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About Anglo-Irishman

  • Birthday 06/15/1946

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Acoustic music of all kinds. Collecting playable instruments.
  • Location
    Near Stuttgart, Germany

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  1. Judging by the fretwork on the ends, it looks like a rebadged Stagi to me! The ends of my Stagi 30-button look just the same, only with fewer holes (see my Avatar). I bought mine new back in the 1990s. Cheers, John
  2. Yes, my Bandoneon is like that. The three main rows are like the concertina's, but in G/A/E plus accidentals. The earlier, small, 20-button German concertinas were, I believe, in A/E. The reason for having two rows a fifth apart (C/G, G/D, Ab/Eb, A/E etc.) is that the most common modulation of key within a tune in European music is from the home key to the key with one sharp more (or one flat less). C major plus 1 sharp (F#) is G major; G major plus 1 sharp (C#) is D major. This makes tunes like The Ash Grove or Crimond (The Lord's my shepherd) very easy to harmonise. For the same reason, my old 2-key autoharp is in F/C, and larger Autoharps have their chord bars arranged along the Circle of Fifths, e.g. Bb, F, C, G, D, A. Both the Concertina and the Autoharp were invented to make musical arrangements of simple music instinctive, and their basis in the Circle of Fifths is a major part of that. Sort of built-in music theory for the amateur. Having said that, I must add that, on the Bandoneon, I usually play the psalm-tune Crimond on the A-row, modulating to the E-row (like I do on the C and G-rows of my Anglo). However, I can also play the tune - fully harmonised - on the Bandoneon's G-row, modulating to the A-row. So the rows that are a whole tone apart do have their uses! Cheers, John
  3. I'm another multi-instrumentalist, and apart from the concertina, I also play stringed instruments. I feel comfortable with 5-string banjo and Autoharp, both solo and as accompaniment to my own singing, and can work up decent accompaniments on Waldzither and guitar. Each of these sounds different from the others, and offers different capabilities for arrangements. Also, some things are easy on one instrument, but more difficult on another. So yes, I need them all!! Switching from one instrument to the other - even during a gig - is no great problem, because they are so different in shape, size and weight. When I take up one of therm, my brain recognises it immediately, and loads the appropriate routine in my "music processor." My Anglo is part of the mix. I use it for solos, accompaniments and ensemble work. Needless to say, my brain never confuses it with any of the other instruments. Once, when comparing my instruments, I realised that my anglo was the only "diatonic" in the bunch. Its C and G rows were super for solos or accompaniments in those keys, and for accompaniments in D and F. But the Autoharp had six keys available, and with a capo, the fretted instruments could be played easily in otherwise awkward keys. So I read up about the duets, and decided that the Crane was the one for me. Completely chromatic, like a piano, so capable of accompanying any tune, whether sung by a bass, a tenor or a soprano. So I bought one. It was fun! Squeezing bellows and pressing buttons was familiar to me, and I even found out that the layout could be regarded like a conjunction of banjo and mandolin: easy chords on the left, clear scales on the right. I found out that some - very few - techniques were easier than on the Anglo; however, a few techniques were still easier on the Anglo. And after a while I realised that - because I was playing to accompany my singing - I was playing the Crane in the Anglo's easy keys of C, G and F! So the Crane is now in "retirement," and I've upgraded my Anglo, so it's really good when I need that free-reed sound! Under other circumstaces, I might have ditched the Anglo, but as it is, the added value of the duet was not sufficient to justify the effort of mastering it at the expense of my Anglo progress. Your mileage may vary! Cheers, John
  4. Delightful! Shows that the EC can swing, if it's in the right hands!
  5. That's why I've always believed the hand-straps or lack of them to be the difference between Anglo and EC, with respect to emphasis. Besides the Anglo I occasionally play a Duet (Crane/Triumph system). Its handstraps give me the same degree of control as the Anglo's. Cheers, John
  6. Yes, this was true of my primary school in the Highlands back in the 1950s. The only dance I can remember is "Strip the Willow," but some of my classmates were into country dancing in a big way, and one of them even devised a dance in honour of our former teacher when we had a class reunion 40 years after. Cheers, John
  7. We banjoists use letters to designate the (right-hand) fingers to be used. OK, we only need three: T, I and M for thumb, index and middle. But you could add R for ring and P for pinkie. Of course, the T would be redundant - unless you have a drone button on the left! I'd write the fingerings for the right hand above the score or tab I'm notating, and for the left hand below it, as is done with tablature. Cheers, John
  8. Interesting point! As a singer who has a whole collection of self-accompaniment instruments, I can see the sense in Kurt's statement. I personally use my ukulele only for song accompaniment, whereas I use my concertinas (chiefly Anglo and a bit of Crane) mainly for instrumental music, but also occasionally for song self-accompaniment. Having said that, if I had never had the chance to learn ukulele, banjo, guitar or Autoharp, I would probably be known as "the guy who sings to his Anglo." However, as it is, I select the accompaniment instrument for a given song on the basis of the character of the song, the complexity of the required accompaniment, the cultural background ("ethnic" instruments) or just pure whim. Cheerful, 3-chord songs on the ukulele. Songs requiring an interesting bass line, Spanish guitar. Sea songs, Anglo. Folk-songs, often 5-string banjo. Specifically German folk-songs, Waldzither. Gospel songs, Autoharp. Of course, most songs can be accompanied on at least two different instruments, so the allocation of song to instrument is not cast in concrete. I'm quite sure that you, @BobBobsta, will soon find yourself picking up either your uke or your Anglo, depending on the song requested! It's fun, and if you perform in public, swapping instruments makes for more variety. So keep your ukulele! Cheers, John
  9. Reminds me of how Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744) defined poetry: "What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expresst."
  10. Also common on the hexagonal concertinas from the former East Germany, on which the Italian units are modelled Cheers, John
  11. Thanks, whoever it was who sent it - we had a thunderstorm last night, which replenished our almost empty rain-barrels. My sympathy to those affected by flooding. It's all so unevenly distributed these days! Cheers, John
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