long 'sessions' and how frequent 3) have you increased the resistance to the max and when did you do that? 4) have you measured your - maximal contraction power before you started with the device and now - the endurance for repeated contractions before and now 5) have you measured your "playing speed" before and now Goran Rahm
  15. Jim:"Theoretically, I suppose there could be a difference, but at performance speed -- even on fast Irish reels -- it's insignificant. If it exists at all, it's less than the impedance of the action (button, lever, spring), so it has no effect." Goran:You are as always regarding yourself and your performance Jim as the rule for everything. When Joe said that playing would be faster in the upper part than the lower this probably was not referring only to the playing of Jim Lucas! The resources for playing speed will be greater 1) in the upper part of the keyboard because mechanical circumstances all working in the same direction favour it 2) with the hand in a more relaxed mean position, wrist in slightly extended position and fingers stretched or just lightly bent What YOU personally means, believes or says you are doing is not that interesting. If you got a report from some dozen(s) players having tried it out it would be of greater interest... QUOTE (Goran) Furthermore it is technically not possible to achieve the same speed in the lowest as highest octave anyway due to mechanism and reed action so your previous statement regarding same performance is not conceivable for that reason either... this however requires of course that the speed actually exceeds the limiting values... Jim:"And with a good instrument, playing speed doesn't exceed those limiting values. The reeds, even the lowest baritone reeds, on a good Æola, Albion, etc. respond more quickly than either the player's fingers or the action. Goran:Not correct.... I would say that your observance seems peculiar Jim... QUOTE (Jim) the problem... described does not exist for me... Goran:I don't believe it. Jim:"This is just one of many things about my playing -- "problems" I don't experience, which you insist I must; techniques I use comfortably and as a matter of course -- which you have, over time, stated that you "don't believe". I'm pleased to report that my experience does not appear to be dependent upon your belief." Goran:The best guess I have is that you are fooling yourself... QUOTE ...you likely are mistaken or deceiving yourself Jim:"And I don't believe that. I'm not even going to go into my usual diatribe about the fact that you are, in effect, saying that I'm either not competent to observe my own experiences (and the performance of others) or lying, or both. I don't really care." Goran: Why then do you object?? I suggest that you have it publicly demostrated though that 1) you (and others) can play as fast in the position you have described before for reaching the lowest buttons as at the top of the keyboard 2) you (and others) can play as fast on a baritone in the lowest octave as the highest If I understood you right the above is what you say you do...? Goran Rahm
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