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Steve Schulteis

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Everything posted by Steve Schulteis

  1. This? https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/9637-showing-off-tune/&tab=comments#comment-97157
  2. Another option that recently received a favorable review from an experienced player: https://www.flyingduckconcertinas.co.uk/ducklings.html
  3. Fanie, did you get everything you needed here? For the record, my order from Harmonikas arrived today, so I can confirm that I received exactly what I expected.
  4. Two of my bandmates use the Pageflip devices, or lookalikes, and they're pretty slick. They really shine for sets with more than two tunes, because you don't have to spread papers way out, make special photocopies that combine the tunes in the set, or shuffle half sheets between three-hole pockets. Big tablets are still too spendy for me, and I don't like depending on battery-powered devices, but it's a good system. I think the main thing that would stop me from using a scroll is that it seems like it would be awkward to do anything other than play the tunes in their predetermined order. Do you find that to be the case?
  5. This is for a 30-button, but if you ignore the extra row of buttons (the one labeled "Acc"), it shows the layout a few different ways with octave numbers and staff notation too: http://midnight-court.com/concertina-maps.html
  6. I'd replace the G3/D4 at the low end of the G row with B3/A3, but otherwise looks good from a casual inspection. G3 and D4 are already available in both bellows directions, so it's typical to put something else there, even though it means the G row doesn't follow exactly the same pattern as the C row. B3/A3 is the most common as far as I know, and I've found that setup to work very well for my own playing.
  7. It might be a couple of days before I get to it (I'm pretty busy at the moment), but I'd be happy to.
  8. When they say "schema", I assume they just mean the note/button layout you're looking for. When I placed an order with them, I specified each note in two ways: Scientific pitch notation, which specifies middle-C as "C4", specifies sharps with ♯, and uses "B" (not "H"). A variant of the german system, which specifies middle-C as "c1", specifies sharps by appending "is" to the letter, and uses "h" instead of "B". The note called "F♯5" in scientific pitch notation is called "fis2" in this german system. I provided each note as its equivalent sharp - no flats. So instead of "B♭4", I'd list "A♯4". I sent them a table with columns for "Note" (one column for each type of notation), "Reed Size" (I was ordering their original concertina reeds), and "Count". I'm still waiting for that order, so I can't say definitively that I got it right, but there didn't seem to be any confusion about what I was looking for.
  9. This was my first thought as well. Of course, it works both ways - the concertina has an entirely different set of mechanics to practice. Maybe it's different in your area, but around me the novelty factor of the concertina is huge. It never fails to attract attention (in a good way). I play with a little American folk group, and while many of the other musicians are much more skilled than I am, nothing seems to garner quite as much curiosity as my concertina. Everybody has seen guitars and fiddles but not that strange little squeezebox.
  10. Here ya go: https://concertinashop.com.au/
  11. While I don't think it's possible in ABC, MuseScore is quite capable of producing Coover tabs (although it's a bit tedious) using "lines" from the palette. I use line elements for both the pull bars and the button numbers, which helps keep everything aligned correctly. Nearly all of the tablature linked from my YouTube videos is produced with MuseScore. What I wasn't able to do was produce a plugin to make things easier, because MuseScore 3 never included lines in its plugin API. MuseScore 4 is supposed to be coming soon, so maybe the situation will improve after that.
  12. Try searching the forum for "meantone". Here are a few old posts that might be of interest:
  13. Haha, yeah, I've resisted the temptation to make my own tab system for exactly this reason, but the realization that identifying the row is almost enough on its own was just too much.
  14. Ok, this totally nerd-sniped me. Here's the Ma Normandie arrangement from above rendered in my proposed minimalist system (I probably made some mistakes, let me know if you find them). For noteheads, I left the C row standard, and the G row uses a down-arrow, since I think about the G row as being below the C row. For a 30-button, the accidental/bonus row could use an up-arrow notehead. I didn't do anything extra to indicate which hand a note is on - I found that in this case doing so was more confusing. I'm not sure my choice of noteheads is necessarily the best - the G and bonus rows could instead use slashed notes (again, down for G, up for bonus), which I find harder to read quickly, but which would be easier to notate by hand, especially on an existing score. Or it might be better to pick noteheads that look as much different from each other as possible. I haven't spent much time playing from this yet, but my initial impression is that it might be workable. Ma_Normandie.pdf
  15. I agree that this tablature looks like a mess, but I wonder if there isn't some cleverness hiding here. On a 20-button Anglo there's generally not a lot of notes that are duplicated within a row - typically only the very low G in the C row IIRC, and that is distinguished by bellows direction. Simply putting a row indicator right next to the notes might actually be a decent and simple way to enable/encourage reading primarily from the standard notation without giving up the specificity of which button to choose. Most of the time this notation alone would unambiguously indicate both button and bellows direction. You could potentially even extend this idea to a 30 button, although the Wheatstone layout would probably work a smidge better than the Jeffries with this approach. It might be interesting to try this (perhaps with symbols that look less like noteheads - or maybe just use differently shaped noteheads) together with Gary Coover's bellows indications. You could also add multiple staves to the mix or Kathryn Wheeler's use of stem direction to prompt which hand a note is played on. I feel like that would produce a pleasing minimalist system, but I wonder if it would be usable in practice.
  16. I've wondered this very thing, although for some reason it hadn't occurred to me that you could get ready-made plywood this thin until your post (I had been thinking about laminating veneers and controlling thickness with a drum sander).
  17. Yeah, that would be an issue. Any place the sponge makes direct contact with the card would be at serious risk.
  18. And now, the results of my bellows card material evaluation! I obtained five different types of card: 2-ply cotton museum board 4-ply cotton museum board Holdenesque lamination with 111 lb cotton card as core Holdenesque lamination with 110 lb paper card as core 0.8mm Presspahn I handled samples of each card, flexed them, cut them, bent them, and generally mangled them in order to develop a subjective assessment. I also performed a couple of more quantitative tests. Subjective Analysis The 2-ply museum board and paper-core lamination seemed somewhat comparable in dimension and stiffness, as did the 4-ply museum board and paper-core lamination (note that paper card is about half the thickness of cotton card of the same weight). The Presspahn was unusual, in that it seemed similar to the lighter materials in thickness but closer to the heavier materials in stiffness. When cut with a utility knife, all materials showed a tendency to deform slightly on their bottom surface. Using a fresh blade, a solid cutting surface, and multiple light passes helped reduce or eliminate it. The Presspahn was the most prone to this, and showed some deformation even with very light passes. I'm unsure if this is a problem, but it seems like it could potentially create a starting point for delamination. The Presspahn was also the most difficult material to cut. With enough rough handling (especially folding a corner), all materials eventually delaminated. It was hard to tell whether any material performed especially well or poorly in resisting delamination as a result of flexing. The 4-ply museum board was especially prone to tearing when folded over on itself. The other materials did tear when folded completely over, but to a lesser degree. I placed a drop of water on each type of card. Presspahn was the big loser here - it absorbed the water quickly and swelled up, easily delaminating. 4-ply was less absorbent, but still delaminated easily. The custom laminations absorbed the water but showed much less swelling and were still resistant to delamination. The 2-ply was the most water resistant but still delaminated like the 4-ply once it got wet. Stiffness Test Samples measuring 28 mm by 101 mm were used for this test. Each card was placed in a fixture that held it securely by one end and suspended it parallel to the floor. A weight of 45 grams was attached 60 mm from the secured end, and the card was given time to reach a resting position. The resulting vertical deflection at the tip (71 mm from the secured end) was measured. Results 2-ply museum board: 16 mm 4-ply museum board: 6 mm Cotton-core lamination: 6 mm Paper-core lamination: 16 mm Presspahn: 3.5 mm I was a little surprised to see that my comparisons of the 2-ply to the paper-core and the 4-ply to the cotton-core were so on the nose. I was also shocked when the Presspahn turned out to be *more* stiff than even the cotton-core, which was my subjective pick for the sturdiest card. Delamination Test Samples measuring 28 mm by 28 mm were used for this test. Strips of cotton cloth were attached to opposing faces of each card using rabbit skin glue. Each cloth strip covered the entire face it was glued to and extended past the edge of the card. Both cloth strips extended past the same edge of the card. The card-cloth assembly was suspended by one of the cloth strips, while weight was added to the other cloth strip until the card delaminated. The weight supported at the time of failure was recorded. Results 2-ply museum board: 757 grams 4-ply museum board: 560 grams Cotton-core lamination: 739 grams** Paper-core lamination: < 474 grams (failed to support initial weight) Presspahn: 693 grams ** The cotton-core suffered an extra jolt at the beginning of its test, which may have contributed to an early failure. This is with a sample size of one, so take these numbers with a hefty grain of salt. Early failures could have been caused by any number of factors that have nothing to do with lamination strength, such as differences in the test glue-up or suspending the weight slightly toward one side of the cloth. I don't see any real pattern here. Between the museum board cards, one did well and the other did poorly. Same with the custom laminations. Between the cards in my lightweight category, one did well and the other did poorly. Same with the heavier cards. Presspahn performed respectably, but wasn't a standout this time. As with the previous test, the top performer (2-ply!) was a surprise to me. Ultimately, I'm not sure how valid these results are (or even if this is a good test), but I'm probably not going to run the test a dozen more times to get better answers. Material Details 2-ply Museum Board Sample thickness: 0.031" (0.787 mm) Sample density: 0.7 grams/cm³ Deflection under 45 grams: 16 mm Delamination weight: 757 grams pH: 8.5-9.5 Lignin-free: Yes Source: https://www.archivalmethods.com/product/bright-white-2ply-100-cotton-museum-board The tested museum board was buffered. Unbuffered museum board will have a pH closer to 7. 4-ply Museum Board Sample thickness: 0.060" (1.52 mm) Sample density: 0.66 grams/cm³ Deflection under 45 grams: 6 mm Delamination weight: 560 grams pH: 8.5-9.5 Lignin-free: Yes Source: https://www.archivalmethods.com/product/antique-white-4-ply-100-cotton-museum-board The samples received included multiple colors of 4-ply museum board. Each sample had a uniform thickness, but there was variation between them from 0.058" to 0.063". The card that the label separated from most cleanly was selected for testing. The tested museum board was buffered. Unbuffered museum board will have a pH closer to 7. Cotton-Core Holdenesque Lamination Sample thickness: 0.055" (1.40 mm) Sample density: 0.69 grams/cm³ Deflection under 45 grams: 6 mm Delamination weight: 739 grams pH: "acid-free" for paper, "acid-free" for card stock, 7.1-7.3 for adhesive Lignin-free: Unspecified for paper, yes for card stock Sources: https://www.staples.com/Staples-Laser-Paper-8-1-2-x-11-Bright-White-Ream/product_733333 https://www.lcipaper.com/8-12-x-11-cardstock-gmund-cotton-111lb-max-white/pd/COTN811-MAXW300.html https://www.talasonline.com/Jade-R This card consisted of four layers laminated with Jade R adhesive plus 10% water by mass: 28 lb printer paper 111 lb 100% cotton card stock 111 lb 100% cotton card stock 28 lb printer paper This was my attempt to stick as close to Alex Holden's original formula as I could. Paper-Core Holdenesque Lamination Sample thickness: 0.037" (0.940 mm) Sample density: 0.87 grams/cm³ Deflection under 45 grams: 16 mm Delamination weight: < 474 grams pH: "acid-free" for paper, "acid-free" for card stock, 7.1-7.3 for adhesive Lignin-free: Unspecified Sources: https://www.staples.com/Staples-Laser-Paper-8-1-2-x-11-Bright-White-Ream/product_733333 https://www.staples.ca/products/679546-en-staples-pastel-coloured-card-stock-8-12-x-11-110-lb-assorted-colours-100pack (I think this must be a discontinued product, because it's not listed on the US site. I just bought the cheapest 110 pound card stock that was available at my local store. I also notice that the website says it's not acid free, even though the packaging indicates that it is acid free.) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ https://www.talasonline.com/Jade-R This card consisted of four layers laminated with Jade R adhesive plus 10% water by mass: 28 lb printer paper 110 lb card stock 110 lb card stock 28 lb printer paper 0.8 mm Presspahn Sample thickness: 0.037" (0.940 mm) Sample density: 0.92 grams/cm³ Deflection under 45 grams: 3.5 mm Delamination weight: 693 grams pH: 7.0 - 8.5 Lignin-free: Unspecified, but likely yes Source: https://secure.presspahn.com/Cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_11&products_id=34 A specific type (Grade K) of "Elephantide", which is a brand of electrical pressboard. While pressboard can be made from a variety of materials, Presspahn is made from kraft wood pulp. More details are available at https://secure.presspahn.com/Products/Whiteley/GradeK.htm or https://www.presspahn.com/product-solutions/material-solutions/100-presspahn/ Conclusion My pick for the best all-around material is Alex Holden's original lamination formula. I'm sure he's done a lot of his own experimentation to arrive at it, so that isn't any great surprise. Even thought it's not my top pick, I think I'm still going to make a full bellows with the Presspahn - I've got enough of it on hand already, and it lets me skip the extra lamination step. It will be interesting to see how it holds up over time.
  19. I use Gary Coover's tabs, at this point mostly to remind myself of how I played a particular piece in the past, as well as to share that information with others. I hardly think it's a perfect system, but one thing I like about it (and that is common to many other systems) is that it indicates which hand plays a particular button with position rather than another symbol. I think it would be interesting to further explore the idea of expressing tabs with fewer symbols and to introduce more spatially mappable representations as well. The other thing I really like about Coover's system is that a decent collection of tunes in various styles are available in it. This means it's attractive for beginners to learn, and its popularity/familiarity makes it a good tool for communicating.
  20. There's a guideline in software interface design that you never indicate anything with color alone. That's because various types of colorblindness are quite common. It is possible to pick colors that pretty much everyone can distinguish, but it will be dependent upon everyone that uses the tab system using specifically chosen colors (e.g. RGB or CMYK values) and not just something that looks maroon or green to them. Using color alone would also mean that your tabs could not be fully reproduced with a black-and-white printer or copier. That said, color is often a great secondary indicator of information that is already shown by other means, and I think it would fit in even with existing tab systems quite nicely.
  21. Those are fair points. There's still the question of how long it takes to reach a tolerable level, and I'd wager that for heavy exposure it's a time measured in years. Either way, I've had poor luck trying to clean smokey items, so I'll leave them for the rest of you. 😉
  22. With all respect, I think you're all being unrealistically optimistic. Tobacco is incredibly potent stuff, and the smell of cigarettes can persist for years, even after thorough cleaning. It's been my painful experience that once something is sufficiently contaminated by cigarette smoke, the only people who will ever fully enjoy it again are smokers (barring extreme measures, see below). To really cleanse a smokey concertina, I would clean the metal parts and seal or replace basically everything else. Anything made of leather or fabric gets replaced (bellows, pads, valves, gaskets, etc). Wood gets cleaned and sealed with shellac wherever possible. Even then I wouldn't be surprised if there was still some detectable odor.
  23. This came up earlier this year: That thread offers some potential solutions, but in my experience, there really is no cure for significant exposure to cigarette smoke. One trip to a smokey bar is fixable, but ten years in the house of a heavy smoker isn't. Tobacco products have an incredibly penetrating and tenacious odor. Once it's set in, some of the proposed solutions may reduce the smell a bit, but it will never really go away.
  24. I didn't find a US distributor that sells small quantities of presspahn, but the site I linked to has affordable shipping to my location. I went ahead and ordered some to see what it's like. I've also got a sample of 300 gsm cotton card on the way, so I can try Alex's lamination approach. Since I don't have the building or repair experience to evaluate each material on its own merits, I also ordered some samples of museum card as a sort of baseline. I won't be building a bellows out of each of these materials, but I'll report back here on their relative stiffness, weight, durability, and workability. If anyone has suggestions for how to test them (or other materials to add to the mix), I'm all ears.
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