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Steve Schulteis

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. You will not damage the concertina this way. Releasing and re-pressing the button on bellows changes will produce a different articulation than just holding the button. Either can be ok, but it should be an intentional choice. Folks generally encourage new players to do the former, because most people require practice to not automatically do the latter.
  2. Are you asking about sandylaneman? I don't have any experience with him, but here's the past feedback I could find regarding his products and service:
  3. If you search the forum for "phantom button" (make sure to require all search terms) there are various references to it over the years. One such occurrence:
  4. Regarding the advice to just play three notes, try doing so with two fingers, alternating which one hits the button. This is still a bit tricky, but with practice does give a different sound from what's possible with one finger (at least for me).
  5. That's consistent with my memory. Lilypond is far more versatile than ABC, but it's also far more complex. I eventually figured out a template and some usage patterns that worked well for the music I was interested in. But there's a reason I use MuseScore these days.
  6. I haven't personally compared them, but my understanding is that there's no difference aside from how the tongues are secured. I think the "original" shoes/frames would be attractive if you were planning to make your own tongues, since it would be easier to install them (and to taper the slot with no tongue installed).
  7. Yup, this is accurate. I think there's a case to be made that, for most people, the "concertina original" reeds don't really have an advantage over their riveted "concertina" reeds. Even the DIX accordion reeds aren't supposed to differ in tongue/slot geometry from the concertina reeds, so the main reasons you might prefer the concertina reeds are the method of installation and the brass shoes. Dana Johnson has instructions for tapering the reed slots that he'll share if you ask him. I haven't tried it myself yet, so I can't comment on the effect.
  8. For their original concertina reeds, size 4 reeds start getting tips weighted at A#2. When I was communicating with them, they had one size bigger.
  9. As someone working in user experience, I think we can probably test different systems and find that they perform better or worse at certain tasks on average. Individuals may have different experiences, of course. There's also the question of what "better" means. Changing standard notation to improve readability (of what? Notes? Chords? Diatonic music? Chromatic music? etc.) may sacrifice other desirable qualities. Agreed. I agree that notation isn't necessary for musicianship, but I don't think it's fair to describe it as only a crutch or detour. As I said above, it has immense value for communication. There's a lot of music that would have been lost entirely if it hadn't been written down in a system that other people could interpret much later. It would also be hard to create a symphony if the composer had to communicate the different parts to each performer aurally.
  10. I'm less optimistic it would get much uptake. I guess I'm kind of saying that I agree with you that the inertia of tradition is hard to overcome. The current system is "good enough", and that's going to make it hard for a better system to replace it. I think ABC and piano roll have gained adoption because they serve somewhat different purposes than standard notation. There's overlap, but they each have something they do much, much better than traditional notation. They also do some things much, much worse. Horses for courses and all that.
  11. I've got to agree with the basic claim here - the notation we have was produced organically over time, and there's a lot of weird history that led to the specific representation we've got. I'll stand by my statement that it's still a decent system, though (that's not the same as the best!). I think it would have been abandoned long ago if it wasn't. There are things it's not good at, but it's still a useful tool for communicating, at least about certain types of music. In my mind, the value of communicating with other people is the main reason not to abandon it for a freshly designed system that addresses some of its shortcomings.
  12. Why does a staff have five lines when there are 12 semitones? A lot of music doesn't use all 12 semitones (and I'm just gonna ignore microtonal and atonal stuff), and the relationship between the semitones used in a particular piece of music are part of what gives it its character. It's more common to use only 7 notes in your scale, which is why we label notes A-G and then use sharps and flats to adjust the semitone relationships. The reason for using a mix of lines and spaces, instead of giving each note a line, is that the line-space arrangement helps highlight significant note relationships, such as thirds and fifths. There's also a consideration of compactness in the notation. There are certainly compromises in standard music notation, but it's a good system for the purposes it's designed for. If a piece of music is in G-Major but it has zero F#s why is it not in C-Major? Again, it's about the (perceived) relationships between the notes of the scale. Which note feels like resolution/ending? That's going to be your root note, even if you didn't use all the notes from a scale that has it as the root. How do I transpose a piece of music (because I don't have a D4)? Adjust each note by the same number of semitones. Look at the distance between the root note of the key the music is in and the root note of the key you want to change it to. How do I get better? Practice. Teachers are also a good idea, but that won't help if you don't practice. If you can't find any local teachers, there are a number of folks that offer zoom lessons. Some of them frequent concertina.net. If you absolutely can't find anybody to teach concertina, you might consider looking for someone who teaches a different instrument, such as violin. You won't learn as much instrument-specific technique that way, but it can help improve your general musicality.
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