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Little John

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About Little John

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    Chatty concertinist

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  1. It's a pair of microphones arranged so their heads cross at right angles - pretty much what you have on your Zoom recorder.
  2. It would be every bit as big a problem with English concertinas, where any scale bounces back and forth each note. But on any concertina, pointing one microphone at each end and then panning them to separate stereo channels will sound unnatural. I'd have thought the solution was to use a crossed pair. You'd get a more natural sound without the dullness that comes of mixing down to mono.
  3. I like the idea of a simple microphone I can plug into my iPhone to improve the quality of the sound. This one seems to be mono only. Is there a stereo equivalent?
  4. I tend to let the instrument drop naturally, held essentially by the thumb end of the strap, as illustrated in this video. Nevertheless, I prefer to rest the right end on my right thigh if possible. It gives me better control. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv9oLUYlX-O/ LJ
  5. Not just really big instruments. My 43-button Wheatstone bass is built this way which makes it quite compact (and really responsive). It's a slightly stretched hexagon measuring 7 1/2 inches across face in the smaller dimension and just under 8 1/2 inches across the others.
  6. Ah, now you're getting philosophical! My answer is that ridges have a "positive" quality about them. You can see them and count them even when the bellows are closed. Valleys have a "negative" quality. You can't even see them when the bellows are closed. I suggest it's against human nature to count something you can't see. The value of a convention/custom is that, logical or not, more-or-less everyone knows what you mean. Logic and convention sometimes collide when describing anglo concertinas. The description "32-button anglo" is logically correct, but in counting the air button a
  7. It's conventional to count the number of ridges (excluding the ends) rather than the valleys. The latter would be more logical, but it's not the custom! See my earlier post. If it's the tolerance of the reeds there's nothing you can do about it, but if it's the set of the reeds it's fixable. It could also be the valves.
  8. Coincidentally, John Kirkpatrick named the the lament he wrote for Andrew's funeral "Shiner". Why did it take so long to have a headstone put up?
  9. When I was young I heard Alf accompanying A L Lloyd on records my mother played. It was almost certainly my introduction to the sound of the concertina. Alf also did some great accompaniments to Frank Harte; for example this one. Unfortunately YouTube doesn't credit him but my vinyl copy does.
  10. Nice crisp left hand playing! The balance is good too, although that may have been achieved through the recording.
  11. I'm surprised at this. The beating reeds used in organs have a much bigger air gap than a free reed, so one might expect it to take even longer to build up sufficient amplitude to start beating (the equivalent of entering the slot). With mouth-blown beating reeds (clarinet, saxophone) the lips and/or tongue can be used to hasten the process, but not in a pipe organ. One reason why organ builders might prefer beating reeds to free reeds is ease of tuning. A little wire slider runs up and down the beating reed to tune it and this can be adjusted without removing or dismantling the pi
  12. Very nice! I particularly enjoyed the second tune. I am a bit puzzled about the name of the first tune. It's not the Lyke Wake Dirge I'm familiar with and yet, when I looked on The Session, your version is the only one shown. A similar search on YouTube yields several renditions of the tune I know by that name; for example this one by the Young Tradition.
  13. Not that funny and old fashioned. I was taught to write like that only 60 years ago!
  14. It's my understanding that choice of subject is the mason's own - so probably a mason who played concertina, or at any rate liked concertinas.
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