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adrian brown

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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. Thanks for the link to this tutor, which I found both interesting and amusing to read. However the second tune above had me stumped, because since the left hand is written an octave lower than normal, I wondered if it was for a sort of hybrid baritone/treble Anglo. However, the explanation is at the top of page 25, although I don't really understand why he didn't simply use an octave clef to indicate this. His musical catechism dialogue in the introduction is very comprehensive and this seems a striking omission. A second thought is although I see the logic in writing the left hand an octave lower, why not do the same for the right hand to get rid of those multiple ledger lines? If you want to arrange music for the Anglo using bass and treble clefs, it's worth transposing both sides down an octave for this reason. Also, if you get can used to reading in this way, it opens up a lot more keyboard arrangements which tend to be written in this range. Adrian
  2. Hi Cohen, I normally travelled with 3 Anglos back in the times when it was possible to play concerts (it's so long ago, I can't remember if you spell consert with a "c" or an "s"...) I've found the best solution weight/space are the traditional leather and card "jug" cases. They're light and tight, they look lovely and you can easily cram 3 of them in a medium sized rucksack (horizontally...), which you can then pad out with a change of clothes, the odd recorder and so on... An advantage if you're travelling by train is that a rucksack looks less attractive to thieves than a bespoke instrument case. They used to come up on ebay every so often and I think I bought a couple from Chris Algar. They quickly disintegrated with use, but were reasonably easy to repair. I ended up making a few of them myself, which took ages, but a good leatherworker could do it a lot quicker. Years ago, I made a plywood and leather case for 3 concertinas and only used it twice - it was just too heavy to lug around. Cheers, Adrian
  3. In my experience Alex, yes they all do. I know of several Jeffries altos that have been converted to the Wheatstone layout, but I imagine the standard was to have the push A5 on 5a, since 2a is occupied with the reverse notes of 1a. (c# and d#/eb) Adrian
  4. Wow, what a labour of love that must have been. I've used abc for complex music in the past (not that complex though...) but I find it irritating to edit and change things in the code - just finding where you are is often a nightmare when you have several pages of polyphony. I started using musescore a while ago for more complicated stuff and I really appreciate being able to edit on the stave, rather than in the code. It's also pretty compatible with abc in that you can import abc code with a plugin, which on the whole works very well and a lot better than the pdf import function. (The only time the pdf import has failed me was just now when I tried to import the Beethoven 7 abc file - it does import it, but would require a lot of tweaking to make it look right.) I really appreciate abc for being able to keep huge libraries and collections as single files, but I think the layout and editing of long and complex pieces in Musescore is a lot easier for the layman to deal with, and the end result is also a lot prettier. Adrian
  5. You're probably correct Paul, but like schult suggested, you can only do the best in your own jurisdiction and hope that those responsible get it right! What happens when they don't is anyone's guess, but it's unlikely to make you lose much sleep unless your sales are in the millions 🙂 Adrian
  6. Thanks for posting this news Stephen - just informed my accountant and the Dutch instrument makers' association. None of us has heard anything of this from our tax department! Looks like it's going to make things a lot easier if you sell a lot in one or two countries of the EU and more complicated for the rest of us! Cheers, Adrian
  7. Stainless steel reeds? - don't think so... Adrian
  8. Just to add my tuppence worth to Howard’s sage advice and overview. We came against the sharp end of this when recording our Dapper’s Delight CDs, the second of which has an arrangement of an Ian Dury song. We got in contact with the Dutch performing rights equivalent (BUMA) who were very helpful and contacted Dury’s estate on our behalf. After a couple of months, permission was given and the fee we paid up front was (I think) only about 80 euro. (It’s a fixed amount dependent on the quantities of physical media and the length of the piece.) Strangely enough we also had to pay a similar amount for a Victorian Music Hall song that I’d assumed was long out of copyright. The reason was that a piano arrangement of the piece had been published in the 1940’s which had effectively extended the original copyright on the original song! As I understand it, you need to ask permission to record your own arrangements of copyrighted music, whereas if you do a cover version, you don’t need permission, you just have to pay for recording it, or as Howard said, the venue is liable if you are performing it. Of course what exactly constitutes a cover (I’m thinking about all those tribute-bands out there) or a new arrangement is an open question and probably something to make media lawyers’ mouths water 🙂 When we got to our third CD, we wanted to record an arrangement of a Peter Gabriel song that I’d neatly spliced into a 16th century ballad. We asked again via the helpful people at BUMA and were asked to submit a demo recording. Whether this ever got as far as Mr. Gabriel, or what the objection was, we’ll never know, but we were denied permission and were told this refusal would henceforth also apply to any performance of the arrangement. My own feeling is that there is probably a blanket ban on “messing around” with Gabriel's music and that had permission been granted, we could possibly even have claimed copyright on our arrangement in a similar way the Music hall song was? Finally, we did record a pretty obscure pop song from the 1970’s which although the piece was still in copyright, the original copyright holders were long since defunct and had no representative in The Netherlands. So we were told we could go ahead without permission or fee! As Howard said, it depends very much on which jurisdiction you fall under, and ultimately I suspect, how much dosh you can be expected to create with your efforts. Adrian
  9. This doesn’t really answer your question Alex, but it might be of interest to some like me on the other side of the great divide... I recently needed to buy a replacement motor for one of my machines, with the sort of spindle that is common in the UK and rather difficult to find elsewhere. Fortunately, I found a supplier in Northern Ireland and they were able to sell it to me as though I was buying it from any other EU country (I give them my VAT number and they deduct the VAT amount, which I tally in my next VAT return). The motor arrived a few days later not having passed by any customs official. It made me think I should find other NI wholesalers and tool suppliers for those difficult to find (typically imperial-sized) tools and sundries I need from time to time. Adrian
  10. Whether it's 11 or 12, you beat me to it Little John, it's a popular misconception that where you put the wolf is dependent on where you start relative to ET. As you point out, you can put the wolf where you like, and independently decide which note is closest to a particular ET scale. the only difference will be to shift the whole instrument up or down a few cents, depending on which note you choose to align with ET. Because I have quite a few Anglos in different keys, it made sense to tune them all to a-440Hz, and shift the wolf around the circle depending so that it is always between the same fingerings, rather than the same notes. If I'd not done this, it would have been awkward to play them together because of the slight difference in overall tuning. Adrian
  11. Yes, my baritone has 39 buttons (the "standard Jeffries 38" + one extra RH) and it does indeed make it easier especially if you want to play some sections more legato than than Anglo is usually associated with. However, I have just spent a happy hour playing slowly through the piece and imagining I only had a 30 button, (which in itself is not quite so easy as you might think!) and I think it is actually surprisingly doable on a 30 button Anglo. The most obvious problem is that there are a number of low Ds in the score, but you could simply play these notes an octave higher without taking too much away. I was worried that the Wheatstone layout with only one c# in the middle octave would be a problem, but even this you can get around quite easily. There are many sequences where you would have to break the held notes in the other voices to accommodate the melody in a push-pull sequence, which would give the piece a different atmosphere, but would not necessarily take away from the musical effect and give it a more dance-like feel. This is quite unlike the renaissance pieces I have been playing around with, where every bellows reversal has to be well thought out in advance, in order not to completely destroy the musical effects. One of the lovely things about playing a newly composed piece is that you can do anything with it. (Sorry Cohen - perhaps you don't entirely agree?...) I mean this in the sense that you are striking out in a new direction and an unspoiled musical landscape, so to a certain extent you can make up your own mind about certain choices, free of tradition, style etc. and have only the composer to upset 🙂 Cheers, and thanks for watching, Adrian
  12. I thought there might be some interest here in my interpretation of Cohen’s gigue, so here below is my first stab at recording it. I have used my baritone Anglo for the task - partly as it allows me to make the excuse of a rather more sedate tempo than Cohen’s blistering pace, as befits Mr. Brown's ageing frame! I think the baritone also brings out other qualities in the harmonic architecture of the piece and gives it a very different feel. All the same I must say it is a pretty relentless experience and gives one little time to relax, as Cohen said to me in a recent e-mail ”I've been using it recently as my warm up piece, it certainly gets all of the fingers working!”... So there you have it, a great new piece specifically composed for the Anglo concertina - not sure there are many of them and it’s certainly the only one I have any experience with, although I stand corrected if anybody knows of others? If anybody is interested in the sheet music, Cohen is happy to supply a copy for a small consideration and you can contact him either via a PM here, or via his website. I would think it’s an interesting piece for duet players to try and perhaps a few ITM players too? It’s written in D major, so I guess it's not far from their comfort zone? I’d just like to thank Cohen again for his efforts in writing this for me and I hope other players will have as much fun as I have working on it. Adrian
  13. Thank you Gilbert and Jim, it's nice to play again after a bit of a house-renovating hiatus. It would be even nicer to play for a live public, but that's not going to happen for a while yet... Gilbert, yes my baritone Anglo is in 1/4 comma meantone, with enharmonic d#s and ebs, as are most of my other Anglos. I think this music in particular would sound quite sad in equal temperament, and over the years, I've got used to meantone for other styles too. There are not many occasions where I find myself reaching for the equal tempered instruments. Adrian
  14. Thank you Kathryn, that's very kind of you to say:-) My latest lockdown effort is another fantasia by Philip van Wilder (1500 - 1554) performed in two different versions. It is a piece that was written as a musical puzzle in that you can play it as written, or you can remove all the whole and half bar rests from each voice and magically the four voices line up in different places to each other to give you a different, more compact (and shorter) piece. It’s quite amazing how it’s possible to write something like this, where certain sections are almost the same in both versions, but the voices then separate and come back together as different harmonies, without it all becoming gibberish! For an ensemble of melody instruments you can simply leave the rests out on the fly and as long as nobody forgets and falls out of sync, you can normally get to the end at the same time 🙂 On a keyboard instrument however, it requires writing the piece out again to get the 4 parts to line up correctly, so the fun aspect is a little more planned and the piece consequently, a bit more secure! If anyone would like to download the sheet music to see how it’s put together, there are .pdf files of both versions on the IMSLP website at: https://imslp.org/wiki/Fantasia_con_pause%2C_et_senza_pause_(Wilder%2C_Philip_van) Here’s my video of the ‘original’ version with rests: And here’s the version with all the whole and half bar rests removed: Van Wilder is probably my favourite Renaissance composer and this is his only extant work originally composed for instrumental ensemble, most of his output being vocal chansons and motets, as well as a few instrumental pieces written for lute. In the future, I'd like to have a go at one of his 5-part chansons, as they contain some of the most beautiful music I think I have ever heard. Adrian
  15. One might be forgiven for thinking a homophonic piece like this would be a bit of a doddle after some of the more complex polyphony I’ve previously posted in this thread. However, it has taken me a long time to get this to the point that I was happy with it and could find the calm that it cries out for. 40 years ago my music history teacher had us playing all the versions of this song from Isaac to Bach on a motley collection of recorders, crumhorns and viols and declared that it was perhaps the most important piece in the Western classical canon. While I don’t share all his enthusiasm, it is a poignant anthem to leaving home for pastures new, and has become my own personal lament to Brexit. I'm playing once again on the amazing Dipper baritone, an instrument that just seems to get better the more I learn how to control it’s enormous dynamic potential. Adrian
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