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Everything posted by keithfre

  1. Harry has all his student models made in China. He's done a fair amount of work on this one since it came from China, though, including the recent 3.5 hours on tuning and intonation. It's not an early model, in fact it has some improvements over the early student model (the keys don't stick or come off any more as was reportedly the case with the early ones). You won't find a European maker handcrafting bandoneons for under around 3000 euros!
  2. As far as I know Harry's still selling the octave-voiced Chinese student models. I saw one from him recently on ebay. This is the only single-voiced one he made, as a prototype.
  3. I have no difficulty playing softly on it - to the extent that I can play it at all... Mind you, I worked on playing softly right from the start. The leather baffles seem to restrict the air flow somewhat, which helps.
  4. If Harry makes any bandonions priced at 720 euros himself (not in China), I'd like to know about it
  5. I'm selling this as I've decided to switch to chromatic bandonion. It's the only single-choir (one set of reeds, only the low no octave) student model Harry has ever made using the Gabla system (C system). It's similar to the model shown on Harry's "What's New" page (the buttons are gold, with black F & C). It's in very good condition and has just been tuned and voiced by Harry. The new price was 720 euros, plus 120 for the tuning. I'm asking 500 euros plus shipping (from the Netherlands). If I sell it through concertina.net I shall of course make a contribution.
  6. How well do the baffles work? I had a Jackie but its voice was just too loud and strident for me. I tried adding wooden baffles but it did not seem to make a difference. Rand I can certainly hear a difference. I guess it's a question of how much difference one is expecting...
  7. I shall be sorry to see this dear little instrument go. I'm selling because I've switched to chromatic bandoneon. It's in very good condition, with leather baffles fitted for a softer, more mellow sound. It is played-in (the bellows move easily) but otherwise hasn't been played very much. Complete with bag and tutor. I'm asking 200 euros (about 186 pounds sterling at the time of posting) plus shipping from the Netherlands to wherever you are. If I sell it through concertina.net I will of course make a contribution.
  8. Here goes: | Bb- Bb-/Ab | Gm7b5 Gb | Bb-/F Gm7b5 | Cm7b5 F7#9 | | Bb- Bb-/Ab | Gm7b5 Gb | Bb-/F Gm7b5 | Cm7b5 F7#9 Bb- / | Essentially it's just the Bbm triad with a changing bass line until you get to the ii-V.
  9. What I would do is compensate for the slower attack of the lower notes by playing them earlier to give them time to rev up.
  10. In the case of Renaissance dances it can make a big difference to know how they were danced, but Bach's baroque dances are musical forms intended only for listening. You might get a clue from seeing French baroque opera or ballet performed authentically. Or just listen to performances of the music on 'original instruments', as most of those guys (or their teachers) have studied the dance forms.
  11. If you want the "authentic" Bach style, beg, borrow, steal or download a recording by Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord).
  12. It's the prototype of his Jazz model, which he decided not to go ahead with. Part of the problem is that it modulates so much, so at least some of the piece is going to be wildly out of tune. Even in a single mode, though, jazz chords don't sound right, perhaps because the dissonances are so strong that they need the softening that equal temperament provides. In mean tone or other baroque tunings they're too in-your-face. Yup. I like it very much. No, the idea is to push your arm right through the strap so it can move freely up and down the keyboard. The only problem I have is that I have a pre-existing shoulder problem, so need to minimize the amount of pushing and pulling. If I use gravity to assist me (by playing on one knee) it pushes the keyboard against my hand, which is then no longer free to move along the keyboard. I'm experimenting with using the other knee to catch the weight when necessary, but it's too early to know whether that will work. Because the bellows, therefore the whole instrument, is shorter than a standard bandoneon, it's not possible to hook it over both knees and pull and push with them, unless I start with the bellows open. Some of the bass notes are too sluggish, but that's because the Chinese guy didn't pay enough attention to the voicing. I'm hoping Harry will be able to put that right when he retunes it. It'll probably still be less responsive than the 8'+4' model, but if he can get the bad notes to speak as quickly as the good ones I'll be quite happy. Nope, same price, because he had to do more work on it when it arrived from China.
  13. I actually prefer the single reed sound to the 8' + 4' sound. I was inspired to try bandoneon by recordings of Dino Saluzzi, but I did find the sound of parallel octaves irritating after a while, so I got myself a single-voice Geuns hybrid bandoneon, which I'm learning at the moment. Far from finding close voicings unacceptable, I find even clusters containing semitones sound fine. I do tend to play fairly quietly, though.
  14. I've tried jazz chords on the baritone Jack (have you heard the sample My Shining Hour on http://www.concertinaconnection.com/jackie-jack.htm ?) and they sound surprisingly OK. I could imagine that they would be too shrill on a treble. Mean tone temperament, or even a compromise baroque temperament, doesn't work for jazz - I've tried it on my harpsichord and it was too "Ur"!
  15. Hi John, Speaking as a professional translator and amateur musician, I think the analogy between language and music only works on a very superficial level. Your points about the value of grammar are good, though again I think the analogy with music theory doesn't go very far - except that intuitive individuals can get by (sometimes very well) without grammar/theory! And I say that as someone who learnt to speak German fluently using the traditional grammar+vocab approach. The question is also whether we are now exiting from a period of grammar-dominated language and reverting to a more anything-goes/read-my-mind state like that in Elizabethan English. In my work I'm seeing this happening not only in English but also in e.g. German and French, which in structure are far less 'free-form' than English. Agreed. Not a problem, as long as they realize their true motivation. I think there's a widespread misconception that theory gets in the way of feeling, whereas it can in fact be used to enhance feeling. Only to some extent. In fact grammar is changing all the time, whether we like it or not. How long will it be, for example, before no-one understands the distinction between 'he may have died' and 'he might have died'? Again, to some extent that is true. But it's also a question of experience and context and personal feeling. A baroque musician friend of mine, for instance, can't stand the sound of a major seventh that doesn't resolve, whereas to anyone who likes modern jazz it's just a pretty sound. So there again the 'rules' are not immutable.
  16. It's not "either/or": a well-rounded musician knows his basic theory as well as having a feel for music in general and an understanding of where the particular music he is playing comes from. Of course there are always exceptions who prove the rule, superb performers who know little or nothing of theory, but that doesn't mean we lesser mortals should necessarily follow their example...
  17. I know what you mean about 'no time', but you would probably find that time spent learning at least the basic theory would pay back many times over by reducing the time spent 'struggling' ;-}
  18. Or both! Take How Deep Is The Ocean, for instance, which starts out resolutely in C minor (with a cadence to confirm) but ends equally resolutely in Eb major.
  19. Well, what a listener hears or does not hear is up to him/her. But I don't see how a player can phrase meaningfully (or even "correctly"!) if he misinterprets where the phrases are heading. How are you going to place your rits and ralls in the right place and shape the dynamics sensibly if you don't realize when you're about to hit the tonic? Of course the problem is unlikely to occur if there's a chordal accompaniment (or even a drone), but it can in this kind of monophonic music. I agree. The only point of a key signature is to reduce the amount of notation needed, but unless the music stays in the particular key most of the time it can be a hindrance rather than a help, especially in many of the jazz tunes I play, which are constantly changing the "key of the moment".
  20. It's important to be able to hear the dominant and the tonic, the tension and release.
  21. I have a Jack, the English baritone relative of the Rochelle, and I found it helped to pull the bellows gently to their full extent (with the air button open, of course) and leave them in that position a few times. Congrats on your new instrument!
  22. Sounds like you have the basic knowledge you need, Richard, it's just a question of listening carefully and experimenting. The subdominant triad contains the tonic, so you can plug away at the tonic as your harmony note until you hear it needs to move down to the leading note: that will tell you where to move to the dominant. In C, if F fits, then you're on the subdominant.
  23. Then I'd say you need to work them out on paper first, however much it hurts. If things go well, you won't be dependent on the paper for ever. Otherwise your only option is to keep experimenting until you find something that sounds good. Sixths under the melody often work. Best of all, combine both approaches!
  24. I fitted internal leather baffles (as described on the C.net site) to my Jack and they've reduced the volume considerably. I can even feel the extra resistance.
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