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Little John

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. What a fascination and lucky discovery! As regards obtaining a Crane duet, you could try asking in the buy and sell section of this forum and/or you could try Barleycorn Concertinas. They have the largest selection of concertinas for sale in the world and are not too far from you. That said, Cranes are comparatively rare and Barleycorn might have only one or two, or even none at all!
  2. To add to this, you'll probably need a small duet to keep within your budget. All small instruments have limitations of one sort or another, though you can usually work within them. Small Haydens have some missing accidental notes (as DaveRo mentions above). Small Maccanns (39 and 46 buttons) start at G4 (G above middle C) on the right hand, which means the lower notes of several dance tunes and hymns/songs are missing. All Cranes start at C3 (octave below middle C) on the left and C4 (middle C) on the right and proceed chromatically from there, though some higher notes you need might be missing. A 42-button Crane as indicated by Alex is a pretty useable instrument. In fact such an instrument was the basis for the 44 and 45 button instruments he subsequently made for me. I learned on a 35 button Crane, which are more common than 42s, and certainly affordable.
  3. To me the obvious chords to try would be G or Dm. Or a simple countermelody. Yes, it's very different, but not for the reason you suggest. The guitar is strong on percussive sound and (relatively) weak on pitch, so note clashes like C - D can sound OK or even positively effective. The concertina is very much stronger on pitch, and clashes come out as exactly that, unless they are obviously and quickly resolved (as for example in a suspended 4th.)
  4. I completely agree. Easier for anyone, come to that. I think it's important to be aware that each version is very EC oriented. Parallel thirds are very easy on the English so it's natural to use this as the starting point for harmony. But a different arrangement might suit the Anglo better. Don't make life difficult by slavishly following an arrangement that doesn't suit the instrument! For example, on the Crane duet parallel thirds are awkward but parallel tenths are easy and achieve the same musical effect. There are so many valid options for harmonisation possible whilst staying within the same harmonic framework.
  5. True, but with C# in the melody you need only A and E in the bass to give an A major chord. Actually, on some occasions one might use an F# minor chord instead. (I don't know how feasible this is on either the Traveller or a 30 button Anglo. I'm a Crane player myself.)
  6. The extra button is a C# which allows you to play in the key of D major. There are plenty of English dance tunes in this key so I don't see it as a specifically Irish feature.
  7. It brought to mind The 29th of May, but on listening again they are rather different. LJ
  8. I can understand both sentiments you express, but it's interesting that you haven't actually answered either of David's two questions: LJ
  9. As far as I know from discussions on this forum, there is only one 5CC instrument in existence, found in Vienna. I don't know how long the owner has had it, or if he/she plays it much. So I fear you are doomed to disappointment on that front. That's what I concluded after tapping my fingers on the table whilst looking at the note layout. RaC went one better and tried it out using a tablet-based midi synthesiser to explore it. He concluded the same. Unfortunately we've both spent too long playing Cranes to make it worth changing; but in your position I'd jump at it. Go for it!
  10. I don't think so. It's based on the same principle as the piano and the English concertina in having a core scale of C major with the accidentals close to their associated naturals. It's really a development of the English system but allowing for a full chromatic scale on each hand. It is, in theory, possible to play in any key on the Crane, but in practice it becomes a bit more difficult (less intuitive) once you go beyond a couple of sharps or flats. Your drawing of the "classic layout" is slightly misleading. The accidental next to C is C#, not Db, and similarly for some (but not all) of the other notes. This might sound like splitting hairs, but it does make a difference. On the English system the naturals occupy the two centre columns and the accidentals the outer two columns. So C# will be consistently adjacent to C. There is no Db (the note adjacent to D is D#) so if you needed that note you would have to use C# instead, which would seriously disrupt the normal fingering pattern (being on the opposite hand). Similar issues occur with the Crane; most obviously where in the lower octave D# is adjacent to D but an octave higher only Eb is available. This likewise disrupts the normal fingering pattern (though not as seriously as can occur on the English) because you can't apply the principle of simply moving to the adjacent button for the accidental.
  11. The idea that one's little finger is too weak or too slow to play a concertina seems widespread, but misguided. The pressure required on a button is only about 3 ounces (80 grams). Even a small child could manage that. I play a Crane duet but much the same considerations apply as for Hayden. You can play with only three fingers, but you deny yourself much flexibility by doing so. Someone else mentioned the common D - G start of many tunes. On the Crane it's so easy if you use the little finger for D and the ring for G. You're then ready for anything that follows There are plenty of other examples. I would strongly recommend any duet player (whatever system it is) or anglo player to practice from the start using the little finger. Little John.
  12. OK. These two bits of information each suggest about 9 to 10 man-weeks per concertina. (I'm making the assumption part-time means half-time.)
  13. Assuming a 37-hour week (but I bet you work more!) that works out at about 3 to 4 weeks. So if anything, less that the month Notetaker suggested.
  14. Aye, but those who are lucky enough to have one of your instruments appreciate the attention to detail and know it is worth the wait. LJ
  15. Fair point! What I was getting at is that all Cranes from 35 to 55 buttons have a consistent layout starting at C4 on the right (and C3 on the left). Once you go beyond 55 buttons there's no consistency of additional note choice or button position. Some have an extra low row (sounds like yours does); some have a few extra buttons positioned in a sixth column or under the left thumb; etc.
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