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adrian brown

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  1. I should add that my 38 button FC Jeffries is a bit larger than the standard anglos - I measured it as 6 3/8"AF, but perhaps that counts as 6 1/2" given that the standard version is a bit smaller than 6 1/4"? Adrian
  2. I would agree with everything LazyNetter says above and will just add the following comment about the 30 button layouts. Having adapted many of my arrangements for the Wheatstone 30 button layout in my book, A Garden of Dainty Delights, I found the biggest problem was the lack of a high draw d. This complicated the fingering considerably and meant a less than ideal LH accompaniment in many of the pieces. However the flexibility 38, or 40 buttons will give you is really worth the investment if you want to play legato passages, or impose your own press/draw sequences to give certain rhythmical emphasis. Another consideration is that while Jeffries Anglos were made in many different keys, the 40 button Wheatstones are mostly found in CG - I don't think I have ever seen one in say FC, although I guess they must exist? What I want to point out is that if you think you might like to play the deeper sounding Anglos one day, and not have to change fingering, it might be worth starting with the Jeffries system. I hope this helps, Adrian
  3. Thanks a lot Luke, I haven't played for a morris team for years, but I do love to mess around with them. As you say, they are a great framework and since most of them had a previous life before they became dance tunes, I feel justified taking this approach. if you're interested, it's really worth examining Sharp's piano arrangements to work out what he suggests harmonically - it'll give you loads of ideas 🙂 Cheers, Adrian
  4. Thanks for your kind post Howard! When I first heard Cohen playing, I realised how it must have felt to have been a jobbing blues guitarist in London in the late 1960’s when Hendrix rocked up! In fairness, Cohen would have been brilliant playing any instrument, but I think it does show what can be done if you start early enough and really work at it. Anyway, I find it wonderful how he has taken Anglo playing to a new level, and the instrument is so much richer for it. One hopes that our much-maligned poor relation of the concertina family can finally be seen as a serious musical instrument 🙂

    Greetings from The Netherlands and have a Happy Easter!
    PS. I thought I'd send this privately - I don't want to embarrass the poor fellow...
  5. Or some masterful renaissance polyphony on the Anglo Concertina... Adrian
  6. Assuming the ends are not plated Don, I guess there is no shortcut to hours of graft with abrasive paper of different grades and eventually a light final polish with a buffing wheel. You'd need to use a block on any flat surfaces to avoid sanding an unsightly depression. I just wonder if it's really worth the effort - after all you could see it as a badge of honour showing it's a "working instrument", rather than a museum relic 🙂 Adrian
  7. I had missed this thread until today, so thought I should pipe in. I re-recorded this just over a year ago for my daughter's birthday with a somewhat more free arrangement on a CG anglo: I took a lot of liberties with the dotted rhythm and went a bit wild in the slows. (It's what happens if you are not playing for dancers...) However, if there is any interest I will try to notate the c sections for posterity (which Gary wisely chose to ignore...), but I'm not entirely sure it would be possible on a 30 button. Adrian
  8. Yes, That was 8 years ago now and I still think of it taking my socks off! Good luck Alan and keep it in the splint for the full three months. I heard horror stories of people taking it off too soon and then having to go back to the beginning again. I tried a number of different types of splint over the mending period and with one of them I could use my finger (it was the RH middle one) on some of the outer row buttons. Adrian
  9. Valve friendly workaround for Jeffries style jug cases: Valve threatening problem with cube cases: 🙂 Adrian
  10. I knew it Alex! Thanks for correcting me. I still think the 32 keys referred to in this price list includes an air button and a LH thumb button, since the 39 keys is the 38 + air model that is also pretty common. Not sure about the bigger Anglos and duets, but it seems reasonable to assume you would include the air button in the count for all models, if you did for the smaller concertinas? Thanks again, Adrian
  11. It's because they count both thumb buttons Gary = 30 buttons + 2 thumbs. I've personally never seen a Jeffries without a LH thumb button, although I'm sure somebody will correct me 🙂 Glad to hear your collection is expanding on all fronts 🙂 Cheers, Adrian
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Stainless steel reeds? - don't think so... Adrian
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
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