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David Barnert

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Posts posted by David Barnert

  1. 14 hours ago, d.elliott said:

    I have always wondered ... I am probably wrong


    As I suspected, the answer is: There is no real answer. If you want a few of each, you might order, say, three right-hand springs and three left-hand springs, and you’ll get just what you want. But if you want unbalanced numbers, or all the  same, it’s probably best to describe unmistakably what you want without referring to right-hand springs or left-hand springs.

  2. I just reread the introductory note I wrote all those years ago (we published it in January, 2004) and I think it’s worth reproducing the first paragraph here. It makes the point I was trying to make just above.



    Note from the Transcriber


    I love the way Alan plays the concertina for the very reasons that make transcribing his music frustratingly difficult. He plays in a way that clearly is not bound to a paper version of the music. He plays what he hears, what he feels. He is free with ornamentation and never plays anything quite the same way twice. He and I agree that the tunes on the accompanying recording ought to be learned by ear. It will not only lead to a kind of learning of the tunes that will be more meaningful but will foster a facility with listening and learning by ear that will be of great value in the future.




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  3. As we learned many years ago, Alan doesn’t think in terms of sheet music. And if he hasn’t written it down, I doubt anybody else has. I transcribed all the tunes for his Anglo tutor 18 years ago. It was a lot of work and involved a lot of back-and-forth between me and Alan because he doesn’t feel a need to play a tune exactly the same way each time (and rightly so!). I think you’re going to have to learn it by ear or learn to take musical dictation (both worthwhile and rewarding goals).

  4. On 9/12/2021 at 5:36 AM, d.elliott said:

    most likely a spring, there are two types, Left hand and Right hand when ordering get one of each to avoid disappointment.


    Is there any general agreement on which is the right-hand spring and which is the left? I have always assumed that the right-hand spring is the one with the hook that curls around the lever like the fingers of the right hand and vice-versa, but I’ve never actually seen that in print. Page 25 of your book talks around it without actually making it clear, but suggests the other convention, saying that they “usually hook to the left” (which is what I would have called a right-hand spring), but does not explicitly say that this is a left-hand spring. For having a few spares, it’s easy enough to just order a few of each, but for replacing a whole collection with many that hook left and few that hook right it’s important that the buyer and the supplier are speaking the same language.

  5. Dave, I think you misread Everett’s post (which, admittedly, wasn’t clear). The points you are responding to are not Everett’s words. Everything but the first line of Everett’s post (note the smaller font) comes from the technician who examined the instrument (presumably Bob Snope at the Button Box) and listed his observations and recommendations. Bob knows what he’s doing, even if it might be different from what you would do.

  6. I never heard of SmartWater until just now, and know nothing about it except what I just read on their web site. Looks like it’s primarily designed to protect stores, museums, and other common burglary sites, and that much of its value is the deterrent nature of the sign that says it’s in use. I don’t know how that would apply to a concertina. Even if you sprayed some on it, it would be worthless unless some honest person who encountered the concertina knew to look for it.


    Apple’s AirTag looks promising. You could put one in your case (hidden under the lining) or even inside the instrument. Of course, you'd need to have another Apple device to keep track of it.

  7. 2 hours ago, Jim2010 said:

    Didi, Do you mean it looks like 1 or 2?


    Yes, I’m still wondering the same thing. The words, “you can use the same fingerings than on the right side” suggest #1, but the words, “it's a full flip with the lower notes where we use to have the higher ones and the higher notes where we use to have the lower ones” suggest #2.

  8. Concertina springs come in two flavors, right-handed and left-handed (that it, they wrap around the lever like the fingers of a right or left hand). It appears, from this picture (from this post)




    that all the springs in a Wren2 are left-handed, at least on the right side of the instrument. Many concertinas have some left-handed springs and some right-handed springs. I would suggest having a look in both sides and see for sure whether they’re all left-handed on both sides or some (or all) are right-handed. You’ll want to have one or two in each orientation that you need to use as spares.

  9. I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding what you mean by “front,” “back,” and “bottom.” Do they refer to the keyboard oriented the way you play it with the rows vertical or the way concertinas are usually pictured, with the hand strap (if there was one) at the bottom and the rows horizontal? And is the “front” closer to or further from the player?


    Elsewhere in these forums, I pointed out that Wicky’s instrument did have the mirrored left hand keys. That is, the lower notes in each row were played by the lower numbered fingers.


    I also have no interest, at this point in life, of learning a mirrored setup of the keys, but am also curious to try Lukasz’s handle.

  10. 1 hour ago, Everett said:

    I have a Wheatstone English model 21 in transit to Button Box (Sudbury Mass) right now. Was supposed to arrive today, but still "on the way".  Hope it is just delayed due to Ida.  Mass got a bunch of rain, but not like NYC did.  My best to everyone impacted by the hurricane.


    Maybe it’s addressed incorrectly. The Button Box is in Sunderland, MA, 60 miles as the crow flies from Sudbury.

  11. 7 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

    I am curious about what kind of button/joystick switches are used as these are the obvious points of failure.


    Failure? Who said anything about failure?


    7 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

    So, is it a concertina or is it a midi synth?  And what would Sir Charles make of it?


    He was an electrical engineer (not that the term existed then). He might be more baffled by the Hayden/Wicky layout than any other aspect of it.

  12. 12 hours ago, soloduet said:

    Actually I feel that the spacing and diameter of the buttons is a little more comfortable on the striso (about 14 mm between the centers of the buttons and about 1 cm for the diameter), so I wonder if it would be possible to make duet concertinas with a little larger buttons and spacing between the buttons even if I don't have very big fingers.


    “Inventor” detailed the specifications in a post 15 years ago:



    16mm between the centres of buttons along the rows 9mm between one row and the next above - to give an equal spacing of 12mm between the nearest buttons along the diagonal. The rows to slope down at an angle of 10.5 degrees towards the thumbs. Large flat top buttons are preferable.


    So your 14mm is right between the spacing of a standard Hayden along the rows (16mm) and along the diagonals (12 mm).

  13. Bravo! It sounds fine from here. Is there really no way to plug into a “sound out” port (with headphones, a recorder, or audio interface)?


    I’ve loved this tune ever since Danny Chapman posted it in what is, I believe, the first ever youtube video of a solo concertina player (certainly the first one I ever saw), 15 years ago.


    I notice, as you threatened, you’re starting to use your thumbs on the thing.

  14. 9 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

    In an earlier post Everett said that the repair tech is in Wisconsin


    Not in this thread. I now have found where he mentioned the information elsewhere.


    1 hour ago, Everett said:

    This thread and discussions with my technician, Mr. Chad Walker, had stimulated me to have him ship my 1927 Wheatstone model 21 to Mr Snope at Button Box.


    A fine choice. I drove two hours to Sunderland last week to have him spend an hour attending to my Wheatstone.

  15. 21 hours ago, Everett said:

    I should reassure that my repair tech is quite aware of the differences between all the different reeds he may encounter within family of free reed instruments. He has never in 25 years employed anything like a Dremel tool in tuning an instrument. I have full confidence in him.

    Is there some reason you’re not sharing his name and location? Is it someone who has been discussed before in these forums? Such a resource would be a valuable thing to have documented here.

  16. 10 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:


    Chemnitzer concertinas (like our smaller concertinas) are sometimes made with accordion-type reeds.  But many Chemnitzers use long-plate German-style reeds which are another type of reed.  I don't know what the standard technique is for tuning long-plate reeds.


    26 minutes ago, Don Taylor said:

    The OP was asking about tuning a 1927 Wheatstone Model 21 which has concertina reeds, not accordion reeds or long-plate reeds.


    I think that was the point. Mr. Hersh was speculating on the likely skill set of a midwestern “concertina” repair person and suggesting that such a craftsperson might have limited familiarity with the kind of reeds found in a vintage Wheatstone.

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