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Luke Hillman

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Everything posted by Luke Hillman

  1. Hi folks, I'm currently in that long waiting period after getting my name onto some makers' waitlists, where I get to agonize over and second-guess all my prior assumptions about what I want. I've played a 30-button anglo for a few years, more or less harmonically, and definitely want more buttons. My main repertoire is heavily Morris-oriented, but I like to branch out when I have the bandwidth into more contemporary dance tunes and occasionally classical baroque stuff. Several makers currently are only set up to build instruments with a max of 38 buttons. This works well if you play a Jeffries system, but I'm a Wheatstone guy. So my question to 40-button players: if you were going to lose two buttons on the right-hand side, which ones would they be? Recombining notes is ok -- to use the C/G layout as an example, I know I'd want to keep the pull D6 but I wouldn't have any use for the push C7. Any and all advice gratefully received.
  2. This is how I do it. Eventually I'll get around to forcing myself to practice sight reading, but for the moment I'm almost entirely playing by ear, which I can sometimes speed up by looking at a single melody staff with chord symbols or using anglo piano for more complicated patterns (shameless self-plug ). In the early days, I would have been lost without Gary's tablature, and I find I still look at it when I'm trying to imitate the style of other players. Obviously, Renaissance-style polyphonic music is more complicated than my standard repertoire of morris tunes, but it can be done with practice and lots of patience.
  3. This stood out to me as a really weird observation, but when I went looking in various places (Barleycorn, etc) for vintage instruments, it seems accurate. Though some contemporary makers will do a Wheatstone layout in almost any tuning you can think of, including FC. I note that @wim wakker's 40-button anglos are octagonal. Might it be that the longer reeds necessary for lower tunings are difficult to cram into a standard-size hexagonal box? I know when I spoke to @Jake Middleton-Metcalfe about 40 button systems, he indicated that it wouldn't be feasible to make one lower than CG. Regardless, like the OP and several others on this thread, I thirst for more buttons, and having gotten started on a 30b Wheatstone, the 40b system looks like the way to go. Or, perhaps some sort of customized mostly-Wheatstone 38b system, meaning I need to try to figure out which two buttons I can get by without. For those interested, I've been experimenting with such layouts here to get a sense of the tradeoffs (so far, inconclusive): https://anglopiano.com/#layout=gd-wheatstone-40
  4. That is a very pretty uke. I remember reading somewhere recently that @Wally Carroll has made some concertinas with resin instead of wood. I wonder if this would be similar.
  5. Thanks for the tip, Adrian—I do love public domain music! For other interested parties, here are a couple Sharp collections I found just now: https://imslp.org/wiki/Country_Dance_Tunes_(Sharp,_Cecil) https://imslp.org/wiki/100_English_Folksongs_(Sharp,_Cecil)
  6. Oh, don't mind me. I'm just making note of interesting historical layouts these days. Didn't mean to revive anything! ...but since I'm here, here's Jones' 26-key Salvation Army layout for C/G, Ab/Eb, and G/D, all based on the original C/G diagram in this post (whose right-hand accidentals differ slightly from your diagram, Roger).
  7. Being sighted and not wishing to speculate on the experience of others, I'm loath to declare any instrument the "ideal"—fortunately, much has been written on this topic. A few links of possible interest: Blind Musicians (Wikipedia) Louis Braille, inventor of the writing system, was an accomplished organist Ireland has a tradition of Blind musicians going back to the 17th C. (Irish Central) Japan has an even older tradition Ukraine once had a community of Blind musicians, usually bandura and hurdy-gurdy players (content warning: mass execution) nineteenthcenturydisability.org (the whole site is fascinating but here's a painting of direct interest) Of tangential note, @Howard Mitchell points out an unexpected accessibility flaw in our own beloved forum A very high-level takeaway, which agrees with @hjcjones' assessment above, is that the limiting factor isn't so much the instrument—when you think about it, the experience of playing practically any non-digital instrument is highly tactile and auditory—but rather how the music is taught, learned, and passed down. I'd be very interested to hear about the personal experiences of any Blind cnet members.
  8. I love your more musical arrangements of Morris tunes. Having a somewhat unfocused mind, finding Berkeley Morris right after picking up a concertina for the first time was probably the best thing that could've happened to keep me regularly playing. But playing for Morris has instilled some habits and reflexes I'm now finding it hard to move past (though I'm Lead Muso as of recently, and things will be different now, by gum). Listening to your music has been invaluable, introducing me to new phrasing and techniques within the comforting frameworks of familiar tunes. Alas, I'm still waiting for an instrument with more buttons. Side note, I've always been a bit embarrassed that my worse recording of your original is my most-watched video. I'm constantly telling people to go watch yours!
  9. Speaking for myself, since it's an Amazon purchase, I'd swap it for a different one and hope it's got the Bb. F is one of my favorite keys to play in on a C/G. Lovely register, good bass options.
  10. I was able to make contact with the author of the ICA article, Harry Scurfield, who was kind enough to give me a demonstration of his squashbox and clarify the layout for me. To answer my own questions, Yes, it's lower than C/G. Also, the squashbox is typically a double-reeded instrument with the second set of reeds being an octave lower. To my ear the lowest notes on the squashbox sound like the bass notes on my Hohner Pokerwork. Here's a layout chart complete with octaves:
  11. I think I commented on this when you first posted it, but that case is mouth-wateringly beautiful. Practical or not, I'd buy one from you in a heartbeat. Soon as I have an instrument worthy of it.
  12. Here's to you, Doug & Co! 🍻 Best of luck with everything, and thank you.
  13. Never had any trouble carrying mine. My sense is that if you've brought it as a carry-on, any pressure changes strong enough to affect the concertina will hurt you even more Some folks in the past have talked about issues with American TSA, but honestly, you're going to have issues with them one way or another.
  14. I finally got around to figuring out a way to do this! I think it has made the app just the slightest bit slower (it was already pretty slow 😒 ), but in my opinion the tradeoff was worth it. When you select a piano key, some chord options will appear below the piano keyboard. Clicking any of those will highlight the chord *in that octave* on both the piano and the anglo. You can still uncheck "match octave" to see all possible notes in the chord across the entire range of the Anglo keyboard. As a bonus, you can hear what the selected chord sounds like when you click it. At the moment, I've included major, minor, dominant 7th, diminished, major 7th, and minor 7th. I can add more if there's appetite. You'll probably need to do a hard refresh to see it work (ctrl + shift + r); I still haven't figured out what causes the weird caching issue. Update 2022-04-13 (Editing this post because I don't want to keep hogging the front page of the forum with minor updates) I've added/fixed a few more things that hopefully make this a bit more useful: Fixed the caching issue! Hopefully no more hard-refreshing required. Extended the allowed range of both keyboards to D2 - D7. Hopefully that covers pretty much all standard treble Anglos. New hard-coded keyboard layouts: 20-button C/G, G/D, D/A (these are useful for people who buy garage sale concertinas on a whim and then need to identify their tuning) George Jones' "Improved Anglo" Zulu Squashbox For custom layouts, the piano keyboard now automatically adjusts its range to match the concertina keyboard Selecting "push only" or "pull only" now completely removes the other bellows direction from view. This makes it easier to read and also reminds you that you aren't seeing all possible options. Optionally remove note labels on either or both keyboards Optionally re-spell accidentals to their enharmonic equivalents (for now this assumes equal temperament, sorry meantone folks!) Optionally color-code octaves! I've seen a few color-coded diagrams elsewhere and personally find that colors really do a good job of conveying an overall sense of the layout: Update 2022-04-18 I've just added the ability to transpose a layout up or down within Anglo Piano's allowed range (D2 - D7). This has already saved me a lot of data entry, and should be useful to folks who need a layout chart for an instrument in a weird/niche key, or who just want to see their own customized C/G layout in G/D, etc. To use it, just click "edit layout" under the layout dropdown menu:
  15. So sorry to just be seeing this—not sure if you got in touch with anyone @resistor, but I'll send you a direct message in a moment.
  16. Ah! This reminds me of the Seven Dwarfs' utterly incomprehensible "concertina": Seeing the "melharmonium" almost makes this one make sense, though from what I can tell, the D*sney instrument doesn't have buttons at all, just holes. I'm sure we're all wishing for an end to this violence. I hope everyone reading this is somewhere safe.
  17. Thanks @psmooze and @Peter Smith for checking. I had wondered about this in Jones' diagram—apparently it's the second error! Good to know that the core 20 buttons are unaltered from standard. I've corrected the layout and amended the link in my original post.
  18. In the hope that this will be useful for someone in the future, here's an interactive version of the layout, transcribed from the original 1884 patent diagram. The diagram was maddening to read; Jones individually labeled each note as push or pull and didn't stick to a pattern. I found what I think is the sole typo in the diagram; the push note of the sixth button in the C row of the right-hand side should be E, not C. Edit: as noted in the two comments after this one, there's a second error in the original diagram. I've corrected the interactive layout link above.
  19. What a pretty box that is. Hope you're going to post some videos, Gary.
  20. Oh man. This is just the kind of thing I won't remember ordering during a bout of insomnia...
  21. Thank you so much, Gary (and Adrian)! I get a couple requests for a transcription every month, so I hope you won't mind me linking them to this post F is such a great key on concertina. You can play Orange in Bloom in G on your 30b instrument and have all the notes in the right directions, but I prefer the mellower sound of F. Especially on my hybrid, whose highest notes could be used as a coyote deterrent...
  22. Glad you're enjoying! I'm looking into this. For a couple silly reasons, this particular feature is rather difficult to implement. I'll keep thinking about it and hopefully will figure something out soon, along with a couple other things that've been bothering me...
  23. This is great! Has sort of a Beatrix Potter vibe, too. And the instrument looks like a perfectly reasonable Anglo or German one— definitely closer than anything Disney ever produced 🤣
  24. Musing on this a little more, it seems like this layout is almost a piano layout, but bisonoric... on the top two rows you have all the notes in the diatonic C scale in either direction and in a straightforward/predictable place, and all the accidentals on the bottom row (plus some overlap with the top two rows). If I were designing a layout like this, I'd be tempted to combine the top two rows into a single unisonoric row, and have a separate unisonoric row of accidentals (i.e., piano). But I suppose this layout gives you the ability to play closer to the bouncy Anglo style, if you want... I'd be curious to know what considerations went into Wang's design.
  25. Fascinating layout. I've been playing with it here (assuming I transcribed correctly) and it's got a really interesting pattern, with the top row reversed. I'm interested to see some video and get a sense of how he plays it.
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