Posts posted by Daniel Bradbury
Wonderful, Al. This project must be time consuming for you, but very enjoyable for us.
Being a bit "in-the-know", you and everyone else have no idea how truely wonderful this is going to be!
Smitten by love was it?
It also make me wonder if there is ( or was ) the connection between clowning in circuses and comedy music hall acts, where instruments were us. In this instance, concertinas......
There certainly was a crossover between the two, and also with blackface minstrelsy. Indeed "Mr. Bones" and "Mr. Tambo", the comedians in a minstrel troop, were virtually clowns in blackface, and most such groups included a concertina, or accordion player.
I, being a banjo player in the US, have noted that a number of concertina players here either started out as or additionally are fine banjo players (Bertram Levy, Mark Evans and Greg Jowaise come immediately to mind), wonder if perhaps the banjo replaced the concertina in American minstrelsy! Actually, I know that American Minstralsy predates the concertina and additionally that the banjo was very prevalent in English music hall. I greatly admire the classic banjo playing of such english musicians as E.C. Ball and others. However, the comedic/virtuoso connection is a very interesting aspect of clowning. One of the greatest American clowns, in my opinion, was Uncle Dave Macon. He was a banjoist and performer par excellance on the grand old opry who learned much of his art from travelling medicine show and minstrelsy performers.
I am intrigued by the banjo/concertina connection and your post (blackface vs. whiteface clowning) touched a button.
thank you for your input to the Concertina.net forums (or is it forae?)
I got a double reed concertina, tremolo-tuned, and wonder if one of the reeds can be tuned up an octave.
What do you think?
P.S. Any info on Edmund Rachner and his Bandonion und Konzertina Fabrik would be curious to discover, as well.
Are you thinking of something like a cajun sound. That is a very interesting thought. You would probably need to replace the reed plate though.
I think that Peter Paul and Mary made the Shul Shul Shul a Roo very popular inthe 1960's. It probably the recording that is most burnt into our burnt out minds.
"If you remember the 60's....you probably weren't there".
If you really want to understand jigs, reels, etc. try to find an Irish Dance Studio near you. If you speak with the instructor, he/she might let you observe some beginers lessons. There you will find the essentials of the music.
Lift-step-down, lift-step-down, one--two-three-four-five-six-seven, turn-two-three-four-five-six-seven, and-a-lift and-a-lift and-a-hop-step-back.
Seriously, this is dance music and often only makes sense when observed. particulary important in French, and Eastern European music.
I have been reading Thomas Pakenham's "The Boer War" (A wonderful history
book) and came across the following passages:
"By 6 October (1899), Milner had learnt of the plight of seven thousand
African mine-workers from Natal, and of other Africans from British
territory. It was a British official who cabled the news, a man called
Marwick who worked for the Natal Native Affairs Department on the Rand. He
reported that the Zulus and other Africans for whom he was responsible had
lost their jobs. 'If left to find their own way back to Natal, [they] would
starve on the veld.' Despite discouragement from the Natal Ministry,
Marwick decided to try to bring the Natal refugees out by himself. The
authorities refused to provide room on the railway. There was only one
solution. Marwick cabled again to Natal. 'So that my proposed action may
not embarrass you, please suspend me from office. If I get natives through
without loss of life, you could please yourself about re-instating me.' His
offer was accepted. He was proposing to walk with the three thousnad Zulus
and four thousand other Africans all the way to Natal.
"There had been strange scenes in the great exodus from the Rand, but
none stranger, perhaps, than the scene that followed. At the head of the
Marwick's (sic) procession of Africans were a couple of Boer
policemen. Behind them, marching thirty abreast, were a group of musicians,
playing concertinas. [my emphasis] They played popular African tunes. Behind the
musicians marched an immense body of men, Zulus in African or European
dress, all the tribes of Natal. On 7th they reached
Heidleberg; on the 10th Waterval, over a hundred miles south-east of
Johanesburg; by the 13thy they had marched the 170 miles to Joubert's camp
at Volkrust on the Natal frontier......
"Marwick's epic march had saved seven thousand Natal Africans from
"[Thomas] Atkins [Manchester Guardian correspondent] saw the field moving before his eyes: massed columns of infantry.......coiling and uncoiling until they found their places..... Atkins was a poet of war, and ahead of his time. War, in his eyes, was more full of ironies than of heroes.
"One little incident struck him with especial force at this solemn moment. A Zulu driver in the column lashed out at his mule train with his right hand and his left hand dropped the concertina that he, like many Africans, carried on the march. The Zulu gave a sort of cry of despair, but he could not stop to retrieve it. A shout from the mounted infantry company behind" 'Mind that concertina! Pass the word!' The line of mounted infantry swerved. The next company followed suit: 'Look out, mind the concertina! Mind the wind-jammer!' The dancing sea of legs and hooves divided as each came to the precious object. The whole brigade passed, 'hurrying on to use all the latest and most civilized means for killing men and destroying property', tenderly leaving the concertina - an African's concertina - unscratched on the veld."
has anyone here heard of a piece of software called the amzing slower downer because many people i know have been saying how great it is.
if anyone can tell me what it is please do as it has an interesting name and apparently, an interesting purpose.
Amazing Slow Downer
This is an inexpensive and excellent piece of software which does exactly what it says and more. It will slow down without changing pitch, change pitch without slowing down or speeding up and you can loop sections of the music. You can use .wav files, .mp3 files or directly from the CD player on your computer.
I use it for both working out tunes, rehearsing up to speed, and for transcribing into ABC.
It is available from Roni Music. You can purchase and download from their web site. Just google Amazing Slow Downer
edited to add where you can find it
No, I'm afraid that after a few drams of me single malt...all's right wid da world and it's amazin' how well I think I can play .
I've become rather fond of my black buttons on the Morse, whiskey or no. The little devils do start hidin' as an evening wears on though .
Did I hear that you are hiding in evening wear?
Perhaps I shall be back in the near future asking for general concertina help as I am quite new to the genre of instrument.
I expect we will see you back. You will need us for companionship as you soon shall be abandoned by friends, family and pets alike. Don't worry though, we are always here!
While you have gotten a lot of technical feedback, I wish to tell you that you have presented a very clear picture of how to take apart and examine a concertina.
I'm sure that many on the site who have been reluctant to take their instrument apart might be more encouraged to do so and feel more comfortable in the process.
I would only add that when taking the instrument apart, care should be taken to make sure the bolts are marked in a way that they are returned to the same holes from which they came.
Wow Alan, my story is sooo similar,
I was playing very seriously as a "professional" (read broke and itenerant) musician in a couple of bands in California in the 1970's. We toured and worked every weekend. After one tour I just chucked it in. I didn't play for a number of months, and after that have never played for money. I would and will sit in with other bands but I don't want to ever again think of music as anything but pleasure.
I can say for certain that because of this I have become a much better player. I also know that if I were to ever have reunion with any of my old groups, I would still be able to pick up right where we left off. In fact I would have more to add.
You should call Marc. Many years ago he was offering Italian made instruments which he touched up a bit. I bought one for about 1/3 less than his hand-made boxes and it is fabulous. I had some friend who played professionally and loved to take my box when they had the chance because it sounded so "honking nice"
Marc offered flat tuning, and sweet tuning and an in-between. I love to play it!
While Bertram Levy is widely known for his tutor, I wonder how widespread are the recordings of his playing. I have this notion that his albums "Sageflower Suite" and "First Generation" exist for many of us as almost urban legend.
Having heard Bertram playing with Frank Ferrell, where I bought the LP "Sageflower Suite", and recently listening to the "First Generation" recording, I am again taken aback at not only his mastery of the instrument, but of his tremendous expression and musical sensibility.
How many of you have these recordings, or at least have had the opportunity to hear them?
First, WELCOME to Concertina.net! We are always happy to have new members and participants.
Give us some ideas about the type of music you are interested in playing on the instrument. After you have done that, I'm sure you will see the diversity of opinion of C-netters! I think that it will ultimately depend on how your mind is wired. It seems that most of us are drawn to our instruments because they make "intuitive" sense to us. I could grasp the Anglo right away, and still have difficulty trying to get my mind and fingers around on an English.
Since you have an Anglo coming, you will know soon enough whether you can be comfortable with it.
As for tutors for the Anglo, I highly recommend Alan Day's tutor. He is a member of C-net. Look him up in the Member's section and e-mail him. He will make it available to you. It gives you a wonderful start at playing melody with chords on the Anglo. I think it is one of the best of its kind! And the price is right!!!!!!
For strictly Irish styles, again on Anglo, Frank Edgley, a C-netter and advertiser has a wonderful tutor. This is a superior tutor for a beginner. Plus it has lots of wonderful tunes!
Well that's my 2 cents. Welcome Aboard
So, if you are tuning using a reed tuning aparatus whereby you slide the reedpan into a slot and tune, then when you return it to the instrument it will be a little off. I guess that the "Art" of tuning includes the ability to compensate between the tuning bellows and the actual instrument. That is fascinating! I really admire you all for not only the skill, but the art involved!
I started out with Bertram's book. It is good. For the Irish Style, I fully agree that Frank Edgley's book is really valuable. BUt to get an excellent start in the English style, one cannot do better than Alan's tutor.
This is something that Chris needs to add to the FAC.
Dick Hyman is an extraordiary and nearly legendary jazz piano player who is still alive and playing regularly. What a wonderful book you have there. I have had the pleasure of seeing Dick play at "Jazz Holidays" here in Florida with pick up band that included the likes of Ruby Braff, Dan Barrett, the Pizzorelli's (father and son).
This is unsolicited but heartfelt.
I Just want to publicly thank The Button Box for a timely and first class repair. They did a great job and, as a small business owner myself, I appreciate the fact that they dealt with me with a "customer first" attitude that is all too often missing these days.
I can whole-heartedly recommend them to all.
Thanks again guys!!!!
I hope you will consider giving the customary donation that we who have used this valuable service contribute. //see the pinned note at the top of the buy and sell message board//.
I can't believed I lived in Swaziland for more than a year in the 1990's and never heard of concertina music in SA! I squeezed all by myself in Mbabane. I did travel to the Whitswaterrand with my work and for some diversion.
Where in SA are you from?
I can't tell you how much we appreciate your joining our group and introducing us in such a knowledable manner to the concertina tradition of South Africa. I am sure that our fellow Concertina.net members feel the same.
Thank you for being a part of our world!
I have just posted a reasonably close transcription of King of the Clans in the Tune-O-Tron (my first!). Maybe it will be of assistance. It is really a wonderful recording, perhaps you can try Custy's for the recording.
That midi is fine, but you MUST hear the recording. Thanks for the link, because with all the music I am working on, I often miss some of the gems I should have mastered long ago. We have to find some way to have the Rosbif music reissued on CD!!!! That is more than a hint, Alan, it is a solid request!!
in General Concertina Discussion
Here in the US, one must be careful if they are covered under homeowners type of insurance. Often homeowners insurance will cover items in a car, but if you are a musician or use the instrument to make any money, all coverage is void. I don't know how they would know, but if you have a very expensive instrument, you might not want to find yourself in a fix disputing your coverage.
I insure my two Jefferies for approximately $12,000 US with a company that specializes in instruments, jewelery, etc. at an annual cost of $75.00. I am careful not to perform professionally (ie accept any money). I don't have the name of the insurance company in front of me at the moment, but will get back with their particulars.