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About Steve_freereeder

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    Chatty concertinist

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    South Yorkshire, England

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  1. As anticipated, Whitby Folk Week 22nd - 27th August 2020 has now been cancelled, due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic. As a workshop leader I'm sad but relieved too; it's the right decision. Next year's festival will be 21st - 28th August 2021. More information on the festival website.
  2. Brian - looking at your photos, the reeds are accordion-type reeds and the thin plastic valves on many of them are bent, curled or missing. Charlie Marshall (cgmmusical) can also supply replacement valves and the adhesive. You should really clean off all the old wax (it goes brittle and cracked with age), then replace all the valves with new (they are very cheap) before you re-wax the reeds back onto the reed blocks. You will then need to retune the reeds, which is a big topic in itself. I'm not sure if there are threads on re-waxing and retuning accordion-type reeds on this forum, but there is plenty of help and advice over at melodeon.net. (we are a friendly bunch!) PS - Reed wax is not pure beeswax - that would be too soft. It is a mix of beeswax and resin. An old Italian accordion maker once said that reed wax was "50% beeswax, 50% resin and 10% olive oil. That's 110% so it's got to be good!"
  3. Having been taught by David Elliott (thanks Dave!), I also use the screwdriver method described by Mike for cleaning rust off the undersides of the reeds and a well-worn, fine 400-grit diamond file used very lightly for the top surface of the reed tongues. And no liquid of any sort. Removing any rust, especially of the degree shown in Notemaker's photo, will almost certainly affect the tuning of the reeds, so it will be necessary to check the tuning of the reeds in situ in the instrument and then carry out any fine tuning (and reed tip set) adjustments, as may be needed.
  4. I use the 400-grit version of these diamond needle files. I'm sure people on the west side of the mid-atlantic ridge can source similar tools. Mostly I use the flat file in the set. I use these files for mostly for working on melodeon/accordion reeds which are fairly hard steel compared with vintage concertina reeds. Like Alex Holden, I keep an old flat diamond file which is a bit blunt (having filed many melodeon reeds over the last few years) for working on concertina reeds. The old diamond file removes metal very, very gently, with hardly any pressure needed. And yes - I agree with Alex - it should go without saying that the reed tongue should be supported with a shim. I have a couple which I have made from steel strips cut from baked bean tins and ground down to a thin sliver at each end on a diamond plate. The steel from baked bean tins is fairly soft and does not damage the reed tongues.
  5. Are those woodworm holes in the underside of the action boards?
  6. In the description of the concertina, you mention that it has brass reeds. This terminology normally means that the reed tongues (the bit that vibrates) are made of brass. Brass reeds are most often found in older (e.g. pre-1910) English-system concertinas. I suspect that this anglo-system concertina will have steel reeds in brass frames. Please could you clarify?
  7. Thanks Dave! Pleased you are not miffed. There is an ABC of Barwick Green floating around the interweb thingy and it has those errors! Here is a great archive recording of the very original Archers theme music. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNEawM6vZf4
  8. Just a couple of minor pedantic points, Dave. Hope you don't mind me pointing them out. 1. In bar 7, the last quaver should be a B, not G# 2. In bar 12, the two notes F# and E should be a singe dotted minim E. The suspension which you have shown is part of the harmony, not the melody. Here (attached) is a preview version of the full piano score, albeit in the key of G, not your transposed version in D. The tune starts at bar 4. Steve (an Archers fan for over 50 years)
  9. UPDATE Just a reminder that the 'Pressing the Buttons' workshop spaces are filling steadily, so if you haven't already done so, get your applications in very soon. Application form here. EATMT coordinator Alex Bartholomew writes: The musicians have been booked via EATMT and now the Museum of East Anglian Life is busy organising the Cider side of the event which includes adding various craft stalls and activities for the day and building on last year’s event. Camping has been added following popular requests for this as have a few beers alongside the vast number of ciders and lots of soft drinks and on site caterers. Join us for music performances, workshops, a lunchtime music session, storytelling, food tasting and craft activities. Friday 18th October 5.30pm Taking place on the back lawn of Abbot’s Hall House, the bar in the Marquee opens on Friday evening at 5.30pm and tickets for the evening are £7.50 (via the Museum – in person or in advance via the Museum’s Cider & Song website). There will be a Traditional Music Session from 7pm hosted by Company of Horham Old School with Richard Cove as MC (Richard is currently MC of the third Wednesday of the month sessions at the Blaxhall Ship Inn). You’re welcome to bring your instruments or just your voice and join in or to sit and sample the ciders and listen. Saturday 19th October 11am-5pm; 7pm – 11pm For a full and up to date list of stall holders and performers involved in the day, please refer to the Cider and Song website. EATMT has endeavoured to cover performers with links from across the counties of East Anglia with varying styles of Traditional Music and so we hope there’s something for everyone. This year, the Trust is pleased to have involved: Capstan Full Strength Sound Tradition Potiphar’s Apprentices Stumpy Oak The Harbour Lights Trio The Sam Kelly Trio For more information on this event, please visit the Cider and Song website or our Events page (scroll down for Cider and Song information).
  10. I'm glad you both like the Hardcore English book! 😊 I have to confess a personal interest: Barry Callaghan was the main musician for Lizzie Dripping, almost from the start of the side, and when I joined in 1988, he was very encouraging indeed to me. I was a very inexperienced melodeon and concertina player at that time but Barry taught me so much about playing for dancing. He was a lovely man and still very much missed by many musicians and dancers. Here he is at the English Country Music Weekend in 2006.
  11. There were three C/G Blackthorn concertinas on the Barleycorn trade stand at Whitby folk festival and I tried them all. They are very well made indeed, with proper riveted action. Lightweight and with good bellows. They are hybrid concertinas with good accordion reeds and therefore comparable with Morse and Marcus concertinas. The ones I tried at Whitby had only just come in from the makers, and had still to be properly set up. Hence the reed response, while OK, could have been improved with a bit of tweaking. Most likely the reed tip gaps needed adjusting - nothing that an experienced melodeon fettler couldn't do. But overall, potentially a very good mid-range instrument and excellent value for money.
  12. Rather than re-invent the wheel again, if you really want to get a handle on what is being played in English music sessions here in England, I would thoroughly recommend the collection 'Hardcore English' compiled by the late Barry Callaghan (a highly respected musician, audio and video recordist) and published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society. There are many tunes, some with multiple versions and all manner of historical notes about the sources. Probably one of the best collections available. It has well known tunes and less well known ones. If you come across an unfamiliar tune being played in an English session, the chances are it's in here. Get it here: https://uk.patronbase.com/_EFDSS/Store/Item?id=76
  13. Yes, agreed. In fact I have found that the pull reeds especially (in between the chamber walls) are often very close to the pitch inside the instrument, such that little or no offset is required. To me, that is worth the slightly slower working method, compared with the traditional concertina tuning bellows.
  14. Yes - I discovered this method for myself a few months ago! It does indeed work very well. 😊
  15. UPDATE Alex Bartholomew (administrator for the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust) tells me that there is a steady stream of applicants for this event, but still plenty of spaces available. After the damage and shambles caused by the abrupt resignation of the director who had just been appointed to replace John and Katie Howson, EATMT is now starting to get back on track. Please support this event if you can. We want to rebuild confidence and return to the former success of events such as the very popular 'Melodeons and More' (which included concertinas!) and 'Traditional Music Day'. Even if you can't come yourself, please spread the word to your concertina- and melodeon playing friends who may not be concertina.net members. Further information here and a booking form here. Hope to see you there!
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