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Everything posted by tombilly

  1. Ah, that's better - I wonder how many other people here were just putting up with it?
  2. Well, I know what you meant about the toolbar thing in the text entry window. I have the same problem - it just sits in the way. I can increase or decrease the size of the editing window but can't shift, drag or close the d*** toolbar yoke! That's why several of my messages have a big break in them - like this So you're not alone in your frustration!! Must be something obvious I'm missing - can anyone enlighten?
  3. I'd be with David Levine on this but then I don't really care one way or the other as I think I'd prefer on the whole to just stay in Ireland. Jet travel is doomed anyway unless some miracle fuel is developed to drive these gas guzzling monsters across the world. Some Irish will actually have to give up their shopping trips to New York - oh dear!
  4. You could listen to Johnny Connolly of Connemara - he plays single row melodeon as far as I recall and is highly regarded as a player for dancers. You'll have seen him on TG4 playing for the competitions etc. - the dancer steps onto the 'stage', has a quick word with Johnny as regards what they want and off he goes..
  5. If you want to play many Irish trad tunes in D, you have to arrive at a 'system' along the lines of Paddy Murphy/ Noel Hill as far as I can see. Take the aptly named Concertina Reel - relatively speaking, this is a breeze if you play it along the C row in the key of C. Presumably that is exactly how it was played in the past by concertina players for house dances etc. But play it at a session with others or in a Ceile Band in key of D and it becomes quite a different animal that requires a new approach. Playing efficiently in D is surely what defines the 'modern' approach to playing Irish trad on the C/G.
  6. It may be useful to put this in some historical context. During the 1800's and early 1900's when dancing and trad musice were very popular in rural Ireland, the norm was for crossroads and house dancing - small groups of neighbours dancing with maybe one or two musicians at most playing. For these purposes it mattered little what key the dance music was played in - whatever was handiest on the given instrument. This sort of community dancing declined in the 1900's, partly due to suppression by the clergy, and instead dancing was encouraged more in parish halls. Here you had a much bigger crowd to play to and a group of musicians was required to make the music heard. Thus the need to play in more standardised keys. The fiddle can be played in pretty much any key but the common D whistle and flute tended to play more easily in D & G etc. The concertina needed to fit it in with this idea of playing in groups of people. So, the 'Paddy Murphy/ Noe Hill style' really is just how to play tunes in D on a C/G concertina.
  7. Yep, learn to play it, keep it in the family and pass it on in time. £7000 or whatever sounds like a nice little bonus but palls into insignificance against the satisfaction of playing an instrument that your great grandad played and one that you might be able to hand onto another family member when your time comes. You can't put a price on that.
  8. Au contraire, I would regard your comments, Dirge, as being a bit out of order. Peter did supply a video of himself playing with Kitty Hayes and if you were as well informed as we might suppose, you must know that they were something of a musical pairing. Sadly Kitty passed away last year so a bit of sensitivity on your part mightn't go missing. As for your phrase 'ITM mongers' - I'll draw my own conclusions regarding your prejudices..
  9. Don't get me wrong - I'm not 'having a go' at Wim Wakker in particular. His approach is not entirely unreasonable and the $200 is not a vast amount to lose, if things don't turn out the way you assumed over the 2-3 years. I am aware of this practice with other makers, not just of concertinas: in the trad area, there seems to be long waiting lists for uilleann pipes, flutes and concertinas, varying by maker. Waiting lists that run to many years in some cases and involve percentage deposits, not just a fixed 'nominal' $200. I just happen to think it's unfair to demand a substantial non returnable deposit if the maker cannot fill the order for many years. It's that simple.
  10. I see where you're coming from, Wim and thanks for the clarification. What strikes me though is that you are then charging for advice - it's like say I provide a tiling service but if you require a quotation from me to tile your bathroom then you should pay me for supplying a price. You'll come across businesses that do just this but mostly the buying public don't like it! In my experience, many businesses now build these sort of time costs in the their overall pricing - they'll lose out on some jobs but gain in many others. I also run a small business, nothing to do with musical instruments, but I would very rapidly run out of customers if I charged them in helping them to choose my services! And what happens when place 20 is sold to someone else - presumably you've done your consulting at this stage with the original customer and now have to deal with someone with a new set of requirements. How can that work in your system or does the new person on place 20 just have to take whatever you agreed with the first person. One appreciates that you have many build options but presumably concertinas are essentially modular and once you have not commenced work on a particular instrument, then those parts can be readily used in other builds. So sorry, I still don't see the need for non refundable deposits until construction work has commenced and I think it's wrong to allow people to jump queues in general. A case can be made for pushing someone up a queue where there is a pressing need - say a good promising young player that would greatly benefit.
  11. Don't think you've read through above fully, David. I have no problem with deposits in general for the reasons you and many others mention but the point is that it should not be 'non refundable' until the maker actually commences work on the instrument. At that stage, the maker is at no loss - all s/he needs to do is check with the customer, then commence work at which point it is perfectly reasonable to expect that the deposit can be kept if the customer reneges. I happen to be on a (long) waiting list, my cash is in the maker's bank account, collecting interest, rather than my own. I have little protection, I would think, if s/he goes out of business - their bank and secured creditors will swallow the deposits up. That's the nature of the beast and as an owner of a small business, I know all about it. I wouldn't dream of treating my customers in this way - I'd fully expect them to tell me where to go. You say that customers should be able to sell places if the maker agrees - I strongly disagree (and business people should not annoy their customers). I think the practice is only acceptable if the maker contacts all people on the list below the seller and asks their permission and guess what answer they'll get.. I repeat, it's the non refundable aspect that causes the problem
  12. I have baffles on my rosewood ended Lachenal (steel reeds) and it seems fine in the volume department to me. I wouldn't be too quick to remove them on a whim. They are an original part of the design. I quite like them as they hide the inner workings and also keep debris out.
  13. Glad to hear you plan to do most of the work yourselves. There has been the odd controversial thread on the flute forums about makers who use Chinese and other factories to produce keys and flute bodies etc., these then 'finished off' in the West and sold as locally made etc.
  14. More queue jumping, eh? I really think reputable makers shouldn't allow this practice, at least not overtly. One of the first laws of business is not to upset your customers and I had just joined Wim's list and paid a deposit at his insistence, I'd be pretty '******* off', if someone just came and bought up a place at the top of the queue. It's the demand of a non returnable deposit that creates this situation - otherwise the OP here would just drop off the list and everyone waiting patiently in line would just move up one. A different situation applies once a maker has commenced work on an instrument - then they must expect some financial committment from the punter. That's reasonable but it's not reasonable to demand non returnable deposits, years in advance.
  15. Sub contractor? What springs to mind is that perhaps you get the main body/ parts of the instrument made up in the far east somewhere and then finish them off?
  16. I think I'd leave it up to the more active members to decide what's best but I think the scam reporting thing has a disproportionate effect here. The number of scammers is prob. quite small in overall terms. Why let them dominate the agenda? Though if I was thinking of bidding on an instrument, I'd like to be able to check any avenues I could to verify that it was legit. Isn't that what's called, having your cake and eating it? I suppose it's a question of where you store the cake.
  17. Maybe it is getting boring .... can't help but notice that at least 7 out of the 17 threads on my first page for this buy/sell forum are related to Scams, scams, scams ... A useful service, perhaps, but it can be taken too far?
  18. That doesn't necessarily ring true - most instruments will be preserved 'better' if they are played somewhat. They can deteriorate, I understand, if just left on the proverbial mantlepiece as a showpiece. That's what yer man was objecting to and I agree with him. I've nothing against collectors who also play and cherish 'their' instruments but would despise people who hold fine instruments when they've no interest or inclination to make music on them.
  19. Here, hang on lads & lassies! There's a lot more to making music than simply pressing buttons. Playing notes without timing and rhythm is just noise. You could teach a monkey to press buttons quickly but I doubt you'd like the result..
  20. I've seen a good children that sort of age play Scarlatti/ Stagi/ Boorinwood - whatever you're having as they are all basically the same instrument. They seem to do fine - the pressure to upgrade I've heard coming from Comhaltas teachers who think the kids will do better in competitions if they have a concertina with proper reeds. We have children and I'm all too familiar with the dilemna - currently it's trumpet but we've been through flute, fiddle, bodhran, concertina, trombone.. each time, they'd swear this was what they wan't to do. You can't just be buying the best instrument in each case!
  21. Thanks Wim, that's a very informative post above - you've obviously looked hard at the whole tricky area.
  22. Let's look at this broadly - you have a machine where you press a button which operates a lever which opens a valve and lets air from a bellows pass through a reed producing a note. That's surely the original bit - an original concept when it was thought up. So, as a maker you look at this machine and fabricate a new one but just vary the spacing of the parts, redesign the levers etc. etc., perhaps to improve it or perhaps to make it easier to fabricate. Now, the question is - is that original? Or just tinkering with a basic design? Fortunately for mankind, the concept of intellectual property is a relatively recent one - the very nature of the human is to imitate and copy, improve and move on. If intellectual property rights were around in the middle ages, that's exactly where we'd still be, which come to think of it, might be no great harm!
  23. As far as I know, for a design or work to be capable of protection by copyright or patent - a key test is that it has to be original. I'd be with the people who argue above that it's highly unlikely that Norman's or Wakker's designs are original. As pointed out, it has always been common practice in the music instrument business for craftsmen to take what is considered a good instrument and then seek to reproduce the best elements of that. Presumably, that's how Norman and Wakker started out in the first place.
  24. Seller has a small but good record - is the seller's name 'hijacked' then. Or is the feedback artificially generated?
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