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Everything posted by Steve_freereeder

  1. Very interesting..... Thanks to your links, I found the keyboard layout for the Axis 64 Harmonic Table (HT) here: http://www.c-thru-music.com/cgi/?page=layout_kbdmap It didn't take me long to realise that it was very much like the keyboard layout of an English concertina - well, several English concertinas laid side by side. Essentially, there are columns of buttons ascending in intervals of 5ths, just like the EC. The main differences are (i) the columns normally played by the index and middle fingers on the EC are reversed on the HT and (ii) the accidentals are shared by adjacent 'white note' columns. Am I the only person to have noticed this? I can't see anyone else remarking on this in earlier posts in this thread. I'm not sure quite what this goes to show. Maybe it demonstrates once again the underlying logic of the EC layout and its potential (like the continental button accordion) for playing in many, if not all, keys just using the same fingering pattern. Various chord shapes in different keys will also be the same. As in my opening phrase - very interesting. I am (almost) tempted to get one.
  2. Here's what I hope will be another simple explanation: 1. On a piano keyboard, the black notes can all have two names, depending on which scale one is playing in. E.g. C# = Db D# = Eb F# = Gb G# = Ab A# = Bb 2. A major scale consists of the note letter names always ascending in alphabetical order, with no duplicate note letter names occurring consecutively. 3. Only the first 7 letters of the alphabet are used. After the letter name G, one returns to A. 4. Hence a scale of C major has the notes C D E F G A B C (no sharps or flats needed) 5. To play a major scale starting on any note other than C, some sharps or flats will be needed in order to preserve the correct spacing between adjacent notes. 6. Hence a scale of G major has the notes G A B C D E F# G, and a scale of F major has the notes F G A Bb C D E F. Note how Rule 2 applies in both these cases: the letter names ascend in alphabetical order with no consecutive duplicate letters. 7. Now consider these two scales as examples: The major scale of Eb has the following notes Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb. Rules 2 applies. The major scale of A has the following notes A B C# D E F# G# A. Rule 2 applies. BUT - on the piano keyboard Ab and G# are played by the same black key. 8. Hence it would be incorrect to write the major scale of Eb as follows: Eb F G G# Bb C D Eb. Rule 2 is violated (two adjacent G letter names) and similarly incorrect to write the scale of A major as A B C# D E F# Ab A. Rule 2 is violated (two adjacent A letter names) 9. So we need to use the correct letter name for the sharps and flats in a scale, depending on the context of which scale we are playing, and therefore every black note will have two names. We need to take care to use the correct one. Hope this helps and does not confuse too much.
  3. Your top chart is exactly the layout of my 30-key Wheatstone, and I think can be safely thought of as the 'standard' Wheatstone layout. Hope you enjoy your concertina when it comes.
  4. I agree about playing the bass/chords shorter; as a general rule try to keep the accompaniment light, except where you need it to be powerful for effect's sake. However, I always think that the spatial sound volume envelope from a concertina is extraordinarily complex. And different concertinas will sound different too. Therefore what you as the player hears is different from what an audience hears a few feet away, and in fact the melody may well be coming through just fine. You can test this by asking someone to listen to you playing (choose someone whom you trust to be competent at listening to music with a critical ear so they are aware of your concerns and don't just end up saying 'sounds alright to me'). Back this up if possible by making a recording of your playing with the microphone placed a similar distance away in front of you, and see what it sounds like to you.
  5. Easy - you raise your leg in the air, same as you'd do at any session.
  6. Looking at the label on the photo (I had to enlarge it to read it), the description in usual Hobgoblin Concertina Speak is: BB RE 5F SR CP which translates as: bone buttons, rosewood ends, 5-fold bellows, steel reeds, concert pitch. So if the labelling is correct, it has steel and not brass reeds. Mind you, I also think the label says '68-key' when of course it should read '48-key'. It's not entirely clear, but if the number of keys is stated incorrectly, it's possible the reed material is also incorrectly described. I also don't like the look of the extra holes that someone has drilled in the fretwork ends. It looks as if it has been done in an attempt to increase the volume (which again suggests it might have quieter brass reeds). Worth going for a look and try it out, but be cautious. See if you can get them to open it up so you can see the state of the innards and verify whether the reeds are brass or steel.
  7. The Hobgoblin 'standard' size concertina case: http://www.hobgoblin.com/local/GR4872-p-Co...andard-Page.htm They are quite well made and should be OK for your Lachenal. It's worth contacting Hobgoblin by phone, as they may well have one on display which they can send you. Also, last time I enquired a few weeks ago, The Music Room in Clecky had a couple of similar hard cases available ('in the stock-room upstairs') which are not shown on their website. It's worth giving them a call. http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/index.php
  8. This concertina is now sold (not as a result of advertising here).
  9. The screws should come all the way out; otherwise the thumbstraps could not have been attached in the first place. The screws are probably just a very stiff fit and you are probably being over-cautious with the amount of force you are applying. If you use pliers to grip the knurled screwhead, protect the screw and the concertina body with a small piece of chamois leather - use the pliers over the leather. Alternatively, if you are still dubious and not confident, and you are within reach of the shop where you bought it, take back and let them loosen and adjust the screws for you.
  10. I've made a few cases over the years for both melodeons and concertinas. My standard method of lining the case is to glue a thin (10 mm) sheet of upholstery foam to a thin card panel, then cover (glue) the foam side with plush fabric, overlapping the fabric for a few millimetres on to the rear card side. The foam is then completely encased by card and fabric. The whole sandwich is then glued into place on the inside of the wooden case. Each interior face of the case is lined with a separate sandwich panel as described. My oldest case made in this way must be 25 years old and I have never once had any problems with dust in the reeds caused by foam/fabric degradation. I have just completed a blocked case for a 30-key anglo and on this occasion I lined the case and the wooden blocking pieces with a sandwich of polyester wadding and plush fabric. The polyester wadding I bought on a local market haberdashery stall; it's about 10 mm thick but squashes down to 1 or 2 mm. I'm told it's normally used for making the lining of padded bras. I bought over a square metre of the stuff, so I've got an quite a lot left over if anyone is into making their own lingerie.
  11. I see that Azalin has already drawn your attention to my description in the original advertisement. (Thanks, Azalin!)
  12. This concertina is now sold (not as a result of advertising here).
  13. Mike, The lubrication properties of graphite are thought to be due to its molecular structure. In graphite the carbon atoms are linked together in flat hexagons to form an open lattice sheet structure. Successive sheets are stacked next to each other like a pack of cards. In normal conditions it is thought that water molecules and air are adsorbed on to the graphite lattice between each sheet, and this helps the sheets slide very easily over each other and hence gives graphite its lubricating properties. Quite a good account of graphite here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphite
  14. Hmmm.... If you really knew what went into some of the stuff that gets marketed as 'ice cream' these days, you would probably enjoy eating it less I'll just get my coat now....
  15. That is really tragic news. Such a sad loss to the world.
  16. It is not normal for reeds to go significantly out of tune over the course of a few hours in the conditions you have mentioned. But there are a few exceptions which come to mind. 1. Very rarely, reeds may sometimes fail from metal fatigue. If this is happening, a micro-fracture will initiate somewhere on the reed tongue and can propagate relatively quickly (perhaps over a few hours or less). During this time the reed will go significantly flat until it finally breaks in two and stops sounding altogether. It is a rare condition anyway and the probability of this happening simultaneously to many reeds at once must be vanishingly low. 2. More likely to happen is that in the conditions you have mentioned, there is a possibility of some of the reed frames to become loose in their dovetail slots as a result of minute changes in dimensions of the wooden slot. The effect of this is often to make the affected reeds sound flat. The remedy is to allow the concertina to reach normal, stable conditions of temperature and humidity and after a few hours, open it up and check that the reed frames are pushed fully into their dovetail slots and will stay there and not become loose again. If they are permanently loose, you will have to insert a thin paper shim between the reed frame and the dovetail slot, only be sure the shim is only present at the ends of the reed frame. If the shim runs the whole length of the slot, it is likely to distort the reed frame so that the reed tongue fouls the edge of the reed frame, stopping it from sounding or again altering the pitch. 3. In a very humid environment, I can foresee problems with condensation occurring on the reeds, reed frames or leather valves. Any of these could cause immediate pitch alterations as the relative masses of the reed tongues, the gap between tongue and reed frame and the action of the valve may change. Additionally the excessive moisture could initiate rust or other corrosion in the longer term. So - avoid excessive humidity as far as possible. Just my ideas. Others may shed more light on this.
  17. That was lovely! My congratulations to the pair of you! Hope to catch up with you both before too long. Will you be at Mendlesham?
  18. I agree with Howard and Boney. The Russian mics give a warmer feel, with some depth to the sound as if you were really in the room listening. Lovely playing BTW, as ever
  19. Yes - I think you are right, I must be remembering wrongly, sorry. There is a set of photos of the inside of a Marcus anglo here: http://hmi.homewood.net/marcus/inspection/ Interesting to read your point of view, but this just wasn't my experience. I certainly did not find the action slow at all. I bought my Marcus from the Music Room in Clecky and the fast smooth action (compared with other instruments they had) was one of the selling points for me. The only reason that I sold my Marcus was that unexpectedly, I had the opportunity to buy a nearly-new Wakker anglo at a reduced price - and I really did like its lightness and superior sound of the 'proper' concertina reeds. My Marcus had the standard Wheatstone-Lachenal layout (my choice), hence the problems you encountered simply weren't there for me.
  20. This must be a cheap do, they can only afford a one-man band. It's Ian - he's covered from head to foot with instruments: a band on Ian
  21. Please welcome Mr and Mrs King-Bellowes and their son Lee .... ... closely followed by the Lingue-Boutons family and their pet rodent, Rat
  22. Oh dear, we’re off to a poor start. - here's Ena. I think she's come to the wrong event. It's a ceilidh, not a concert, Ena!
  23. Very good m'Lady, here are the final scores: The Story So Far..... Charles was not fond but stupidly squeezed his concertina (bonus point to Hereward) which exploded twice thereby causing wind in Chicago which unfortunately exacerbated the fire falling uncontrollably through unknown incumbent drainpipes that inadvertently scraped duets severely from concertina (bonus point to miikae) thereby rendering everything strangely awkward to compare antidisestablishmentarianism with reluctant comprehension resulting in concertina (bonus point to miikae) syndrome which Wheatstone discussed passionately regardless yet aware that a bridge between England and Wales effectively squeezed sheep through paper pillars decorated submarinally arising columns bringing concertina (bonus point to fidjit) consciousness into serenading audiences whilst concertina (bonus point to miikae) exponents improvise concertina (bonus point to SteveS) music (comma) on concertina net resulted (bonus point to Dick Miles but then -5 points for posting 6 words in succession, three of which were duplicated) therefore in enthusiastic concertina playing (bonus point to Dick Miles but he loses it again for posting 2 words in succession) techniques traditionally emanating from concertina nitwits (bonus point to David Levine but -2 points for posing three words in succession) like anyone skilled in concertina (bonus point to fidjit) repairs whilst faffing concertina (bonus point to David Levine) consommé crustacean........ FX: Humph’s buzzer sounds. The final scores Miikae 3 Fidjit 2 Hereward 1 SteveS 1 David Levine 0 Dick Miles -5 Yellow Card shown to Chris Timson for playing a late comma. So - I declare Miikae the Winner! BTW someone asked…. 'Why wasn't the lovely Samantha there to keep the score?’ Unfortunately, Samantha was not able to be here. She's told me that she wants to learn to play either the concertina or the harmonica, but can't decide which. So she has arranged to meet a musical gentleman friend, who’s kindly allowed her to try out squeezing, sucking and blowing on his instrument.....
  24. Yes - I played a Marcus standard 30-key anglo for about three years before moving on to a traditionally-reeded instrument. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Marcus as being up there with the best of the hybrids. It was well made - the riveted action smooth and positive, bellows supple and quiet, the metal ends looked good. The reeds, although Antonelli accordion reeds, seemed to me to have a sound closest to a traditional-reeded instrument than all the other hybrids I tried. The response of the reeds was excellent, easy to speak and capable of playing softly, but with a good strong volume when required. Overall, excellent value for money. One of the best. If you decide to buy one, remember to decide which keyboard layout you want (Wheatstone-Lachenal or Jeffries) and specify it when ordering. See here http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk/concertinas.html (scroll down about 2/3rds of the page to find the layout link) Hope this helps. No doubt others have their own opinions.
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