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Ivan Viehoff

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Everything posted by Ivan Viehoff

  1. You probably want St Edmund, King and Martyr then (as in Bury St Edmunds). He was English patron saint before George, and has the advantage of (i) being English (ii) actually existing (iii) not having been alleged to have killed mythical beasts. He was King of East Angular in the 9th century and martyred by the Danes. Mind you, his martyrdom and saintliness are somewhat dubious, but no less so than George. A disadvantage is that he would probably be represented by gory and tasteless depictions of his martyrdom - tied to a tree, peppered with arrows and decapitated - see for example St Sebastian. He should not be confused with that other kingly saint, St/King Edward the Confessor who was king of England in the 11th century. Since his cross is white on a field of green, it would revise the Union Flag in an amusingly controversial way. Also certain English might not wish to align colours with the Irish, personally I'd be in favour of it, being one of the many Englishmen with a large leavening of Irish (and Dutch and German) in my ancestry. He succeeded the delightfully named King Aethelweard, and the invading Danish army that did for him included the even more delightfully named Ivar the Boneless.
  2. A fair approximation in most cases, but actually there is no reason to suppose the buy-sell spread is symmetrical about the market rate. So what you need to calculate the true cost of the transaction is the difference between the rate applied and the true market rate. When Paypal came into the market, they beat all hands down for small transactions in the currencies they handle. I suspect this is still true. By the time you get up to larger transactions such as $1000, then paying fixed fees for wire transfers to the likes of xetrade in order to avoid Paypal's %age commissions becomes economic. I do not find xetrade very transparent about what it will cost you, but I observe a couple of satisfied customers above.
  3. I've also had a go at trying to doing extracts from Winterreise with the box. I came to three conclusions: 1) the piano accompaniments are two thick for the box, need to thin them out (Reminds me of the story about the film director who wanted the trout quintet arranged for full orchestra, resulting in resignation of musical director) 2) will be difficult to put them in keys which are both straightforward on the box and singable 3) my 46-key is too small Fortunately I've recently expanded to 57-key, so perhaps I should have another go, when I get my books back from storage in the autumn (major house works). I think simply working out the chords is too simple an approach. There are counter melodies and particular accompaniment figures that are crucial to these pieces (can you imagine Die Forelle without that tripping figure?) I don't know why you want to sing them in English, barbarism. Der Leiermann is the most obvious one to try, I've said it before. Folky with a simple accompaniment. Also it is located so that one has a choice of friendly keys - I guess you have the baritone edition where it is in G minor, but the tenor edition has it in A minor which is also doable by a baritone. I never even considered trying Gute Nacht, because although it is a song I sing very often, the piano accompaniment is so thickly chordal it would require an entirely different approach with the box that is beyond my imagination. Also the three flats are off-putting (as noted), and taking it down a semitone to 2 sharps would mean the major section is in 5 sharps. One that I think would be worth a go is Einsamkeit, because it has such a sparse accompaniment, with occasional thick tremolando chords that might be better on a box than a piano. B minor in the baritone. Could move it to A minor. Not a folky one though. Die Krahe is a very folky song with a simple accompaniment. I think it is B minor again in the baritone edition. The top F# is about as friendly a top F# as can be imagined, otherwise it could be done in A minor. I'd better stop.
  4. We have many loan-words from other languages in English, but for some odd reason it seems mainly to be the Latin ones where some people seem to think it "correct" to use the Latin inflection for the plural. Even obviously Italian words like solo and aria take an English plural. To bat off the pedants, I acknowledge that there are a few non-Latin plurals that have been adopted by some: some mathematicians refer to "lemmata", but mainly to ridicule those who use "lemmae". Though they would never think of forming the Greek plural of "atom", etc. If you try to be consistent about using Latin inflections, there are lots of terrible traps, like data, octopus, omnibus, genus, rebus, index, species, etc, etc. We come to the conclusion that the use of Latin plurals is merely an affectation, probably adopted because until not that long ago Latin was the language of discourse in scholastic circles, and thereby a mechanism of social elevatoin over those not schooled in Latin. The use of English plurals is not ignorance, it is correct and sensible, and I promote it. But established use means I'm not going to start saying "agendums" instead of "agenda" or "datums" instead of "data", and if you call me inconsistent I don't care. Other languages have no qualms about using their own inflections. If you go to the Czech republic, you will see books for sale by authors such as Agatha Christieová. In Swahili, the word for "bollard" is "kipilefiti" (pronounced keepylefty): its plural is "wipilefity" because in Swahili words starting with a k have a plural in w. Because all words in English form the plural by the default method (which includes "add s to a word ending in m") unless there is an established different form. You will in general find that in all languages no one has any difficulty knowing how to form the plural of a new word added to the language - there is always a default method. Children who say "sheeps" and "gooses" are just applying the default method until they learn the established form.
  5. Close chords sound fine on an even-tempered piano and an even-tempered pipe-organ and an even-tempered electronic keyboard and an even-tempered orchestra. But they can be really odd on a concertina. You can get some really nasty sounds that seem horribly out of tune. So I'm not convinced it is the temperament that makes the chord sound wrong, although maybe it would go away, in the specific circumstance of a concertina, if the intervals were correctly related - although maybe then you would get some resonance problems. There definitely seems to be some kind of mechanical/vibrational/acoustic/interference thing going on inside a concertina when you play certain multiple combinations of notes. But, as someone above said, it seems to be more a problem when you play the chord on its own, loudly, in isolation. Approach them in the right way in context and the problem often seems to go away.
  6. Does anyone know if Mrs Trellis is any relation of Dr Spacely-Trellis, the go-ahead Bishop of Bevindon, who had such forthright views about matches in the Stretchford Vandals League, as reported by the Rev Bruce Nethers, fearless reporter and padre of St Attilla's, and overseen by King Norman and Queen Brenda in Buckingham Council Palace?
  7. I should like to introduce the Spark family, because they are celebrating their Jubilee with their neighbours Stan More and Dolly Sill, and their West Indian friend Wilsden Green. And here is their reverend uncle to bless the occasion Canon Spark
  8. <musical interlude> Colin Searle on piano - plays "Theme from Bridge Over the River Croy" </ musical interlude> Ah, in my youth I did linger long appreciating the delicate scents and rustic charm of the Valley of Saffron, ie Croydon. A tranquil backwater, so surprising full of architectural treasures. What pleasure there was in my daily journey on the 166 bus, the friendly scrum of schoolboys at the bus stop, the cheery wave of the bus driver as he went by without stopping, the rickety vibration of the traditional one-man-operated DMS bus. Oh to witness again the traditional cultural activities of the trusty locals on Croydon High Street of a Friday night. I feel a true ache in my heart that I have been exiled to the tedious wastelands of the Chiltern Hills. As for Totteridge and Whetstone, very clever orbital move, right to the point, but most people would be too frightened to play it, sitting on the Northern Line pointing straight at you-know-where, though it is of course quite safe, knip or no knip. Bit out on a limb over there, keeping the double-barrelled theme, I play Finchley Road and Frognal
  9. Monopoly tactics Chris? Old-fashioned and a bit risky these days, as you can get banged up for a mere cartel under new laws. Anyway, it gives me an excuse to get into the West End and keep up the concertina connection with Charing Cross Road
  10. I understand your thinking. Though the "Fratres Cruciferi" settled in London in 1249, well before the Waverley Rules of 1707 and they gave their name to the locality, near Monument, still called "Crutched Friars", I wonder whether this is a legal move. Humph? Howard In my defence, I don't think predating 1707 is a problem, as Monument does that. Of course I do realise mediaeval is a bit extreme. But I was playing it as a half-way house between between Tower Hill (mediaeval) and Fenchurch Street (Victorian), and I thought that might just get me in the zone.
  11. Keeping things classical, and not wishing to risk anything overly diagonal at this stage, I shall play Crutched Friars
  12. That is true, and that is why I said I agree with you to some extent. But I don't want to pay what it is worth to me, I want to pay what it is worth, and the difference can be large. What is water worth to you when you are thirsty? What is tap-water worth - £1.20 a tonne where I live, a very small amount. Someone exploiting the difference between what it is worth to you and what it is worth can make a very large profit. The reason that monopolists are so hated is because they use techniques to charge people what it is worth to them, rather than what it is worth. Shill bidding conceals what things are worth. It distorts the market. People use it because it is more successful in increasing prices achieved than use of a reserve. If ebay want to avoid 2nd chance scams, there is a very effective and simple way: close the 2nd chance facility. We wouldn't miss it.
  13. At one level you are right. But the reality is that market information is being distorted. Suppose you watch a few auctions for similar items to see what they go for. You would presume that by observing the resulting prices you get an idea of what is the buyer's valuation of those things, given their availability. But if those auctions are infected by shill bidding and haven't always achieved genuine sales, then that important market information is being distorted. One often sees new goods of some value (eg, would be sold in a shop for £100 or more) advertised on ebay without reserve with a low start bid. As soon as I saw such things, I immediately assumed sellers engaged in shill bidding to protect themselves, probably using a library of sock-puppets (ie aliases) to achieve that. It may cost them a bit in commissions, but presumably they consider that worth paying, after all you have to pay commission on an auction that fails to reach its reserve.
  14. This comes in the category of the 80+ year-old tutors that are not useful, unless you want to play hymns, and your idea of practicing is hours of scales. Even then, you will find the progression of material insufficient well graded to be of much use. What, they've upgraded the French language? OK, the subjunctive mood has been dropped ... What has changed very substantially in 50-80 years are teaching methods. What you could get away with as a teaching manual is completely unacceptable today, because they are just incompetent by modern standards. The French language, particularly its colloquial register, has changed a great deal more than a concertina over that time, but the substantive point is the nature of the teaching material.
  15. 80+ year-old teaching materials for Duet concertinas are sadly about as much use as 80+ year old teaching materials for French or Physics. On concertina.com, you will find Brian Hayden's All Systems Concertina Workshop. This is a useful beginners start point, applies to almost any kind of duet concertina, but is unlikely to detain you for very long. You will also find David Cornell's "A Beginner's Set of Duet Concertina Arrangements", which despite its title is a step beyond Brian's. This will be useful for any reasonably-sized concertina which goes down to middle C in the right hand, ie, 57-key Maccann (or more) and 48-key Crane (or more, 42-Crane at a pinch), and probably also most Haydens. Unfortunately not useful for the very common 46-key Maccann (or smaller), nor for many Jeffries. Then for the developing player, David Cornell's "New Arrangements for the Maccann Duet Concertina". Also likely to be useful for larger models of other systems. You will also find some chord guides, though personally I think these are of dubious usefulness. Better to know what chords are and work them out for yourself. For more common musical instruments, beginners guides often assume a low level of knowledge of music notation and theory, and include that in their course. The duet concertina player would be advised to pick that up separately from general info on music notation and theory, such as http://www.dolmetsch.com/theoryintro.htm In sum, there is something but not very much. The Duet concertina player largely needs to teach themself, and being already musically literate is a likely prerequisite, though I expect there are examples to prove me wrong.
  16. Meanwhile, a 46-key http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Wheatstone-46-key-Ma...1QQcmdZViewItem has been bid up to over £1000. It looks like a rather nice 46-key, albeit not an Aeola like was sold a little while back. But then most or all of the above were nicer. Very odd.
  17. I think there is a "thin market" for fine duets, ie, relatively small numbers of buyers and sellers. This means that there isn't necessarily a buyer looking when a seller is selling and vice versa, so in general you have to wait either to buy or to sell. Some random happenings, and a market can be in oversupply or undersupply for some time.
  18. The common view is that Maccanns are selling well these days. Which might explain why such a glut has suddenly come on the market. Having waited a very long time for the right 57/8-key to come up, I purchased the one that Alistair Brown recently advertised. But a remarkable number of 57-62 key Maccanns have been put on sale in the last couple of weeks. This one just come up on ebay looks like a stunna http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/McCann-60-button-Due...1QQcmdZViewItem Originally a 58-key it has been heavily Dipperised, adding in G-A-B on the left hand for the loss only of the D#. Surely very attractive in such compact instrument. Must be something very odd in the market if it fails to get the interest that all these ones oddly didn't: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...p;rd=1&rd=1 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...p;rd=1&rd=1 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...p;rd=1&rd=1 So that is a 61-key Edeophone, a 62-key Wheatstone with raised metal ends, and a 58-key 1950s Wheatstone with wooden ends all failed to sell. 46-keys seem to be coming up very regularly at the moment too.
  19. Whilst the categories are not necessarily mutually exclusive, Oh Come and Midnight Drear are hymns not carols; and I have my doubts about Little Town. See wikipedia, carol = festive song with dance-like or popular character. In the case of Oh Come, I have a latin breviary which includes it (as Adeste Fideles) with the music written out in plainchant notation.
  20. As a choral singer, my observation is that a curiously large part of the Christmas repertoire is in G major or E minor. These are choral arrangements. So I suppose that means that when you put the tunes in a sensible key for everyday baritones and mezzos to sing they would be in F major or D minor.
  21. In fact who needs live musicians or instruments at all, when their sound can be reproduced by computer much more cheaply. Who needs natural ingredients in their food, when their effect can be produced more cheaply by cheap and safe chemicals? Who needs real flowers, when fabric ones can be hard to distinguish and last much longer? Who needs to talk to real people, when computer programs can now almost undetectably reproduce human conversation, thus avoiding the messy consequences of unwanted rejection, anger or violence? Warning to children: Don't try David Barnert's undressing spell at home, it has concealed dangers which can only be avoided by experienced and competent wizards.
  22. I think they did and they do, about a month ago: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=4756
  23. I have now carried out the ironing in approximately the manner Bob Tedrow suggested, and it has worked wonders. Not having the complete workshop, it required a bit of improvisation. A box of old drill bits was the source of a metal rod of the correct diameter, and I heated it up on the cooker.
  24. Er, I don't play Anglo, but the bottle in the picture appears to be Rioja rather than Catalan.
  25. Thanks for your ideas. I now recall it being explained that the holes are reamed with a slight taper in order to hold the bushing in place, so the first level of intervention beyond what I have already done is the tapered dowel. If I feel the need for something stronger, I might have a go at ironing. I was pleased to see the recommended solution doesn't involve slimming the buttons, which was what I was fearing you might say.
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