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Richard Mellish

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About Richard Mellish

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  1. Don't confuse emojis with emoticons. The resemblance of the names is coincidental: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji says "Not to be confused with Emoticon.".
  2. Some logic certainly, but some of it far from obvious, and not the same between Wheatstone and Jeffries layouts.
  3. Some years ago (but more recently than when this thread was started), shortly after I had bought a very nice Wheatstone 40-key C-G, a Koot Brits 40-key C-G came up for sale at a much lower price. I decided I might as well buy it and then, in due course, sell one or the other. The Koot Brits turned out to be -- err -- let's say "not great". It is bigger than the Wheatstone and needs to be, because the reeds use an awful lot of air. I eventually took it to Steve Dickinson for his advice. He reckons it was assembled in SA from Wheatstone parts, with probably some Lachenal reeds, rather than built from scratch. It is playable but would need a lot of work to put it into good condition, probably including a lot of new reeds.
  4. Can't the OP at least get in a bit of playing when another member of the household takes the dog for a walk? This thread does give me an excuse to recount my experiences. Pets' reactions are varied. When I was a nipper, my grandfather had to take his cello to the end of the house furthest from where the dog lived. I don't remember whether that was enough to stop the dog howling or whether he howled anyway but was far enough away for his howls not to interfere too seriously with the music. With my first cat in my present house, as soon as I started to play my concertina she would squeeze herself between the intrument and my body. I was never sure whether this was because she liked the sound so much or because she was trying to prevent me from playing.
  5. Hear hear! Make sure that the rhythm is defined by the words, not by the accompaniment. Too many otherwise competent musician/singers keep a steady rhythm on their instrument (usually guitar, but could be anything) and are thereby forced to gabble some of the words to fit them in.
  6. I presume that the references to "brass plated" and "aluminium" refer to the reed frames, not to the reeds. But if the frames aren't solid brass, why plate them?
  7. I'm reminded of the barber shop scene in one of the Marx Brothers' films: a bit too much off one side, so then take a bit off the other side, but then that's too short so take a bit more of the first side, etc. Surely one should file very little to start with, then a bit more if necessary. Also what about the effect of the reed chamber on pitch?
  8. I use that button on pull as part of a chord (F-major on a C-G). I don't think I ever use it on push.
  9. Richard Mellish


    I bought an instrument from a dealer. (I will not name which dealer or what instrument, except that it is a concertina of a respectable make.) It had supposedly been thoroughly restored. A while later I took it to an expert. (I will not name which expert.) The expert's advice was that the dealer had paid a restorer only as much as necessary to have it put into reasonable condition, rather than paying somewhat more (but not a huge amount more) to have it put into first class condition. I decided to pay the expert to do a proper job. As to what moral or what practical advice to draw from that, I'm not really sure.
  10. I too played for one women's (definitely not ladies') NW morris side, but that fizzled out many years ago, because not only the numbers but the enthusiasm and the quality of the dancing were declining. Sorry to say, nowadays I don't squeeze as much as I used to, but I haven't stopped.
  11. I'm wondering how the pads are joined to the levers. They appear to be integral, without the flexibility that a conventional concertina has at that point, and therefore relying entirely on the elasticity of the material on the side facing the action plate. Some conventionally made concertinas have the levers held in place in essentially the same way, but I seem to recall claims that rivetting is better. Is that just because the spring pressure can tend to pull the staple (or whatever) out of the action plate, which doesn't apply with 3D printing? Or is there any other disadvantage?
  12. One does of course need to use the right thumb for the air button on an Anglo, and some Anglos have a corresponding button on the left-hand end that plays a note, often referred to as a "drone" but also usable as part of a chord. If it's OK on an Anglo I don't see why it shouldn't be done on a Hayden.
  13. Inasmuch as you can use only one hand to play the notes, with the other pulling and pushing the piston, and the note is the same in both directions, the layout really has to be like one end of a duet system. The alternative is two ends and bagpipe bellows as suggested by Halifax. I can't see how to avoid the need to seal around the buttons. Whereas a conventional concertina has the reeds and pads between the bellows and the end that is open to the atmosphere, with this instrument the pipes pretty well have to be open to the atmosphere, so the other side of the pads, connected to the cylinder via the flap-valves, does need to be sealed. That would still be the same with the double-ended bagpipe bellows version. How is it achieved with a conventional pipe organ (large as in a church or portative)?
  14. It seems to me that "feedback" can be an issue in two ways. One is "howl round", when the loop gain is enough to cause continuous sound. Different original sounds may provoke that more or less quickly, but it will happen anyway. The other is where the loop gain is a bit below unity but enough to emphasise one or more frequencies. That clearly is more or less of an issue according to how much of those particular frequencies an instrument produces, which may indeed differ significantly from one kind of reed (and associated chanber etc) to another.
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