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Noel Ways

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  1. Look closely at the first concertina at the link below and you will note BOTH doomed and flat buttons. The doomed are C and E. Everything else are flat buttons. The reason that I did it this way is to have a system help me know where I am on the keyboard. (the concertina shown is the one I had purchased and use). http://www.concertinaconnection.com/peacock.htm Therefore, every song I play, day after day, year after year, I am using both. So what is the difference - not much !! But there are some slight advantages to both. Rounded: when I have a finger on one button, but am going to need that same finger play another note (but not interrupt the sound playing), I will need to quickly replace the finger with another. A rounded key makes this transition easier. Flat: When it is hot out, and one's hands begin to get a bit sweaty, the moistened fingers can more easily slip off of rounded keys than flat keys. Regarding using both way I did in the image shown, this has been minimally useful for navigation purpses, but I do think it looks nice. And I do suspect, if I really trained myself, it could be much more useful as a navigation tool. If I were FORCED to choose one over the other, I would probably go with flat keys as my fingers will be more apt to on the keys and not slip off. Hope this helps.
  2. Hi It sounds to me like you have a humidity problem that is effecting the wood reed pan by ever-so-slightly changing shape with changing humidity. I do have this problem with my concertina, where I will get buzzing sounds when it is really dry or very humid. The way that I control this is that when the concertina is not in use, I will store it in an air-tight container with a Saturated Salt solution in another small plastic container in an isolated area to control the relative humidity. Here is a chart that will help to determine what salt to use for a maintaining a desired relative humidity: http://www.omega.com/temperature/z/pdf/z103.pdf There are many more articles on the web for this subject, and several that addresses musical instruments, such as violins. (Google: "relative humidity saturated salt") The fact that this is happening to a cluster on notes on one side strongly suggests that humidity is the issue; and if it is happening on the push and pull - then think HUMIDITY !!
  3. I started out renting an Elise from But.Box, which I eventually purchased. This was followed by the Peacock two years later. While the Peacock was certainly an improvement, it has not been an easy road. I live in New England in an older home that does not have good environmental control inside. Therefore, when it is dry outside, it is dry inside, and when it is humid outside, it is humid inside. Now the Peacock. The sound board is one solid piece of choice wood ideal for the purpose for which it is used, except that this piece of wood is quite sensitive to humidity changes. At the beginning of this winter, when things began to really dry out, the sound board responded by changing it's shape and allowing air to pass other notes, causing multiple notes to play, as well as other tonal changes - to the point where the instrument became unplayable. I contacted Wim, who immediatly diagnosed the problem, and I sent the instrument back to him which he corrected and then sent it back me; with instructions that I had to control the humidity carefully. To this end, when the instrument is not in use, it is kept in an enclosed air tight container with a satruated Calcium carbonate salt solution in a remote part of the chamber resulting in a relative humidity that is maintained in the low 40s%. This has worked very well. When I do take it out to play, which I do daily, if it is VERY dry out, the instrument will handle this for close to an hour until tonal changes again begin to occur, at which point I must put it back into the chamber and "let it rest". I know that other concertinas (such as the Baumount) will use a plywood for a sound board, which is less succeptable to humidity changes. So, when choosing which instrument to use, consider the environmental conditions that the instrument will be subject to. If you live in fairly stable environmental conditions, a traditional sound board may be best. If you live in an environment with wildly fluctuating envonmental conditions, perhaps a sound board made of quality plywood would be best. Finally, the left side of the Peacock would often drown out the right side. So to fix this I placed into the concertina a baffle on the left side that has proved extremely effective. With the two above issues addressed, the Peacock has been an instrument that I now enjoy playing; but it has been a learning curve for me on how to care for and work with a musical instrument. I have never played the Baumount, but perhaps the above would help in figuring out what to choose.
  4. Hello Mathew, This is the first time in my life ever responding to a forum or blog, but I think I can contribue here. I too play a hayden concertina (Peacock). And the instrument is the first concertina pictured on: http://www.concertinaconnection.com/peacock.htm If you look at the picture closely, you will note that the C and E buttons are doomed and the others are flat - this for NAVIGATION purposes. The difference in feel is minute, but discernable when one is focused and looking for it. I have also considered gluing some "diamonds" similar to the what is done on the C chord on the accordian base. These can be found at: http://www.beadaholique.com/c-64707-crystal-rhinestones.aspx This I have not done, but may consider this in the future. Hope this helps !
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