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Richard Mellish

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Everything posted by Richard Mellish

  1. You may be lucky, but when I bought a concertina from South Africa last year the bill for import VAT arrived several weeks later.
  2. Every feature of Stephen's "identity crisis" beast apart from its shape seems to be the same as an ordinary melodeon, so I'd call it a melodeon. Just as a concertina that is definitely a concertina can be square, I don't see why a melodeon can't be hexagonal, or indeed any other shape. A Franglo is more of a mongrel; having the melodeon arrangement of the notes with the traditional concertina form of construction; so in a way the complement of the cheap concertinas that have Anglo or English arrangement of the notes with the accordeon/melodeon style of construction.
  3. I can't see anyone coming up with a concertina more unusual than the blue meanie. The best I can offer is the one I bought in 2020:
  4. I think I should respond to those who argue that 30 keys are enough. Indeed they are for many people. (And one contributor on here, Kathryn Wheeler, is doing very nicely with only 20.) Whether more are useful depends on what you want to do. I was influenced by John Vernon (not that I'm his equal as a musician). I don't know whether he is still playing Anglo nowadays, but when I knew him as a regular at the Herga Folk Club he made much use of the extra buttons to avoid what he called "Anglo players' shake"; frequent rapid changes of bellows direction to get all the notes you want. Observers sometimes assumed that he was playing a Duet, and they sometimes assume the same about me.
  5. Posting this separately, as it is a bit closer to the subject of this thread. A link from another thread took me to http://www.concertina.com/worrall/beginnings-concertina-in-ireland/index.htm, where there is a copy of a Joseph Scates advert, which mentions "Gold Notes, which never require tuning, and cannot be broken". Allowing for the exaggeration in an advert from before the days of advertising standards, what might those "notes" have been made of that would have made them at least somewhat more durable than the usual ones?
  6. This is This is straying somewhat from the subject of the thread, but my presumption was that any changes within the metal that affect its mechanical properties would have some effect on the elasticity. If I understand you aright, the "hardness" that is increased is relevant only to plastic deformation, not elastic.
  7. I find it reassuring that the vibration of a reed in use doesn't cause work hardening. It it did, that would presumably raise the Young's Modulus and therefore the pitch. Metal fatigue seems very plausible. Might it start from microscopic flaws in the edges of a reed, left from when it was cut to size?
  8. I might or might not get around to explaining, but anyway not on this thread.
  9. Many years ago I ordered a new Anglo from Steve Dickinson. When he was ready to start building it we dicussed the specification. He suggested 40 buttons, on the principle that it you don't use all of them that's not a problem but if you have 30 and wish you had more you're stuck. I agreed and I have been playing 40 button Anglos ever since. I think I do use all the buttons, though some of them not very much. That first one was in G and D. In 2012 I paid a lot of money for a 40 button C-G Wheatstone. A few months later a Koot Brits (South African) C-G came up for sale at a much lower price. I bought it, with the idea that I could keep either that or the Wheatstone and sell the other one. It is not as good as the Wheatstone but I have recently had it overhauled and it is not bad. I am open to offers for it. (But I would prefer not to part with it immediately because the C-G Wheatstone is currently away for overhaul).
  10. I have long been bemused by threads on Mudcat that ask for the chords for a particular song (usually an actual song, though I am also bemused by modern use of the word "song" to refer to an instrumental item). For me, the melody is fundamental, and chords or harmonies can be chosen to suit, according to one's personal taste and ability. (And don't get me started on percussion.)
  11. Can you clarify, please? By resistance, do you mean stiffness or non-elastic losses? If stiffness, why not just use thinner wire?
  12. Possibly worth considering would be a Franglo, as built by Colin Dipper for Emmanuel Pariselle, which has single notes on the right-hand end and basses and chords on the left hand end, exactly like a melodeon, but with concertina reeds and form of construction.
  13. I'm sure you won't go far wrong with Cohen. I don't consider myself a teacher but if you want to try a face-to-face session some time, Covid permitting, I'm in Harrow.
  14. Taking the last point first; that's probably true, but this thread also serves as a useful survey of layouts, standard or non-standard. I don't entirely agree that "once you move past 30-button and/or C/G layouts, there's basically no such thing as standard". Wheatstone and Jeffries are certainly pretty different. I can't confirm or correct your Jeffries chart, but I seem to remember from when I briefly picked up a 38-key Jeffries that it had less than 30 buttons in common with my (then one and only) Wheatstone. However the Wheatstone-layout 40-key instruments are pretty consistent. I have three actual Wheatstones and two other makes, and I think all but my Bflat/F have exactly equivalent layouts, with everything transposed by corresponding amounts. (Though I can't check my D/A as it's currently away for an overhaul.) My Bflat-F does have a few differences. Besides the one I that mentioned before, having a G on the right-hand end, top row, first button, push, there are two others. What would be the right-most button on the right-hand end, top row, is instead in the innermost row to make it easier to reach with my little finger That was at my request. But I've only just noticed, or been reminded of, one other difference. Left-hand end, top row, second button has a D on pull instead of the A-flat/G-sharp that would correspond to the B-flat on a C/G. I don't remember whether I requested that, but it was probably for the same reason as the G, for playing in G minor. There was also one mistake in the chart that I attached. Right-hand end, top row, fourth button, pull, is an A-flat/G-sharp, as already shown on the stave and on your chart, not A natural.
  15. I don't have a picture of mine handy, but it's pretty much the same as the amboyna one at http://www.wakker-concertinas.com/A-6.htm
  16. In general, for a given pattern (such as Wheatstone 40-key), transposing everything should be correct. Besides my one-off change that I mentioned, and the additional buttons on my 40-key that are not on lachenal74693's chart, there are very few other differences: left-hand end, top row, 2nd button, pull; and left-hand end, bottom row, 1st button, both directions. That last strikes me as an oddity on lachenal74693's chart because the F on push and the C on pull are both available on the middle row, and my A and G correspond to the B and A in that position on a C/G.
  17. If it's any use, here's the chart for my Dipper 40 key Bflat/F baritone. Sorry for yet another orientation of push/pull. It has one change from the standard Wheatstone 40 key layout. The top left push note on the right-hand end is a low G rather than an E which would be normal. I specified the G because I thought it would be convenient for playing in G minor, but in the end I never got far with that and now I have my Wakker G-minor/D-minor box. I've thought about getting that G changed but not done anything about it. BflatF.pdf
  18. Very nicely done. And I can confirm that your 40-button G/D Wheatstone chart agrees exactly with my Wheatstone G/D.
  19. Others here could say more about what Wheatstones were making in those years, but that was during WWII as far as Europe was concerned, so with limited supplies of materials other than what was already in stock.
  20. Does "La-shenal" imply stress on the second syllable, like Laplace? I put the stress on the first syllable but I may be wrong.
  21. I think the owner had put it "in a safe place" himself.
  22. Smart Water is a bit smarter than RAc surmises. It would disappear from skin because the surface of the skin itself is being shed. And it's not like UV ink, where information can be read under UV illumination. All the UV does is reveal that a Smart Water marking is present. You need special facilities to read the code in the microscopic particles. If a villain adds their own on top, that would not remove the original particles.
  23. Someone I know had his concertina go missing after some workmen had been doing stuff in his house. He assumed it had been stolen. A while later it turned up in an obscure place in the house. A tracking device (if such had been available back then) would have set his mind at rest much sooner.
  24. Taking away material near the fixed end of a reed is of course the usual method of lowering the pitch, but it is irreversible. Where's the harm in adding a tiny dab of removable material near the tip? Something like superglue would be easier to remove than solder, and also lower density, so more amenable to fine adjustment.
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