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The Crimson Avenger

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  1. Almost certainly - at least in the future! I did converse electronically with Bob Ellis about the book before posting my review and he said: "...I have been invited to promote the book at the Swaledale Squeeze concertina weekend next year..." which (presumably) means 2021. He also commented on the fact that he was unable to promote the book at festivals this year, for all the obvious reasons... The book also seems to be available via Amazon so transatlantic transactions should be OK?
  2. This is a short review of the book 'There was None of this Lazy Dancing' by Bob Ellis. The book is about the music played at dances in the Yorkshire Dales. There are a lot of good (folk) tune books. There is a smaller but significant number of books dealing with the social history of (folk) music. There are very few books which deal with both the music and the social history of the music. This book is a significant addition to that small sub-genre. The book is a collection of tunes played at dances in the Yorkshire Dales. The tunes are presented in a way which describes and discusses their use by placing them in the context of the social events at which the tunes were played, and by using short biographies of some of the musicians who played the music. It is an absolutely splendid mix of academic rigour, relevance and readability. The tunes themselves are a mix of the familiar and the not-so-familiar. Where necessary, tunes in 'unfriendly' keys are also supplied in transpositions to a 'friendly' key (usually G, so the tunes should be easily accessible to G/D and C/G concertina players?). The book is also well-illustrated and well made (hard cover, stitched signatures, lay-flat binding). The fortunate purchaser of the book will also receive a password giving access to ABC transcriptions of all the tunes. The author asks, (very reasonably), that this password not be passed on to those who have not purchased the book. The ABC code appears to be of original transcriptions by the author. The style of coding is consistent, concise (minimalist, if you prefer), unambiguous and correct. As with the printed text, where the original of the tune was in an 'unfriendly' key, the author has provided a transcription into a 'friendly' key. In brief, this is a superb book! The only irritating thing about the book is that there is a picture of the author on page 5. I'm sure I know the man from somewhere, and can't for the life of me remember where or when I encountered him. Bloody infuriating!
  3. The manufacturers (Saga Music) contact page is at: https://www.sagamusic.com/contact If t'were me, I would ask them what the bellows are made of, and what the dimensions are ax the flats. The weight seems to be about 1.5 Kg...
  4. One thing to watch out for, whether you buy new or second-hand is that some of the 'low-end' instruments are larger (and heavier) than the usual 6 1/4" across the flats. For example, I believe the Concertina Connection Rochelle is 7 1/4" across the flats. Now, this may not bother you, but it's worth mentioning? I had a loan of a larger instrument a while back - it wasn't easy to handle. That's a personal point of view, but it might be relevant to you also. A McNeela Wren 2 might suit? I know you mention 30-button in the headline for your post, but for your $500 you might strike lucky and find a 'vintage' 20-button instrument. Not as versatile as 30-button, but you can do a lot on a 20-button so it may be worth considering?
  5. Good call! Apropos nothing at all, it also provides a 'unique' integer as a seed for random number generators which is nice if you are a programmer - as long as your system can handle long integers that is - been doing it since 19800104090000... Not a happy story though. I've had the same problem with clothing (from the U.S.), and more recently a chess set (from Japan). I feel for the OP - very, very frustrating! I'm very reluctant to trust a concertina even to domestic mail/carrier - which is a pain as I have at least one which needs tuning, and the nearest fettler is 3 days camel ride away...
  6. I think I'm correct in saying that the Concertina Connection instrument is 7 1/4" across the flats? This is, to my mind, a major disadvantage - it's too big, I handled a CC English a while back, and the large size was very awkward. Also the quality of construction was poor IMO. [Warning - hearsay alert!] I haven't had my hands on a McNeela Wren, but I know two folks who have used one recently (one purchaser, and one using an 'on-loan' instrument. Both report being very happy with this (6 1/4") instrument.
  7. If: you decide to bale out of concertina-world at some later date, then: the better the quality of the instrument you have bought, the higher is the chance that it will have retained its value, and the better is the chance that you will be able to recoup a high proportion of your initial outlay when you sell it on... So, whatever your final choice of instrument, it's possibly not a bad idea to get absolutely the best one you can afford right from the start?
  8. Me too! Some of the tutors published at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries are available on the concertina.com web site. In the field of human anatomy, 'fingers' are often numbered 1-5, starting at the thumb and working outwards. In beginning piano tutors, the same numbering system seems to be in use. (Probably on fairly shaky grounds) I use those 'precedents' as the basis for my personal preference for the symmetric system, but yes, it's different strokes for different folks, I guess, and it's a bit of a can of worms with all the different systems... The OP says he is a beginning English player. Is he aware of the English tutors available here and here? If not, they may be helpful... ------------------------------------- The Bramich/ABT systems are essentially the same. One uses ■ and □ for push and pull, and t'other uses 'nothing' and '^', so L1■ and L1□ mean the same as L1 and L1^. I can also recommend the Scottish terms 'Sook' and 'Blaw'...?
  9. You may need to be a bit careful here! If you have a selection of Anglo books from different sources, you will already have clocked this one, but just in case: Different books use different button numbering systems - a potential source of confusion - whatever the actual notes may be... Books by Mick Bramich and the online Anglo tutor on the Australian Bush Traditions web site use symmetric button numbering: 5 4 3 2 1 Left Right 1 2 3 4 5 - repeated for each row The book by Chris Sherburn uses an asymmetric, discontinuous numbering system: 0 4 3 2 1 Left Right 5 6 7 8 9 - repeated for each row The book by Pip Ives uses an asymmetric numbering system (I think): 1 2 3 4 5 Left Right 1 2 3 4 5 - repeated for each row While the books by Gary Coover use the numbering system shown in the diagram in an earlier post, which spreads across two rows. I presume that at least one of your books is by GC as the diagram in your OP appears to be from one of his books, but you don't say if you have books from different sources. There are other books which may use different numbering systems. What fun...
  10. Go to Alistair Anderson's web site. There you will see a link to Concertina Workshop PDF. Click on that link to download a PDF of AA's English 'Tina Tutorial. Somewhere there are MP3 files of the man his'self playing some of the tunes on the CD associated with the book, but I can't find the links at the moment ?. Go to the Concertina Library web site. Search the index for concertina tutors. You will (or should) find a link to the PDF of Frank Butler's English 'Tina Tutorial. I guess the music in these tutorials could be regarded as popular/classical - chacun à son goût... If you are already an experienced player, these may not be what you are looking for, but if you are a new player...
  11. Glad they were at least a little helpful! I learned something too! When I looked at my 'personal tune book' I found ~10 tunes which either had the title 'Trollpolska', (or some variant), or which were flagged as coming from Dalarna. All were in Dm, except one. Also, I wasn't aware that some Irish players have that non-standard layout on the first 2 buttons on the RHS accidentals row, We learn something every day. Thank you!
  12. I'm guessing that you mean what I would call a C/G? You seem unsure about the correspondence between layouts across the C/G and Bb/F configurations? I'm attaching layout diagrams for my 30-button Wolverstone C/G and 30-button Lachenal Bb/F semi-miniature instruments. Both are (I think) more or less standard layouts. Sorry about the different format - I haven't got around to creating a Professor McCann diagram for the Wolverstone yet... You will see that the aR1 button is C#/Eb on the C/G instrument, and is a (corresponding) B/C# on the Bb/F instrument. I'm not aware that a C#/C# button is common? The C/G Marcus Traveller has a single accidental (in the aR1 position), and this is also C#/Eb. (*) It looks as if your instrument has a 'non-standard' layout on the Right hand side accidentals row? Do Marcus do a Bb/F then? I didn't know that. I hope those layout diagrams help.
  13. There are four short YouTube videos dealing with Scholers which may help you learn a little more about these instruments. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbPw0yR19zM&index=1&list=PL777D961E7BDD0215 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88yCVla_Djg&index=2&list=PL777D961E7BDD0215 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvs4-ANFuq8&index=3&list=PL777D961E7BDD0215 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anBj1hibG0o&index=4&list=PL777D961E7BDD0215 They are no longer in production and I think that later versions have metal action, and some models have triple-reeds...
  14. Nice idea, but it'll never get off the ground. Morris is 'English' and therefore unacceptable to the education authorities and to the BBC in these 'diverse' and 'multi-cultural' days. In Scotland 'Scottish Country Dancing' is (or was?) part of the educational syllabus - sensible people, the Scotch. In any case, Morris is irredeemably 'racist', see: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/08/morris-dancers-forced-abandon-performance-accused-racism-threatened/ and a large number of similar posts about this incident. My barber showed me film of this on his 'phone at the time (2017). Very scary. I see that at least one festival appears to have followed the rush to P.C. acceptability, and banned 'blacking-up'. Pity.
  15. I luv it wen the speling polise get gowing. Larf, I neerly dyed...
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