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  • Interests
    Folk Music, and Baroque Music. Developing keyboards for Concertinas and Melodeons that enable ordinary folk, who (like myself) are not virtuosos; to play easily in a multitude of different keys on the same instrument.
  • Location
    South-west of England

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. In my earlier life I knew two ladies whose favored instrument; that they played their entire repertoire on; was the Piccolo English Concertina ! Both were Folk Music players. The first was Helen Kennedy; the wife of Douglas Kennedy the first Director of the EFDSS after Cecil Sharp, and her sister was Maud Karpelees, who was Sharps' secretary. She played a Wheatstone Aeola Piccolo EC in the "Jolly Wagoners" who made many post WW2 BBC broadcasts; and Gramophone Records for use of local EFDSS groups. I met her on several occasions at EFDSS week and weekend courses. She told me that she favored the piccolo EC rather than the treble as it stood out over the fiddles and accordions of the rest of the band. The second was Gladys Thorpe; who I first met 70 years ago when I was only 13. We both lived in Rochester. Neither of us played any instruments then, but a few years afterwards she took up the English Concertina in a big way. She had a Wheatstone Aeola Piccolo EC, a Lachenal Ediophone Piccolo EC, and a Dickinson made Wheatstone Short Piccolo EC. She was for many years a keen teacher of the English Concertina and liked the Piccolo as she could easily hear if any of her pupils made a mistake. She also formed several Folk Bands, leading on one of her Piccolo ECs. Inventor.
  2. Hi Tim. On eBay there is a man called Sandylaneman of Ardfert Kerry who sells replacement parts for concertinas, including bellows replacement kits and bellows papers. I don't know anything about him, and have never used his services; but I believe other members of "concertina.net" may have, and could tell you more. Now this may be false memory syndrome, but I am sure that he, at one time also offered to fit these to your bellows frames complete with gold tooling and bellows papers attached. So far as I remember, one of his illustrations showed a Jeffries style gold tooling look-a-like. If I am correct he must have the dies and ability to do this, so might, (I emphasize might), be able and willing to do this on your existing bellows. Inventor.
  3. This is what Steve Dickinson told me about Wheatstone Long Scale Reeds. The Wheatstone Factory had press tools for making Reed-Frames (Shoes). There are four different sizes of Reed-Frame for each octave. Each size was used for 3 consecutive semitones. Long Scale Reeds used the next larger size of Reed Frame for a particular pitch than the Standard Size Reed-Frame for that pitch. Inventor.
  4. Several years ago Colin Dipper made a couple of Bass English Concertinas for the "West Country Concertina Players"; using the best quality "Binci" Italian accordion reeds. I can't remember if these were single or double action instruments; but I expect that one of the several "WCCP" English Concertina playing members, who regularly use this website, might be able to give you more information. Inventor.
  5. I am so sorry to hear that news of John Holman; he would have been the perfect person to have made the film. Perhaps - John Dipper, you might consider filming the archive of the Dipper Workshops ? You will never come to the end of the list of concertinas on your order book. However consider this: If you were offered a concertina or fiddle teaching weekend (or a week at Sidmouth say) would you take it? (There probably won't be any of those this year!) I think you probably would, even if it lost you quite a number of concertina making workshop hours. My offer of being part of a "crowd fund" to finance the film still stands. Inventor.
  6. Hello Julie, welcome to concertina.net. That sounds a very large number of buttons (studs) for an Anglo-concertina. Does each button play the same note when you push in or out or a different note? Inventor.
  7. If John Holman is still around; you should get him to come to your workshop and make a proper in depth archive video for prosperity; while all four of you are still working together. (For those more recent to the Concertina World: John Holman was an extremely good concertina bellows maker, who worked at the Dipper workshop in the early days. He left to become a Wedding Video maker; which regretfully he found more profitable than bellows making. He was a great loss to the concertina making world.) I am willing to stick my neck out and say I would be very happy to be part of a "Crowd Fund" to finance such a project. I am not saying don't go ahead with the ITV4 project, but I do think that this is time to have a proper film made by the person who really knows the insides and outsides of concertinas. Inventor.
  8. I have seen the insides of many melodeons and accordions over the years, and have noticed that the reed plates for the very highest notes, have three factors that differ from the lower reed plates. 1) They are valveless; like yours. 2) The reed plates are are reversed, so that the tongue tip is closer to the opening. 3) The tone chamber has a wedge shaped insert in it to reduce it's volume. On the prototype Russian Hayden System Concertina, where all the reeds of each side were on a single plate; one pair of reeds on the left hand side was accidentally put on the wrong way round so that the tips of the reeds were next to the opening. This note absolutely barked out considerably louder than than the other notes ! Inventor.
  9. Congratulations John; I am so pleased to hear this good news. Brian Hayden.
  10. I fully endorse the recommendation of Rosalie Dipper's Bellows. Any size, any shape - Hexagonal, extended Hexagonal, Octagonal, Decagonal, or Duo-decagonal. She specializes in bellows making, and is the most experienced concertina bellows maker in the world. I am lucky to live only about a 20 minute drive from the Dipper workshops. On one occasion when I had to have a small repair to my concertina; I went there for it to be done. We went to the top floor in the mansard loft of a good sized Georgian house where Colin examined my concertina and disappeared with it to another workshop. I sat and watched Rosalie skiving bellows cardboard. She worked amazingly quickly and accurately. We chatted, and I asked her many questions about bellows making; she also held an intermittent conversation with Robin Scard who was working at the far end of the loft workshop, without pausing for a moment in her work. From time to time she resharpened a well used knife, with a few strokes on a sharpening stone, and continued her skiving. I asked her how often she needed to do this; and she said "whenever I feel I need to". At one point she called out to Robin to ask the time, and said she was just popping down stairs to put the vegetables on for lunch -"you're staying for lunch of course" ! She returned and finished the set of bellows cardboards then put them all in a little press and accurately cut off the sharp corners. We then all went down to a huge kitchen with range cooker, and sat at a large table being joined by two children. While Rosalie was serving up, Colin appeared with my concertina now in fine fettle. You won't get a better concertina bellows anywhere in the world than one made by Rosalie Dipper ! Brian Hayden.
  11. Reminds me of the "Bellamoid clip" that Peter Bellamy used to have on his Anglo concertina to hold down a unisonoric drone note. Inventor.
  12. I have nothing to add to everything that I wrote 18 years ago, (see link above). The advantages of Hayden specification over the "parallel" arrangement becomes more apparent, when playing more complex music, on the larger instruments. I must say that I have never seen any reason why makers could not make the fretting of the ends in such a way that the handles could be fixed in several different ways. Wheatstone made Duet Concertinas with the uncut part of the fretting below the handles in an "infinity" pattern. This would allow the handles to be attached in an infinite number of different ways ! Inventor.
  13. I see that there's one in the Akkordeon Museum https://akkordeon-museum.ch/ Opening page shows one center stage in the first photograph. I can't find more details about it , but my German is not very good, so maybe I have missed the full details. Inventor
  14. There is one in the Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London. It is now fully restored. However when I first visited the Horniman in the 1950s, many of the musical instruments were in a very sorry state, owing to neglect during the war. The Melophone was was totally fallen apart in it's case, and you could see all the internal mechanism with wires connecting from the buttons to little trap doors. This was much more interesting to me, as I have always been fascinated by how musical instruments work. Inventor.
  15. Thank-you David. It's always nice to hear from someone who enjoys my little idea. Best wishes, Brian.
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