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malcolm clapp

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Everything posted by malcolm clapp

  1. Chris, you mention the instrument in question has some historical significance in Australia. I'd be interested to hear just what the historical significance is, but I understand if your research is on-going and you may not wish to reveal the results currently. Just an observation, but quite a few music shops advertised Lachenal instruments in newspapers during the late C19th and early C20th, and one or two mention Wheatstone, as a search of Trove will show, but I can't recall seeing any early advertising for Jones' concertinas in Australian printed sources. A more detailed search may possibly reveal something.... (For the benefit of those outside of Australia, Trove is a web site containing digital Australian newspaper records. A bit like You Tube in that once you start browsing you can't stop until about 4 in the morning; high levels of self control required 🙂 )
  2. I have to agree with Chris Algar's comment. I believe that they compare well with, say, a mahogany ended Lachenal, but the fretting on a rosewood Lachenal is, to me, certainly more aesthetically pleasing. I've had a few Jones instruments through my workshop, but can't remember whether the ends were solid timber or veneered. From memory, the ends were a little thicker than Lachenals, perhaps somewhat negating the need for bushing felt, though I do recall adding end bushes to one Jones anglo upon the owner's request.
  3. Hi Noel, Not sure if I'm the Malcolm to whom you addressed your query, but I'd be lying if I said I could remember a repair I did 35 years ago.... But as Stephen said, it should just pull out, but you may need to invest in a copy of the Charles Atlas Thumb Strengthening Course, available from all good book sellers an internet scammer somewhere on the net. On a more serious (and hopefully more helpful) note, try dismantling the other end and see if it comes apart more easily. Then push the sticking reedpan out from that end. Good luck. MC 🙂
  4. Can I suggest, as an experiment, handing the concertina to an experienced player, take half a dozen steps away and listen for the offending noise when the instrument is being played. You will probably find that the valve-slap sound decays much more swiftly than that of the reeds, which the maker was probably aware of, but remember that your concertina was built to a price point, hence the use of something other than top of the range materials and endless time spent on final adjustment in their workshop. While that particular model of concertina may be a disappointment to you, there will always be a degree of superfluous noise; you will not notice it after a while, except perhaps if you use it with close mics for recording purposes. (Have a close listen to a few concertina tracks on YouTube from top players with first class instruments and you will hear similar or worse culprits!) So my best advice is stick with it for a while, and welcome to the world of concertinas. And try to refrain from holding down buttons when changing bellows direction; it will aid clarity and improve finger dexterity. Maybe where you play two notes on the same button, you may discover an alternative fingering and bellows direction available by playing one of those notes on another row; seek them out: it will encourage you to learn your way around the keyboard with increased fluidity. (Sorry for straying a little off-topic.)
  5. Unable to answer your question, but there is one with identical ends currently on Gumtree Australia, with a pretty confused description. No useful information, and the seller knows nothing much about it. It has a label "EBOR", most likely a shop, wholesaler or auctioneer's tag, so not much help.
  6. I never quite thought of it in these terms, but a pretty accurate description of a typical English treble keyboard. Attached diagram might be of use, showing the standard (unmodified) configuration.
  7. In Portugal, the 3 row 12 bass melodeon or button accordion is known as a "concertina", usually in the keys of G/C/F, and tuned to such a wide tremolo that it might surely crack glass 🙂 Quagliardi certainly made (or distributed/rebadged) such a model. I have seen a photo somewhere of one on the internet, and also had one through my workshop very briefly, but was beyond repair, both bearing more than a passing resemblance to a German Koch melodeon from the early 1920s. So the short answer to the OP is yes, Jim... but not as we know it, though as Stephen suggested, it's not impossible that they may have made something more akin to a recognisable concertina, but I've never seen nor heard of one. (Apologies for probably misquoting Mr Spock)
  8. More information about John Mason and his repertoire can be found on the excellent glostrad site http://glostrad.com/tunes-from-john-mason/
  9. If I remember rightly, Colin Dipper, or a close associate of his (Robin Scard?), made several instruments with Lignum Vitae buttons back in the early 1980s. It would be interesting to know how the buttons (and indeed the concertinas) have fared over the years.
  10. A Russian speaking friend recently suggested checking out Nikolay Bandurin , a modern Russian singer and concertinist in similar style. I'm told that some of his verses are a bit risque (maybe think Benny Hill), while others are comments on current affairs, but apparently nothing sufficiently controversial to get him a long engagement in Siberia .... Quite a few YouTube clips and Google references; well worth a look. I just wish that Google translate was a bit more helpful on the YouTube clips. (Sorry about the font; my laptop seems to have gone psycho)
  11. The following (undated) message currently appears on Mark's website: I am closing the online shop for a while as I have strated to dream of hexagons I will re-open the shop after I have recharged my batteries. If there is anything urgent give me a ring and if I am not in someone will take a message. Thanks Mark Hope he's ok, but not a good omen...
  12. Likely the same one that I referred to above, owned by a fellow from Young, NSW.
  13. A quote from an old Mudcat post by Brian Peters seems relevant: <The (other) thing about a 30-button anglo is that there's plenty of opportunity for serendipity - you hit the 'wrong' button on the LH and a weird combination of notes gives you a clashing or unworldly harmony that sometimes stinks but sometimes makes you think "Hmm, that might come in useful."> The discussion centred on the somewhat unusual chording used by the late Peter Bellamy, though Brian suggests that Peter's chording was in no way accidental, but well planned and thought out. I'm not sure whether I agree, but maybe have a listen to recordings of Peter on (say) YouTube if you want to hear some unusual (weird?) harmonies.....
  14. Some years ago, I had the pleasure of restoring for a customer a bone button C Jeffries Maker metal ended 20 key C/G anglo. Original specifications, materials and build quality were every bit as good as that of the 31 key model that I owned at the time. Both instruments originally had quite deep 6 fold bellows, but I replaced them with 7 folds, not because either of them lacked capacity with 6, but because imho they were damaged beyond repair and the cost of the extra fold was minimal. I have also played and examined externally, but not looked inside, a 20 key Wheatstone Linota, which, in terms of appearance and playability, was as well made as any 31 key Linota I've played. Presumably, both of these 20 key instruments would likely have been special orders judging by the small number in existence when compared to 20 key Lachenals.
  15. What Theo said. I did suggest this and other comparatively simple reasons for the lack of volume some weeks ago, but these ideas seems to have been dismissed in favour of more complex (and possibly insurmountable) causes, though an interesting thread has nevertheless resulted..... :-)
  16. Like at the end of this clip, Chris. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSelMln3hAY&list=PL1sxNfGXQ05jz62JSb9CqZuDADB6uwJaO&index=7
  17. I often end a tune, particularly a slower number, with a last bar rallentando and a 6th either as a chord or an arpeggio, e.g. CEG plus A. Started off as a mistake, but has now become a bit of a trademark of my playing, and a good conversation starter. Call it a discord if you like, but I reckon it's there to stay.... 🙂
  18. I'm sure that the unusual assembly was not done "by accident", though mis-assembled accordions seem to be quite a common sight on eBay 🙂 I have modified two English concertinas in this manner, both quite a long time ago. I cannot recall models, though I think they were both Wheatstones. One was for a "local" player; the other was a commission from a music shop, so I have no details as to who actually owned that instrument. Both modifications were to enable players with arthritic wrist issues. It seems unlikely that the concertina in question was one that I worked on, but I'm sure other repairers may have had similar modification requests from players with disabilities, though I've not actually heard of any others....till now.
  19. So many variables to consider when assessing apparent lack of volume, some probably insurmountable without expensive surgery. Others fairly simple to check, such as the thickness and stiffness of the new valves and the amount of lift of the pads. Then there is the extra weight compared with, say, a 30 key, which may require giving a bit more effort to push and pull. And most importantly, check for air leakage. Just a few random thoughts which might help.... Good luck.
  20. Still available at reduced price; now asking $8k Australian, which is roughly US$5.5 / GBP4.5. Too expensive? Make me an offer.....😎 I won't be insulted.....well, maybe just a wee bit....😢
  21. The occupation and short life of Mr Peat reminds me of this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPZwRF7yRAQ Written by Ron Angel from Teeside back in the 1960s, but this version from David Coffin has concertina accompaniment, just to keep this thread somewhat on topic....
  22. So it would appear that the Astleys (Cecil and Jennie) returned to England sometime after 1925 and then came back to Australia once more in the late 1940s. Might be worth a further search on the Trove site for later references to their concertina activities, though I suspect that public interest in concertinas had waned somewhat in those post war years. Maybe not so the saxophone, their other instrument of expertise, so that's another avenue worth researching....
  23. I could be mistaken, but I'm fairly certain that the photos posted by Chris were of an earlier date than the 1940s. The Astleys would have to have been in their 50s by then, but they appear to be somewhat younger than that. And although I'm no expert, a lady friend of mine to whom I showed the photos, suggested that they may have been "expecting a happy event" at the time the photos were taken. Yes, I know that it sometimes happens at a later than average age, but statistically it seems to point to an earlier date if it was indeed the case. (Sorry if this post offends feminist sensibilities)
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