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About Anglo-Irishman

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer
  • 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. Anglo-Irishman

    Anglo-German, but different

    Update: No, the seller is not willing to provide internal photos "at this point in time, after so many bids." If the photos showed what I would expect them to show, he'd have a high bidder - but as it is, it's a pig in a poke. Pity! Cheers, John
  2. Anglo-Irishman

    Anglo-German, but different

    That would be my guess, too. The button arrangement is not consistent with other German concertinas (e.g. Carlsfelder or Chemnitzer), and certainly not with an Anglo. I've asked the seller if he has photos of the inside, with reeds and action. Let's wait and see! Cheers, John
  3. What do you folks think of this eBay item? The visible hardware - air lever and air grille - are definitely German. In fact the grille looks identical to the one on my small, single-voiced Bandoneon dating from around 1900. The button arrangement also looks very similar (though not identical) to my Bandoneon's; however the hexagonal shape and the foliate fretwork look more English. I'd love to see a pic of the innards of it. The positioning of the fretwork makes me think of the German-style, parallel lever arrangement. I would assume it has traditional German reeds mounted 10 to a plate, but it would be nice to know whether they're mounted on the back of the action-board or in reed-banks, and whether they're single- or double-voiced. I don't know if you'd call it pretty - but it certainls looks interesting! Cheers, John
  4. Anglo-Irishman

    Alawon Cymreig / Welsh Tunes

    Three Welsh tunes that I've found work extremely well on the 30-b Anglo, and which I play as a medley in C, Am and C are The Ash Grove, David of the White Rock and All Through the Night (I'm afraid I only have the English titles, but on the other hand I don't sing them, just play them). The tunes in C are heavily harmonised, that in Am is melodic, with a lot of expression. A couple of other tunes that harmonise well on the Anglo (in C on the C/G) are Men of Harlech and Cwm Rhondda (including the obligatory tenor flourish over the held note in the penultimate line of the verse). Hope this helops, Cheers, John
  5. Anglo-Irishman

    Starting again

    Hi, @frogspawn, You mention playing the mandolin. I, too, am a mandolin player - the mandolin was my first instrument as a child, because my father played one (a beautiful Neapolitan Stridente). My second serious instrument was the 5-string banjo, which I started at about age 10. My first concertina was an Anglo, and I stayed with this system for decades. When I fairly recently, in the Internet Age, got the urge to play a Duet concertina, I looked around for the available systems, and settled on the Crane - like you. For me, the left hand of the Crane can be played very much like a banjo - chords in different inversions, played wholly or in part, as block chords or arpeggios, and with varied rhythmic treatment. The Crane right hand is like a mandolin - the scale goes up a row until you run out of fingers, then continues on the next row, and accidentals are played by pressing the button adjacent to the natural note, as in fretting a mandolin. So when I'm singing to the Crane, I pretend my left hand is a banjoist and my right hand a mandolinist, and take it from there. The "banjoist" (LH) takes care of the accompaniment throughout, and the "mandolinist" (RH) plays the intros, outros and melodic bridges, and either "sits out" the vocal verses, or plays or augments high chords, or plays rudimentary harmony lines. In my self-taught approach to the Crane, I emphasise learning chord shapes on the left (like on the banjo) and scales on the right (like on the mandolin). Works for me! Cheers, John.
  6. Anglo-Irishman

    Garys new (?) Wolverton: a comment

    Well, I've played the Italian Stagi Anglo that I learned on for over 20 years now. The bellows did fall apart (my fault, for using leather balsam to "supple them up" ), but a new bellows from Concertina Connection (then still in the Netherlands), combined with a bit of tinkering early on to get rid of a few mechanical "teething problems," left me with an instrument that was quite adequate for band work. In fact, when I did get a traditional-reeded Lachenal Crane, and took it along to band practice, my bandmates immediately told me to keep to my "old" one - it blended better with the band sound (of fiddle, guitars and bass). I have now progressed to the point where I can play quite nice Anglo solos (mainly folk-song arrangements), and I must admit that these come out better on my present Anglo, a traditional-reeded Dallas-Crabb. OTOH my only video soundtrack hitherto was a field recording made by a professional cameraman when I was on holiday with my old Stagi. And through the loudspeakers, it sounds very nice. So I'm with those in this thread who believe that you can only tell the difference between two concertinas or concertina types when you hear them live, not as recordings. to a certain extent, a good sound-man can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! Cheers, John
  7. Anglo-Irishman

    Getting a grip

    I totally agree with @W3DWand @Little John. It's amatter of support, which the beginner feels he/she needs versus freedom of movement, which the advanced player needs. As a beginner, I played slowly on one row at a time, so tight straps didn't hinder me. But as I learnt to move between the rows, and press buttons out near the periphery, I realised that a certain degree of hand movement was essential, and loosened my straps. The necessary contact with the instrument that allows you to change bellows direction without "slop" is attained by arching the hand, as described above. This gives you good control, but also allows you to momentarily relieve the tension to move a pinkie to an outlying button. At one point, I did try raising the handrests on my Anglo and Duet (in a temporary and reversible manner) and making the straps a bit tighter, but being tied down a bit farther from the buttons wasn't as good (for me, at least) as being closer and free to move about. Cheers, John
  8. Anglo-Irishman

    how do i make a song playable on concertina?

    Hi, @accordian, I think perhaps a bit of theory might help you after all! But I would steer clear of classical, chromatic, academic theory and familiarise myself with the simple, diatonic, eminently practical theory that folkies use. You'll notice that, when it comes to accompanying folk songs, the chords do matter a lot! And you'll notice that a melody that uses only the notes cdefgab just might be C major, but it might also be A minor or D dorian mode, or perhaps G mixolydian mode. Which of those it is, depends on which note - C, A, D or G - the melody "comes home" to, and depending on that, the chords you need will be different. The chord chart that @John, Wexford linked to is useful, and you'll soon find out which chords you need for which "home note" and which mode. For a start, you can use the guitar chords that are printed over the stave in most modern song-books, and each tune you learn will make the next one easier, because you'll develop a feeling for when the chord changes come - and there's only a limited choice of appropriate chords for each key and/or mode. Have fun! Cheers, John.
  9. Anglo-Irishman

    What system is this? (Lachenal on ebay)

    I was wondering, too ... I bet somebody here knows the answer!
  10. Anglo-Irishman

    More Renaissance Polyphony on Anglo concertina

    Well done! If - as some maintain - the Anglo ever had limitations, you and the Dippers have overcome them impressively! Cheers, John
  11. Anglo-Irishman

    miniature figures playing concertina or accordion

    Here's my miniature figure - a concertina-playing cherub. I got it at Christmas, and couldn't bring myself to eat it until its "best before" date was passsed. Cheers, John
  12. Anglo-Irishman

    Concertina Connection Busker players

    This does, in fact, sound very similar to the procedure for reassembling the ends on a Stagi! Cheers, John
  13. Anglo-Irishman

    Concertinas and Climate Change

    Interesting question, Robert! In general, I believe that we must bear in mind that the phenomena of human culture are at least as strongly influenced by the climate of the region as by ethnology, religion or politics. People living in a hot, dry climate have a different culture from those in a cool, moist climate. Most obvious is the difference in clothing and housing, but diet is also influenced. In the case of musical instruments, the different vegetation in different climatic zones plays a role: for instance, European stringed instruments make use of spruce as a tone wood, because it's common in temperate regions, but African instruments tend to use skins as resonators, because suitable softwoods do not grow in the tropics. With our concertinas, the climatically conditioned aspect is the very fine tolerances in metalworking. These can most readily be achieved in an environment that knows neither intense cold nor intense heat - for instance, a maritime, temperate climate as in the British Isles. And the more or less stable humidity of a maritime climate is also favourable for wooden components that have to be dimensionally stable because of the associated close-tolerance metalwork. So it is, perhaps, no wonder that North American concertinists have to take special steps to protect their "foreign" instrument from the local climate. It's analogous to me, as a fair-skinned Irishman, wearing long sleeves and long trousers in the present hot spell in the south of Germany, where everyone else is running around in shorts and tee-shirts! Cheers, John
  14. Anglo-Irishman

    Keeping instrument dry in rain

    The concertina, that most English of instruments ... I'm just back from a fortnight's holiday in England. At the Sherwood Forest Visitors' Centre (while waiting for my granddaughter to try out all the apparatus on the playground) I had the opportunity to watch that most English of games, a cricket match, on the neighbouring playing-field. And, of course, the inevitable happened - it started to rain! Cricketers know what to do in that situation: they walked off the field for an early tea, while the groundsman and his staff shoved the covers over the pitch. Half-an-hour later, as we were heading for the car-park, the match had restarted. Just saying ... Cheers, John
  15. Anglo-Irishman


    A bayan playing friend of mine - a man of impeccable musical taste, great virtuosity and showmanship - once pointed out that playing too fast in a performance situation is a sign of nerves, stage fright and uncertainty. One tends, especially as a beginner, to play as fast as one can, in order to get the "ordeal" over as quickly as possible. And, of course, the exaggerated tempo leads to mistakes, so it's counter-productive. A tasteful, musicianly tempo comes with practice. Cheers, John