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Ivan Viehoff

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Everything posted by Ivan Viehoff

  1. I had my Lachenal 46-key Maccann with bone buttons and veneered wooden ends bushed a couple of years ago, expecting that it would be much smoother and quieter, as indeed it was when it first came back from the highly reputable restorer. But I am finding a few buttons (now up to about 8) are regularly getting stuck in the bushing. Although some of them are rarely used right hand high notes, some of them are just about the most commonly used buttons - left hand high notes. Most of the rest work beautifully. I have fiddled with the springs to get maximum force from the springs, pushed the buttons in and out lots of times, taken out the button and used a piece of wood to press down on the bushing round and round, I have removed surface grime from the button where present, etc. This type of thing usually makes things a bit better, but the problem buttons are always stiff. And when I leave the concertina for a few days and next pick up the concertina they are usually as bad as they were last time. I have recently been distracted from musical activities for a few months (new baby) and now they are worse than ever. Is there something I can do to make a permanent solution?
  2. The only larger Haydens coming onto the market recently that anyone here is aware of are the Marcus and the Tedrow. They are accordion reeded and in very small quantity. They will be quickly outnumbered if Wakker goes ahead with a batch of Haydens. You can find some reviews of Connor (correct spelling) anglo concertinas on this website and elsewhere on the net. Connor will attract some interest if he emerges as a new source of duets.
  3. New off-the-shelf: Stagi 46-key Hayden Used off-the-shelf (ie from dealers): Maccanns and Cranes up to 48 keys available much of the time, specific larger instruments much harder to source. To Order: - Only maker who will quote a lead time for new orders is Tedrow for his 52-key Hayden. - Marcus is making Haydens at the rate of one per year, and since he has a wait list of several years he is understood not to be accepting further orders. At least one of these instruments now exists, but I am not aware of anyone who has seen/heard one, and I have no description of it. - No other supplier I am aware of will quote a lead time. Future Projects: - Hints of a Wakker Hayden in the near future. - No recent news of any progress on the Morse Hayden project. - The Haydenovskaya is definitely an abandoned project.
  4. There is a difference, not at all a subtle difference, between "learning the concertina" and "learning the Jeffries Duet concertina". It would not be at all surprising that a person wishing to "learn the concertina" and finding themselves in possession of a rare and special Jeffries Duet, might prefer to learn a different kind of concertina. Since one could probably swap said very special and rare Jeffries Duet for a very special and rare concertina of a different system, perhaps through a top quality dealer such as Mr Algar who offers such a service, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the course of action selected by many people in such a fortunate position. It would also be a service to society to make that rare and special concertina available. I am fortunate in having both a piano and a concertina. I am permitted to keep the piano in the lounge but the concertina resides in a remote room.
  5. According to a report in New Scientist, someone has just invented a method of making tattoos that can be reliably removed (allegedly) with a laser. Though maybe some while before it is at a torture chamber near you. Of course it may be all a load of baloney like all such previous claims, but this one sounds quite convincing. Disappearing Tattoos
  6. Parallel thirds means playing a tune together with the same tune a third below (or above) in the same time and rhythm. So in addition to G-E-F-G-D-F-E we play for example E-C-D-E-B-D-C a third below. Parallel diatonic thirds means that the notes are all taken from the current key or scale, as above. So, playing in C major for example, as above, all the notes are taken from C major. The main (not the only) alternative to diatonic is chromatic. In this case there will be accidentals which take you out of the current key, but not in such a fashion as to put you consistently in another key. Joplin makes considerable use of parallel thirds, notably in The Entertainer (from which the above example was taken), not always diatonic. Parallel thirds are usually sufficiently easy to play on a Maccann that it is a good trick to have in your repertoire of things-to-do-on-a-Maccann. But parallel fifths are a b****r. I can't speak for Cranes. I like to play Joplin on the piano, and have occasionally sat with my concertina trying to play selected notes from the piano score. I soon gave up, realising that I would have a huge job writing an arrangement first. The first problem with attempting to play such things on the Maccann is that the tunes are often spread over about 3 octaves or so, so you have to modify the tune (changing the octave of some tune sections, possibly even modulating some sections eg by a 5th), and probably the key too, even if it isn't in A-flat. The other big problem is that pianos like "busy" harmonisation, but concertinas don't. So there is a major task cutting down and simplifying the arrangement. This isn't just thinning out the chords; even the underlying harmony will probably have to be simplified. This is because what sounds slick on the piano, when you are including all the notes which will allow the harmony to glide from one chord to the next, may just sound lumpy on a concertina, where the chording is necessarily going to be thinner and probably not legato.
  7. As Ken says, the only person other than Stagi advertising to make you a Hayden this side of the end of the decade is Bob Tedrow. What is news is that Marcus has actually made some Haydens. They have kept very quiet about that. The last news on this site, a couple of years ago I think, was that there was a problem with the prototype and it was back to the drawing board. But with a waiting list apparently already extending past the end of the decade, he doesn't need to advertise. We would be most interested to know what a Marcus Hayden is actually like. You have to wait a long time for any kind of Dickinson/Wheatstone or Dipper concertina, but it seems you may have to wait even longer for a Hayden. The Russian "Haydenovskaya" never got past prototype. We haven't heard anything on this forum about Morse's proposed Hayden for about a year now: the last we heard was that he was having difficulty finding a workman of suitable dexterity to do the reedwork.
  8. Thanks Robert and Mike for that. I bet this one is unique. I guess it must have been specially made for someone who liked the smallness of the 46-key but just wanted to get past the most annoying things on the 46-key without getting too big. That person must also have been confused by the difference between the two G-rows on a normal Maccann. Mike, I think you will enjoy playing this Maccann, because the extra 3 keys are going to be very useful to you. But you might be confused as hell if you try to play one with the keys in the usual places! I think you are doing well to learn the patterns of the scales. What takes the time is to hardwire them in your head so you can do it without thinking. Ivan
  9. Hi Mike, I haven't heard of a Maccann with 49 keys before, but it is possible. The standard numbers of keys for Maccanns are 39, 46, 55 and larger. A 48-key Crane with an air button would have 49 buttons. If you really have a 49-key Maccann, we would be very interested to know what your keyboard layout is, and any history you know about it. Best wishes getting to grips with the thing Ivan
  10. (bu: 'zu: ki) or boo-ZOO-key Fortunately these are intended to be the same as each other. Seems to be the same as the greek.
  11. The most common kinds of Maccann are 46 key, you also commonly get 39 key. The most common kinds of Crane is 48 key, you also commonly get 42 and 35 key The most common kind of Hayden is the Stagi 46-key. Their ranges (and some others) are described in verbal terms here
  12. Susan, My observation is that, on the open market, standard 46-key Maccann Duets in nice condition and at concert pitch have been regularly fetching in the area of UKP 700-800; off-the-shelf retailers such as Hobgoblin ask more. I spot the Barleycorn auction has already reached UKP 670 at time of writing. You can pay rather less for one in rather less good condition (as I did), especially if it has been sitting on a shelf for rather too long. But if you have to pay someone to restore it (as I did, after I had spent many hours doing as much as I could for it myself), then you will probably end up not far short of the same amount. Comparing it with the alternatives (eg 39-key Maccann, 35- or 42-key Crane, 46-key Stagi Hayden, and others), some of which will be obtainable for within $1000, I wrote this: So you think you want to buy a duet concertina
  13. And the unexpected, I mean, er, well-deserved, high placing of Morris Dancing hasn't occurred from a similar process, which might indeed be reinforced by canvassing for the votes of a special interest group? It's a good thing no one is proposing a parliamentary vote on folk music. I don't think it would be safe. A young Scottish bagpiper was recently served with an order banning him from playing at home as it exceeded permissible noise limits in neighbouring properties.
  14. You call £1,283 a "reasonable price"? But I suppose the only way to find out what a 46-key Maccann Aeola is worth is to auction it.
  15. In many European countries/languages "H" designates what Americans call "B", and their "B" is what we call "Bb". thanks, i didn't know that. which languages is this common in? also, are there any other notes with different names? and do other english-speaking countries use this notation? This is German-speaking nomenclature, also used in places with German influence, such as the former Austro-Hungarian empire. You can also sort-of get "S", because "E-flat" is called "Es" in German. Dmitri Shostakovich (Schostakowitsch transliterated to German) used D-Es-C-H as his theme.
  16. Indeed two of the Wheatstones on ebay at the moment are identical, right down to the serial number...
  17. This might be true of the kind of meteor which wiped out the dinosaurs, but in relation to every-day meteorites, I think that this is precisely the misconception. Meteors do hit the atmosphere at such speeds (see below), but unless they weigh many tons they are essentially stopped by the atmosphere well before they hit the ground. As a result, the last part of their journey is no faster than if they had been dropped out of a hot-air balloon. As sky-divers will know, an object thus dropped reaches a terminal velocity from which it accelerates no more (the velocity when air resistance matches gravitational attraction), and for a potato-sized rock it is of the order of 50-100m/s. (1m/s is 2.23 mph). Typical meteorites reach this terminal velocity at somewhere above 5,000m-20,000m altitude. So it takes the typical potato-sized meteorite minutes rather than seconds to hit the ground from atmosphere entry. The heat produced by the ram pressure of the deceleration from the collision with the atmosphere is sufficient to melt the surface to a depth of 1-2mm, (hence the typical fusion coating which appears absent from this rock), but this heat has largely dissipated by the time it lands. To see this must be correct, observe that at a ground collision speed of 20 miles/second, you wouldn't find potato-sized meteorites lying around but large holes in the ground, as happens on the moon. On earth large holes in the ground caused by meteorite strike are so extremely rare they are tentatively estimated as a few per century. If a potato-sized rock, say 0.25kg (half a pound), did hit the ground at 30,000m/s (about 20 miles/second), the collision energy would be (by half mass times velocity squared) 112,500,000 J (or 27,000 Calories, or in US-style cgs metric 1,125,000,000,000,000 ergs - just put that one in for a laugh). The explosion of 1kg of TNT produces about 4,600,000 J, so we can see that the collision energy would be about the same as exploding 25kg of TNT, which would make quite a big hole. At 100 m/s, the ground collision energy for a 0.25kg rock is only 1,250 J (or 0.3 Calories), which is why they survive. Even if we assumed that some small fraction of the initial momentum survived, and it hit the ground at say 1,000 m/s, we have now got 100 times more energy, and travelling the speed of a rifle bullet, enough to spread a bit of mud about. Many meteors are in showers which are predictable by their date. So we deduce there are debris clouds which are roughly stationary in comparison to the earth's rotation around the sun, whose collision velocity is therefore roughly the earth's own velocity. The earth's orbit being about 150,000,000 km in radius, the earth moves around the sun at around 30,000 m/s, (about 20 miles/second). A few are coming the other way when they hit, so that's why the collision speed is occasionally rather higher. So Bill's meteorite speeds are a good estimate.
  18. Wendy, On the information and picture I doubt you have a meteorite. The telling sign is that your rock was hot enough to scorch the ground. Contrary to popular belief, meteorites are usually cold when they land. A hot rock that lands in your garden and burns the ground can't have been in the air very long, so probably it exploded out of a neighbour's bonfire. Here are some pages to help people identify if they found a meteorite. Meteorite identification pages Sorry to be a spoil-sport, with best wishes Ivan
  19. According to a highly reputable source (Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"), a course of Vitamin Wonka will enable you to play the piano with your toes. This vitamin is included in certain products made in Mr Wonka's own factory. Regrettably the products currently to be found widely on sale are made under licence elsewhere, and do not contain the magic ingredient.
  20. Thank you for your interesting comments. Perhaps I have written it poorly if you have picked up that I was stressing the importance of layout vs sound, because I don't even agree with that. If there was a key point I was trying to make, it is that for most people instrument capability will be a more important consideration than fingering type. If I have understood what you are saying, I think your own experience would tend to confirm that: namely it was instrument capability (which includes sound quality) that was more important to you than fingering type. Indeed, you were able to get to grips quickly with all three main fingering types, although some seemed a bit easier than others. I think you must be talented (and I am saying so quite genuinely) if you can pick up a new type of duet concertina and be able to play an accompanied tune fluently after a couple of weeks, and thereby gain an insight into that instrument as opposed to others. Whilst such talent certainly exists, it is not common, even among good instrumentalists. I think most of us have a different experience, and would take much longer to get to that position, whether on free reed, or any other instrument. You did well to obtain access to all those instruments so cheaply/easily. But I think they must all have been rather modest instruments, and I wonder if you would have come to the same conclusions had you had access to better quality instruments. If someone offered me a free loan of a different duet system on an instrument of sufficient quality for it to be a genuine comparison against my present system, would I turn it down? Certainly not. But I would prefer to obtain a better instrument of the fingering I have done 18 months work on. Ivan
  21. Thank you all for your compliments. I wrote it to gather in one place the information and sources that an aspiring beginner might want, which took a lot of searching for, and to record the kind of thoughts and decisions that I went through. I am still a beginner. Ivan
  22. When you mentioned this material, I wondered if it was a brand name for a form of sorbothane, which is also used for very expensive vibration-absorbing insoles, and which hi-fi freaks rest their CD and vinyl record players on to insulate them from vibration. However a bit more web-searching and I discover that sorbothane is a polyurethane whereas noene is a synthetic rubber (which I think means it is a polybutadiene). I once put some vibration-absorbing insoles in my shoes, and I didn't like it at all. Maybe it absorbed impact, but at the cost of increased rubbing as the foot moved around more within the shoe. As I have very soft skin on my feet, I got sores. The connection between the pad and lever is quite wobbly, as it needs to flex to ensure a seal can be achieved. But you need to have a stiff layer or layers in the pad to ensure the pad remains spread out to cover the hole. Making sure the pad remains properly aligned to closes the hole properly, and doesn't foul adjacent pads, remains a regular maintenance task, even though I recently had it repadded etc. Would making the wobbly parts even wobblier improve this?
  23. What happened to "English Magic" is that it changed, due to internal social changes and external social influences. English Magic is still here and it is extraordinarily popular the world around. Ask a foreigner what is English Magic and they very quickly name the Beatles, Elton John, and more modern practioners that Lord Justice Cocklecarrot is unaware of. And they may be envious of or indignant at English influence on the global music scene. Meanwhile a small number of us preserve older forms of English Magic, and create our own magic fusing those forms with more modern influences. In the 19th century, the main internal social change was the move from country to town, whereby people lost touch with the traditional rural structures of music making and met urban ones; and a major external social influence was German, whereby anything that couldn't have been written by Mendelssohn was deemed to be in error. Thus we lost the modal pattern of English Magic. As commented before, this happened even more strongly in Wales. Mendelssohnian influence, perhaps originally a more general German influence (Handel, Haydn, the royal family), was spread by church (Wesley etc), by education ("magic theory" as she is taught is a recipe book for writing Mendelssohn), by urban magic-making activities such as the "choral society", the magic hall - which was magic also in a germanic harmonic idiom and which also became the language of recreational magic in pub and parlour - and Savoy Opera, etc. To the extent that "magic hall" retained or recreated "traditional" songs, it formed them into the Germanic harmonic idiom, hence most people's impression of English trad is things like "The Ash Grove" and "The Lincolnshire Poacher", written in diatonic keys. More recently "English Magic" accepted American influences, etc, and social change has continued apace, and we ended up with the Beatles etc. Whilst I am also inclined to make the complaint that "world magic" is anyone's folk magic except ours, the reality is that Elton John and Queen is just as much if not more our folk magic than Morris tunes. The difference is that English folk magic has perhaps retained less influence from the English magic of 200 years ago than other countries' magics have retained influences from their pasts. PS. for "magic" read "music" passim. I seem to have been overly influenced by recently completing the 800+ pages of "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norris", which is much concerned with the history and preservation of "English Magic" (sic).
  24. I can confirm there is. Suspecting there wasn't, I wrote to ask Wes if he was the same Wes Williams I was at school with, and I learned he was not (and he didn't mean that he had changed since then...) On topic, I observe that Flanders and Swann once sang about the Doggy, Doggy Few. I also observe that one's appreciation of Coope, Boyes and Simpson (which is already high) is enhanced by a knowledge of the relevant aspects of recent British history.
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