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Yuxin Ding

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Posts posted by Yuxin Ding

  1.  

    On 5/13/2022 at 5:03 PM, Richard Mellish said:

    I think the chart is very good and deserves to be fully developed in a digital version.

     

    Should Jeffries Duet be regarded as descended only from Jerries Anglo or also from other Duets?

     

    If I understand correctly, Wicky and Hayden are slightly different and were invented independently, so perhaps they deserve separate boxes. I'm not sure where the lines should be to show where those two kinds came from.

     

    Some other button layouts have been discussed here, such as piano-style* and Anglos with a few "Duet" buttons. I'm not sure whether they deserve to be included.

     

    * I've seen one here very recently but can't find it now.

     

    What I thought about was, all kinds of the duet concertinas share the same "duet idea," so I put all of them into the duet section. But I think you are right, it's make sense that the early duets made some influence to the Jeffries. I think I should find some details about this, or do you have some of those on your hand?

  2. On 5/13/2022 at 3:07 PM, alex_holden said:

    There's also the modern 'hybrid' concertinas (starting with the Wheatstone "May Fair" I believe) that incorporate German-style mass produced accordion reeds into English-style concertinas, most often with an Anglo keyboard layout. Some of these hybrids are now being manufactured in China.

     

    Also the "Franglo" concertina invented by Emmanuel Pariselle and Colin Dipper, which has a melodeon-inspired keyboard layout in something that looks like and has similar construction methods to an English concertina.

     

    I aware the hybrid instrument, it's not only because I'm playing one but am also living in China. Since multiple of these concertinas, English, Hayden duet, 20b, both Jeffries and Wheatstone/Lachenal Layout Anglo have the hybrid models, it's gonna be tricky to arrange all these categories together in one chart. Maybe I'll figure a smarter way to put them in one or more charts.

     

    I have seen the Franglo and other systems which not popular on some webpages, but their informations are not as plenty as all the systems I've put in the chart. Obviously I need more readings!

  3. I've recently read some articles on concertina.com, as well as Dan Worral's The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social History, and I've got a rough idea of the history of these lovely instruments. But I haven't seen a flowchart yet that helps me remember these (did I miss it?), so I made one.

     

    Scan2022-05-13_111623.thumb.jpg.1570c2dcb06cb53b871a5b5da47502f1.jpg

     

    I don't have the confidence to guarantee that I didn't make a mistake in this chart. So, please point out anything which is not in the right way in your reply. Sorry for making this flowchart by hand, I may make a digital version later.

     

    P.S. Everything can be ignored if it's not written in English - they're my own note in my language!

  4. I've had a similar question all the time, that is I've never seen anyone in Europe and United States use the numbered musical notation that is common in China and Japan, which looks like:

    05486A2E-E3AD-4815-A8CA-766CD96A9F20.thumb.gif.dc0113bdb3777217420f05aceaf15764.gif
    The interesting thing about this kind of notation is that it does not represent the exact notes, but the relationship between each note regards to the key clarified at the beginning. For example in this piece, it clarified it’s in Eb major, then the 1 is going to be Eb, 2 is F, 3 is G and so on.

     

    This kind of score is widely used for traditional woodwind and string instruments in China and Japan, and sometimes also for harmonicas. I guess it may be because it is similar to the musical notation used in ancient east Asia.

     

    But actually I didn’t ever used it. I start to learn music with accordion which the scores are usually way too complicated to be recorded by this kind of notation.

  5.  

    This is a beautiful Irish air I learned from Gary Coover's Anglo tune book "In the Harmonic Style," but my video is actually followed Hector Awol's performance on a C/F melodeon. 

     

    Recently I've been trying to use the drone button in some tunes. After couple weeks of practice I can eventually press some other button on left hand side with the drone simultaneously. 

     

    I had never played any other Anglo with a drone except this Bastari, so I don't know if it is or isn't normal to have a conspicuous gap when changing bellow directions. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestion to me about the drone button.

    • Like 7
  6. I've played some arrangements from Adrain's book he mentioned in his reply, and that's probably my starting point to realize how those extra buttons featured. I'd like to add more information about 30 button+ instruments. There are various number of buttons for both Jeffries and Wheatstone, but 38 for Jeffries and 40 for Wheatstone are the most common. I don't know the reason about this, except the hybrid 30 buttons newly built, any kinds of Jeffries are antique, hard to find one and usually super expensive. But the same level Wheatstones 40 buttons are less rare and slightly cheaper, plus some fine makers and massive producers are still actively building those nowadays. I'm currently playing a Bastari/Stagi 40b Wheatstone Anglo, a massive produced budget instrument, which is absolutely playable!

    • Like 1
  7. If your are looking for play classical on Anglo, then my suggestion would be 40button Wheatstone or 38b Jeffries. One of the major way to play on Anglo is in the bouncy style like English dance musics, but for 30b instruments, for many cases the melody can be only played in the seesawing bouncy style although the sheet says there should be an even accompaniment with a fluent melody. A 40b or 38b have many alternate buttons for the notes that 30b already have but on another bellow direction, it's very helpful to move the melodies to right hand side as much as possible and sometimes make the whole bar or phrase can be played on one same bellow direction. I'm not saying the issue would be totally ceased on 30+button instruments, but it surely will reduced.

     

    Anyway, for myself, more button doesn't mean more confusion but more simplicity.

    • Like 2
  8. If it were me, I would choose the latter without any of hesitation. I’ve played Scarlatti (in China branded “Blazefine”) for a while, it gave me a terrible experience because any part of it was fragile and smelled like bad plywood. Im playing a Bastari (now Stagi) 40 button instrument, it’s surely not a fancy box but still way better than a Scarlatti. I'm not sure if Bastari from different eras will come close in quality, but I don't believe any of them will be inferior to the Scarlatti.

     

    Edit: £275 is quite a good price if the instrument is working as supposed.

  9. That's funny to say, I've never had the chance to touch my favorite instrument yet. The instrument in my dream is a 40 button Anglo Concertina, but this kind of instrument are so rare on the market, they're either too expensive that out of my budget or too Bastari-ish. Actually I am playing a Bastari W-40-MS now and I guess I need to play it for a really long time until I can find, or afford a better one.

  10. I made this range chart based on a piano keyboard, to help myself when arranging tunes couple months ago. It shows what note a concertina can play and how many of them on it. Hope this chart would make helps for some people on some purposes. Forgot adding in the chart, it's for CG instruments.

     

    30_40_Anglo.thumb.jpg.df7c09029fc5b15a00b683e642f97ff3.jpg

    Actually I was kinda shocked when I found out all the "accidentals" are only on one direction of bellow movements for 30b, but many of music composers can still make good music for it.

     

    • Like 1
  11. On 3/23/2022 at 11:41 PM, Corbin Collins said:

    Has anybody ever tried to build a concertina using harmonica reeds?

     

    The harmonica reeds are specially made and mounted on a whole metal plate as long as the harmonica, and they are very close to each other. It would be tricky to assemble these whole things on a concertina if the maker don't re-mount them into smaller reed-shoe each individually. But given the labor costs, the re-mounting work is not making anything cheaper than just using accordion reeds. By the way, this reminds me the old Russian accordions or bayans, they have all the reeds riveted on a very long plate, which makes the maintenance work a nightmare.

     

    And here's also a conjecture, the harmonica reed is usually tiny and may require a very strengthful air flow, (i.e. by human lungs) to make the sound it supposed to make. I don't think a concertina bellow can make the air flow as strong as a human's lung. 

    • Like 1
  12. And here the video is! I can't find one more shows how Wang plays the WF except this quite low resolution video. Seems this video was filmed like at least a decade ago. I tried to ask Wang himself for more materials but he didn't reply my message yet due to the Chinese New Year.

     

    2 hours ago, Luke Hillman said:

    I'd be curious to know what considerations went into Wang's design.

     

    Actually I, myself don't think the WF-System is a very good idea, it surely does make the melody be more fluent and colorful but it almost killed all the benefits to play chords on the Anglos. I guess when Wang made this layout, he didn't know there are English or Duet Concertinas. And he did want to make the grace notes and vibratos possible on a concertina, then the WF-System came out. But his mirror row which is a solid invention we can't doubt, absolutely reduced the impact of the air issue on a bisonoric instrument.

     

    The performance in video is not something close to harmonic style like I said in the beginning of this threat, sorry about the mistake I made there.

    • Thanks 1
  13. Since the origin of free reed instruments (笙, Sh’eng) in China, this type of instrument has hardly changed in this country. Even in the last few hundred years, Sh’eng have ceased to be a mainstream instrument. It was not until the 20th century that China gradually accepted the chromatic accordion under the influence of the Soviet Union. There are many kinds of free-reed instruments in Europe, but most of them are rare in China, especially the concertina.

     

    Nonetheless, there are some Chinese people who are keen to learn about things that are rarely seen around them and there was even an accordion maker who designed his own concertina system, WF-System By Wang Guoping(王国平), A.K.A. Wang Feng(王峰), that’s how the “WF” comes from. See the layout chart below:

     

    WF33Conc.thumb.jpg.f8d412bcc7e40aa103a3d6d1cf1cf12e.jpg

     

    Wang’s design is based on a 20b Anglo-German concertina but with C/B rows rather than C/G, like all other Anglos. I think this combination is what we usually seen on the RHS of a multi-rowed melodeon. And he made an additional C-scale row on the top, with exactly the same notes but all on another direction of pulling and pushing. There are also a 20b version, which is without the reversal rows on both side and the 6th column on RHS.

     

    And for the actions, Wang’s concertina are pretty similar to the larger instruments like Chemnitzer Concertinas or even Bandoneons. It has multiple reeds for one single note in octaves, which is what all the Chinese players usually want for an accordion: more reeds. And of course, his concertinas are huge like:

     

    IMG_1632.jpg.6f88dd4d3d22487342c0d56f6a3cff7a.jpg

     

    Look how huge it is! If a person who doesn't know all about this sees this photo, the person might have a cognitive issue: is this a shrunken person holding a normal-sized concertina or a normal-sized person holds a huge instrument?

     

    Wang's main job is to make and repair accordions, and he is very busy every day (i.e., my accordion has been in his workshop in Beijing for over half a year, and still in a long waitlist!) I haven't had a chance to try any of his instruments myself, so I don't know how they play. But I've seen some of his video and it seems he can play harmonic style on his instrument. I’ll try to upload some of those video on Youtube.

     

    What do you think of his design? 

    • Like 2
  14. On 1/19/2022 at 6:38 PM, Little John said:

    When reading threads like this I often wonder whether, for those seeking 40-odd buttons so as to have (more-or-less) every note in both directions, the player wouldn't be better off changing to a duet.

     

    There's definitely no brickbats since I totally agree to your suggestion. But any kinds of Duet system are somehow familiar  to me since I used to play free bass accordions and I'm looking for something "strange." Otherwise, after a year of practice, playing close to duet is still not out of the question to me, although more rote memorization is clearly there. For an harmonic style Anglo playing, it requires a lot of sneaky to pretend everything is going on the same time but actually not, I think that's an adorable trait and extra buttons up to 40+ can actually reduce this issue. Of course, that still not really turns an Anglo duet.

  15. The instruments beliked the players' style are not coincidence. I was in a band with my bass and there was a girl plays drums. We both are quiet and deep voiced people when talking and the most outgoing and expressive guy is always the vocal and the guitar. I think such a config is default for many bands.

     

    For concertina, as a musical instrument that emerged in the era of the Industrial Revolution, the appearance of the concertina were usually with the rococo style decoration that was popular at the time, so I’m with marimo-maiden about the neutral color vintage clothing style.

     

    Perhaps we should wear a suit with a bowtie when playing, just like the inventor Charles Wheatstone in his photographs.

  16. On 1/15/2022 at 7:02 PM, David Barnert said:
    • 30 buttons is plenty for an Anglo. You’ve played a 40, so you know what it can do. Is the difference really worth the extra weight, expense, and difficulty finding one?
    • You’ve considered new hybrids, but have you considered looking for a classic vintage instrument? They come up for sale frequently. I know nothing about what it would take to get one into China.

     

    For Stagi or Chinese Anglo, it's hard not to get caught when playing in a quick change of direction. For this, a 40-button would somehow keep a phrase in the same direction without switching direction frequently. I assume the situation I'm talking about would be less pronounced on better instruments with better reeds, but I haven't been able to get my hands on any Hybrid or traditional models so far, so I don't know for sure.

  17. Over the past year I've tried a 40-button Stagi Anglo, a Chinese made 30b and an English, I finally settled on Anglo and I'm looking for a step forward, getting a better instrument. And in 30b vs. 40b, I think the more is the better. Based on my own research, it seems only those fancy workshops produce the instruments have more than 30 buttons, like Wakker or Suttner (too expensive!) But the Phoenix, Clover or Morse Ceili level instruments, which the prices are in the range that I can afford, are seems all 30-buttons. 

     

    Actually, Stagi is not too bad for me, if there is no a proper 40b, I'll just go on my Stagi until my budget is enough for a traditional instrument like Wakker or Suttner, etc. (Could that come true?)

     

    Does anyone have or have had the same thoughts as me? What decision did you make eventually?

     

    Yuxin

  18. I think you may want to make sure the felt on the end of connecting rod covers the air hole for the key you've mentioned completely. Such a situation exists on every entry-level concertinas. You can adjust the rod, for example, bend it slightly to  reposition the felt, or you can replace the spring of the rod with a more strengthful one.

  19. On 9/8/2021 at 8:00 AM, Daniel Hersh said:

    Is that a similar set-up to a B/C button accordion, as played in Ireland?  Irish-style button accordions have two rows tuned a half-tone apart (I think the two rows are most often in B and C, or C# and D)  There has occasionally been discussion here about setting up a concertina that way but I don't know if any manufacturer has previously done it.

     

    It's seems just like the BC accordion you've said. Considering that Irish musical instruments are hardly known in China, maybe the accordion maker in Beijing made the instrument you discussed by coincidence. I recently contacted the accordion maker, and seems he's no longer make concertinas anymore, how sad.

  20. 13 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:

    I was told by a reliable source in 2009 that there were four factories in China making concertinas at that time. 

    And nowadays, depends on my research, the number of manufacturers are no more than that. What I've found are: Blazefine(also Trinity College/Scarlatti) in East China, Yuewei(seems they use to made concertinas for Hohner) in North China, and Firston in South China. All of these factories are located in traditional chromatic accordion producing area.

     

    The Music China Expo, an international musical instrument fair will hold in Shanghai in Oct as usual. I'll go and see if I can find something else about concertinas this year.

     

    By the way, it's maybe not well-know in the west, there is a accordion maker in Beijing invented his own-styled concertina called "WF System," which is depends on the 20 keys CG instrument with a original C-row generally and rearranged the G-row to the sharp and flat notes to the C-row notes. I'd like to call it a "Sino Concertina." In the attached image, chart on the top represents the right hand side, and below is the left hand side.

     

    IMG_9072.thumb.JPG.97a7bfb2585d352166d74a3987de1462.JPG

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