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Everything posted by Steve_freereeder

  1. The anglo concertina should play a different note on the pull and the push. If you are getting the same note then (i) it is possibly not an anglo but a small size English system concertina or (ii) highly unlikely at only 20 buttons, a duet system concertina. These latter types play the same note per button on both push and pull. Can you describe the layout of the buttons on your instrument? Are they arranged in two rows of 5 buttons on each side, or are they arranged in a small cluster of columns? If you look at any of these pictures, are there any which resemble your instrument? If so, tell us which, and we might be more able to help. http://www.buttonbox.com/other-concertinas.html
  2. I've owned a Marcus anglo and played a friend's Morse a few times. As hybrid concertinas (i.e. with accordion-type reeds) go, both are excellent instruments. I eventually sold the Marcus on when I acquired a Wakker anglo. Comparing the Marcus and the Morse, I would say that the sound quality is very similar indeed and I would have difficulty distinguishing them in a blind test. The response of both was good, but possibly the Morse was a little quicker in its response. The mechanical quality of build of both instruments is excellent. The overwhelming plus point for the Morse was its lightness; the Marcus was heavier - not by much perhaps but definitely noticeable when you switched from Marcus to Morse. If I had to buy another hybrid and had only those two to choose from, then much as I like the idea of a concertina built in Wales (which was my home for a few years), my ultimate choice would be the Morse. Sorry Marcus!
  3. Scholer concertinas are definitely very nasty things indeed. They are little more than a toy, and a bad one at that. I made the mistake of buying one once very many years ago. It was almost unplayable. Stiff and wheezy, very badly tuned. It lasted a few weeks until one of the brass reeds broke. Another forum? Which one? This one is as good as it gets. Take the time to explore all the options. Here's a couple to get you started..... http://www.concertina.net/guide.html http://www.concertina.net/guide_wherebuy.html
  4. Otherwise known as firewood, and about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Don't touch it. Much better to deal with a company that knows about concertinas. Try the Button Box - you can get decent anglos in C/G and G/D suitable for beginners and yet will last you a bit beyond that stage too. http://www.buttonbox.com/other-concertinas.html#anglo
  5. Taking advantage of all this steaminess and Niddifery..... North Wembley At least I get the text colour right.
  6. Perilously close! I don't normally like to play this one so early but needs must, I suppose. I will declare the Essex Extraordinary Diversion now in operation, so.... Hainault (via Newbury Park)
  7. This is a fine vintage concertina, one of the very earliest Wheatstones. It is a great pity that it has suffered the bellows damage, more so because of the travesty of a repair job that has been carried out. The Wheatstone Sales Ledger dates it to 6th May 1847: http://www.horniman....ES/C1P0690L.HTM Please don't even think of throwing this concertina away. As well as being a valuable antique, it is also a player's instrument and it is definitely worth repairing properly and it should be able to restored to excellent playable condition. But it needs some very loving care and attention. As well as a general overhaul, it will almost certainly now need new bellows, made by a real concertina maker. As you are located on the west side of the Atlantic, I would recommend that you contact Wim and Karen Wakker of Concertina Connection, who not only make superb modern concertinas, but are also experts at repairing vintage concertinas such as this. http://www.concertin...com/contact.htm
  8. Hey - this is really getting good. Well done! Nice speed, and glad you have started to use LH chords. It reminds me of William Kimber's style of playing. You just need work a little more to keep a rock-steady tempo.
  9. I think of the G/D anglo as an 'contralto' instrument. Because the overall pitch is a fourth lower, the resultant sound is rich and mellow compared with the C/G's bright, tending towards squeaky, sound at its upper end. I really enjoy playing in D on my G/D anglo. I tend to play in the harmonic style, with the melody mostly on the RH, and chords/accompaniment on the LH. So rather than playing a melody 'up-and-down' the D-row, switching ends for the lower melody notes, I mostly use the RH side D-row and G-row together for the melody, cross-rowing as necessary.
  10. I think there is a lot of truth in this. I suspect what it all boils down to is that in the past, musicians have tended to play tunes in whatever key is best suited to their instruments, particularly if playing solo for dancing. The 'great hornpipes' - and I'm thinking, say, of Harvest Home or Boys of Blue Hill for examples - have come down to us as fiddle tunes and so will tend to be in fiddle-friendly keys of D or A. On the other hand, 18th and 19th century village bands would have included instruments such as cornets, clarinets, serpents, as well as fiddles and flutes, so perhaps a lot of the music became settled in keys of F, C and G. This is apparent from looking at old manuscript collections compiled by village musicians; the Joshua Gibbons collection (Lincolnshire) comes to mind as an example. I was discussing this with Brian Peters very recently and he is definitely of the opinion that for concertina players, it is perfectly valid to play a tune in whatever key suits the instrument best, especially if you are a solo performer. As concertinas are still comparatively rare instruments, compared with fiddles, it is hardly surprising that the so-called 'proper' keys for tunes which we now are largely 'forced to accept' has been largely influenced by fiddles. Look at how the D/G melodeon did not exist until the 1950s and melodeon players started to want to play with fiddlers who didn't want to play in F or C or G. Going back to Staffordshire Hornpipe, on a C/G anglo it is very comfortable to play in C. However, John K plays it in F, I suspect (i) because he can (especially on his 40-key Crabb), and (ii) it actually sounds really good in F - brighter than in C. Both keys offer a lot of options for chordal accompaniment on the LH, but when playing in F there is much more scope for keeping the melody on the RH.
  11. It's a great tune! I learnt it from the playing of John Kirkpatrick on the recording 'Sheepskins' MWCD 4002, although on that recording he plays it in F major on his C/G anglo. I usually play it in C on a C/G anglo. X:1 T:The Staffordshire Hornpipe C: Traditional N:Transcribed from the playing of John Kirkpatrick and transposed into C M:2/2 L:1/8 S:Flamborough K:C (3GAB|:c2a2f2dc|Bdgf e2c2|c2a2f2 dc|Bd g2 GBdB| c2a2f2dc|Bdgf e2c2|fagf ecdB|c2c2c4:| |:e2d2c2B2|AB (3cBA G2 AB|cBcd edef|g2f2d2g2| e2d2c2B2|AB (3cBA G2g2|a2 gf ec dB|c2c2c2:| W: W:English, Sword Dance Tune (2/2 time) W:Second figure of the sword dance from the Flamborough, England, area. W:One of the earliest recordings of the tune was in 1909 when Cecil Sharp W:waxed it on a cylinder from the playing of John Locke, described W:as a 'gipsy fiddler'. W: W:Karpeles & Schofield (A Selection of 100 English W:Folk Dance Airs), 1951; pg. 30. W:Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; pg.
  12. And a very nice time it was, too. Mike. Many thanks for your kind hints and tips about anglo technique for ITM.
  13. My goodness, Gav. What a lot of buttons! I shall look forward to seeing it in the flesh sometime! My first thought is that Em should be pretty easy. The basic triad E G B is there on the D-row and the scale would follow the same pull-push pattern as Am on the G-row. Then, you say you are already getting to grips with C major once you've got the bellows directions learnt. Similarly, F major and it's relative D minor ought to be possible, but I'd sooner play in those keys on the C/G anglo. Cheers Steve
  14. Interesting! Before Colin imparted this piece of information to me a few weeks ago, that would have been my opinion on the reason for the duplication too. Perhaps both points of view are correct: I wonder whether, because the duplication was available, some makers/tuners in the late 19th or early 20th century experimented with the True Temperament tuning of the low D. The same duplication exists on two-row melodeons too, probably, in just the same way, because of the original 'default' German two-row set-up of these instruments. But because of the wet tuning that these two-voice instruments were commonly given, I don't think ET or TT would have made much difference anyway. I agree about the low A being just as useful for English/harmonic/duet style Anglo playing.
  15. Ummm... that's an interesting question and I'm not sure I know the answer. Other people may think differently but I think my ideas go something like this: We are so used to hearing equal temperament these days, on pianos and keyboards. It is certainly very 'convenient' to be able to play in all keys without the tuning sounding dire once you get beyond a couple of sharps or flats. But there is something about the sound quality of single free reeds that renders anything slightly out of tune rather noticeable, compared with say, a piano. On an equal-temperament tuned concertina, chords of bare fifths will have a slight beat to them, as in ET the 5ths are tuned a fraction close rather than perfectly (i.e. beat-free) in tune as would be the case in True Temperament. Similarly, thirds are rather wide in ET, compared with TT. It doesn't matter too much, except perhaps in slow sustained music when the slight roughness of ET can become a little obtrusive. On the other hand, the chords in the home keys of a TT tuned instrument sound absolutely sweet and gorgeous - quite an eye (or ear) opener when you hear it for the first time. Because my concertina-playing is mainly in the chordal harmonic style, I guess tuning and temperament are more important to me than if I played exclusively in melodic Irish style.
  16. I used to have a Wim Wakker A1 C/G anglo, which had the low A on the G-row. My current instrument, a Wheatstone, has low D, but I think I would prefer it to have been A. Colin Dipper told me that the duplicate low D on the G-row derived from the days when anglo concertinas used to be tuned in non-equal temperament; the low D on the G-row was tuned slightly differently from the low D on the C-row, presumably because D in the key of D major (played on the G-row) was not quite the same as D in the key of C major (played on the C-row). I get the impression that modern makers are providing the low A as a matter of course these days, (i) because players of Irish music seem to prefer it, and (ii) in equal temperament tuning there is no advantage to be had by having the low D duplicated, so it might as well be changed to a more useful note.
  17. The most famous deaf contemporary musician is surely professional percussionist Evelyn Glennie. She has this to say about her deafness: http://www.evelyn.co.uk/Evelyn_old/live/hearing_essay.htm When you've done reading that, have a look at the rest of her website, and if you ever get the chance to see and hear her in a live performance, do so; she is a simply astounding musician.
  18. I agree with Larryo's post. Leaving out the triplet is fine. Far better to do this, rather than risk upsetting the flow of the music by fumbling the ornament. However, having said that, if you really wanted to have a triplet in that place you could do it in one-row melodeon style by playing E G E, i.e. just going up to the next button on the row and back down again, all on the push. It's the effect you're after as much as anything, and going up to the G will sound just as good as going up to the more awkward F#. Edited to correct stupid typo
  19. There is also an extensive discussion about this here: http://www.concertina.net/kc_key_layouts.html
  20. Hello Mike, The other way of thinking of Eb is as D#. This is a really useful note if you are playing in the key of E minor, as it is the leading note in the scale and also forms the third in the chord of B major, the dominant chord in the key of Em. I wouldn't be without my pull D# on my Wheatstone layout anglo. I can live happily with only a push C#, even for Irish tunes. It comes down to individual choice and preference of course, but if you do decide to change the D# for a pull C#, keep the D# reed safe somewhere so you can put it back at some point in the future - e.g. if you decide to sell the instrument. Steve
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