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About Dirge

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    Ineluctable Opinionmaker
  • Birthday 09/17/1957

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    I've decided (Jan '14) to back away from all this, or perhaps it backed away from me, but if you have a serious duet question feel free to pm me, and I'll reply when I notice it!

    Strictly Wheatstone ("Maccan") duet, which I came to from piano accordion and piano before that; I'm not particularly a folky, with ambitions to play all sorts of music. The repertoire goes from Tallis to the Beatles, although increasingly these days I'm leaning towards classical music.

    Three-wheeler sports cars as well; not at the same time. That's my 1934 Morgan in the picture, with Hawkes Bay (where I live) behind.

    Perhaps I'm drawn to any mechanical eccentricities, full stop!
  • Location
    Napier, New Zealand

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  1. Dirge

    Jeffries Maccann Duet

    I just happen to have a 71 key Wheatstone aeola available...it's the one I used for many of the recordings I posted here years ago, A special lightweight model, never properly played in since Richard Evans (of Kookaburrah, a duet player) painstakingly set it up. DURAL, not just aluminium, ends and frames and not corroding in any way whatsoever! 71s are the best for grown men. 81s are beasts to heave around for anyone. I've got one and have to admit I use it very little. 67s are perhaps better if you aren't so physically strong but you miss air capacity and the bottom Fs . VGC genuine reason for sale, view in Marlow. I'd better think what I want for it,
  2. Dirge

    Jeffries Maccann Duet

    If it were mine I'd play it until the alloy framed reeds cause trouble then worry about it. It may happen fairly soon but it may not, and even when one gives up it shouldn't damage anything else. Even then you'll still have the note the other way to finish the piece on.. Most repairers seem to have a store of spare reeds they can simply find replacements from. I'd do your basic recovery (as it sounds like this is part of the fun for you) then hand it over and let them find reeds and a spare button to match and tune it too. If you aim to play it yourself get the holes bushed as well, wood straight on bone rattles like old skellingtons. Wheatstone and Lach used aluminium in some lightweight instruments. Lach' ones (I think particularly the early ones) can corode frighteningly. There was an edeophone on Ebay some years ago that must have been a rather nice instrument once upon a time and coroded shoes had basically written it off. Rather sad. You don't say what notes they are. They may be a mod to add a couple of low bass notes, maybe done at the works. One is probably a D? I have a similar box (mine has brass reeds) and I don't remember a reed in the middle of the bass pan like that. I haven't had to look for a while mind you. You can do a lot with a 46. I have big duets for written music but often pick up a 46 for choice when I'm playing by ear.
  3. Dirge

    When Did People (Largely) Stop Making Duets?

    I agree. My appreciation of my 46-key Hayden (Wheatstone, sorry John) went up enormously after I spent some time playing the Wheatstone 82 key Hayden that showed up at the Button Box some years ago. I remember describing it (the switch back to my 46) as "like playing a jet engine." OK I think this piece of stupidity does it. Cnet has changed recently; it used to be a very broad church. Now it seems to be concerned purely with rather unimaginative folk music. I don't feel I have anything to offer, or anything to gain, so I'll go and sit in a darkened room for a while instead. Paul, Ken, thank you so much for what was at one stage a real support line; there weren't many duet players but there were at least other concertina players and through you I learnt what they were up to, got in touch with them and have made many real friends. I have got a lot out of it and am grateful. I hope I put something back too. I'm not saying I'm going for good; who knows what may happen, but I think this is quite enough for the moment. Time for a break.
  4. Dirge

    French Anglo Player

    It's a nice cardigan.
  5. Dirge

    Mike Wild

    Good that's all right then.
  6. Dirge

    Mike Wild

    'Michael Sam Wild'. Usually a fairly lively member. Anyone seen him lately? Is he OK?
  7. 12.08 on the first of the first of 2014 here in NZ and I wish you all a most sincere happy new year. (Just to make those of you in the northern hemisphere sick, I'm still in shorts and T shirt)
  8. Dirge

    Auld Land Syne

    Very nice (and very slick!) Randy but it reminds me irresistably of an early John Wayne film; can't remember exactly which but I think the US cavalry are waiting for the injuns to wipe them out tomorrow or something; there's some 'calm before the storm' evening shots and, as I remember it, you must have been playing just like this in the background. (It was probably really a harmonica really but you know how the mind plays tricks)
  9. Thanks for the ineluctable opinion, good Sir Dirge! Blimey yes. I must get round to looking it up. Roughly it means that your opinion is made of stern stuff indeed with which nature itself cannot contend. Blimey again. My man, we are living in a world full of mystery, spectacle, and the unfathomable. Blimey, indeed... Gosh.
  10. Dirge

    Duet Concertinas?

    That's all good stuff and your enthusiasm is great! Your beast's range may make the piano music frustrating, you'll have to move the bass up a lot. Don't dismiss kids' music. The convention for writing it seems to be that children don't have big reaches so the music stays closer to the middle of the keyboard. Although a lot of it is painful 'Faeries Dancing In A Ring' stuff it isn't all like that. I've done well from 'Classics for the Very Young' sort of books. Then don't forget to look at guitar and, it appears now, banjo music too, as well as any other chording instrument just in case. (you too can learn to swear fluently at 'tabs'). There's no real repertoire for a duet so you have to find it. Great Xmas present. Lucky man.
  11. Thanks for the ineluctable opinion, good Sir Dirge! Blimey yes. I must get round to looking it up. Roughly it means that your opinion is made of stern stuff indeed with which nature itself cannot contend. Blimey again.
  12. Thanks for the ineluctable opinion, good Sir Dirge! Blimey yes. I must get round to looking it up.
  13. Yes good stuff. Not knowing it at all and with no 'banjo tune' preconceptions, to me it sounds like an old music hall tune and entirely appropriate.
  14. My thoughts too. Indeed I'm sceptical that the levers would bend at all. How about someone's kid (that suspicious looking cleaning lady's boy probably) poked a spike (your fettling screwdriver?) into the frets hard to see what happened, damaging the wood in the process?
  15. Certainly not the way I estimate something. Nor is it valid statistics. An example which demonstrates quite clearly that the method -- as given -- is invalid, since it's quite easy to demonstrate that the conclusion (that everyone in the world plays concertina) is false. No. "Jake's technique" (I actually thought he was being tongue in cheek) is valid if and only if it can be shown by independent means that the small sample and the larger "universe" can be expected to share a similar distribution in the variable being estimated. And the expectation of a "better" estimate from a larger sample also applies only if the distributions are similar among all the sample sizes being compared. With regard to your extreme example, it's obvious that the distribution of concertina (or Maccann) players in the population consisting only of yourself is most certainly not the same as the distribution of such players in the entire popuation of the world, or even of New Zealand. And so "Jake's technique" is not applicable. And that is supposed to be a proof of validity? In my experience, the fact that a technique is used as a basis for government policy is a pretty sure sign that it's flawed. I believe that can was already opened in one of the earlier threads on this subject. Thank you for taking all the trouble to explain, Jim.