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Everything posted by Jim2010

  1. I suppose that anything improvised during a performance could be called playing by ear. But there is some grey area. For example, I am learning an old song (by ear). I have "composed" variations for some of the measures (again by ear) that I mix and match as I play the repeats. Since it is a little different each time, you could say that I am improvising and playing by ear. But I have practiced the variations in advance. So am I improvising or playing from memory? I think it is a little bit of both.
  2. Learning by ear and playing by ear require some different skills. Performing a tune learned by ear might be better called playing from memory. Playing by ear is more a case of being able to play a tune (alone or with others) that you have not learned/practiced in advance. One way to get better at that skill is to (slowly and patiently) practice playing all the various intervals in a key up and down and making those actions second nature for your ears and fingers. Playing by ear is a lot like talking—you want to hear certain sounds and you do whatever you need to do to make those sounds (choosing the words, whispering, shouting, emphasizing certain words, etc.). You can do that automatically and instantaneously while talking because you have spent years and years trying your hardest to successfully progress from the "goo, goo, ma, ma stage" to the "dad, I need to borrow the car stage." Obviously, learning to play as well as you can talk is much, much easier said than done. Luckily, there are only 12 notes and relationships you need to learn and practice. And only 7-ish in simple music.
  3. Do we know that Geraghty is not the person who purchased the copy I linked to on ebay? It had been for sale since February and then sold minutes after I posted the link.
  4. https://www.ebay.com/itm/125171855320?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item1d24d2efd8:g:qYcAAOSwVAhiGrFl&amdata=enc%3AAQAGAAAA4HTN%2B8P1NmLg5iEbjYet%2FK%2F7fYPvbbzPcYC%2F4WtwzxxJzqYdWiEU3Wnx70d2t1WPUHpAy%2FJwNri0ntx9UZhrvPuQr8dDG6m8Wz5SIQ4jeUmaXvup26dEVKflbmnaooHK50ggf9Vtd%2FrRfkekO9EjSa5LL8bModAoTXjflj4Rcf5q0t%2Fim8P0ClVIHh%2FDYjAKurnHPKkOxZ8c9s37jq6d%2FMH%2FY1H58KRsgYgAq1IiPOHVPUoYTmWJKvRl9RwDZSRdLtAUlPq2dlO4%2FGnWwsSR%2B5rpyOozmmFDtPnvPKxlM%2Fdv|tkp%3ABFBM7OmB3Ydg
  5. I only had a few experiences with Doug and the Button Box, but they were wonderful ones. First class all the way. I join all the others who will miss such a terrific place. It was nice knowing it was there.
  6. How are the course materials viewed: website, youtube, zoom, etc.? I couldn't find that information on the linked website. Thank you.
  7. Bellingers Button Boxes, which focuses on instrument restoration, may be another possible source of parts. http://bellingersbuttonboxes.com/
  8. Wonderful performances. Congratulations to the performers and organizers for making this event such a success.
  9. I'm with you. But I looked it up, and there it is in Article 282 (so at least they addressed some other things first), Section 22, where they agree to accept the standard (A 435) that had been adopted by certain European countries at a Convention in 1885. Article 282 has 26 Sections, each adopting something from a grab bag of things negotiated at earlier International Conventions (addressing a wide range of concerns, including the protection minors, protection of birds important in agriculture, suppression of obscene publications, free use of the Suez Canal, unification and improvement of the metric system, and the suppression of White Slave Traffic.)
  10. Please thank her Majesty for the kind words. I am no Cecil Beaton, but I did once photograph her Majesty. She had just motored into Tampa, Florida, on the Royal Yacht Britannia, and she was being welcomed by our mayor. As you will see, those were different times. I had a job where, among other things, I edited a magazine. Back then the Police Department issued press passes, flimsy things, little more than a pink piece of cardboard with your name typed on it. I had had one for years, but had never used it. On the day the Britannia was to arrive, I grabbed a camera, clipped my press pass to my suit jacket, and headed for the harbor. I didn't know what to expect, but I was still surprised to see hundreds and hundreds of women in hats and handbags lined up to pass through metal detectors. There were Secret Service agents all over the place. Tall guys, all with little wired microphones in their ears. As I arrived, one of them walked up to me, looked down at my press pass, and said "Good morning, sir. Please follow me." He then escorted me, unchecked camera bag and all, past the lines of women and the metal detectors and took me quite close to the queen and the mayor. All I can think is that when he looked down at the pink piece of cardboard, he only looked at the top two lines: City of Tampa Police Department.
  11. I don't know if this has any relevance to the specific Hohner and Koch instruments you reference, but I've read that A 435 was the pitch standard agreed to in the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I.
  12. Nice job Simon. I've always liked God Save the King. The first set of variations I ever heard were by Beethoven! Here is a set of variations from across the pond where the "God Save the King" was borrowed as a national hymn and renamed "America." Originally written for the organ by Charles Ives, this version by the Unites States Marine Band was orchestrated by composer William Schuman. Maybe someone will make an arrangement for concertina band.
  13. Smythe's Accordion Center in Northern California usually has a few concertinas for sale. http://www.smythesaccordioncenter.com/
  14. While not concertinas, for ease of access (all on one page) it may be instructive to listen to the sound files of the various Marcel Dreux accordinas (windblown free reed instruments), each with sides made of different materials and/or configurations. With the exception of the final two instruments at the bottom of the page, each model has the same reeds and mechanics inside. https://en.accordinas.com/ecouter
  15. A great many composers have written variations (150 according to one source). Here is a link to an article that lists some of them. https://www.allmusic.com/composition/la-folia-mc0002395552?1643496629245 Wikipedia mentions a few more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folia Here is a link to the Vivaldi arranged by the Sheng virtuoso Wu Wei. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x-6LPQXbeA The sheng is credited as the inspiration for the invention of concertina, accordion and harmonica. Others here know much more about that than I do.
  16. This is one of my favorite musical themes. "Farinell's Ground" is the English title of La Folia ( La Follia, La Folia, Follies, Folies du Portugal or Folies d'Espagne (depending on what country you are in). Composers have been writing variations of it for hundreds of years. My favorite set of variations is by Arcangelo Corelli, here performed by Frans Brüggen, recorder; Anner Bylsma, violoncello; Gustav Leonhardt, harpsichord. It is a good source of ideas and inspiration for variations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuz9eBkUWlY
  17. I also have one. Mine is like the Bilhorn Preacher's organs above, but without the swell bars. I don't know if they ever had them.
  18. Thank you Randy. I must be blind to have not seen that is your original post. I look forward to listening on Feb. 6th.
  19. Hi Randy, the link to youtube results in a message that says: "Private video Sign in if you've been granted access to this video." (Or at least it does when I do it.)
  20. Here is a free reed instrument that is relatively unknown compared with concertinas: portable folding organ. These instruments are sometimes called a preacher's or chaplain's organs (because they were carried in the field for religious services during WW I). A look inside and a good performance. Minnesota (USA) Historical Society description of a Bilhorn Preacher's organ in their collection. A performance on an instrument almost identical to the Historical Society.
  21. Glad to hear you and yours are safe. I hope you get good news from Concertina Connection.
  22. I emailed and received a reply from the Concertina Connection last week. I suggest you try to contact them again. The email I used was info@concertinaconnection.com. I hope you were unaffected by the tornado.
  23. A beautiful looking and sounding instrument. But the real treat for me is your wonderful playing. Thank you for for making the video.
  24. Thanks for the good wishes, bellowbelle. I've accomplished the easy part. Now I need to learn to play the instrument well. I am looking forward to it.
  25. Music notation (all the various kinds) is a kind of shorthand that uses numbers, letters, and symbols in an attempt communicate what a particular piece of music should sound like. Each type of notation has various strengths and weaknesses when it comes to knowing exactly how the music should be played. A performer's familiarity with the various styles of music fills in what might be considered "missing information." Here is a non-musical example. If someone is visiting at your house, they might see a piece of paper on the kitchen table with the following symbols marked on it: bread, milk, bananas, paper towels. If the person can read English, they will likely know what these symbols represent. And they can probably guess that they are looking at a shopping list. But there is a lot missing on the list, what kind of bread and how much? What store or stores will have these items? Who is to use this list, you or someone else in the household? When do you need the items? Your visitor may not be able to answer these questions, but you know all the answers. You don't need everything spelled out in detail. If we were in a house in France, the list might have completely different symbols pain, lait, bananes, serviettes en papier. But a person who can read French would still know that it was a shopping list. The symbols aren't what's important, what they represent is important. The score that David provided has symbols that provide enough information for orchestral musicians to have a pretty good idea of what the music should sound like. When they get together to rehearse, the conductor will give them most specifics (how fast, how loud or soft, etc.) But the symbols could have been written differently. In the section of the music we are talking about, the composer could have written the 6/8 time signature in each measure that he (Leonard Bernstein) wanted to sound like 6/8, and written the 3/4 time signature in each measure that he (wanted to sound like 3/4. But that would be cumbersome and the musicians for whom these particular symbols were written don't need all that.
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