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Posts posted by lildogturpy

  1. We should also bring in Pauline de Snoo, who as far as I know is the only person to complete a music degree specializing in the concertina (English). She has been posting learning excercises on here which are very instructive. I also heard her play in the final concert at the Swaledale Squeeze. If my memory serves (and it often doesn't) she played a piece from the Marriage of Figaro. Wonderful to listen to.

  2. I'm often surprised by a segment of the Radio 4 show "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue", of which you can download past shows. The segment is called "One song to the tune of another" which not surprisingly takes the lyrics of a well known song and the participants are required to sing it with the melody of another well known tune. Often it's very difficult to remember the original tune for the lyrics but on those occasions when it's easy, I think it's because the rhythm and phrasing of the tune fits with pattern of the lyrics. I would therefore have to go with Tony and say the rhythm is perhaps the most important part.

  3. For general info on the concertina in the Glasgow area, see this chapter from Stuart Eydmann: Life and Times.


    Very interesting discussion. I now have a context in which to understand what's written inside the reed pan of my concertina. Seems it was bought right at the hight of the craze for the english concertina in Glasgow. It also helps to explain why everyone's first question is "Is it a Wheatstone?"


    Previous thread with picture

  4. Don't hang on to your first few tunes, unless you give up on yourself.


    My first tune was the Far Away Waltz, which I'm still playing regularly as well as the Tenpenny Bit and many of the other tunes that I learned right at the beginning.


    Also comes in handy when you get a request: to play "Far Away" :D


    Come to think of it it would go really well with the Bay Tree, by Andy Cutting which I've only just learned.

  5. I've been using one of the small red iRiver recorders for a while now. It's small and can record 8 hours before needing to be emptied onto my laptop. As was said before, the internal microphone is not great. The recording is almost always saturated, with lots of distortion and background noise, but I can hear the tune well enough to transcribe it the way it was played in the session. I use Transcribe for slowing down and altering pitch and the equalizer filters can do a reasonable job of removing the background noise and hiss. I doubt if I would bother putting the mp3 file onto my iPod though since the quality is not good enough to enjoy listening to.

  6. Being a righty I have noticed that there are some things that are easier with the right but for some weird reason some are easier on the left side if the concertina. One example I've noticed recently is the first two bars of the B part of Batchelders (in F so B means B flat). First occilating A2cAcAcA then B2dBdBdB I find the first is regular and right on the beat but sometimes the second bar is not as crisp, the notes are not always evenly spaced or on the rhythm.

  7. Just checked the FARNE link, which is up, but the minstrelsy link's unavailable! :(

    Yes, seems the server in Montreal Crashed. They're 5 hours behind the UK so I would imagine Gord will be up to turn the server back on sometime in the next hour or so <_<

    Gord must be awake, the Minstrelsy link is back up :)


    I found a list of tune titles in the book, from the web, and it seems most of the tunes are there but there are some tunes present which aren't in the book and vice versa. Also, looking at the pdf of the tunes it seems there are problems with the abc file. I've just ordered the Northumbrian Minstrelsy book myself so once it arrives I'll go through and make corrections. Seems like a valuable resource to have somewhere on the net so I'll leave the Minstrelsy link up permenantly

  8. Just checked the FARNE link, which is up, but the minstrelsy link's unavailable! :(

    Yes, seems the server in Montreal Crashed. They're 5 hours behind the UK so I would imagine Gord will be up to turn the server back on sometime in the next hour or so <_<

  9. And if your travels from Glasgow take you to the northeast of England please get in touch there is music all over the place here.


    I'm stopping over in Blythe next weekend to visit my brother and his family and I'd love to visit maybe later in the year to play and learn a few tunes.

  10. After being recommended the Northumbrian Minstrelsy collection of tunes I found several references to a collection of the tunes in abc format on the web by Henry Ford. Most of these links pointed to the same web address at the University of Bath, which no longer exists (the link not the University). I did find one link to the same tune collection at the Manchester Morris website, which no longer exists either (again, the link not the Morris Side). After searching for a while I thought that if anyone could find it JC's tunefinder could. I did a search for a tune I knew was in the collection and when the link from there worked I worked my way back up the url until I downloaded the entire text file which appears to be the Northumbrian Minstrelsy collection. Since I don't have the book to check the validity of the contents of this file I wonder if someone who has the book can check that the file looks right. I'd be happy to give the collection a home but don't want to put it out there until I have some idea of what it is.


    You can reach the collection that needs checking here


    Northumbrian Minstrelsy?


    From there you can get the individual tunes (in alphabetical order), the entire abc file or the pdf. I'd be grateful for feedback.

  11. I must say that I had a fantastic time at the Swaledale Squeeze. The venue was spectacular, for the hour or so when you could see more than 10 feet ;) The North-East Squeeze in I've been to a couple of times and the Swaledale meet has a slightly different atmosphere. Everything was focused on the concertina, as opposed to all free reed instruments.


    I met some wonderful and welcoming people over the weekend. There were many talented musicians there and I have a huge collection of fantastic tunes to work my way through. I think the highlight for me was hearing the Northumbrian tunes for the first time, some of the comments in other forums (fora?) on the differences between reels and rants makes a lot more sense now.


    At the NESI the workshops are set up very informally by requesting or offering a workshop once you arrive. At Swaledale the workshops are announced in the program in advance so it's a bit easier to plan ahead. One thing I should have thought about a bit beforehand was how many of those workshops I went to were going to put on a performance in the final concert. It was great to see everybody getting a chance to go up and perform though.


    The informal singing and tune sessions had some great music. I don't think I've heard Lou Reed and Dire Straits on the concertina before, quite impressive. I also enjoyed the impromptu Peter Bellamy theme that Stuart began in the singing session.


    The workshop from Pauline de Snoo will stay with me a long time I think, I can't seem to play stacatto now without thinking of those paper balls! It really helped to get the idea of what we were trying to achieve into our heads before even picking up the concertina.


    I would like to thank Sandra Kerr and Dave Ball for inviting me to sit in with them playing in the final concert, I had a blast.


    Lastly I would also have to say that Jane and Dave did a terrific job of organizing everything and making sure everthing went so smoothly. I don't think I heard a single comment over the whole weekend that wasn't positive.


    Even though by this time next year I'll be back in Montreal I'm seriously considering coming back for a Squeeze in 2007.

  12. I have deliberately posted this in the general forum, as I suspect most of the repair nuts are already aware of this particular form of concertinacide.




    Nobody here but us General Nuts :blink:


    Hope I can manage to meet up with you again Dave while I'm over here in the UK rather than in Montreal!

  13. I don't recognise "vamping" from what has previously been suggested.


    In my experience of english music it is defined as the regular "um-pa" of bass note (fundamental) then corresponding chord such as the typical melodeon player is trying to achieve with the bass buttons. This of course can be replicated on the anglo concertina as well in certain keys. It is there to add melodic percussion and "life" to the music.


    My understanding, such as it is, is that the "um-pa" base notes are indeed vamping, but only between when one melody phrase ends and the next begins. One example that comes to mind is in the song "Rawtenstall Annual Fair" After you finish singing one verse, and before the next starts you can have as many repeats of the following as you need to remember what words come next.








    |: GFE (3D/E/F/ | GFE (3D/E/F/ :|


    Just paste this snippet in to the tune-o-tron

  14. I am spending most of 2006 in Glasgow and so I'm attending events in the UK I normally can't get to. I'm planning to be at the Swaledale weekend (19th - 21st May) Not really sure what to expect but I'm looking forward to it. I noticed a post by trickcyclist saying they planned on being at Swaledale. Is anyone else planning to go?

  15. Found this at Wickipedia ...


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (Redirected from Vamping)

    In jazz, a vamp is simply a repeating musical figure or accompaniment (Corozine 2002, p.124). The equivalent in classical music would be an ostinato. A background vamp provides a performer, or perhaps the pianist's right hand, a harmonic framework upon which to improvise. A vamp often acts as a springboard at the opening of an improvisation.

    Similarly, in musical theater, a vamp is a figure of one or two measures which the orchestra repeats during dialogue or stage business. Here the purpose of a vamp is to allow the singers as much time to prepare for the song or the next verse as is necessary, without either requiring the music to pause until the singers are ready or requiring the action on stage to be carefully synchronized with music of a fixed length.

  16. One last point: you can of course make your phrasing smoother by cross-rowing and minimising bellows reversals, but this does lessen the punctuation in a tune, and unless your fingers are very well disciplined there can be a tendency to play a whole sequence as a smear rather than a series of distinct notes.



    Welcome to the darkside of the English Concertina :ph34r: The bane of the EC is that we are lazy and only reverse the bellows direction when there is no more stretch in the leather of the bellows, or the wood of the end pieces are touching. Playing legato is relatively easy but it is all too easy to end up with that smear of notes. Since putting life into the EC can be done with bellows reversal I would think the smoothest legato on an anglo would have to be different buttons without bellows reversal if the fingering allows.

  17. It is worth the trip to get to the fortnightly meeting at the Royal Hotel at Dungworth nr Sheffield. Generally between eight and a dozen anglos, playing a fair bit of Irish and very welcoming and helpful to beginners (the group is half beginners and half decent players and we make sure everyone gets a chance to play).


    I'll try to drop in when I can time my trips down south correctly. What date is the next session there?

  18. Another great advantage os that ABC files are very small text files, which are easy to share. The excellent folk music databases at http://tunedb.org and http://www.thesession.org/ make very good use of ABC.



    I would have to take issue with the statement that thesession.org "makes very good use of ABC". This may not be the place but I have always had an objection to the restricted use of ABC at thesession.org For some strange reason you can not just enter a time signature, you have to choose a type of tune from the list and if the one you want is not there, too bad. Many fields are disallowed, such as adding composer, source, discography data so much of the useful information about a tune is missing and you have to read the comments section of the web page to look for additional information. The tune also seems to be stored containing html code. This is fine to read the tune on thesession.org but when you find a match using JC's ABC Tunefinder it is often truncated with a < br > code and you only get the first line.


    For other reasons I won't go into it is not possible to change a tune once it has been added to their database. Many users there advocate copy and pasting the abc code into the concertina.net convert-o-matic so kudos to Paul for another great service


  19. On rapidly repeated notes, many tutors recommend that the same finger should not be used. I would like EC players to suggest fingers for the following two extracts.




    An alternative to alternative fingering :) is to use a change in bellows direction. One possibility is to play a jig as "out out in, out out in, out out in, out out in". As an EC player who's used to going all the way out, then all the way in it seems technically difficult to change bellows direction every third note, press the buttons in coordination with the bellows and breathe at the same time but the effect is worth it. What this means is that for both pieces you give as examples the repeated notes are played with the same finger but opposite bellows direction. The whole effect is a very bouncy rendition that is remeniscent of an anglo.

  20. I find the Harrington session very fast and scary (and usually very Irish)!

    I occasionally go to this it - there are some very good players in the regulars, but my playing and repertoire aren't really up to speed. (I don't remember seeing any anglo players)




    I've only been to the Harrington a couple of times but it seems there's concertinas all over the place. Mostly EC it seems but there are anglo's there too. The music is a bit fast at times but there are lots of English and Breton tunes played there too. My impression was that there are players not as accomplished who are quite happy to start slower tunes, you would just have to build up a critical mass, or come early and start playing before most of the regulars turn up.

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