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    northbridge, ma. (USA)

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. If you have some sort of phone or computer. You should be able to download a free synth app. Or even a concertina app. And do some chanting over both to see what may work totally. And also, possibly by hitting various keys, get a feeling for your singing range. and I was thinking primarily of a synth tone with some slight lfo to give it some small phasing, pulse swells, filter sweep. So there is something subtle going on to give it enough variation to give it a bit of life.
  2. Your priority will be supporting your singing. So while you may theoretically be able to sing in several keys. There is probably one key/ range that you are most comfortable singing in. In an Anglo selecting the right key/ range can come into play. if, for example you sing best in E flat. You could get a c/g or g/d and struggle. But a Bb/f would be a “more” natural fit for your voice in what would be a closer “home” key. Unlike a guitar tuning down a half step or “capo”-ing up does not work as well on a concertina. in the example you posted above. What I hear is that the organ is being used more a reference tone. Or a constant pitch pipe that everyone is referencing. In this case though. The pitch mostly is above the singers. Which is generally different from a typical drone tends to be under the singers (esp Indian tanpura). And can be easily done on anything. But in that circumstance it may actually may be more interesting done with a synth and some LFO stuff giving a lot more texture and movement. I know that may be sacrilege on this site to say. But as a listener, I’d be much more interested. a concertina as a one note drone for 3-10 minutes would not be all that interesting. As you want to add texture. And have some sort of color and movement. In a chant situation, the instrument has to be there but not in the way. And hitting a single key on a keyboard, stepping on a sustain pedal and concentrating on the singing may be the easiest, cheapest, fastest learning curve and best (tonal) solution.
  3. Agreed. or it could be they are intentionally angling for a more vintage tone. Brass reeds. it would seem odd that they would opt for a solution steel reed brass plates. That many would really not see as optimal. Also adding weight.
  4. From the little I know… Chant does not specify a specific key. That is going to be up to the singer to determine their root note/ tonic/ base note. And then the notation is relative to this starting point. so… it would be helpful for you to try to determine what key you sing in. You may need to enlist a friend to kind of dial that in. if you are pretty much singing in say.. f#, or c# or B.. then an Anglo may get difficult. as for accompaniment. For a chant… I ASSUME.. that you will tend to playing a chord/ drone and then singing on top of that. As (in my extremely limited experience) it tends to be an a capella type thing, you would primarily be using the concertina as more of a drone reference. Much of this may just be a simple one note or that one root note and it’s octave to not get in the way of the singing. Being the same as blowing the pitch pipe. But letting it ring throughout the song. for a folk thing.. I would assume more playing the basic chords and singing on top of that. Then possibly adding some bass walk downs. Or possibly adding some higher, call and response type fills. At its most basic approach. an Anglo or duet. Could work in either situation. But, I would suggest looking seriously at the duet.. and probably am Elise as a starting point.
  5. I have been under the possible misunderstanding that at least in vintage boxes that brass have a “warmer” and softer volume over all. And steel was always reccomended. Unless you specially wanted “that sound”. modern production? No clue. it may be worth asking the maker why they are doing that. And what are the plus/ minuses. And if they would recommend a new brass, or find a used steel model. it would be cool if you get this info to let us all know. Maybe this is a new thing? And cutting edge. Or, it could be completely a sub optimal cost saving measure. to keep a price point of the old model by cutting corners.
  6. I would also add.. there are far more learning resources available for Anglo. But if you are going to learn from Gregorian Chant charts…
  7. you are probably going to be mainly focusing on chords to accompany your singing? I think an Anglo, or a duet would be preferable to English. depending on what key you sing most in could push you towards one Anglo over another c/g d/g Bb/f. then depending on your range of singing and where you think the accompaniment would fit. You may want to look at a tenor/ bari. That said.. a duet, could really be the optimal choice. Mirrored hands gives you easy chords on both hands. The same shapes on each hand. And or chords on one and fills on the other. Which may punctuate your singing. also depending on how you’re wired. Different notes on the push/ pull can be very intuitive. Or completely baffling. both the Anglo and duet offer a lot of potential. They are just different. Anglo as a platform, will give you more options in terms of moving up and changing scales. The duet, arguably, can play (hypothetically) equally easy in any key, given enough buttons. and will have more shared chords shapes that you just move around.
  8. I guess! To go 100+ years and look like perfect pieces of plastic. ( and I mean plastic in a good way, as in perfect), no pits and uniformity in color. Must have taken a ton of work in sanding and filling and finishing.
  9. Looking at the note layout. and the thing that has stopped me from picking one of these up to try out is that I just don’t see 36 notes as being enough. On the left hand side having limits can force you to get into some interesting chord voicing. but on the right, I’d really like to see an expanded/ extended range. in its “main” key of C you only have 1 octave +6; (A) and then diminishing from there. And then as you go up/ down keys it gets really short. beyond Bb on the flats looks really difficult to manage. better on the sharps side. But limited. Eb and beyond and B you’d need to get very creative. but as a first box, looks good. But it will really depend on music/ song choices as to if it is a long term one box fits all.
  10. This buttons just look too uniform or plastic-ish to be bone to me.
  11. I would probably suggest bi directional. I have not done a lot of research on this. So my conclusions may be way off. But. As bi directional seems to be more standard. It will give you more available options if you grow out of the troubadour and/ or want to look for something with more buttons. in a duet. You are likely to find that more buttons is always better.
  12. I played guitar for a long time. I found the Anglo push pull gives a different note completely baffling to me. The English made a lot more sense. And the having some what got my arms around that have been dabbling with crane. Which seems like an off shoot of an English. And somehow kind of working for me. but it seems that the current accepted standard with the most currently made offerings is the Hayden.
  13. What ever system you decide on. You will need to learn through muscle memory and repetition. where you are starting from zero you won’t have a frame of reference as to what “feels” normal or right. by all accounts the troubadour is a quality box. And the Hayden system has a lot of good things going for it. I would just take the plunge and give it a try.
  14. if an instrument does not somehow inspire you to play it. Then you won’t.
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