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CelticKnotBook

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About CelticKnotBook

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 11/13/1990

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    Musical interests: 50's, 60's, & 70's "oldies" (Beatles, Billy Joel), hymns, musicals (Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables), Rich Mullins, Johnny Lang, The Divine Comedy, film soundtracks
    General interests: Books, bookbinding, reading, dance (West Coast Swing, ballroom, Argentine Tango, Irish ceili), films, Celtic knotwork, knitting, French
  • Location
    Oregon, USA
  1. Yes, you and all the people on here were very helpful! Thank you!
  2. Ah, I'm glad you put it this way. Some people seem to be using "black note" as a synonym of "accidental" which is only the case if you're in Cmaj or Emin. If you're in Bmaj then none of the black notes are accidentals... I never think of the black keys as inherently accidental, that depends on the key I'm playing in. I have no ear for music. After years of training I was able to distinguish all the intervals within an octave (well, I could usually get it within a couple guesses. And I hated trying to learn it so I've never practiced and will have lost it by now.) But I wouldn't have a clue as to which key the interval was being played in, if could start on a C or a G# for all I knew. (Though if I were to sing the notes I might be able to guess within a couple notes, as JimLucas said, by comfort more than anything. Though I am not a singer.)
  3. The options to 'upgrade' later on where definitely a contributing factor on the decision. But I'm already foreseeing a problem; I'm going to get so emotionally attached to my first instrument that I won't be able to trade it in for another! I'll have to save up to by a second one but keep the first one too. Is the study of economics compatible with purchase of a concertina? I once worked "on Wall Street", but now it's just the concertinas. Well Jim, it is an investment, and, although not garanteed to make a profit, the purchase of a vintage concertina of good pedigree does not usually suffer the depreciations that many other items do. At least ,for me, ownership of these little squeeze boxes has proved to be, or appears to be, gratis... with the help of inflation of course. I have found myself analyzing the structure of the concertina market during the process of looking for one to buy. I wonder if my prof would give me extra credit for that...
  4. And to let all of you lovely and helpful folks know: after much consideration, pro/con lists, and color coded charts (is there any other way to make decisions?) I have chosen! (Wisely, I hope) I am in the process of buying a 46key Wheatstone Maccann duet concertina and I could not be more excited. (Seriously. Giggling may have occurred, and I am not much given to giggling.) Now begins the excruciation process of waiting for it to arrive! (I'll need my piano more than ever in the mean time, just to tide me over!) Though perhaps it is just as well, since I'm smack in the middle of studying for final exams next week... I don't think I'd have the self-control to study economics when I could be practicing...
  5. Oh, I've been quite enjoying reading the conversation going on here. It's been a while since I've spent much time thinking about music theory, and I've enjoyed seeing the different perspectives on how to approach music. It's akin to a philosophical discussion, and I do love those. Never! I am tremendously excited to start playing the concertina, but that doesn't mean that I will abandon the piano! (If for no other reason then that it would be a disgraceful waste of almost two decades of study and practice.) No, I will always love and play the piano. But that doesn't mean I can't love and play another instrument as well.
  6. I am so glad I discovered this site! So many helpful people with a wealth of knowledge who don't mind helping a soon-to-be-beginner!

  7. I will repeat myself, but since you have printed those different layouts and are trying to do something useful with them, you should try them on the actual box - i.e. on the sides of a cube, to see which layout orientation is most ergonomical for your fingers. Flat printouts can mislead heavily on which layout would be easiest to play when you have a handstrap around your palm and must reach outside or closest/furthest buttons. I have used my MIDI Hayden in flat keyboard arrangement, and I can do very different things with it than on the actual concertina. Yes, I will give that a try. (I didn't see your first post till after I had posted mine.) :-)
  8. At least from where I'm sitting the duet makes the most sense because of the similarities to how the piano works. The lower/harmony in the left hand, the higher/melody in the right. I wouldn't have to rewire that part of my brain at least. That is one of the main reasons I'm looking at duet.
  9. I ruled them out mostly due to versatility. I did not want to have to transpose everything I wanted to play into the same key. That would be a lot of extra work. I want to be able to play everything (once I've learned to play well, obviously) from the music without having to figure out a transposition. And I can't play by ear to save my life, so that would not be as easy for me as I know it is for some people. The other main reason is the different note on the push and pull. That whole concept just messes with my head and I think I would get really frustrated and, as I understand it, it could limit what kind of music I could play, or at least require more effort to figure out how to play it.
  10. I would be great to be able to try different systems! But I'm not finding anyone closer than Washington who plays anything but an Anglo. And with my work and school schedule it's just not possible to make the trip up there right now, sadly. But I did print out the keyboard layout for different systems and sizes and I've gone a bit nerdy on them..they're all color coded now and I've been figuring out the shape of different chords and whatnot. That doesn't hold a candle to actually playing an instrument, but it's better than nothing (or than studying for finals, which I really should be doing...)
  11. Thank you all so very much for your advice! This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I feel much more confident about how to choose and what I want to look for (which is especially important with such a large purchase).
  12. They make a concertina app? Haha, that's kind of cool. (Though I don't have an iPad or know anyone who does...so that doesn't really help me...) I can read music and understand music theory well enough that I am not anticipating trouble actually learning to play. The vintage tutors I have seen online seem like they should be enough to get me off the ground and I am motivated (some might use the word stubborn) enough to teach myself if I need to. :-)
  13. I think those look perfect! The 35 should be able to play any hymn melody (and if the song was higher I wouldn't be able to sing it anyway!) and it goes low enough to add decent harmony. Especially since I'm just starting out.
  14. Thank you all very much for you advice! This is all very helpful. -R
  15. Hello. I am very interested in learning to play the concertina. My main reasons for learning are that I like the traditional styles of music that are played on it, and the sound in general, and also because it would be a small, portable, and versatile instrument. (And it's cool. ) The problem I have run into is figuring out what kind I want to learn. I'm sure that is a very common question among beginners, but I haven't been able to find the answers to my exact questions on here, so I'm posting this in hopes someone can help. I've done a fair bit of research but the internet has reached the limits of its efficacy. I am at the point where I need a real person with knowledge to answer specific questions, and I've had absolutely no luck finding anybody who knows anything about concertinas locally. (I live in Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Apparently concertinas are not big in the Northwest...) I have played piano for about 18 years (since I was 6) so I am very familiar with music, can sight read very well, and I am very determined to learn, so I am not anticipating any troubles regarding the actually learning or playing of the concertina (beyond the normal learning curve of any new instrument.) So differences that effect ease of learning are not my main concern. I have ruled out Anglo concertinas, for various reasons. So I am looking at English or Duet. My main goal is to have the most options as to what styles of music I can play. Though to be realistic, especially in the short run, the most likely music I will be playing (and one of the main things I want to be able to play) is traditional hymns. (If I get to the point where I can sit down and play hymns out of my hymnal for myself or even to accompany singing I will consider that success.) From my research I had settled on the duet probably being the best fit for me, since it seems to be designed to easily play melodies and harmonies/chords (ideal for hymn playing). But I ran into the problems of cost and availability. I had decided that I could handle the cost of the Elise Hayden Duet from Concertina Connection, but then I realized that it is not chromatic. (I'm a pianist, so I'm having trouble dealing with the limitations of not having every note at my disposal!) How does one deal with that? Would you really just have to transpose any songs into the keys you have and hope there are no accidentals?? Is it possible to find chromatic duet concertinas that are not in the thousands of dollars range? Or there is the option of an English concertina. From what I can find they tend to be more available/less expensive. And at least the version from Concertina Connection is fully chromatic. I guess it boils down to this, which is more limiting to versatility: a duet concertina that is not fully chromatic, or an English concertina's layout? At first I had thought that English concertinas were not well suited to something like hymn playing, but they were very big with the Salvation Army, so obviously they work with hymns. So is it possible but just more difficult to play melody and harmony/chords on English (leading to the development of the duet) or did they mostly just play melodies if they were solo and play in a concertina band if they wanted harmony? Also, if I am starting with a less expensive concertina with fewer keys is it difficult to switch in the future to a larger concertina? i.e. Should I wait and invest in a concertina with a larger range to start with, or does it make no difference? Do forgive this novella I've just written... This is why I really need an actual human person who knows stuff to talk to; there are many variables and probably some that I don't even know about yet... Hopefully my dilemma is understandable and my questions do not sound silly. Grateful to anyone still reading, Rachel
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