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adrian brown

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About adrian brown

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    I play anglo concertinas with the 38 button Jeffries layout. I tend to play in a more legato 'duet' style, rather than the more bouncy anglo style, but it depends on the repertoire. I play a lot of "early music" - lute music, broadsides ballads and so on and I try to sing too. With my wife, we play as a duo "Dapper's Delight" named after the area in Amsterdam where we used to live. We play mostly 16th - 19th century music in our own arrangements and do some singing too.
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    Bredevoort, NL

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  1. Hi LJ, I'm an instrument maker working principally with renaissance woodwinds, so 1/4 comma meantone is sort of in my blood, since it was the only tuning system in use until around 1600. However like you, I've never found it an insurmountable problem, even playing with other instruments, although on one occasion I did wish I had an a# too (But having Bbs in both directions is far more important. I don't know if you have seen my youtube video comparing 1/4 comma and ET? It was my rambling attempt a few years back to demonstrate the difference in a practical way. I've never tried 1/5th comma so I can't really comment on the difference between the two, but it would be interesting if somebody with both made a similar video, or perhaps even comparing ET and 1/5th comma meantone. Adrian
  2. This was something I ponded over for a long time Stephen, when I started tuning my anglos in 1/4 comma meantone. If you do it as your suggestion, you end up with instruments that can't be played together, because their overall pitch is sharper or flatter by the offset you've given the A. I plumped for tuning all my A's to a-440Hz and simply moving the wolf around with the different tunings. So with my CGs it's Eb/D#, with my GDs it's Bb/A# , on my Bbf, C#/Db and on my FC G#/Ab. This has the advantage that on all my anglos, the wolf is on the same fingerings and the good thirds/bad thirds are too. As I am using the Jeffries 39 layout, I have the flatter of the two on the push and the sharper on the pull - not quite as versatile as the English layout with its 3 enharmonic possibilities, but I find it gets me far enough for most of what I want to do. Adrian Meantone temperament calculations for anglo concertina.pdf
  3. Thanks Didie, That's exactly the sort of problem I have and on the Anglo, a lot of the bass notes are only available in one direction, so when a held chord contains one, then another only available in the opposite direction, I need to make a bellows change as unobtrusively as I can. I always try to make the bellows changes as 'quiet' as I can in this music, but there is always a little sort of "presssure front' that is audible and that often goes against what I want to do musically. Perhaps with practice I will manage to hide it as much as possible, at least that is what I am hoping :-) Thanks again, Adrian
  4. Sorry Richard, missed that! I couldn't agree more about more being more as far as buttons are concerned, though I do understand those who prefer having less and enjoy the challenge that presents. However, my overriding feeling is that more than 30 opens up a whole new repertoire that is simply not possible with 30. Cheers, Adrian
  5. My wife bought this one from Robin a few years ago and she used it on our last CD. She had it at the last German meeting which is where Wolf played it... Adrian
  6. Thanks a lot! Are there any duet players out there who may have some tips for me? Unlike them, I am sometimes forced to make bellows changes at what could be an inappropriate moment within a phrase. I have several strategies for dealing with this, some involving the air button to limit the "pressure front" of the change, but I would like to know how they deal with say a long phrase with many notes, that is too long for a single bellows run? Thanks again, Adrian
  7. Hi Richard, Just so we are comparing like for like, here's a comparison of the two layouts we are considering - both are CG. It's quite possible your instrument was modified at some point - it wouldn't be the first time :-) Cheers Adrian W 30B and J31B layouts compared.pdf
  8. Thanks! It's played on my Dipper Baritone Anglo, an instrument that Colin and Rosalie made for me 3 years ago. It has the Jeffries 38 layout with an extra RH button on the right side for the high d#/eb. That means I have the full chromatic range over the middle two octaves in both bellows directions and I can therefore decide whether to play in the normal bouncy in/out Anglo fashion, or more like a duet as is the case with this piece. It has aluminium reed frames to keep the weight down and the most amazing dynamic range of any concertina I've yet played. It's also extremely air efficient and uses very little air even when playing loud. It very rapidly became my weapon of choice for any new piece and 3 years on, I feel I am still learning heaps from it and hopefully I'm starting to do it some justice! Cheers, Adrian.
  9. I wanted to try out a 5-part piece and managed to record Josquin's beautiful chanson Plusieurs Regretz a couple of weeks ago. There are several problems playing this sort of thing on an Anglo, the first of which is that the same note is often simultaneously played in more than one of the parts - as a held note in one and as part of a run in another. Sorting this out on an instrument where you have to decide when precisely to stop each note is quite difficult - on a lute or harpsichord, this is not such an issue due to the natural decay of the note. Perhaps I should take a few lessons with an organist, though at least they have 2 keyboards to manage this. A second problem is to reduce the dynamic surges that come with every change of bellows direction. Partly this is the downside of having such a wonderfully responsive instrument, but I would be interested to hear from duet players how they deal with this. (I'm playing the Anglo in a very duet-like way, only making bellows reversals at the end of phrases, or where I have specific notes in only one direction.) Adrian
  10. I don't know if it is so much speed per say as speeding up. I think most players have to resist a natural tendency to speed up when things get difficult... Adrian
  11. To my mind, the principle drawback to the Wheatstone system is the lack of a high draw d, which considering you don't have any f#s on the push, means the harmonic choices are more limited. When reorganising my tunes for the Wheatstone layout in the book I did with Gary, this was the biggest headache for us both. On the other hand, perhaps of I'd grown up with playing the Wheatstone layout I'd have organised the tunes and accompaniment a little differently. Adrian
  12. I'd recommend hot hide or bone glue for gluing lining material into cases. It's cheap, you can choose how thin you want it, it allows repositioning and it's completely reversible if you mess it up! I normally do a test piece to make sure it doesn't penetrate through the material and I brush it onto the case, wait a minute or two until it's gone tacky, before pressing the material into place. Adrian
  13. I've no idea who he was, but there is an original composition "Carnival Nights" in the publication. Just wondering if his initials give a clue to the tuning of his concertina... Is this the only method/tutor that uses an F/C concertina, or was this a common tuning in German instruments of the 1930s? Adrian
  14. Thanks to an alert from Gary, I couldn't resist getting hold of a copy of this mighty tome via Ebay. I've made a scan of all 16 pages, but since it's from 1937 and theoretically still in copyright, I'm a bit wary of just posting it on the web. If anybody is interested, send me a PM and I'll email you a copy (8.4Mb). Strangely perhaps, the tutor is for a 20 button German looking concertina in F/C Adrian
  15. We'll be there as usual, even though we missed last year's event due to our Australian tour. For any waverers, here's a video taken during a happy massed session from 2017 playing some 8-part double choir music: Adrian La Mantouana (An Hellen Tagen - 2x4 parts) by Lodovico Viadana (1560-1621)
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