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Michael Marino

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Posts posted by Michael Marino

  1. Hi

    It always puzzles me why schools teach recorder and violin to children, both instruments are very difficult to play. Both are easy on which to make painful sounds, which I feel sure has put off a lot of potential students from playing music :angry: So I guess that this begs the question - what instrument would be good for teaching without putting people off music (parents who have to listen to practice especially)

    chris (puzzled as usual)


    Have to agree with the harmonica also a 20 button anglo if their hands are big enough (depending on the age of the child). You could also take the example from China where they used to have mandatory teaching in accordion to all students. There are a lot of ideas out there but teaching recorder or violin as the first ones is not the brightest idea at all.




  2. Okay the question is talent v. training. and is completely useless argument.


    Reason is that there is serious evidence that shows that diverse talents have inborn indicators present. Though they need to be used and practiced to develop their full potential. In this it really depends on the internal discipline of the person to develop the talents within themselves. These often over lap.


    If you want the evidence go ask our member who has the medline access as i have only indirect access at present (got to remember to pay those alumni dues). Medline, Mantis and a few others will more than prove my point. Though I don't want to pay for the right to download all the research that supports this. Therefore enjoy the gifts of those that are gifted and develop your own gifts as they are possible and you might find new ones alone the way. Most people want to hear music played with the intent for it to be enjoyed and to take pleasure from it; you don't need to be a diva to do that just someone who cares enough to practice well and properly (don't get me started on repetitive practice v. focused practice).


    So, enjoy and live learn along the way as a favorite saying among the home brewers is, "Relax, have a home brew".


    Than again I am told that I am one of those talented people in certain areas, I don't really care as without the drive to do something talent means nothing. I have seen that first hand too many times. That hurts.



  3. Jon I have found a few places where you can get brass sheets for making reeds if you are interested and I might be interested in having you make a set of stamps for me in the future if you are willing and depending on cost (shipping in from the States can get expensive at time though. Nice looking work by the way (better than my first set to be honest, scraped them). Best of luck with the tuning as one of the item I do with harmonica reeds you can't really do with concertina reeds (heat bath to reduce stress in the reed, though it can be touch and go on that front as well, to hot and they are too soft and worthless, too cool and you have done nothing but spent electricity).


    Good luck and best wishes to you.



  4. Update on design structure for anyone interested.


    Having done a good bit more research (life is a learning curve the more you want out of it the steeper it is) I have come to the conclusion that moving up to either an 8" hexagon equal measured from edge to edge or an an unequal hexagon of similar to the 8" with the top and bottom given two to three reed groupings worth more space. I have also moved up to a minimum of 48 buttons preferring to go around 52 to 56 buttons (working out how to fit this all in, but it is coming together as long as i stick to some basic ground rules on reed placement.


    Anyone find this of interest? I know that there is a lot of interest in the Hayden system, but I also know that Richard and Wim are pretty much on the way to covering those for present (who knows if the demand grows any bigger, I might try myself with either Accordion or concertina reeds). So anyone interested or having comment please feel free to speak, I don't have a thin skin most of the time.



  5. taping the holes does work though I have used waxed paper in sections between the reed pan and the action to test for leaks that way. Though I would suggest a good bit of care be done with any of the very fine suggestions that have been given. My reasoning to that is it is possible to prsuurize the bellows or the right hand side and create a problem you did not have before hand. i have also built a dark box (hexagon in shape for the 'tina's that i use with a darkened room and a flex neck LED lamp. It shows even minor miss alignments of pads or a crack that you can't easily see with the naked eye and no contrast.


    There are other options that will work as well and a few I use that explaining them is difficult for me to get the right words for what I am doing (nothing arcane just trying to put the words together properly so that a person reading it could properly understand what I am doing).


    Hope all the help you have gotten from the fine folks here helps.

  6. Alan,


    I know you don't really know me from Adam's off Ox but if you want it all scanned as a text I would be willing to do it for you. We are up in Edinburgh and I will be down in Bristol at the end of the month (24th to the 27th) for a festival (Harmonicas). So if you aren't terribly far from there we could meet and than you could see if you would want to take up my offer or not. Being a book collector myself and the son of one as well, I do understand and "no thank you" will not hurt any feelings. My Dad has books that if us kids don't want them when he dies (may that be many, many years from now) they are list for the Smithsonian, so like I said, I would understand and still be willing to offer to scan them and IF time allows do a cleaning of the pages (remove age marks but not play with any text, just so that it would print and read clearer). That part would be a big IF as that takes up a good bit of time on the computer.



    Michael you have, I think, previously made this offer, which I thank you for and the awkward situation is that the book is in France.Juliette Daum originally offered to send the pages of the book for all to see and also do a video of the Tutor section referred to above. I thought at the time this was more than I could expect and would be of great assistance to all. Sadly circumstances are such that Juliette and her family have had personal problems, due to illness that has caused a delay in completing the download and the Video.Part of this book is already available in the general forum section.

    I have today sent an Email for information which I will pass on when I get it.I do not however wish to create any more pressure on this family at this difficult time.





    I respect and understand that. I am still dealing with the "side effects" of the treatment of the thyroid cancer I had (so far showing clear but less than 6 months post radiation so we will see). The offer still stands and I will wait on time and measure and hopefully her fahter recovers very well and my offer is not needed. Will ad him to our family prayers.



  7. I am currently in the final stages of tooling up for doing repairs on a wide range of free reed instruments and was wondering if there was the interest in a Modern Maccan Duet hybird reed instrument? it is just a question. anyone interested please chime in. In is to see if there is the interest or not only.




    Sorry Michael, what are you proposing?


    Well depending on interest and how well I can pack the reeds while keeping the whole unit around 7" across (bigger makes my hands hurt in some instruments that I have played of the size (interesting though that the Chemnitzer does cause the same hand pain, hmm... got to think on that one).


    What the instrument would be is:


    Maccann duet done with "a mano" or typo a mano reeds. Hand made single carded bellows. Looking at wood types. Want to go with something relatively light but will see that ages and won't cost the earth to get. Unfortunately that is a tall order but I have a few woods that I am looking at and going to be experimenting with. High grade plastic buttons (possibly metal sleeves over them). The number of buttons will be determined by how well I can pack the reed in. I know that I can do up to 46 button one without too much trouble. After that it gets interesting and have to try out sizes to get things just right (not too small for big hands or too big for those of us with small hands). The ends would be hand pierced and sawn, unless I can get reasonable rates and keep the quality I want in the finished item. high grade polish with either a French polish finish or a high grade clear sealant (experimenting with those as well, Loved having had a grandfather that was a Master woodworker). Price is something that is still being worked on as don't want to price myself out of any buyers but like to have the family eat as well. Luckily this will NOT a main income item so we will see how things go.


    I hope this answers your questions and ask any more that you have. Thou as you can see my posting is getting a bit slower as life is taking a bit of an up turn. Will try to look in at least every other day.



  8. Alan,


    I know you don't really know me from Adam's off Ox but if you want it all scanned as a text I would be willing to do it for you. We are up in Edinburgh and I will be down in Bristol at the end of the month (24th to the 27th) for a festival (Harmonicas). So if you aren't terribly far from there we could meet and than you could see if you would want to take up my offer or not. Being a book collector myself and the son of one as well, I do understand and "no thank you" will not hurt any feelings. My Dad has books that if us kids don't want them when he dies (may that be many, many years from now) they are list for the Smithsonian, so like I said, I would understand and still be willing to offer to scan them and IF time allows do a cleaning of the pages (remove age marks but not play with any text, just so that it would print and read clearer). That part would be a big IF as that takes up a good bit of time on the computer.



  9. ...that gives me idea.... a chocolate concertina....mmmmmmmm. :P :rolleyes:

    I would advise you stay away from those Chinese imports.


    :huh: I don't get it? I was thinking cadbury's chocolate.


    On a random tangent....Just had a brief thought skip across my mind (well in a daydream..I've got that friday feeling..I'm so bored just want to go home)...has anyone ever made a 'clear' see-through concertina so you can see the internal workings? In my mind It looks cool in real life I'm sure its gonna be impossible. lol!


    *spots men in white coats coming to take me away*


    You know I could that, it might be interesting. Use the same grade of acrylic that I use for custom combs on the harp's and high grade clear gloss draft vellum or a thinner acrylic sheeting for the cards..... .....might work but don't know how it would sound and not sure i want to find out. Though the idea is interesting. The quote goes "the dirty black men in clean white coats are coming to take me away, away. They're coming to take me away". Luckily for me "they" gave up along time ago on me and gave and gave me my doctorate (you have to be slightly mad to go for one of those trust me) :unsure: .


    Sorry for tangent upon one and wonderful work on the 'tina. Gives me some interesting ideas. :rolleyes:



  10. I got a Rochelle a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say, I`m not so enthralled. By all accounts, everyone said that the Stagi instruments were junk and I`d be throwing my money away, and that (for the price) the Rochelles are like they are carved from gold. On the same day that I got my Rochelle, I also recieved a Gremlin (another Bastari box) 48 English. It was much easier to play, spoke much faster, the action was vastly lighter, etc. I know that they are more expensive when they are new, so I wasn`t really surprised that it was better, but I was surprised at the effort that it took to play the Rochelle in comparison to the Gremlin.


    By the way, out of the box, the Rochelle had a bad note which still won`t sound. I took the ends off and discovered the non-speaking reed to be on the inside of the reed block, away from my access for adjusting it. As a result, I`ve been playing a lot more English than Anglo, and the Rochelle sits in the case as a reminder of money that I used to have...




    Contact Wim or the people you bought it through and He or they will help set it right as best as possible (at least from my experience). Also the Rochelle requires a bit of break in time to get it up to good playing speed with the bellows (this has been stated on a few posts concerning the Rochelle).


    Hope this helps and playing English and/or Anglo is not a problem though there are those that try to keep a good brotherly grudge going on between the players of the different types.



  11. Yep easy fix as long as you know which way it goes in. That is the fun part since it fell out on you. i tend to agree with Pete in that fins one of us that repair free reed instruments and it is a very quick job and you should have it back the same day unless they are really busy.


    The other option is to get a tuner or access to one and a soldiering iron (there is a couple of tools that help do the job but you really don't want to spend the money for one reed repair). Put the reed in place and lightly press some of the wax against the side (making sure it is well seated) than assemble and lightly test the button with the tuner on to see if the reed is in right (assuming the reed it NOT marked, some are). If you put it in right than open back up and finish the rest of the waxing. If it sounds the opposite of what it should than flip the reed and and rewax it in completely and you are done. Only fair warning it can get vaery annoying working the wax between the reed plates and you don't want to burn the wood while doing it. The information is just in case you don't have a repair person near by or one that is willing to do the work (I know a few who won't touch anything outside of what they "know" or prefer working on), but everyone has their right in that way.


    Really hope this helps.



  12. Well growing up in a Sicilian, German, Polish mixed community (back when you could legally close a street for a block party and there where no illegal substances and kids listened to their parents[mostly :rolleyes: ]). I got to liking the sound from squeeze boxes.


    Than I got into English Country Dancing and Contra and the bug bit deeper. Than about four years ago I played one for a bit that a friend had and well let's just say I am glad that it did bite as the road of life has taken a few turns since than.


    I own a Rochelle that is simply called "Rochelle". A Lachenal 20b C/G that is called "Gabby" and my son is learning on. the many and various other instrument in the house (we have a very musical bend in the family, more due to the wife than me). There is a chinese nightmare 30b english that is simply the CN and a 48 button english lachenal that I am restoring and fitting new bellows to and having fits with the bent arm pivots not wanting to function just right but learning and having fun.


    The other instruments are varied from the free reed family and my wifes love of strings and brass (low end of the brass family, euphie and bari).


    Love the sound and find the craftsmanship and design to be very intriguing.



  13. No I am not kissing up, only stating my opinion.


    I have been enjoying my Jackie and have had no valve-action problems -- only a little friction in the button holes.


    (PS- I am kissing up... :rolleyes: )


    Thank you for the levity Catty, it is always appreciated. Brought a smile to the face and that was much needed today.



  14. One of the things I have done to increase the seal around my Rochelle is to add a thin shim of felt that goes between the action board and the frame and a wider strip of felt for the seal between the ends and the bellows. It has improved how quickly the reeds speak.


    I have to thank Wim for the information on fixing a problem with one of the springsas it was lifting the lever next to it very slightly and you would only notice it on the movement of a note with the bellow opening. Thanks alot.


    I am also replacing the wood screws with metal ones by adding a threaded shim and nut carefully into the frame (similar to a Lachenal set up). Also putting a small metal screw and bolt in place of the the two small wood screws (may be changing it to four). I as you can see i am not planning on letting this go as my kids will probably be playing on it in three to four years and it is a very solid built instrument and boxes above it's weight for the price.


    I really have to take my hat off to Wim as the Rochelle has allowed me to improve my playing and widen the types of music I can play. Looking forward to when I can afford to buy a upper grade Anglo from one of the many fine builders we have on this site.


    No I am not kissing up, only stating my opinion.



  15. Why do I play?


    As I sit here reading what has been written before me I gladly wipe away tears of joy and a bit of emotional knowing and been there. I am married to a wonderful lady who is one of those blessed persons, who plays multiple instruments of different families and can pick a new one in way too fast time. I struggle and proudly so as playing with my wife and having the kids dance or join in some fashion (the son will strum a Mandolin if it is held for him and will also play a harmonica a bit).


    Working on getting better as playing with others or for the enjoyment of many is just something that brings a deep welling of happiness within. My wife plays Violin at our local Church (the concertina is not accepted by one of the priests though the head of music would love it, politics :blink: ). She also has picked up the EC and I am repairing a brass reeded Lachenal that we could afford for her to play; as she plays a Chinese nightmare at present (in less than six months of playing she is already working on chords). Than again for her music and instruments are something that she has always done and hopefully will always do.


    Myself practice is the time to get things right and start the road with a piece of music to see what can be done. One simple piece we are working with right now is "Wandering Stranger", a very simple piece that has some very interesting variation that can be worked into the piece.


    Having dealt with cancer and things that I will not wish on my enemies, life is and it is meant for living. For me and mine music is part of how we enjoy living and on give thanks back for everything we have been given. It heals, sometime it tears as it does so; but it helps heal.


    All this wandering thoughts above is why I play/practice and to a lesser and greater extent my wonder wife does as well.



  16. Well from ther Picture it looks like a set of ham hands got to it after a bit of woodworm. The pitting looks like some very classic cases of woodworm that I have seen over the years and not a nice thing it is at all. The Ham hands that did the rest of the damage might have been trying to repair for the other damage but I see no rhyme or reason that follows that. Don't know whic would be better. Replacing the action board and therefore limiting any further possible problems with the woodworm or using an agent that doesn't due the action any damage to kill the woodworm and use a filler to restore the stability to the cation board and go from there. The Human mishaps that has happen to it would take a good close looking at to see what would be needed to bring the beauty up to good playing condition. From the looks of it I personally would opt for the replacement action board being made (I don't like this option but there seems to be a good bit of damage there and don't know if it has gone through the action completely or not).


    Just me two pence worth. Good luck, and no I can't work on it unless you are willing to ship it to the UK and there are more experienced folk near you so send it to them first.


    Michael (madly rebuilding an english and new bellows for a 20b Anglo and 3 Melodeons, Yes I am mad)

  17. Currently contacting a reed maker in the Czech republic to look at making a new set of plates to modern concert pitch as I can't bring myself to destroying history by retuning the plates. :blink:




    Sorry, but I fail to understand your concerns here. How will a retune destroy history? A fairly simple task to any competent repairer I would have thought.


    And can you absolutely guarantee that the present tuning is the original tuning? Reed pitch can change with use (and abuse!), even without the intervention of a tuner.


    Fitting a new set of Czech reeds I would consider a greater case of destroying history. :(




    The reeds currently in the instrument match known tuning of the period and are within tune enough that I would not want to do anything but return them to that tuning. Which at A=438 and harmonic scale make them not easily playable with other modern instruments. The firm I am working with will be cutting to fit a set of bayan reeds which are the same type of construction as was used in the original. This allows me to re valve the originals and maintain them as well as have an instrument that will be able to play with other modern instruments. There will be no other changes to the instruments structure or design as that is very unacceptable.


    Hope that clarifies things. Retuning is not the problem, have and am doing that on a few Lachenals bringing them to concert pitch. Just don't want to do it to an instrument like the Harmonium that I own which is also in near perfect Philharmonic pitch (A=452) as that would be altering in a fashion undesirable to my lady wife who likes it as is and can play with modern instruments with it.



  18. Okay Folks,


    I broke down and bought a Chemnitzer on Ebay to see what the "other" style of concertina is like as progressing with playing the Anglo and the wife has taken over the English pretty much (I will break down and learn it one of these days).


    It is a basic 38 button square box Chemnitzer Right. ;)


    It is marked as a F Lange, okay I know the history, but ......


    Open it up to start doing a inventory of condition and looking at what might need replacing and/or repair and what do we find??? :o


    Numbered inside 396 with the stamp of "F. Lange, vorm. Uhlig - next line- CHEMNITZ, Sachen." This is in Purple ink with the hand numbered 396 written what appears to be blue pencil by somebody who passed their handwriting class very well in school. :unsure:


    Now comes the fun part is that she is mostly in tune to herself at A=438 and harmonic scale not Equal temperament.


    Currently contacting a reed maker in the Czech republic to look at making a new set of plates to modern concert pitch as I can't bring myself to destroying history by retuning the plates. :blink:


    Truly interesting piece of history here. Beautiful papers as well and single card construction. I mean the standing reed blocks are thread mounted to the action plate. This was very very well built. and it is only missing two mother of pearl buttons on the outside and a few of the metal end caps. Seriously looking forward to getting her fully up and playable though will not be looking forward to the needed re valve job as need to get a glue that works well with metal and leather and if I remember right hide glue is not the best for it. Will find a solution that doesn't damage it though.


    Some pictures are attached below. Any and all comments please.






  19. Having read all the articles before this post, might I point out some problems with midi.


    1) Power, all MIDI instruments require external sources of electrical power and often are picky about the type they will use.


    2) Cost, to get the quality of MIDI based instrument that will truly match what the physical instrument can do is as or more expensive than the orthodox instrument.


    3) Purity/Impurity, it is the impurity of a "natural" instrument that gives the ability to hear the secondary untones and harmonics that make so many instruments unique.


    4) Data Storage, With a physical instrument you store the information to play it in you brain and spinal cord and there it remains, it can become adapted with very little skill to other instruments and only requires access to an instrument to be given a venue to express. MIDI and other types of Audio files (MP3 being one of the worse and most used) require massive storage space to truly match analog or "natural" wave length patterns that we hear from an orthodox instrument.


    As to the argument of Diatonic or Chromantic, Hemitonic, etc. Please remember that A4=440Hz is still not an excepted standard world wide as the orient tends to use A4=444Hz and than there is Philharmonic which still uses wonderful A4=452. There is a wonderful church organ here in the UK that was tuned originally to A4=390Hz. So Technology does not always equal better.


    It does not also mean worse but should be taken in measure. The Emotive measure of any music is subject in the extreme and deals with so many social psychological dependents to render it little more than academic babble used to support the current fashion of an ideology and is quicksand at best to stand upon it.


    Do what you wish to do and to others who enjoy theory and diverse types of music please let us know and how it works out but go into it with care and the expectation that it can all go horribly right and wrong . That way what you get out might even surprise or disgust yourself. We often go into these things wanting other to tell us how great they are and to some they may be to others they mostly are not. So do it enjoy and let us know where we can listen to a high quality sound clip (yout tube is not the greatest for that unfortunately) and good luck



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