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Posts posted by meltzer

  1. I have read that there are only 3 ITM (Irish Traditional Music) instruments: Whistle, Bodhran, and Harp.


    I'd have to disagree with you on the bodhran, which, although traditionally associated with the Wren Boys on St Stephen's Day, has only been used in ITM since the 1950s.



    Got this off of Wikipedia -


    The bodhrán was used during the Irish rebellion of 1603, by the Irish forces, as a war drum, or battle drum. The use of the drum was to provide a cadence for the pipers and warriors to keep to, as well as announce the arrival of the army. This leads some to think that the bodhrán was derived from an old Celtic war drum.


    hmmm, I'm no math genius but 1603 sounds a lot earlier than 1950...

    It's wikipedia though. I could go onto Wikipedia and post that there was decisive evidence that the bodhran was the instrument that Noah used to get the animals to march two-by-two onto the Ark. In fact, I might do that now.

  2. Thanks for that, Richard. Of course a fingering chart is no substitute for having the instrument in your hands, so I'm just trying to work out how it would feel to do that. This said, I'm sure I get my fingers into some fairly bizarre positions on the Anglo, I just try not to look. ;)

  3. I think, the more I look at it, even a picture of it that would live on here as an avatar picture has merit. Should I? Maybe? NAH! :unsure:




    Perhaps you should mention it to Alan Day and suggest he uses it as the cover picture on English International. :blink:

    It's an English, and it's international. Perfect, I'd say. :lol:

  4. Something I find helpful (and this is speaking as a beginner myself) is not to look at the bellows while I'm playing -- this removes the "Oh Christ, I'm running out of air" reaction. And, oddly enough, has stopped me running out of air quite as much. I would add that I'm a song-accompaniment kind of player, rather than a tunes player. Although I do run through the old ceilidh band repertoire by way of practice sometimes.

  5. OK, was looking at this fingering chart on another thread, and just had some questions about how you Hayden players play chords: -





    As an Anglo player, this layout makes some kind of sense to me -- I can see fairly easily where the intervals are, and how the same "shapes" move up and down the keys. But.... I was just wondering what fingers you would tend to use for what keys. For instance -- if you wanted to play a simple triad (not that you ever would, you musical sophisticates, you. But for the sake of argument. ;) ). I notice that the "fifth" is quite close to the root (c & g, for instance). I must admit that looks a bit awkward to me, but no doubt you lot are used to it.

  6. As a stereotypical Anglo player, I play by ear. I can read music a bit (OK with pitch, don't understand about dots/duration, etc), and occasionally pick out a melody line on the box if I want to fix a tune in my head. But can I remember it when I try to play it again without sheet music? No I cannot. Once I have a tune in my head -- and this can take a while, admittedly -- I can pretty much work it out fairly fast (these are English traditional songs rather than dance tunes) once I get the first note -- and then the process of trial & error coming up with counter-melodies/chords takes a bit longer. This is a process familiar to my neighbours, as I spent last night listening to Walter Pardon's version of The trees they do grow high on repeat. Poor neighbours. :(


    Completely different to playing my sax, which is pure one-note-at-a-time stuff, where I'm very tied to the sheet music, but find it easier to memorise after a few plays through.


    Interesting thread, anyway. B)

  7. I'd be patient if I were you. If Chris doesn't have/can't find a suitable concertina, don't be too ready to jump at the first thing you see!

    Exactly. One thing about Mr Algar is that he'll never try & sell you an instrument that doesn't meet your requirements, so well worth the wait, I'd say. Plus you'll have the confidence that it's under warranty & you'll have the buyback facility that he does as well. (Yes -- I'm one of his many satisfied customers ;) )

  8. Here is a Wheatstone price list from circa 1920. It shows that the concertina was built to a high spec and cost 17 shillings at the time (written as 17/- when I was a lad :rolleyes: ); air valve and wrist straps would have been extra I would imagine.



    I think you wil find that is Seventeen Pounds old chap - serious money back then ........ probably six months wages for a farm labourer in a tied cottage ..... maybe not so cheap after all <_<


    Poor old 'Hodge' the labourer would have to make do with a five bob German screamer



    Wow. You answered my question while I was writing it. :lol:

  9. Here is a Wheatstone price list from circa 1920. It shows that the concertina was built to a high spec and cost 17 shillings at the time (written as 17/- when I was a lad :rolleyes: ); air valve and wrist straps would have been extra I would imagine.

    According to the internet, the minimum wage in 1920 was £2/6 shillings & 10½d a week, based on a 50 hour working week. I can't do sums in the old money, but it'd be interesting (for me at least) if one of our older views could work out how many hours someone would have to work to buy a tina for 17 bob.

  10. If you can say "Liverpool, Everton, Liverpool, Everton" in time to the music, it's a jig. If you can say "Liverpool, Everton, Manchester, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester," in time to the music, it's a slip jig. Or something. There are some other ones, but I can't remember them.


    Oh yes, if it's played at 200mph, in such a way that no-one would have a cat in hell's chance of actually dancing to it, it's a reel. ;)

  11. Whenever I'm thinking of jacking something in (whether its music or anything else) I think about Roland Kirk the sax player -- who, after a stroke, rigged up his sax so he could play with what limited mobility he had left. He had it rigged so that every joint on every finger of his good hand had a job to do. And went on to create some of his most memorable music.


    And he was blind.


    That, my friends, is loving music.


    (Did I mention he used to play more than one instrument at once?)



  12. The NY sword ale featured both longsword, as in the video, and rapper, using short, two-handled swords. Here's a video of the group I help out with (my wife is one of the dancers)


    My first public musical appearance was playing melodeon for a rapper side. (Over 20 years ago :o )

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