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Stephen Chambers

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    STEPHEN CHAMBERS had the misfortune to be stricken with the highly contagious concertina bug around the time he left school in 1970. He believes he caught it as a result of attending folk clubs in Derby and his native Burton-on-Trent, though he cannot rule out the malevolent influence of the "Concertina Consciousness" movement that was active at the time, not forgetting his becoming a member of the International Concertina Association at an early stage (as the result of an accidental meeting with ICA Secretary Jim Harvey on London's Battersea Bridge). In the early stages of the illness he rapidly progressed from simply listening to concertinas being played to seeking to have one of his own; an ambition he rapidly achieved with the purchase of an 1890s Wheatstone for £25 through an advert in the local newspaper, and his life has never been the same since. The progression of the bug to fully blown Concertina Acquisition Disorder, coupled with an interest in history and training as a librarian, has caused him to carry out research on the instruments murky past and to publish articles about it, but really he is only trying to mask the symptoms of his condition.

    He is the author of "Louis Lachenal : Engineer and Concertina Manufacturer" Part 1, "An Annotated Catalogue of Historic European Free-Reed Instruments ... " (based on the instruments exhibited at the Symposium "Harmonium und Handharmonika", at Stiftung Kloster Michaelstein, in November 1999) and "Some Notes on Lachenal Concertina Production and Serial Numbers", which stands (in the interim) for "Louis Lachenal" Part 2.

    All the above may now be viewed online, courtesy of Robert Gaskins, by clicking on the Home Page url below.

    His latest paper "Joseph Astley, Oldham Concertina Band
    and the MHJ Shield" was published in PICA (Papers of the International Concertina Association) Volume 4, 2007: http://www.concertina.org/archive/pica/pica_2007_4/pica4_2007_p31_44.pdf

    Stephen is the present custodian of the first Wheatstone concertina (his avatar), which was formerly the pride of Wheatstone's own collection. It was shown, & described as such, in the 1961 Pathe Newsreel "Concertina Factory", or "Concert in a Factory"(which can be viewed online at: http://www.britishpathe.com/product_display.php?searchword=concertina+factory).

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  1. Only about binaural recording, anything else you wrote was neither called for nor invited. That's disingenuous. If you meant it you'd have deleted what you wrote already. Can we please get back to discussing this interesting topic?
  2. The fretwork reveals that it's one of the Wheatstone concertinas made for the firm by Louis Lachenal, starting in 1848, so there's the sellers date estimate gone out the window already. It's very similar to #1563 in my collection, discussed in my paper Some Notes on Lachenal Concertina Production and Serial Numbers. As for the price... 🤣
  3. I've been watching The Whistlebinkies at Haddo House, Aberdeenshire, 2021 just now Stuart, and came to the section that features the music that the band played for the Scots Gaelic production of "The Scottish Play" (Macbeth, gin ye dinnae mind the curse!) where binaural sound is mentioned as being used in that. Was that the beginning of your interest in the subject?
  4. Isn't it self-evident from the thread title "Binaural Recording of Concertina"? The rest of your post is uncalled-for and not in the friendly spirit of this forum. Whatever you may think, in Scottish music it's the English concertina that is the traditional system.
  5. The date I gave you already is the latest/best estimate from the data banks. The serial number 28293 appears to be from the very end of 1888, so possibly the beginning of 1889.
  6. Of course, as I've mentioned before, there's a link - in that Jones was the original builder of Jeffries' concertinas.
  7. That's an expensive (professional quality) 4-stopper Castagnari melodeon in the key of D, and I sold it to him about 25 years ago.
  8. That's 31 cents sharp, almost a third of a semitone. You'd be lucky to get away with your life - don't try it! You won't, it's not a known standard. Maybe it's meant to be Medium/Old Royal Society of Arts Pitch (A-444 = 15 cents sharp)?
  9. A very noticeable 31 cents to be precise You might be surprised how many of the old-style players in Ireland only ever used the C#...
  10. I just came across the tuning diagram for it, twelve years later! On the left hand side it (30+ years ago) was A#/C# (C row) and F/G# (G row), and on the right hand side C#/D# (C row) and A#/G# (G row).
  11. On any 26-key the buttons you have are numbers 3, 4, and 5 of the accidental row of a 30-key on the LH side, so C#/Eb, A/G, G#/Bb, regardless of the maker. But the RH sides are different: On a Lachenal or Wheatstone you'd get buttons 1, 2, and 3 of the accidental row of a 30-key, so C#/Eb, A/G, G#/Bb again, an octave higher. Whilst on a Jeffries you'd get buttons 2, 3, and 4 of a Jeffries 30-key, giving you C#/Eb, G#/G, and C#/Bb.
  12. That Jeffries would need completely rebuilding, including replacement fretwork - it's because of the offset layout of the accidental row buttons (normal on a 26-key Jeffries), the layout of the levers, and the fullness of the fretwork. Like I said, it depends on the exact model, even the individual instrument - I've had a late 20-key Wheatstone converted into a 30-key for a customer (by Steve Dickinson) because its layout was that of a 30-key lacking the third row. But you couldn't do that with 99.9% of them... And I've converted 26-key rosewood ended Lachenals that had been made with the fretwork of a 30-key - sometimes even with the extra levers already inside them!
  13. The answer to your question would depend on the make, and model, of the 26-key Anglo, but I have successfully converted a few 26-key, mahogany-ended Lachenals into 28- or 30-keys, using the vacant reed chambers in their reed-pans. Photos of an end, and a reed-pan, would be a big help in determining if it was possible.
  14. That'd be towards the end of 1922 Shay.
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