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Ivan Viehoff

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  1. People have been denigrating 48-key Cranes, but actually they are an exceedingly popular and useful size. In contrast to 46-key Maccanns, they go down to middle C on the right and you can play every triad in the left, and you don't have three missing notes immediately above low C. The disadvantage is that they are necessarily larger and heavier than 46-key Maccanns, and don't have such a wide LH range. But the market judges these small disadvantages and they fetch a premium of probably £200 to £300 over 46-key Maccanns of equivalent quality. Chris Algar was selling a Lachenal 48-key Crane for £900 a couple of years ago. It had wooden ends of very similar appearance to the one here. But it was in beautiful fully restored condition, with bushed metal keys (I can't see from the photos whether this one is bushed) and lovely bellows. I was astonished at the smoothness of its action, the response of its reeds and its lovely tone. He had a £1000 metal ended Wheatstone of typical quality alongside it, and the former was flattered by the comparison. If I had been in the market for a 48-key Crane I would have bought the Lachenal. So a 48-key Lachenal Crane with standard wooden ends can be worth that amount of money, but only the very best in top condition.
  2. If you are just writing it for yourself, you do whatever you find convenient. It depends what instrument you have what makes most sense. On my 57-Maccann, which, like your Crane, has the LH an octave below the RH, using treble and octave treble makes a lot of sense. For my 46-Maccann, where the RH only goes down to G, I prefer to use treble and bass, but write it all down an octave lower than sounding pitch. This makes particular sense because when playing the 46-Maccann scores from other sources, you often have to play it an octave above written pitch anyway. But a lot of music comes in treble and bass, so getting used to being able to read that seems like a good idea. If you are writing and hoping someone else will be reading it, then stick to treble, octave treble and bass, because lots of people can read fluently off them. Don't use C-clefs (Tenor and Alto), because very few people can read fluently off them. Each is just one note off the octave-treble, and therefore create the same effect for most of us of trying to transposing at sight by a note, not a trick too many can pull off. I used to play the bassoon and it was conventional (as for cellos) to use the tenor clef for high passages. It was one of the reasons I didn't persist with the instrument. Why on earth they couldn't make our life easy by using octave treble... I later got into singing plainsong, which is usually written on a four-line staff where C is the top line, like a tenor clef with the top line missing. I've now got used to that, but it took a long time. "Baritone clef" seems to be a name Brian has invented for the octave treble.
  3. The Windsors were previously called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Queen retained her surname on marriage, and as part of the marriage settlement her children take their mother's surname. Prince Philip was born Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gluecksburg, but started to call himself Mountbatten when he joined the Royal Navy, Mountbatten being his mother's name (Princess Alice). These Mountbattens descended from Battenburgs, who changed their name because of the difficulties you mention, otherwise known as the First World War. Fans of Battenburg Cake will no doubt be aware of the prominent role it takes in Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" series of comic novels, the first of which is The Eyre Affair. Thurday's mother regularly cooks it, and I believe Thursday's genetically cultured pet dodo is very fond of eating it. But don't tell the Toast Marketing Board.
  4. Is she related to the ones who translated their name to Mountbatten? It might explain the banking choice.
  5. Well assuming there isn't something odd with the hand-straps, then that's the right hand end we are looking at and it has 25 buttons on that end. So that would generally imply it has 42 buttons in total. Probably a rather basic instrument, then.
  6. I don't think it helpful to others to draw the issue too closely to their attention.
  7. I observe the following wording or similar frequently occurring on the ebay auctions of not just a certain well known concertina dealer, but many other frequent sellers of objects of value. "As with all my instruments-they are available elsewhere-and often with this class of concertina I get asked to sell it out of auction. I never withdraw anything which has bids on, so if you are seriously interested , put a bid on early." I put something for sale on ebay last week, my first ever sale, not a concertina, and thought it would be appropriate to use an equivalent wording for this particular object. After a few days Ebay terminated the auction, pointing precisely to those words, citing their rules on ebay fee avoidance. Not a good start for my first ever sale. Perhaps they looked at it carefully because it was my first sale.
  8. Lachenal 46-key Maccann Duet. In concert pitch. Bushed bone buttons in veneered wooden ends. Standard 46-key layout. Comes with a battered Wheatstone leather box, strap missing, and a few spare parts. Fully restored by Mike Acott about 3 years ago, including new pads, new valves, new springs, tune-up, new straps, French polish of ends. Also had the key bushing retro-fitted by Mike. Ends have some old screwdriver slip damage that was too deep to sand out, and a chip in one corner. Original 6-fold bellows, with an old but effective repair of a split. One of the end-bolts is losing traction, ideally a new captive nut should be fitted. I had the privilege of comparing this little concertina with some much more posh duets on the Algar stand at Witney once, and I think this tone of the concertina compares very well. The main difference, I would say, with the next level up is a better action. That is why I had the action improved somewhat by having it bushed. It is unusual to find a wooden ended 46-key Maccann with bushed buttons. Looking for something in the region of £700. Instrument is located near Amersham, Bucks, but can be brought to central London, (Covent Garden). For sale because I now have a 57-key and don't pick the small one up any more.
  9. I have: Wheatstone 57-key Maccann Duet, old pitch, will be put in concert pitch and refurbed some time in future. I find the expanded range of this so useful I have not since touched my: Lachenal 46-key Maccann Duet, concert pitch, 1920s, refurbed and improved, for sale when I get around to it (I did once post the serial number on this forum, but I can't find the post any more) Also: piano - Yamaha U1 treble recorder shakuhachi - possibly the most difficult instrument on the planet even to get a note out of voice - the instrument I play most, and the only one I am sufficiently accomplished in for public performance
  10. 39-key Maccanns are fairly common. This is not one, although the seller now says it is. 39-key Maccanns are the lowest of the low, but that concertina looks rather nice. If it is a duet, it is quite unique. It must be an Anglo.
  11. ??? I never studied Latin, but according to what I've picked up from others, shouldn't that "bi" rhyme with "flea", and not with "fly"? (Well, you did say "english teacher", not "latin teacher".) There are many different pronunciations of Latin, depending upon the context in which it is used. "Traditional English pronuciation of mediaeval Latin", "English legal Latin" or "English biological Latin" would have "bi" rhyming with fly; though most other forms of Latin, including no doubt Danish usages, would have it (approximately) rhyming with flea. The word "vincit" could be pronounced winkit (classical), vinchit (Italianate church latin), vintsit (Germanic church latin) or vinsit (English traditional), and that is without even considering variations that would occur in the pronunciation of the vowels.
  12. I understood octopus was an English language word but derived from 'octo' - the latin word for eight. It is certainly an English language word, we don't have any other word for it. The Latin word for 8 is octem, and words that come to us from Latin with the concept 8 would generally begin oct-. Thus your understanding is understandable and common, but nonetheless mistaken. Had English persons decided to coin a word for the animal from Latin roots, they would have come up with octoped (compare: biped, quadruped), since the Latin word for foot is pes, in the genitive pedem. Compare platypus, Greek flat-foot, which we can more clearly see is entirely Greek, because the Latin would have given us planiped. The origin of the English word octopus is just as I said, namely, from the Greek but via mediaeval Latin, which you can confirm in any good dictionary, eg http://www.webster.com/dictionary/octopus. In the quotation you took from me, I was considering whether "octopus", in addition to being the English word for that animal, had at some prior stage been the Latin word for that animal. I concluded that it certainly was not the classical Latin word for that animal, but it is the biological Latin word for that animal, preceding the English usage of it. **edited to add final paragraph and minor corrections
  13. Therefore not "The hoi polloi" but "hoi polloi". Unless you mean "the the many". It would of course be rational to do as you say, but we don't. We adopted the phrase "hoi polloi" into the language as a whole, and since there is not common understanding of ancient Greek articles, it "the hoi polloi" became common usage, which I naturally respect. The language is full of such tautologies, such River Avon, which means River River. Or Penmaentor Hill which means something not far removed from Hillhillhill Hill. Or children, which is a plural ending added to childer, which is already the plural of child.
  14. It is indeed traditional schoolboy knowledge, and, like many such schoolboy recitations, wrong. It comes from the Greek, but it is not the Greek itself. The Greek is ochtapous (omicron-chi-tau-alpha-pi-omicron-upsilon-sigma), accented on the final syllable och-ta-POOSE (to rhyme with loose). You can romanise the Greek script omicron-upsilon as a U if you like, but that still leaves the inconvenient facts of the chi and alpha as definitive arguments against the word in front of you being the Greek itself. The word octopus is quite clearly latinate, ie Latin in form, but is it Latin? It isn't the Latin that any Roman spoke. I have tried and failed to find out exactly what word a classical period Roman would have used when he ate one. There is a (late) Classical Latin word polypus, which is obviously where the modern Italian polpo, French poulpe and Spanish pulpo, come from. But it is equally obviously a Greek borrowing, poly-pous many-foot. There must have been an earlier Latin word. I don't know how quickly polypus became the Latin colloquial word for octopus, or what happened to whatever older Latin word must have existed, and which I have failed to track down. I observe an alternate Italian word piovra, perhaps that recalls an older Latin usage, but I don't know. Octopus is in fact "biological Latin", ie, a word coined by mediaeval scholars for scientific purposes. Since scientific conversations took place in Latin in mediaeval times, such words often became established as names for plants and animals, our gardens are full of them, convolvulus, forsythia, etc. Whilst in classical Latin the educated classes, who usually spoke Greek, were inclined to use Greek declensions for unaltered Greek loan-words, that isn't the practice in mediaeval Latin. If one were speaking mediaeval Latin, as many did even though it was no one's native tongue, it is quite clear that one would form the plural of octopus as octopi. So octopi, and hippopotami for the same reason, are both perfectly well-formed plurals, not solecisms, provided one is speaking or writing in mediaeval Latin. I was taught to say "fora" as the only acceptable plural for "forum", alongside "formulae" and "radii", even though I went to school in Croydon. We Brits have read our Fowler, and "fora" is now rarely heard this side of the pond, except for crusty colonels complaining in the Daily Telegraph. In educated usage in the US, latinate plurals remain more common - "premia" as a plural for "premium" is practically universal there. Some non-English plurals remain in common usage even this side of the pond, even Greek ones. I have never heard "phenomenons". I think the reason is that the hoi polloi (Greek = "the many") are not aware that "phenomena" is a plural. The word "phenomenon" has to come back into common speech before "phenomenons" can. I have heard "datums," but only in the specific context of it meaning a reference point, eg, surveying usage of a "datum line", not as a synonym for "data". Again, the hoi polloi have forgotten that "data" is a plural. **edited 'cos I mixed up my nus and upsilons.
  15. With a valuable item for which there is likely to be not very many buyers, obviously you have to protect your position either with a reserve or with a high start price. Of course if you advertise at $1 and no reserve, there will be bidding, certainly from the dealers. Bidding does tend to generate more bidding, because of the confidence it creates. But there remains a risk it could well stop below what you want to sell at - we have all seen that happen, someone gets a bargain. That's the thing about ebay, when something is on and there aren't too many other buyers about, you can get a serious bargain. There are disadvantages to both methods of protecting yourself, (ie reserve vs high starting bid) as has been mentioned above. Chris Algar, that very experienced seller, makes use of both methods, but generally on the higher value items he seems to use a reserve. Sometimes he is clearly using ebay to dispose quickly of stock he doesn't want to hold onto. But I think he also makes use of ebay as a shop window, to tell the world "I've got one of these at the moment". He may, often does, fail to sell on ebay. But people, knowing he is a dealer, will call him to talk about it, or similar items, and he may get a negotiated sale, either sooner or later. That is a scenario most of us don't have. About a year ago, three lovely high quality 57-62 key Maccanns came onto ebay in quick succession, which was about three times as many as had appeared in the previous year or two. I know, because I was keeping my eye out for one. None of them sold. Dirge knows about this, he was the prospective seller of one of them. The question is, were there three buyers for three such rarely appearing concertinas looking at ebay during precisely those brief selling periods, and at the prices they were willing to sell at? Plainly not so, and none of the sellers was selling at a price to interest a dealer, needing to make his few hundred on it. Just before, a similar Maccann was advertised through this site. It obtained several enquiries, and after negotiating on price, it sold. I know because I bought it. One of those three on sale (not Dirge's) was available for less than I paid, (almost causing me to regret...) and still didn't sell, at least not for a while. So we see that with specialist instruments the "dealer" method of sale, ie, waiting a few months for suitable buyers to turn up, is necessary to obtain full value. If you want the money now, or don't have the time/inclination to keep it visible to the market, then sell to a dealer who will sell it for you, but he will take his cut.
  16. Pretty much anything of interest is here: http://www.concertina.com/instruction/index.htm Check out Brian Hayden's All Systems Duet Concertina Workshop Tutor and Cornell's Duet Concertina Arrangements (intended for Maccann (57+), but mostly OK for Hayden and Crane). Digby's "faking it" articles might be of interest. That's about it. You are mostly on your own with Duet concertina. Find some music you want to play and find a way of playing it...
  17. The "Russian" button scheme I presume is the Haydenovskaya 64-key, which never got beyond a prototype, shown here http://www.well.com/~jax/rcfb/hayden_duet....date_2004-01-31. As far as I can see, externally the key scheme it is identical to the Wakker 65-key apart from the thumb-button. Maybe Inventor has in mind the internal layout in referring to the "scheme", since the Wakker is 7 3/4".
  18. Tedrow makes a 52-key hybrid Hayden which I understand is in that price range. He includes the partial rows so that it provides a complete set of accidentals across its range, and a complete 2 octaves in each hand. Wim is charging the same for his 46-Hayden as for his 48-English, so I don't think he can charge any less. With 46/48-key duets, there are always compromises, because you need 50 keys to get the complete 2 octaves in each hand we generally crave. So do you shorten the range or miss out some of the accidentals? Crane-48 shortens the range in the LH; the Maccann-46 and Wim's 46-key Hayden both keep the range but miss out some accidentals. Comparing Wim's Hayden with a 46-key Maccann (which I recently played) in more detail, we find that Wim has provided the LH low D that Maccann players so miss, at the cost of the LH upper B-flat. (Whilst I would give up almost anything - within reason - for the low D on a Maccann, if I was to choose I'd have given up the top C or top G# before the B-flat). He has also provided the RH range down to middle-C that many - perhaps not all - 46-Maccann players crave. But he has not provided the accidentals in that low end RH range - they are only available duplicated on the LH - thus making it much harder to play within the low range of the instrument on the RH than would be true of a Maccann (in its range). On Wim's 46-key, my priority would have been to have a complete 2 octaves in the right hand, because there are enough keys for it, ie provide the low c# and d# and lose the top c# and d. Now playing 57-key Maccann, where I have both, I find the former much more useful. Having provided those, it then becomes a matter of taste whether one keeps the LH upper C# and D# as currently provided, or provide the low ones instead and rely on overlap for the upper ones. (Is it preferable to rely on overlap to fill in missing LH notes rather than missing RH notes? - I think so). In the latter case, the instrument would now have a complete 3 octave range. But both these adjustments would have required either partial rows (as on the Tedrow) or out-of-pattern keys (as on a Maccann). I really don't think there is a standard anything yet in the Hayden duet world. Wim has a real chance to establish a standard. By looking at what 55-key Crane and 57-key Maccann provide, which I think are very much the benchmark for medium sized Duets, considered very useful instruments, it is evident that the minimum standard is a complete 2 octaves in each hand, with an octave overlap, which takes up 50 of the 55 keys. Maccann and Crane provide that on C, but Tedrow provides it on Bb on his 52-key. I'm not sure whether I was saddened or relieved that I saw a good-sized Wheatstone Hayden, made 2002, in the display cabinet at the Horniman Museum when I visited a couple of weeks ago. On the one hand, it is the most recent English-made Hayden I am aware of, indicating that supply has not completely dried up, as discussion on this forum suggested. On the other hand, surely someone wants to be playing it rather than leaving it to sit there.
  19. There are so many trees in the myrtle family in Australia, eg all the eucalypts and bottlebrushes, but the one you call "myrtle" is actually a southern beech, Nothofagus cunninghamii. The one you call sassafras, Atherosperma moschata, is at least in the same family, the laurels, as what the rest of us call sassafras (Sassafras albidum and S. tzumu). (But what we Brits call "laurel" is actually a cherry.)
  20. PPP stands for "purchasing power parity", ie, it is not calculated at actual exchange rates, but in relation to a cost of living index. So, for example, Thai people have a much higher income at PPP than they do at actual exchange rate (in comparison to $, £, €), because the cost of living is low in Thailand. The US dollar is at approx the lowest level against the pound for several decades. According to this link, http://fx.sauder.ubc.ca/PPP.html the US $ exchange rate is currently at about a 28% discount to the PPP rate against the pound and 22% against the euro. So that means that median household income in the USA at present exchange rate is actually rather lower in the USA than it is in the UK. So I'm with CeeMonster on this. In fact I can't believe that median household income in the UK is as low as $39,000 (£20,000) at current exchange rates, because I thought it was a bit more than £25,000, so that all makes sense. Median, incidentally, for the statistically challenged means 50% are poorer and 50% are richer. Median is invariably lower than average for income, because some people are very very rich, but no one can possibly be poorer than zero. The most extreme case is Equatorial Guinea, where the median income is a dollar a day, but the average income is the same as parts of Europe. That is because it is a small country with a lot of oil, comprising 1 extremely rich dictator and nearly everyone else extremely poor. I think we will find that the average household income in the USA is rather higher than the UK, even at current exchange rate. That is because households like the Gates household have little effect on the median, but significantly affect the average. That means that if we are talking about the wealthiest - I don't know how much exactly, but for sake of argument let's say - 10% of the US population, they have a shed load of money more than the equivalent in Europe. Probably the wealthy end doesn't include many concertina players in the US. But I also get the impression that there are a lot more (proportionately) "comfortably off" people playing concertina in Europe than in the USA. It is consistent with the number of US people on this forum who say they would find it difficult to rustle up a couple of grand just now. On the other hand, the amount of people, whether in the US or the UK, but especially the former, who seem to be able to rustle up £25,000 just now when it is to buy the latest SUV never ceases to amaze me.
  21. The practice that OP describes - bidding up the price in a market to keep the price high - is a form of market manipulation that certainly occasionally happens in financial markets, in which case it is illegal, but often hard to prove. For example, a major currency speculator, let's call him George, may have gone long in Ruritanian Crowns. Or George may have gone long in something big that is priced in Ruritanian Crowns, perhaps shares in the Ruritanian Mining, Manufacturing and Agriculture Company. George wants to maintain the value of his holding. So if George sees the Ruritanian Crown looking weak, he buys some more, to keep it up. Since it is a fairly small currency, George doesn't have to buy much to keep it up. George wants to maintain the impression that the Ruritanian Crown is a dependable currency. George's ultimate aim is to create an aura of confidence in the market, so that when the day arises for him to sell out he can do so profitably. Of course there is always a risk that the market will collapse and George will now have even more Ruritanian Crowns to make a loss on. It is hard to prove this is manipulation, even if it is, since it is very similar to an entirely sensible and benign trading behaviour of buying things that are underpriced. An analyst once explained to me that if she had recommended that a certain stock or currency was a "buy" at a certain price, then if the price fell arguably it was even more of a "buy". So buying more every time the price falls is logical. The counter-argument is that the falling price tends to suggest you are wrong. So in the real world my analyst trader friend has to re-examine her previous analysis to see if she was wrong and why the price has fallen. It can go very, very wrong. For example, a trader called Norman, whose day-job was Chancellor of the Exchequer, thought that he could manipulate the market in the currency of his own country. But the weight of the money was against him, so he failed. One Wednesday, he lost more money than the total all the money the nationalised industries of that country had lost throughout all recorded history. One might expect that he is now mouldering in the Tower, with regular torture. But all that happened is that he was resigned. He still occasionally haunts talk shows, usually saying it was all John's fault. UK bookmakers (betting offices) are sometimes accused of manipulating betting markets. They commonly offer to accept bets in their offices at "Starting Price" or SP, which means is the price prevailing with the on-course bookmakers at the off. (Serious betters never bet at SP, but the majority of ordinary betters do.) A large bookmaker may have far more turnover nationally than the on-course market. If they find themselves with a lot of money on a particular horse, they will use an agent on the course to put a bit of money into the on-course market on that horse to take its price down. They expect to make a loss on those bets, but it will reduce their exposure in the off-course market by a much larger amount. Of course other bookmakers might be doing this too. So one could argue it is merely market equilibration rather than market manipulation. Going back to our hypothetical concertina dealer. A dealer may have a large stock of instruments. He does not want to see the value of that stock fall. The ebay market for concertinas is rather thin - we see large fluctuations in prices on ebay. In terms of market manipulation, the dealer doesn't want to see concertinas visibly sold too cheap, and ebay is very visible, so he might see the value in pushing the price up by entering that market. He can thereby more easily justify higher prices for his own stock to buyers who might be watching the ebay market. Of course, he may simply end up with a lot of over-valued concertinas, if the market really has moved against him. The alternative way of looking at this is that he simply buys concertinas when they look too cheap. Since he has is own, high volume, market, he may have a better idea of what they are worth than the active ebay bidders on a slow Wednesday in January.
  22. The phenomenon of words that exist only in the plural exists in several languages, certainly Latin, Czech and English in my direct experience. But that is irrelevant, except in confirming our comfort with the concept, because trying to make the grammar of one language (eg Latin) act as a model for the grammar of another (eg English) is an error that was still current when I was at school, but is less often made today. These days on encountering an undocumented language a linguist will discover its rules by listening to what people say. This is effective, because we now know that native speakers instinctively know and respect their language's rules, and differences between speakers are more often dialectical rather than errors or idiosyncrasies. So, even in English, the answer to "what are the rules?" is determined by "what do people commonly say?", preferably when acting on instinct rather than thinking too carefully about it, assuming that we are dealing with every day language. Commonly used words that exist only in the plural in English include trousers, shorts, and scissors. Unless you think too hard about it, you will find yourself instinctively saying "these trousers are cotton, these scissors are steel", thus confirming that these words are grammatically plural, not words that just happen to end in s. I am sure that the word "bellows" is like those, because I am sure I would instinctively say "these bellows are made of leather". The reason that in the first half of that sentence, (and also in this sentence), the word "bellows" could also precede a singular verb is because the noun phrase "the word 'bellows'" acts as singular.
  23. I was at a barndance near Malvern on Friday, and the band included a Maccann as its only concertina. It is the first time I have seen one being played apart from at Witney. They were playing again the following day at Upton-on-Severn folk festival. The player was using a Lachenal 46-key, a rather nice one with wooden ends, metal keys and 7-fold bellows. She was mainly playing the tune, generally up the octave from written pitch, as 46-key players often find themselves doing. But this did fit nicely with the sound texture of the other instruments - melodeon, fiddle, sax and bass. The player bemoaned the absence of the low D, as one does, but said that since she preferred to play the concertina in the air rather than on her knee she valued its small size and weight. I now have a Wheatstone 57-key which I must get around to having fixed up.
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