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About Anglo-Irishman

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    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 06/15/1946

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

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  1. Anglo-Irishman

    German EC

    Hi, rcr27 I've read the text of your eBay offer, and I have one or two comments to make on it. You seem to be underselling your concertina.😮 You write: I wouldn't even hint at an association with the notoriously unreliable modern Italian or Chinese boxes. FYI my old German Bandonion, which Harry Geuns has dated to the decades around 1900, is also in this old European 435 Hz pitch. "Early 20th Century" would be a better dating than "much older". This is also the case with my above-mentioned Bandoneon. And what do you mean by "foldable structure"? You could just say, "The reed pan and action board are one piece, as in a Bandoneon/German Concertina." Again, avoid association with "cheap Chinese"! Several reeds on one plate is the traditional configuration for German concertinas (including Bandoneons). However, Bandoneon reeds are set parallel to one another. What we have here is obviously an innovative, radial arrangement. This is common in English-built concertinas, with their individual reed shoes; the maker of this instrument probably devised the "multiple, radial reed plates" to facilitate the installation of the English-style levers. (German levers invariably run parallel from button to pad.) I'd love to hear it! I imagine it could be something like my small, single-voiced Bandoneon. Hope this helps, Cheers, John PS. Just found a source in the Internet, which shows a Micklitz (chromatic) Bandonoen dated 1922, with the remark that in the "year of manufacture", Micklitz sold his Altenburg Bandoneon factory and became a partner of Wilhelm König in Berlin. So your instrument would date to 1922 or earlier.
  2. Fascinating! Sort of like an Anglo-German in reverse - not German button arrangement with English reeds, but English button arrangement with German reeds! I wonder what it sounds like. I've never heard of the maker, but Google brought up this item on eBay Germany, which went for €156.- not long ago. Looks very similar to the one in question here. Apparently, judging from photos in the Internet, Micklitz made standard, rectangular German Konzertinas, but also some with unconventional button layouts. Cheers, John
  3. Absolutely! Read through carefully - it gives you all you neeed for improvising accompaniments. John
  4. Yes, indeed! Not only the human voice, but also each instrument has a range of pitches (bottom note to top note), and the voice or instrument is at is best in the middle of that range. On the other hand, each piece of music centres around the mid-range of the intended singer or instrument. A bass aria will have a different range from a soprano aria; a cello concerto a different range from a violin concerto. The traditional dance music of Ireland is essentially violin music, and is played in keys that put the tunes in the violin's mid-range. Other instruments with a similar range, like the flute and (modified) tenor banjo have cemented these keys in the tradition. And the Anglo tuning that realy can play the jigs and reels in their traditional keys in its mid-range, is the C/G tuning. Irish dance tunes tend to lie under the strong fingers of both hands in this tuning. Cheers, John
  5. Ron, Since you mention the Jew's harp, you might also mention the African kalimba, pointing out that these are plucked reeds, as opposed to the more familiar blown reeds. Nevertheless, they demonstrate that you need one reed (or tongue) for each pitch, although the timbre of a single reed can be influenced by the form of the resonance chamber. Another distinction comes to mind: the blown reeds can be either bellows-driven (concertinas, accordions, harmoniums, etc.) or mouth-blown (sho/scheng, harmonicas, Melodica, etc.) You might also want to point out the essential difference between a free reed and a beating reed (as found in woodwing instruments). I wish you much success with your talk. Cheers, John
  6. Bob, I find it easiest to bridge the gap between two sung verses of a song by simply playing the melody of the last line of the verse. The next step up would be playing the melody of the last line with the same harmonies as you used to accompany the singer's (fiddler's or fluter's) last line. This is what I often do when accompanying myself on the concertina or the 5-string banjo. On the guitar, at which I'm not as proficient, I usually play just the chord sequence that I used to accompany the last line of the verse, using the same rhythmic structure (picking patttern). You can, of course, do this on the concertina, too. When you've mastered that, you can try and be inventive and compose your own bridges - but be sure you don't put the soloists off by messing too much with the harmonic and rhythmic structure of the piece! Hope this helps, Cheers, John
  7. While I stand by my original statement that Cnet is good enough for me, I do see one advantage in a FB group: If some young concertina enthusist or concertina-inquisitive person lands on a concertina FB site, it would be helpful to them - and to us CNetters - if it contained a notice to the effect that many concertinists are older, conservative folks who don't frequent FB, and if you want a wealth of information from experienced players, makers, collectors, teachers and simply enthusiasts of the concertina, you should click on the link to CNet. Cheers, John
  8. Hi, I had a problem like that with my Crane, too. The fact that the "ghost" note occurs on the press but not on the draw would indicate that the pad is not seating properly. On the draw, the negative pressure inside the instrument sort of sucks the pad into the hole, but on the press the positive pressure lifts the pad enough for just a little air to escape. So replacing the spring, to pit more force against the internal pressure, was a logical thing to do. But since that didn't work, perhaps the problem lies in the pad having shifted from its original position, possibly through inadvertent bending or straightening of the lever. If this is so, the circular depression in the pad, which is caused by the edge of the hole, might be admitting air. Check that the impression on the pad matches the hole. Another possibility is interference from a neighbouring pad. My Crane has "only" 48 buttons, i.e. two less on the treble side than yours, but the pads are still pretty crowded round the perimeter. It could be that a slight change in the alignment of a lever has caused two pads to touch ever so slightly, so that the closing force of the spring is dissipated by the friction between them. Again, check the alignment of the levers. Hope this helps, Cheers, John
  9. Here you go: link It shows my friend and his charming wife at an organ festival. The two of them often sing to the accompaniment of their barrel-organ - the old, moralising and precautionary ballads that were working-class entertainment before the advent of radio. Interestingly, the monkey (bottom left of the video screen) is still part of the team, and still the one collecting the money. Nowadays there's a law against exploiting live animals, but the German organ grinders still typically have a soft-toy monkey on their organ. Cheers, John
  10. Yes, fascinating (raising one eyebrow), those Tanzbär concertinas! A friend of mine is an organ grinder. Now that he's retired, he does it full-time. And he has quite a collection of barrel organs and other mechanical instrumets. My particular favourite is an American "preacher's organ", which has free reeds instead of the usual pipes of a barrel organ. It does indeed sound more unctious than the usual German barrel organ - partly because the rolls are all of good, old Anglo-American hymn tunes! I appreciate his music, and he appreciates mine, but we've never really done anything musical together. Perhaps I could persuade him to add a Tanzbär to his collection, and offer to demonstrate it whenever he's doing an organ show. Cheers, John
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
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