Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by danersen


    Your description of the levers, springs, and buttons suggests chemnitzer/bandoneon style methods

    Multiple reeds also suggests such.

    A photo of the action board levers and the "connections" (slots and sleeves, balls, and pins) of the buttons to the levers might be useful.

    The buttons sound like those characteristic of a chemnitzer or bandoneon without the usual plastic and mother-of-pearl covers.


    Are the reeds tuned dry or wet?

    Given no indication otherwise, I'm assuming it is bisonoric.

    Is the keyboard layout consistent with any typical layout?

    What is the scope of tones?

  2. As of Thursday, 2100 Mountain Time, USA


    Relative to GBP = 1.00

    EURO = 1.1454 (e.g., 1.1454 euros required to purchase 1.00 gbp)

    USD = 1.6269 (e.g., 1.6269 usd required to purchase 1.00 gbp)


    Straight exchange - without fees.


    Sources: Bloomberg and xe

  3. Hello Yvonne,


    This is a text that might be of interest to you:



    Liberating the Master Musician Within

    Kenny Werner

    Copyright 1996

    Jamey Abersold Jazz Publications


    ISBN: 1-56224-003-X

    Printed text in softcover with companion CD


    Be Well,


  4. And here:




    for something out of the ordinary - and quite lovely, IMHO.


    And here:




    for the iPad/iPhone version of Tona's link - really quite extra-ordinary - again, IMHO.


    (notice the absence of any woodwind among the group).


    BTW, Ido, the accordion Richard is playing In Tona's link is C-griff.

  5. Thanks, Geoff,

    I very much enjoyed watching this.

    The right hand "stretches" between 1:35 and 1:57 are good illustrations of the relative compactness of the cba keyboard and why some - especially those of us with small hands - find them easier to play.

    Be Well,


  6. Hello Ido,

    In direct response to your most recent post:

    The accordion in the YouTube video that you specified is a 5-row chromatic button accordion - B-griff.

    I did not see a maker's name, but I think your estimate of USD$2000 is likely quite low for an accordion of this complexity and quality - even as a resale instrument.

    There are many B-system CBA accordions in the market for the amount that you suggested - and less - but they pale by comparison to the one in the YouTube video.

    FYI, I'm confident that the subject accordion probably weighs at least 26 pounds/12 kilograms.

    Accordions do seem to be more plentiful and available than concertinas.

    In my experience, learning to play a concertina isn't necessarily simpler than learning to play CBA, but I might agree that they are easier to play.

    I might agree that the accordion is more adaptable to a greeter range of musical genres, but I don't agree than an accordion is necessarily more impressive.

    A concertina in the right hands can be VERY impressive, indeed. Perhaps not as "flashy," but certainly just as - if not more - impressive.

    As one who plays both CBA and concertina, I think your choice of the Jackie is prudent given your stated Interest in the CBA - and especially given your comment that you lack experience in music.

    But in no way do I think you should consider the concertina a compromise compared to an accordion.

    Be Well,


  7. As someone who plays English concertina, Chromatic Button Accordion (c-griff) and two different bandonion systems – Meisel and Chromatiphon, perhaps I can offer some perspective in addition to those already expressed. I don’t play anglo or other bisonoric reed instruments. Despite my best efforts, my dyslexia just won’t have it. So, my comments are based on unisonoric instruments only.




    The difference in sound is easily discernable among my following concertinas which I play regularly: 1861 Rock Chidley, 1923 Wheatstone Aeloa, 2007 Wakker Edeophone, and 2010 Morse Geordi. All have wooden ends. Hence, even among concertina-reeded instruments there are notable distinctions in tonal qualities and characteristics that do not require a particularly discriminating listener to distinguish. The differences in the sounds of concertinas extend far beyond the matter of proper concertina reeds and accordion reeds or whether they are parallel, radial, reed block or flat-on-the-pan/soundboard.


    Accordions are somewhat similar. There is the matter of the reeds and the tuning – dry/American/Continental to wet/musette., the presence or absence of a tone chamber, and the wood species used in the casing surrounding the reeds onto which the pearloid is applied. The number of switches and the range of the reeds – LMH – and their combinations – LLM, LMM, LMH, MMH, MHH, etc – also influence the sound. On the bass side, there is also the matter of Helikon reeds.


    Bandonions are similar depending on the materials used – especially in the plates – zinc or other; but also the reeds and the mechanisms – metal or wood – not to mention the wood species of the soundboard. Then there’s the tuning: perfect octaves characteristic of tango purists and very wet among chemnitzers. And is the box plastic or wood.


    It doesn’t matter what the instrument is, acoustical properties do vary – and those variances are due to multiple variables – none of which are uniform in consequence or significance.




    Playability depends on so many things – size, weight, bellows, engineering, posture, key/button location and tension/resistance, technique, “oneness” with the instrument, familiarity over time – and that’s just for starters.


    I prefer keyboard layouts with uniformity rather than random placement of notes and keys. A fully transposable instrument, it seems to me, has innumerable advantages and greater versatility. A fully transposable instrument offers greater range in a single instrument.


    The CBA and the Meisel and Chromatiphon Bandonion keyboard layouts are fully chromatic and fully transposable. The English is fully chromatic, but not fully transposable. The Wiki/Hayden is fully chromatic, and while, technically, it is a fully transposable keyboard, it places all of the accidentals around the ends/outside edges of the keyboard rather than integrating them with the natural tones throughout the scale which makes the reach and task of playing in minor keys and some “flat” keys somewhat demanding, if not outright difficult, due to the stretch required to reach many buttons. For this same reason, many accordion players of classical music prefer the CBA – and often even the b-griff over the c-griff – to the piano accordion keyboard.


    Regarding chordal capabilities of the stradella bass on an accordion, I think the best information resides here:




    Most accordions have two single-note bass rows: root and counterbass. With these single note rows, there are many single note bass tones available. If more are desired, a free-bass keyboard is available in a variety of configurations. If both chordal and single note bass tones are desired/required beyond the usual two rows of single tone bass notes, a converter model is available which allows the player to switch (convert the buttons) from one to the other.




    Depending on how discriminating you are, how much of a purist you are (dare one – or two – play the double violin concerto on mandolins?), or how adventurous you are (does music originally composed for a harpsichord played on a vibraphone sound appealing?),, all of these instruments can be applied to virtually any genre of music.


    In the case of an accordion, the more reeds and reed combinations and switches present, the more variety of sounds are available. Add a tone chamber and the variety increases even more relative to the number of reeds in the tone chamber. For a concertina or bandonion with set tuning, the matter is quite different .


    I play the variety of instruments that I play because I enjoy their subtle (concertinas) and not-so-subtle differences. That said, it is really seems to be no different than a vehicle. You can utilize a car to perform tasks for which a truck was designed. The job can get done, but the endeavor and the effort will not be the same. It’s often a matter of capacity and resources. If you have a truck, you use it. If you don’t, you make do with the car. And which one you do have typically comes down to which one is best suited for the things you use it for most.

  8. Hello Nanookqc,

    The comments that the others have already written are very instructive.

    That Jody finds it a bit challenging to play Klezmer on an Anglo, alone speaks volumes.

    I've played Yiddish music for decades - and its various origins make it quite diverse in many ways.

    However, at the risk of over-simplifying its scope and richness; and intentionally avoiding the rather complex music theory and terminology that can be applied here, I offer the following "exercise" with which you can experiment to get a sense of playing in the genre.

    Much, if not most, of the "book" in this genre is reflected in the following two scales. It's certainly not all that there is, but it will provide you with a representative understanding.

    Playing these scales well will afford you a glimpse of the scope and modality typical of Yiddish music.

    If you can master these scales and their inversions on any instrument, you are in good stead for succeeding in the genre.



    The following accidentals are common, if not routine:

    B in the C scale

    Eb in the F scale

    For perspective/reference, the "whitest piano key" version of the C scale above starts on E.


    Not many melodies played here, but it's good for reference.

    Speed and fluidity are important aspects of the genre.

    The Kammen International Dance Folio No. 1 is a meaningful and representative resource for expanding your experiment beyond my representative scales.

    When you can play the Kammen Folio 1, you will have a reasonably meaningful appreciation of the genre.

    Best wishes in your pursuits.

    Be Well,



    PS: I've played this genre primarily on Chromatic Button Accordion (C-griff) and English Concertina.

    Due to deterioration of my shoulders, the weight of even a small accordion is becoming too great, so I am hoping to someday have a concertina with the CBA layout.

    For the record, the Hayden layout doesn't work - FOR ME - as the the accessibility to notes for playing minor keys and progressions is very inefficient - AGAIN, FOR ME.

  9. May I suggest that lost proficiency is far more easily recovered than would be such a (insert your superlative adjective of choice here) treasure.

    Leave it with your most trusted friend.

    If you must play on your trip - find a back-seater that will allow you to enjoy your travel - perhaps even more than your playing.

    And cherish the thought that you have both your beloved friend and concertina awaiting your safe return.

    Be Well,


  10. Hello Dick,

    Guillaume's estimates are indicative of my my own guesses.

    Not being a UK resident, I only have indirect information re: the import/duty fees.

    Don't forget about the fee for the transaction of foreign currency that is charged by the financial institutions for currency conversion.

    This can run from as little as 2.5% if you have a good relationship with a primary national bank to as much as 6% or more (definitely more if you're using a credit card) when paying with a service such as PayPal.

    A simple rule of thumb to estimate a total all-in cost might be to multiply the actual purchase price by 1.25 which should get you pretty close - but it could be as much as a factor of 1.3 depending on the transaction fees and the insurance rate and the speed of transit selected.

    Hope this is useful.

    Be Well,


  11. Howard,

    I concur with your thinking in general.

    Timing is everything.

    Sometimes, however, circumstances deter prospective buyers from even looking to buy.

    When fewer prospective buyers are looking, timing has fewer opportunities.

    I do, perhaps, think that the recent dynamics of the economy play a greater role on the sale of anything and everything - including specialty items- than you do.

    The UK oil prices that you describe are different than my experience. This holiday weekend, the pump prices increased to about $2.70 a gallon here in the Denver metro.

    They're different throughout the US by region - even by municipality - but they've been in the $2.50.- $2.60 a gallon range where I usually fill-up.

    In 2007, the prices were over $4.00 a gallon as I recall.

    Another indication, perhaps, of the complex dynamics we are experiencing in different ways.



    I certainly didn't intend to opine about the actual value of the subject concertina.

    I reread my I initial post, and perhaps did not make this as clear as I might have.

    I don't think I opined on the value of the concertina, but if it was perceived as such, I offer my apology for any confusion.

    My intent is simply to illustrate that changes in the dynamics of the economy create differing perceptions of value depending on what currency one is using as a reference and the purchasing power of any particular currency at a given time.

    My illustration intended to speak to the value of currency more that the value of the subject concertina.

  12. Meg,

    At today's exchange rate that USD6500 is roughly equivalent to GBP4276.

    In 2007 that same USD6500 was roughly equivalent to GBP3421.

    The relative value of the exchange rates presents an interesting dilemma:

    Is the pound or the dollar the constant?

    Now, the real questions:

    What is Colin's quote today for a new one? (Has anyone contacted him for a current quote?)

    How long before it will be delivered?

    What is the currency value of time in pounds or dollars?



    Perhaps, but it can be inferred.

    Your argument sounds like all of those individuals who sincerely believed that my house won't diminish in value even though there are foreclosures all about, or that my portfolio won't suffer the losses that all the others are, or that one particular stock won't tumble when the entire market is crumbling.

    Do you really think that a Dipper County Clare is in the same category as a Stradavarius?

    And, once again, for the record, I'm not kibbutzing. I'm not a potential buyer, nor do I know one.

  13. Hello,

    I was going from my memory of my conversations and correspondence with Colin around 2007.

    I just checked the notes.

    In May 2004, Colin estimated that my ordered concertina would be delivered in 2007 and could cost approximately GBP 4000-5000.

    The subject concertina is an English with air valve, aeola or edeophone style, raised amboyna ends, gold hardware, and riveted action.

    Perhaps that will provide the proper perspective and someone more knowledgable than I am about the relative values can make the proper adjustments to pricing for the Clare.

    Just for perspective, I do have a note from 1998 with a quote from Colin for a 30-button County Clare at GBP 1500 which was equivalent to Approximately USD 2500 at the time - a conversion rate of about 1.67.

    For the record, I still have not received my Dipper despite the 2007 estimated delivery.

    If the price for the Clare is inflated in my example, the illustration is no less relevant to the point - though the effects will, in that case, actually be understated.

    Be Well,


  14. Howard,

    I think part of the point is to illustrate that we are not experiencing a temporary downturn.

    A new base is being established in all matters economic - especially among "luxury" items.

    The number of Lloyd Loar mandolins, Pre-war Martin acoustic guitars, and vintage Fender electrics that are languishing for extended periods without sale could be considered astonishing compared to the pace and price of sales in 2007. The Jeffries at the Button Box might also be relevant here.

    Real Estate vales are depressed. Commercial development - even Dubai - is stagnant. Tourism has diminished significantly.

    Even the ice makers for the shrimpers in Louisiana have closed their doors - due primarily to the oil gush.

    All of this does, in fact, affect the price and pace of all goods bought and sold.

    And the price and pace of 2007 - too often the hopeful point of reference when it comes to valuation - will not return for many years to come.

    You are correct that it only takes one buyer and a seller for a transaction to occur.

    But it requires many buyers to make a market; hence the demise of more upscale and specialty retailers in the last couple of years than can hardly be counted.

    The current pace of the market is sluggish at best, and price is correspondingly suppressed.

    I cannot think of anything - even oil, with the daily wasteful gushing in the Gulf - that is consistently more expensive today than it was in 2007.

    I realize that supply and demand is at play here. But what drives demand - the desire for something accompanied by the capacity and willingness to pay the asking price.

    My illustration is just that - an illustration of the economic dynamics that are being experienced globally.

    Other references/benchmarks may be more useful, and my numbers may need to be tweaked, but the outcome will be consistent with my illustration.

    My point is that the price and pace of the worldwide market has been significantly altered, and many - if not most - have not thoughtfully considered that the accelerated pace and elevated prices of the market just three years ago have left us and are not likely to return for a very long time.

    My point, simply stated is that "things ain't what they used to be" ... and they're not going to be.

    Be Well,


  15. This and similar discussions frequently capture my attention, but I haven't commented until now.

    The dynamics and interplay of the global economy/economies are quite relevant, so I offer the following for perspective and consideration.

    For the record, I am not a prospective buyer of this concertina nor am I knowledgable of anyone who may be.


    On 9th October 2007, the Standard & Poor's stock index reached its all-time high of $1565.

    The exchange rate was approximately 1.90 £ to 1.00 $ making the exchange yield approximately £824.


    Today, the S&P is $1023 - approximately 65% of what is was in October 2007 - now nearly 3 years ago.


    In November of 2007, a new Dipper was quoted approximately £5000. Today's S&P equivalent is £3250.

    I know, I know - the price of a new Dipper didn't drop 65% as the S&P did,

    But stay with me, please, as this is about the economic effect on buying, not pricing.

    And to that end, austerity programs and rising unemployment due to the sub-prime mortgage collapse and Sovereign debt is influencing the number of interested parties who are currently capable and wiling to buy. That number, it is fair to say,has been reduced to a degree indicative of the S&P index.


    In the fall of 2007, the exchange rate £:$ was hovering about 1.90

    Today, the exchange rate £:$ = 1.52


    Consequently, in the fall of 2007, a £5000 Dipper would cost $9500 {5000*1.90}.

    Today, that £5000 Dipper will require only $7600 {5000*1.52}


    The S&P index yields the following:

    Today $9500 will purchase a £6275 Dipper {9500*0.65} and that lesser $7600 will now purchase a £4940 Dipper {7600*0.65}.


    In November of 2007, a Dipper sold on bay eBay for £4800, and the quote for a new Dickinson at the time was @ £5200 - both exclusive of VAT, shipping, other associated fees.


    Using these prices as reference amounts, the Dipper which sold for £4800, sold for the equivalent of $9120 at that time {4800*1.92} would cost $7296 today {4800*1.52}.

    Today's S&P equivalents yield $5926 and $4742 respectively.


    For simplicity, I'm using the following assumptions:

    Import = VAT @ 17.5%

    Currency exchange and wire fees @2.5%

    Estimate for fees @ 20%


    Using the current high offer of $6300 and multiplying it times 1.20, the cost for the subject resale Dipper to a UK buyer will be the equivalent of $7560 plus shipping & insurance with no warranty and no wait.

    The cost in today's currency for a new Dipper at a quote of £5000 is @ $7600 plus shipping & insurance with warranty and an indefinite wait.


    These are the economics of 2007 - which seems to be the basis of the values suggested - relative to today.


    In my opinion, the rest is emotion - urgency and desire - and timing .... assuming that the capacity and will are present.

  16. Daniel,

    Thank you for clarifying my post.

    I will return and edit it.

    My designations of Argentine and European are in reference to the location of play, not manufacture.

    I did not intend to suggest by these designations that any bandoneon was made in Argentina.

    To my recollection, nothing has indicated that any bandoneon was ever made in Argentina - quite the contrary, actually.

    And certainly, as you note, AA bandoneons were made in Germany (as were most bandonions) and exported to South America.

    My use of the term chromatic is intended to be synonymous with unisonic in parallel with diatonic/chromatic//bisonroic/unisonic.

    My apology for the confusing use of terms.

    Perhaps you have seen this, but here is a link to a rather interesting summary of the keyboard development and the citation of the text from which is it taken:


    Another source is Dale Meyer, bandoneonist and the former leader of S.F.'s Strictly Tango, who wrote a masters dissertation on the instrument. He notes that the bandoneon was Johann Band's solution for rural churches that could not afford a pipe organ. The bandoneon was a "volk" (as in people's) instrument. As such, there were no bandoneon-makers who felt they must conform to any standards, because there were none. When someone requested a new tone, they would drill a hole wherever there was room and put in a new reed. This practice met the needs of isolated rural communities. Standarization of the keyboard layout came later when a global market for the bandoneon developed.


    Be Well,


  • Create New...