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About Ken_Coles

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    I need to paste in my comments from the old part of Concertina.net! Short version: I've played anglo since 1992, English since 2001. Mostly Italian boxes, Lachenals, a Morse, and a Kensington. One of the people behind the curtain at Concertina.net.
  • Location
    western Pennsylvania and northern Indiana, U.S.A.

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  1. The collection on CD "Anglo International" would give you a good sampling. New copies are sold out IIRC, but you may find a set somewhere if you look. Ken
  2. Vintage A/E instruments are rare, but not unheard of - I know of two rosewood-ended Lachenals. Seems to me I've heard of Jeffries in that tuning also, but others who know better will chime in here I'm sure. Ken
  3. The Button Box repair shop have a box or two of Lachenal reeds - give Doug a call. Ken
  4. Not what you think.... [from thesession.org discussions page, started as a question about vintage anglo concertina makes, and someone brought up that they play a duet, and then this one...] 😎 Ken
  5. That's a good point, but I have trouble remembering ever seeing a modern hybrid among his extensive stock - they are all concertina-reeded. Ken
  6. Hi Jack, Indiana is my sometime stomping ground...I'm trying to think who I know that has both types and am coming up dry. I do of course, and my next visit is likely around American thanksgiving. Send me a PM if you want to meet. Ken
  7. Folks, Tradewinds Ted has told us how to turn this field off, so feel free to avail yourself if you choose. Back to your concertinas, thanks. Ken
  8. Topic moved to history forum. Ken
  9. Cameron, Thanks for joining us here. Please do give the system time to show your post rather than submitting it repeatedly - I merged your three threads into this one! My reaction is, "Learn to play it!" We should all start on such well-made instruments. Ken
  10. The fingering counterpart of the C scale on C/G would be a G scale on a G/D or a D scale on a D/A (the lower pitched key is by convention given first, both for melodeon and concertina). Sure, a brace of anglo concertinas in different keys would be great - I know of one player who has both a C/G and a D/A by a top maker and uses them at the (not Irish) session where I encounter him, rather than changing fingering on one particular model. For most of us, the reality that each concertina capable of playing at top speed/with ornaments etc. costs you another $2500 to $5000 USD or more tends to limit this tendency. It's not as easy as purchasing several Generation penny whistles or capo-ing a guitar. Ain't that a shame! I've never seen Cormac Begley perform but folks say he uses several different keys of instruments - is that true? Whichever road you go down, I believe you'll find the system you choose has strengths and weaknesses, and part of the adventure and musicality is working within those limitations to express what you want to share. If one system were superior in all respects and applications the others would have gone extinct a century ago like the soprano sarrusophone did. I feel that way also about the common question (asked here by new members on the forum about once or twice a week) whether to get anglo/English/this or that Duet system (Chris Timson, who maintains the concertina faq page, also expresses this view). Ken
  11. If 20-button G/D anglos of good quality were easy to obtain I could see choosing that over a 30-b C/G for Irish tunes. But they aren't (they are almost unheard of). If you are getting a 30-button (or at least a 26) anyway, then there is the preponderance of prior use and virtually all instruction pushing you toward C/G. If you play whistle and flute in the tradition already (and if you are in Indiana, I'm guessing you are in the Bloomington crowd? Outside of Indianapolis it is pretty lonesome elsewhere there) it could make a lot of sense to follow the convention. Vintage G/Ds are rare; many of those that do exist were retuned from Ab/Eb. And many great new builders have appeared making fine C/G instruments in small numbers for the Irish musicians; many of them don't even make G/D as (I'm told) the chambers should be resized/redesigned for best response. I've never learned any instrument at a basic level without learning where the notes of the scale are, so I can play them without thinking. Muscle memory attached to the brain (one hopes!). Speaking only for myself, it has made no difference to my muscles in the learning process whether those notes are along one row or across them - I didn't find this an obstacle at all. [If you can type on a QWERTY keyboard, anglo will seem downright easy!] Whether playing by ear or from music, it took very little time for finding the notes to become unconscious. Mind you, I am now fooling around with G/D anglo for other kinds of music, but it is a different way of playing. I'm not tempted to learn new fingerings for all the tunes I can already play on C/G. Maybe you just have to try both systems yourself and see what works for you. Have fun with the madness, only Irish pipes are more expensive to get into, in my experience. Ken
  12. Thanks for this news, Roger. What little he was able to leave us was truly amazing and an inspiration. Ken
  13. I will confirm that it is a daily commitment to be an admin - I've been looking in here just about every day for nearly two decades as well. [Paul started his first web page in 1996, added a self-written forum system a few years later, and shifted to the current forum software (Invision) in 2003.] As for the internet, it has its own dynamic. People come and go out of hobbies. Many of the most active posters here 10 or 15 years ago are nowhere to be found, and a few have departed this Earth. Once, when there was some dustup about something we did here as admins (I have no recollection what, and it doesn't matter), Paul said something to the effect of, "Go and start your own concertina site." He knows better than any of us that you will either 1) find how much effort it takes being a software admin, finding funds to buy server space, and policing behavior, or 2) you will be subject to the whims of the owner of whatever free site you use. I am still in a couple of longstanding Yahoo Groups for astronomy, and there we all have a feeling we may have to set up elsewhere one of these days. I don't see any need, or point, in telling people to stay on a particular forum - life and the world are too chaotic. Some needs, like regional or local music-interest groups, may have a good need for their own means of communication, even a simple email list. Perhaps the best way to keep a forum active is participate constructively, offer or contribute to interesting ideas and discussions, and take your turn in advising and helping newcomers with questions. Many members here already do that. And keep playing (or dreaming about) that concertina! Ken
  14. You can add your location by viewing your Profile (pull down menu with your screen name near upper right of page) and then editing it. I agree; those asking for advice will get more if we know approximately where they are. Ken
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