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David Barnert

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Everything posted by David Barnert

  1. I'm also a little puzzled by what Jim is getting at, but perhaps it has to do with the fact that on a piano, chords are usually open, meaning that the 1, 3, and 5 are not right next to each other but spaced out over several octaves. There is rarely room to do this on a concertina, so the chords are usually in closed position. Here's an illustration.
  2. Recently returned from a week away, and now reading concertina.net for the first time since Friday, the 17th. I just posted another message and noticed that the posting time seemed off by an hour. Oy. I went to my profile page, clicked "Board Settings" (after searching several other screens in vain) and unchecked the "Daylight Savings Time is in effect" box. I guess I just added one more to the list of 22 clocks/computers/gadgets that I have to reset every October and April. Sure would be nice if this could be done automatically.
  3. I wish everyone did what I've done. Name and location in the "signature" (accessible through the page that appears when you click on your own name).
  4. What she said! Oh, and: Then I guess you didn't see this one in the New York Times, earlier this week:
  5. For me, it comes to this: I am inspired to learn a tune not by how it looks on paper, but by how it sounds. When I hear a tune I want to learn, I listen to the recording over and over or ask the person who played it to play it again, or whatever. Only afterward do I look for written sources, to make sure I have it "right" and to document it in case I forget it. If I can't find a written source, I write it down myself. The point is that at the time I decide I want to learn a tune, I generally have better access to an aural source than a written one. This obviously doesn't hold for situations where I am "assigned" to learn a tune by some other party (dance caller, band leader, etc). But even then, what I do is play it from the dots enough times that I can learn it by ear listening to myself. In my other life as a cellist, everything is learned (and played) from paper. It's a whole different ballgame (sorry, I'm watching the playoffs right now--5/3, bottom of the 8th).
  6. In a thread a few weeks ago (late September), we were discussing the meaning of "Concert Pitch." Slatteryj had mentioned in an announcement of an instrument for sale that it was in concert pitch. I responded that I had always thought the term referred to an instrument that did not transpose (that is, the note on the instrument that is called "C" for instance, is actually a C). It was clear that slatteryj was using it to mean A=440 beats/minute. Some discussion ensued wherein it became clear that most folks in the forum agreed with the a=440 definition. I checked a few general dictionaries and found the same thing. I have not had a chance to consult Groves or any other musical dictionary. However, I *have* had a chance to discuss this with other (non-concertina) musicians (from the classical realm--most recently Ruth & Lamar Alsop, Cellist and Violinist with the NYC Ballet Orchestra, parents of the renowned conductor Marin Alsop, and Lamar also plays Clarinet and Saxophone), and they all agree with my initial impression. They use "concert pitch" to refer to the notes played by a violin or oboe or piano (no matter whether the A is 440 or 442 or 415) as opposed to the clarinet, which comes in several sizes, each calling the key it plays most easily "C." They also point out that classical musicians are accustomed to tuning to various A standards (415 for early music, 440, 442, 443, and sometimes higher for later stuff) so calling A=440 "concert pitch" would have no significance unless that is the pitch a particular orchestra happens to be tuned to.
  7. Bruce- I'm sorry, but I think you're mistaken. As far as I know, Bastari only made two sizes of Haydens, the 46 key and the 66 key. I've played them both, and I have the 46. It has the same layout as my Wheatstone. There is a G# in each of the two octaves present on each side (the higher one on the left = the lower one on the right). I have played many tunes on the old Bastari that included the high G#, including both Devil's Dream & Speed the Plow. On the other hand, the 46 does not have an Ab, which one would expect to the left of the Bb. I have never heard of a Hayden with fewer than 46 buttons. This is the layout of the 46-key Hayden (Bastari, Wheatstone, and Stagi). [Added: Sorry about that with the graphic. I had to do it as a jpg because this system makes a mess of ascii art]
  8. We have an organized session called the "Fiddlers' Tour." See info at: http://www.fiddlerstour.com/default_ft.aspx and http://www.timesunion.com/communities/fiddle/ I don't go very often. Unfortunately, music stands have become the norm there. Once I suggested a tune and one of the regulars said "What page?" It seems the Portland Collection is their bible. As you might expect, it all sounds like a junior high school orchestra, with everyone's noses buried in the books and nobody listening to each other.
  9. It *is* possible with "handwritten" letters. In the old Forum I was in the habit of copying the portions of text I was responding to, and identifying each section -- quoted parts and my own parts -- by preceding it with the name of the person "speaking". But I didn't mean " 'handwritten' " I meant "handwritten" (this *is* the "quotes" thread, is it not?). Pen and ink. And paper.
  10. As you can see, the "Quote" feature can be abused, but I, for one, like having posts arranged by
  11. I think Jim already knows the answer to this one. The 46-key layout of the Hayden is not well-suited to playing in flat keys. Bb and G-minor are possible by hooking the D# at the other end with the little finger but this doesn't work well for quick passage work, and on each side the note is present in only one octave. I avoid keys with more than one flat and odd scales like Klezmer (my performance of Satie's 1st Gnossienne transposed to D minor at the Squeeze-In notwithstanding). Rich is more adventurous, using his thumbs (and I think occasionally his toes) for some of the awkward notes. The missing low B and C# in the right hand can often be "borrowed" from the left hand, but it woud certainly be nice to have them present on the right. When Dickinson finally gets around to making the 55-key instrument I ordered in 1989 , I'll report on the status of the above concerns.
  12. I'd expect 2 hours per session is more time than you want. At the NESI, sessions were an hour with half hour breaks between (IIRC 9-10, 10:30-11:30, 1-2, 2:30-3:30, 4-5) with a choice of three or four events in each slot. This gives flexibility for sessions to run overtime if necessary, but doesn't force session leaders to have to fill long slots.
  13. On another thread, we got into the question of temperaments. I just found a post on the squeezebox group with a link to a nice basic review of what temperaments are, why they are necessary, and how they work. It is written from the point of view of the modern piano, but much of it is sufficiently general as to be of interest to non-pianists. Here's the link: http://www.uk-piano.org/edfoote/ Go nuts.
  14. In an earlier post in this thread, I mentioned Bob Gaskins' article about baffles. I'm sorry that in my haste, I was unable to post a link (and also misspelled Maccann). Here it is: Baffles for Maccann Duet Concertinas http://www.maccann-duet.com/baffles/index.htm Anyone seriously considering installing baffles in any kind of concertina should read it. It also has a lot of general advice about concertina repair. However, I also play the Hayden, and I find I have no need for baffles (but perhaps you should ask the folks sitting to my left ). I keep a light touch on the left. No, not squeezing less forcefully on the left, or even pushing the buttons less forcefully, but coming off them earlier. Thus, if I play an "oom-pah" sort of pattern with my left hand, the "oom" is only one note, and can be long, but the "pah" is two or three and is very short. Pianists and guitarists do this, too, for the same reason.
  15. Michael- Thanks, first of all. There is still much disagreement on exactly what is perfect pitch, whether it is possible to learn it if you are not born with it, and to what degree you can partially have it. Contrast your situation to mine, however. I have excellent "relative pitch," that is, if I know what note a tune starts on, or what key it's in, I can usually write or play it without having to use trial and error. I can follow modulations in classical pieces, even if I don't know what key it's in (now he's setting up a modulation to V, that was a major III chord, tonicizing iii minor, that sort of thing). But I am entirely unable to guess what key a piece is in from thin air. I can hum traditional tunes, classical music, commercials, popular songs, movie music, etc., but have no idea if I'm humming them in the key in which I've heard them. If you tell me to sing a G, for instance, I might come close only because I know about where G fits in my vocal range. If you told me to tune a variable oscillator to G, I would have no clue where to start (I'd probably try to hum under my breath and tune it to that). If you surreptitiously replaced all the reeds in my concertina with reeds a third low, I suspect I wouldn't notice. I spent a year, while I was in high school, carrying an A=440 fork in my pocket, trying to learn to predict what it sounds like, but no luck. I think it's pretty safe to say that I do not have perfect pitch or anything like it. Also that you have something I don't have. Whether or not we call it "perfect pitch" is of little importance. And Paul- Thank you. That was great. I've read a lot of books, but you've clearly tuned more instruments than I have. I wish I had the experiential familiarity with the subject that you have.
  16. DoN Nichols calls them "reed carriers."
  17. Worse, it probably contributes to the deterioration of the bellows material. By the law of conservation of energy, any energy expended (application of a force over a distance) that does not become sound has to go somewhere, and will wind up as heat, some of it in the turbulent air created, but much of it in the bellows where the stiffness is overcome.
  18. Somebody told me today that the Concertina was first intended to be played by Victorian ladies, who couldn't be expected to assume the undignified position required to play the Violin. New one on me. Anyone shed any light?
  19. Yeah, that's the kind of stuff I know nothing about.
  20. I've never heard any of those names. It might be interesting to run them by DoN Nichols over on the Squeezebox group. He doesn't read this forum.
  21. Also: Isn't that pretty much the definition of perfect pitch? A story: When I was an undergrad in the mid 1970s at Brandeis, I played Cello in the orchestra. The conductor was the chairman of the Music department, Robert Koff, who had been the original 2nd Violinist in the Juilliard String Quartet. It was well known in the Music Department that Koff didn't have perfect pitch. Well, one day we were rehearsing Schubert's 9th ("Great") Symphony in C major. It starts with a Horn solo, with the notes C,D,E. Here's the abc for anyone who's interested: X:1 T:Horn Solo M:4/4 L:1/4 Q:100 K:C c2de|A>Bc2|d>ec2|g2de|A>Bc2|d>ec2|d3e|c"violins"ag(3e/g/f/|| The Horn player was David Hoose, now a respected conductor in his own right. Just for grins , he played it in C#. Nobody noticed until the violins came in with their A on the 2nd beat of the 8th measure. It sounded like an Ab, and you could see them all trying to pinch it up into tune before the whole thing collapsed.
  22. You can also access rec.music.makers.squeezebox as an e-mail list through yahoo groups. Go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/squeezebox/ You'll get the messages as e-mail and can to respond to them as such. They are the same messages that appear on the newsgroup. The gateway between the two formats is maintained by DoN Nichols, and occasionally it fails in one direction or the other. Sorry I didn't have this info for you earlier. I knew there was an e-mail side, but I didn't know how to get at it.
  23. See the extensive article on baffles at Bob Gaskins' maccan web site.
  24. There are three senses in which different keys might be said to have different characters. One, as you have mentioned, is how a particular key feels on a given instrument. The second is that some people have "perfect pitch" (or "absolute pitch") meaning they can recognize notes and keys without having to refer to a known note. Most people don't have it (oddly, in some primitive cultures, everybody has it). Some that do describe different notes and keys as having colors or emotions, as you describe. Perhaps you have perfect pitch. I don't. Could you sing a Bb, for instance, on command without having heard a known note in the recent past? The third sense is that on instruments tuned to other temperaments than equal temperament, each key will have its own character because certain notes and intervals will be more or less in tune. One key might have the 5ths in tune but not the 3rds, for example, while another has it the other way around.
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