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Wendy PNW

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  1. What does it say about me that for a split second I misread this as "Concertina Pornography?"
  2. Houston, we have a concertina! Thank you all for your input and encouragement. I am now the proud and happy mom of a bouncing baby 37-key Morse & Co. Albion English concertina. Alas, my initial efforts at learning to play are slightly hampered by a recent and grievous kale-related injury to the tip of my left index finger. Hopefully all the dark leafy greens I've consumed over the course of my life will pay some dividends now in terms of rapid healing. I'm setting about the task of learning to play my little Alby very methodically with books and vids, but since my fingers keep finding random snippets of "Farther Along" (AKA "If You Were To Wake Up" by Lyle Lovett), I'm also working on that by ear -- simple tune, easy harmonies, and gorgeous on the concertina even when played by a sore-fingered absolute beginner who can't name the chords she's playing. Why did I wait so long?
  3. Here are a few players who are pushing the limits of polyphony on the EC. Randy Stein - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtTs16D_qTo Danny Chapman - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1VW2HEZzbs Dick LaVine - http://jodykruskal.com/player_profile/dick-lavine.html Holy cow! Danny Chapman's "Rat in the Bed" is terrific! Thanks!
  4. OK, another request: could someone please post a link or two that show pretty much the maximum polyphonic potential for an EC? Thanks.
  5. Everything and nothing, depending on exactly what the instrument is, and there's a lot of complicated history to it. But, keeping it brief and simple, in the 1890s Wheatstone's then owner, Edward Chidley snr., introduced a new "artistic" model of concertina (that was still hexagonal in shape) with a sweet tone that he named the Aeola and, following his death, his son redesigned the Aeola in the early 1900s, making it octagonal in shape and considerably louder.. Those later, octagonal, Aeolas are the instrument of choice for many of us. Thanks. Suppose I specifically want a relatively quiet instrument (so as not to rile the neighbors too much, at least not until I can actually play) -- any recommendations? Would a relatively quiet concertina be more prone to "skipping" notes? (From watching youtube videos it seems sometimes players press a button without actually producing a sound.) Also can you recommend any books? Is there anything that's considered "required reading" in terms of history and development?
  6. Ha. What, me? No, never. Impossible. (She said, casting a guilty eye over her dozen or so flutes, recorders and whistles.)
  7. Well, why not? Where in the Pacific Northwest are you? Quite likely there are concertina players near enough for you to meet up and have a try and discussion. (Then you can come back here for discussion of your discussion. ) The only "why not" is simply that there are so many options and I'm dithering while my better (practical) and worse (extravagant) angels duke it out. I'm in the greater Portland/Seattle metropolitan area -- lots of concertinas and concertina players around, but again I'm just dithering. Talking to people online has been an easy first step. (Hvor i Danmark er du? Jeg bodde i Oslo i fire fantastiske år for omtrent [herregud] tjue år siden.)
  8. Thanks. It's just that the pretty ones are so... pretty! Your point is well taken though.
  9. Thanks. It's certainly a joy to listen to. What's the significance of the number of sides?
  10. Thanks! Your mention of plusses, minuses, and whole new discussions actually made me chuckle. Over the past few days as I've been starting to do fairly serious (yet so far strictly armchair) research, it's become apparent that the subject of concertinas gets complicated quickly. Having not yet so much as laid a finger on a concertina, I am currently only thinking about folk music, played alone and by ear (and with, therefore, a certain amount of leeway with keys). A Jackie would no doubt be entirely adequate. I can imagine, though, eventually wanting to play with other people and/or playing from notation or tablature -- in which case I'd want an instrument with a greater range than what I might need simply playing the tunes I have in my head. Then again, maybe what I really want is a duet. Better yet, one of everything.
  11. I think the Jackie and Jack are the only 30-button EC's out there (maybe some other Chinese cheapies) and the only book on the subject would be the one that comes with them. But there's plenty of material for EC's in general, primarily 48-buttons. Much of that will apply to the 30 as well. Thanks! Still waffling on whether to go in for a penny or a pound, not only in terms of pennies and pounds but also buttons, but I do feel like I'm close to getting off the pot (not to mix metaphors...). I'm sure I'll soon have my hands on an actual concertina and will no doubt be pestering you all with much more specific and practical questions.
  12. A reasonable compromise might be the Morse Albion, 37 buttons, from the Button Box. More satisfying to play than the Jackie, less expensive than a traditional instrument with concertina reeds. Looks like if I buy a Jackie from the Button Box, I can return it later and apply the price to a new upgrade. I'm currently leaning in that direction.
  13. Yes, it does appear to be a direct translation, not attempting to be singable. The note below that translation interests me: An Armenian friend told me that one of the most known and respected families in Armenia was/is the Ohanessian family, descended from an Irish father and son named O'Hennessey who fought in the Crimean War and then settled in Armenia rather than return home. It seems reasonable that they weren't the only ones to stay behind and that other countries in the region -- e.g., Roumania -- received their share. I will say that I do believe that the same tune can be composed independently more than once, but if this one is atypical in the Roumanian tradition, then an Irish origin seems reasonable. For what it's worth: I've been told that the song is an allegory, with the beautiful maiden representing Ireland herself. I don't know if there's a historical basis for that interpretation of this particular song, except that the same has been said of a number of other Irish songs, with such an image apparently in common use during the times of suppression, when even expressing support for an Irish Ireland was a punishable offense. The notion that this song could be allegorical makes a great deal of sense to me, based on what seems to be a mismatch between the emotional "weight" of the tune vs. that of the lyrics (and again, assuming the translation at makem.com is literal).
  14. What is it that makes a Jackie sound sort of wheezy/gaspy and... I don't know... nasal (?) compared to a really fine instrument? What role does the number of bellows folds play? How about materials? Reeds? Opinions about the best 30-key how-to books?
  15. Thank you very much for the link. So much beautiful music, and the photos make me want to pack a bag.
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