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Posts posted by larryjhs

  1. Hello


    i am sure there was something about this a while back, but I can’t find it. Has anyone produced transcriptions and notations of Noel Hills favourites or at least music on his early albums that is isn’t published elsewhere. I thought there was something for sale.  I’d be really grateful for help on this. I’m totally hopeless at reading music for the concertina as distinct for the single note, whistle! So I really need the notation or markup. Thanks.



  2. 13 hours ago, malcolm clapp said:

    Down a tone, surely, D# to C#

    Solder needs to be applied to the face of the reed at the tip.

    If you should be uncomfortable with the process, may I recommend Peter Anderson at West Heidelberg http://capt.accordion@optusnet.com.au who will, I'm sure, be able to help.

    Good luck.


    12 hours ago, Rod Pearce said:



    Can I refer you to your post from April 16, 2019 on this very topic?





    Oh, thanks !  I had forgotten to check!

  3. 10 hours ago, Frank Edgley said:

    This technique will flatten the reed in question. Put a razor blade under the tongue. attach a heat sink to the reed by clipping it just behind the area you will apply the sloder. The reed sink is made of aluminium and is a clip device which looks like a tiny pair of scissors. Apply a VERY small amount of flux to the tip with a toothpick. Then apply the solder. Make sure you don't get flux on the edges of the tongue or the solder will get on the edge and prevent the reed from sounding. If that happens, it's not the end of the world, but you will have to carefully file it off. You will probably have  made the reed too flat. That's when you start to remove the solder carefully with a small narrow bladed file. Keep checking the pitch. It's easy to go too far. Then you will have to add solder and start again. Personally, I'm not in favour of removing the D# by flattening it. There are many beautiful melodies that need the D# as an accidental.....some O'Carolan tunes, Airs and Northumbrian tunes to start with.

    thanks for this advice. I find the D# much too rare to keep on the 1A. As this is in Jeffries tuning I have D# on the 2A pull. 



  4. 11 hours ago, malcolm clapp said:

    Down a tone, surely, D# to C#

    Solder needs to be applied to the face of the reed at the tip.

    If you should be uncomfortable with the process, may I recommend Peter Anderson at West Heidelberg http://capt.accordion@optusnet.com.au who will, I'm sure, be able to help.

    Good luck.


    yes, sorry down a tone. If it doesn’t work I will contact peter. I assume I can unscrew the ‘ block’ and just send it to him though I might have to seal it up again on the frame if it’s not a perfect fit (save on postage).  Are you in Melb?



  5. Quite by accident, I came across the attached cartoon, from  Mr Punch's History of Modern England, vol 2 ( 1857-1874)  p. 146. Punch was a now defunct UK humour magazine, a staple of the middle class  - 1841-2002 .   See also https://archive.org/details/mrpunchshistoryo02gravuoft/page/146/mode/2up.   Perhaps it has been picked up in one of the histories. 


    A quick search on google also located another, as below. I am sure there are more.  BTW, Warren Fahey-some of you probably know of him as cartoons and photos, mostly from Australia, http://www.warrenfahey.com.au/enter-the-collection/the-collection-m-z/musical-instruments-in-the-australian-tradition/concertina-photography-cartoon-gallery/







    • Like 1
  6. Noel Hill and Tony McMahon played 'the Old Concertina Reel on  I gCnoc Na Graí .  It's a great tune.  But I've only been able to find music online for it in the key of D.  Does anyone have it in G? or C -- I'm not great at music theory or transposition. I assume Noel Hill was playing a D/G concertina on the recording.    Or am I making some error that I can't get my head around musically ie how to play it in G.


  7. 10 hours ago, saguaro_squeezer said:

    Do they say how much they want to be bought for?

    I bought a larger one for 8 eu. I sup t shipping would be very expensive if you ordered it from outside Italy - packing is an issue. And here are some small Stan and Ollies. I will take a photo of my angel in daylight. 


    • Thanks 1
  8. I am in Naples for language school. I think this has appeared before, but they are very cute, though the quality varies, and are mostly sold in one area of the historical area. There are also great statuettes of Stan and Ollie who are beloved. 


    • Like 1
  9. Hi, one is in Perth, others are in NSW in the hills, there is an accordian guy somewhere. It is a bit country as you know.

    12 hours ago, Tradewinds Ted said:


    If I understand correctly, the button 1A previously had C#/C# (before removing the solder but now is D/C#) and button 2A is D#/D# ?


    Rather than doing any filing of any reeds what about adding the solder back on the reed you removed it from, and then simply swapping the reeds between the two positions to get the more standard Jeffries arrangement of 1A with D#/C# and 2A with C#/D# - if that is what you want.   At least this would be reversible, while filing reeds is not.  I would guess that the C#/C# and D#/D# arrangement as found was likely the result of someone previously swapping reeds.


    Hey, that's a good thought! But I'd have to play with solder...

  10. Hello all, thanks for the encouragement- if I do anything it will have to wait for the weekend!


    But the plot thickens...I downloaded a chromatic tuner- thank you Rod, and discovered that the whole box is pretty much in tune.  But....


    The 2A button, as it is as Jeffries is D#/D#, rather than C#/D#.  I thought there was something funny at times. 


    So so I actually have 1A D/C#. 2A D#/D#. Before there were 3 D#. 


    It must have been due to some prior tweaking. I think I can live with that!  


    Again thank you for all the comments but maybe others have this tuning as well. 


    I did notice as I was looking for a musical staff/ button list that  Royalance Anglo-German Companion 1889 has  lots of tones tuned as flats in the Wheatstone arrangement for reeds, , but I am writing over it with Jeffries’ tuning in an effort to learn how to read music properly. I am sure the reason why is explained  online, but someone may wish to remind us. I like those old instruction books, but for learners like me, Gary Coover is +++. See the photos of Royalance. I like the cockcrow and bird whistle. I hope some had a train, which would have added to the steampunk dimension. 



  11. I've got a very nice 30 key  AC Norman concertina tuned as a Jeffries with one or two oddities.


    The right 1A key was tuned c#/c# rather than c#/d# for Irish music, but I'd like the d# back.  Now with Andrew Norman's advice I went in and altered it - yes, there was a bit of solder on the reed, and I carefully removed it,  but it is actually tuned now to c#/d rather than c#/d#.  The c#/c# was not tuned as such by Andrew.  Andrew also suggested I file it myself and use a frequency gauge or whatever the right term is to get it to d#,  but I am really scared of making a mess out it.  I can just mail the reed block (is that the word) to the right person?


    I did discover a nice online tool in all of this. https://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/


    Click the sin on the right and a keyboard of different notes/frequencies pops up.


    Please let me know (and the charge).

  12. Thanks for the comments.  Mobile phones are pervasive in Bangaldesh, connecting both the rich and poor in all parts of the country. Connectivity is relatively cheap even for the poor.  Now since you are all so interested, here is a video of boatbuilders at work in the rural parts of the country. You start with a log, saw it down, and take it from there. 



    And if I can say so myself, attached is one of my favourite photos.  They are very easy to take- just an iphone does it.  The landscape is a water-scape.  In the phone, these are people who collect fry (baby shimp), standing in the shallow water and then they raise them with bonds The net is s blue nylone one.  If any of you are interested in Bangladesh- just look at my posts and zilllion photos in Bangladesh-related albums on Facebook.  And support good international development projects (totally off topic!)

    It's a  long way from concertina playing, but on the other hand, they have a very strong folk music tradition that links into traditional  poetry (poets like Tagore also contributed).  Kids learn a common base of songs in school.



    • Like 1
  13. I know it’s a bit off topic, but...Just because it’s the weekend. 


    As part of my real life, I lead  an international development project in Bangladesh. I am there often. In old Dhaka, there are instrument makers on one street in the remaining traditional Hindu quarter who amongst other things, make harmoniums as well as traditional flutes that cost almost nothing (bansuri). My barber in the market plays one. There are also cheap electric guitars. 


    You can see here the boxes and reeds. I didn’t see the bellows or keyboards but they may import these from India. I should find out if the reeds are local. These instruments are very cheap, about $60USD.  The wood is not great Good ones are much much more. Also included is a tabla  maker. I’ve seen skins being scraped on inverted turtle shells.


     I just thought these photos remind us how local workshops were 150 or more years ago when concertina were first being made.

     If I gave one of these guys the plans for a concertina I could probably end up with a very exotic instrument. There are lots of tiny bookbinders and box and paper bag folders and pasters who could do the bellows.


    The skills of many other trades are on display in the countryside, such as shallow-water riverboats that look like gondolas built just by hand with no special tools. And furniture makers are everywhere 


    Harmoniums are of course very popular. One of my students sings and plays very well. Why they survived as an outcome of Empire maybe due to the fact that they are more robust in the climate. I cannot believe that concertinas were not also brought to the subcontinent  






    • Like 1
  14. I've just come back from a long sojourn overseas, and am delighted that Adrian's book (which I 'won' because I spotted an error in one of Gary Coover's books) was waiting for me. What a beauty.


    So it is back to music but Jake the cat has colonized one of Gary's books (the second I think). I forget the name of the tune, though I can hum it...


  15. I had a benign carcinoma aka Mr Lump in my forearm years ago. The lump was removed, but there was nerve damage as they hat to cut it out so I lost some feeling for years in some fingers,  so it was hard to write. I was not playing at the time. But the nerves have responded over time. I think any exercise such as playing is good. I also had therapeutic massage after my operation. That was great. 

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