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Noel Ways

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Everything posted by Noel Ways

  1. Here are a few odd points. Keep fingernails trimmed - can damage finish around buttons. Protect from wild changes in environmental humidity - important if the soundboard is not plywood. If I recall from Edgley's web site he will make his concertinas with both "traditional soundboard" or a plywood soundboard, depending upon what the customer requests. Find out what your soundboard is made of. Give Frank Edgley a call with concertina number and ask him for his thoughts. If the finish is really nice, not a bad idea to wash and remove sweat, oil, etc from hands before playing it. Store in a place where is protected BUT readily accessible. If it is hidden away, practice time may go down or even stop as the months wane into years. Seek out all the concertina care threads on this site - there are MANY !! A good resource is https://www.amazon.com/Concertina-Maintenance-Manual-David-Elliott/dp/1899512675 If there is a particular surface where there is more potential for abrasion, such as the surface that is on the lap; rubbing a little bit of beeswax of that particular surface can reduce friction, or at least protect the finish somewhat. Keep away from sunlight and extreme heat as in a car in parking lot. Hope these random points help.
  2. Your woman friend needs one of these: https://www.cafepress.com/mf/109846944/ask-about-my-concertina-skills_mugs
  3. Two bad habits that I need to constantly avoid: Practicing too fast. If one practices a piece slowly and correctly, this saves steps. Once mastered slowly the tempo can be increased. Not using a metronome. There is a tendency for me to go slowly during more difficult sections and pick speed for the easier parts. I have found if left unchecked the speed differences may become habits. I think for the listener this can be unnerving. I can think of others, but these are my big two. A metronome is a good investment if you do not already have one. Noel
  4. Scroll down to the end of this link and you will see some very interesting and very small reeds. http://www.philharmonicas.com/philharmonicas.html The accompanying videos by Philharmonicas demonstrate the quality of the reeds. I am curious if concertina makers think that such reeds deserve consideration for use in possibly piccolo concertinas, or otherwise ?!?!
  5. Aaron wrote this sometime ago for the wedding of a personal friend of his. I had contacted him about it about 5 years ago, and he sent it to me. I had contacted Aaron through: http://www.amarcus.org/marcii/about.php
  6. Thanks for all this input: so much more that meets the eye! Thank you Jim for pointing out the CD. I sampled it, and I agree, it is a thing of beauty. I ordered the CD.
  7. This lady is talented and does a nice job weaving Christmas tunes into her playing towards the end. Does anyone know who she is? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JkbJe70jBs Merry Christmas !
  8. Desi Arnaz plays the concertina !! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCyFEk1MhLM Then again, maybe not. But a bit of history anyway ....
  9. Thank you for the historical vignette above, Will. I am still awestruck ... Yes, please do !! And, THANK YOU in advance.
  10. I am certain that the University of Leeds had certain musical parameters that guided Cohens studies and his selection of music for his final recital. The website may still be just fine. Regardless, I cannot help but conclude that whatever the guiding source of music selection, Cohen rose to the occasion, mastered the music, and raised the bar for many of us. I look forward to following this young man and seeing how he develops musically for the next several decades.
  11. Adrian, You had mentioned that Cohen had sent you a few videos of a concert he'd given in Sheffield. Are these available to us ?
  12. Wow. There is a livestream downloader for Chrome at: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/livestream-downloader/abcociiobbpehgklomfdghmbdmclbmgl?hl=en-US if you would like to download this video. Once it is installed in CHROME, click on the menubar icon and then on videos. There you will find this young musicians name and can download this video. A keeper, indeed ...
  13. I have been using a desktop strobe tuner for some time to evaluate a reed tone when in question: http://www.katsurashareware.com/strobe/strobe.html More recently, I have questioned the software and found a tone generator to test the above software: http://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/ To my surprise, the software seems to have been doing a good job. I ask this because I have a bunch of old accordion reeds that I would like to tune (just for FUN), and was considering a lower end Peterson tuner for the project. Does anyone have any experience / thoughts / opinions regarding online strobe tuners?
  14. Yes. And staccato on a duet works well so that the volume issues are not even noticed. But the nature of a Hayden Duet is that it can also lend itself very well to chordal accompaniment that is legato with two, sometimes more buttons, pressed at the same time. When one wants to do this, issues surface, and volume reduction comes to mind.
  15. Hopefully, by balancing, if the melody shifts from the right side to the left side, one may not notice. The way my concertina has been, both the left and right sides are noticeably different. The goal here is to bring the two sides of this hybrid together. Also, I am not really sure that the word "baffle" is the right word, although we have been using it freely here. I have been using this word as it is the only one I know. But a traditional baffle will change not only the quality of the sound (harmonics) but the quantity of the sound (volume). Here, the goal is to NOT affect the quality, but rather the quantity (volume), by introducing a pressure reducing device. I can appreciate that on your Crane Duet, the melody can shift from right to left side easily. The owner of a high end concertina probalby never needs to give thought to these issues. Their duet is doing what we all expect duets to do. But hybrids, at this point, in my opinion, need tweaking. We are taking accordian reeds and putting them in a box that is not an accordian. I am very grateful for hybrids. As one concertina maker mentioned at one point, they may have prevented the concertina from going into extinction. But I feel that this manufacturing route, at least for me, has created some issues that I am now trying to resolve.
  16. I have next to my computer here a roll or cork, and sheets of felt purchased for pressure reduction purposes. The felt is way too porous. The cork is promising, but I would need to get thicker cork stock. I think woven fabrics would be too porous unless they are perhaps treated some way. But I'm not sure what that would be. Air is a funny thing. Molecules are so small, and air so "fluid" like that it will find and take advantage of any minute hole or passageway to go from one side to another. I think that is why Geoff above (comment #2) was asking about air passing around the edges. There may be more than I suspect. I have also considered porous wood stock (but that would be difficult to insert), and leather - the leather would need to be reinforced. Nevertheless, the cardboard stock is working well and has reduced the pressure/volume on the left side noticeably. The next step is to incrementally increase the pressure on the left side to correct level. Click on graph below. With cardboard stock, this is easy.
  17. Don, The baffle came from normal fibrous card board that I found in a print shop. I saw it there and just asked it I could have it This stock is slightly permeable to air. My test was to put it up to my mouth and try to breathe through it. Air past very very slowly, and with great difficulty. It is dense, indeed. I was OK with this because I figured that the large surface area would compensate. And further, I knew that the permeability could and would be adjusted. Just like the concertina reeds may be tuned by the manufacturer after they are installed, I feel pressure likewise needs to be adjusted once a duet concertina is assembled - at least these hybrids do! With this type of "baffle" (I actually think this is the wrong term for this); once the pressure is low on the left side, it is easy to increase it. One just wants to do this slowly, pinhole by pinhole., testing after each perforation. I can easily envision an adjustable pressure reducing baffle using a slider or diaphragm-like system which would allow more or less pressure depending upon its position. I have been thinking about this for a long time now And .... wouldn't be nice if this was adjustable from outside the concertina !! I can see it. I just hope someone will do it. PS, after more thought, I modified my graph above ... if interested
  18. The small dowels press the baffle against the bellows frame. In addition to keeping them away from the reeds, it also minimizes peripheral leakage. So I imagine, peripheral leakage is minimal. The cardboard stock is porous. Before I choose the cardboard, I checked to make sure that air would pass, but pass with difficulty. If the baffle creates more resistance, then the pressure and volume difference between the two sides would be greater. If the baffle creates less resistance then the difference in the pressure and volume would be reduced. Below is put together a hypothetical graph of what I imagine is happening. Yes, the bass reeds are slower to sound if I use the same bellows pressure as I did before. To compensate, I apply a little more bellows pressure, and the bass reeds sound; and the treble reeds sing with even greater intensity. So, the greater the resistance, the greater the difference in volume of the two sides. I mentioned that I will play it as is for awhile before making the baffle a little more porous. I don't want to make a mistake, but I can see already that there will be a "sweet spot" where the volume difference between the left and right side will be optimal, at a particular acceptable bellows pressue. Graph2.pdf
  19. For many years now I have played with a baffle pressed against the fretwork for lowering the intensity of the left, “bass” side my duet concertina. This has worked well, but it did change the harmonics and nature of the sound to a noticeable (although acceptable) degree. I have now inserted a different type of baffle that does not affect the harmonics (at least to my ear) but definitely lowers the volume. It is a great and effective improvement. Pictures follow. What I did was to put a pressure reducing barrier between the bellows and the left side of the concertina plates. The baffle “breaths” and allows the left side to sound, but with less pressure and therefore with less volume. And since it is deeper in the concertina, away from the fretwork, the quality of the sound seems to be the same as if there were no baffle, but now just softer. The pressure reducing barrier (good stock cardboard) is reinforced for wooden ribbing to prevent flexing when under pressure. Also, there are a few dowels to keep it away from the reeds. I am going to play it like this for several weeks, if I find that I might like the left side to be a little louder, I may apply one VERY small pin hole to allow more air to pass, and therefore increase the pressure/volume. I could add small pin holes as necessary. Such a simple insert, yet is as if I have a new and better instrument. Definitely sounds more balanced and better !! Click on pictures below to enlarge
  20. I just read another stolen concertina story. I imagine we all are pained and even perhaps feel the loss when we hear of such incidents. I know I do. I have been thinking about something for quite some time now and suppose that it is worth putting on the table at this point. But the technology for identifying things has grown enormously. We "chip" our cats and dogs. We attach "tiles" to out key rings. There are now GPS units to track almost everything. And I am sure that there are other technologies that I am not aware of. AND, in most cases, these can be hidden or are at least unobtrusive. Has anyone ever thought of or tried using such a system with their concertina. For example a "chip" or tile or something else hidden inside the bellows, or under the inside lining of a concertina case? I was looking at one type of unit by the company: https://store.thetrackr.com/ Here, if you lose something, EVERYONE on who has the system will be alerted if it should come in close proximity to their iPhone etc. if they have the app. It is their unit, “bravo”; and as part of the bundle, there is a system for alerting the owner. I once had an incident where a student of mine lost their iPhone, and we went to a computer in the next room and followed the phone down the highways, into the streets, and into a home. We knew the city, street, and house into which unit went (thankfully, here, it was an innocent mistake and everything worked out just fine). There must be a cost-effective way of tracking lost concertinas !! Any thoughts?? And, thanks in advance.
  21. I found a Renaissance tune, gracefully played, and which I think would sound really nice on the concertina. The musician playing it, does not know who wrote it as he had learned it many many years ago and has since lost some of the details. If you have any idea the title and/or author I would be most thankful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiWfvVbVPbg Thanks in advance !!
  22. Jeff Warner might know ... I note that Jeff and Rob have played together.
  23. A musical treat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqIaCOyHLlg Nice job, Mike Agranoff !!
  24. Here's another delightful example of Rob Webb's talent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GHWCbMTHpY
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