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Bill N

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About Bill N

  • Birthday 01/10/1959

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    Hamilton, Canada

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  1. I tried to find some examples in my CD collection, but so far no luck. The fellow who I knew did it for sure is Frank Maher from St. John's. He mostly played a Hohner 4 Stop in D. He plays a set of tunes for the dance "Running the Goat" in D,G,D on the D row, but there isn't really a "missing note" in the middle tune. I think by the time people were recording they could get their hands on the "proper box" and play the tune "correctly". In the old days you often had a single musician in an outport community, so they just played what they wanted. They didn't read music, so even the concept of a key was foreign to them.
  2. Not on 20 button concertina, but perhaps relevant: I was taking some lessons on 10 button "cordeen" (a one row melodeon) from a Newfoundland player. Part of the tradition there is to play for the dancers in multiple keys on a single row instrument by what he called "faking it". Sometimes you drop the unavailable note, sometimes you play another that works almost as well or double the note before or after, sometimes a right hand chord or an ornament is used. The main thing is to keep the rhythm going. According to him, the dancers don't care!
  3. Ha! I stand corrected. The "birds and planet" badges on each brand are so similar I was fooled. The metal ends on the Araido are pretty cool. How do the two brands compare quality wise Stephen?
  4. It's a "Scholer" brand concertina, made in East Germany. If you do a search of the forum you'll find lots of threads about them. I can't remember the exact dates, but they were in business from the 1940s until shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I've seen lots of Scholers, but never one with pierced metal ends like this. It also looks to be in remarkable condition. They don't have a great monetary value, but can be a lot of fun to play.
  5. The "white leather things" in your photo are valves. "Pads" are the discs on the end of each lever that lift off the corresponding air hole when you push a button. There are a lot of parts inside a concertina 😄!
  6. I think I confused you even further! The point I was making is that your Hohner is an English Concertina with the standard English concertina layout. People don't refer to an English concertina as having a Wheatstone layout. Your Tedrow concertina is an Anglo (a contraction of the original name " Anglo-German") Anglos come in both Jeffries and Wheatstone layouts. The majority of the buttons are the same in both layouts, but there are 2 or 3 differences in the third row, which contains extra sharps and flats and some duplicates and reversals of buttons found in the main rows.
  7. Just to confuse the issue further 😎: You referred to your Hohner as an "English Wheatstone layout", and your Tedrow as a "Jeffries layout". While it is true that Wheatstone pioneered the English concertina (i.e. the kind with the same note push and pull and thumb loops), they also made Anglo and Duet concertinas. The terms "Wheatstone layout" and "Jeffries layout" both apply to the Anglo concertina (different note push and pull and handstraps -like your Tedrow). Wheatstone and Jeffries were early competitors in the manufacture of concertinas, and each used a slightly different arrangement of notes in their third row of "extra" buttons on their 30 button Anglo concertinas. Those two variations have become more or less the standard for the Anglo. Some people can go back and forth between the two layouts with no problem. I can't, so always have to ask "Is it Wheatstone or Jeffries?"
  8. If the leather is still reasonably supple I've had some success with dragging my fingernail or a small slot-head screw driver blade down the centre of the valve from the glue spot to the tip a few times. I support the underside by sliding a thin shim (usually a single edged razor blade) under the valve, so that I'm not pushing it into the slot.
  9. The way the reeds are mounted flat, rather than vertically on blocks like in a modern day Stagi and every Italian and Chinese instrument that I have seen, confirms that it is definitely a Bastari. A similar one (although an Anglo) is pictured here: https://www.concertina.net/kc_bastari.html
  10. I don't know how common they are, but I had a c.1960s Italian 30 button Anglo pass through my hands that came in an identical case. Whether the case originally came with the concertina I do not know, but it was a good fit, so possibly.
  11. It with all due respect to the folks who have recently taken over Stagi, I doubt that this is a Chinese fake. It has some age to it, and even from your photos of the instrument and the case it is obvious that it is higher quality than that. If you were to open it up and post pictures of the interior, that would remove all doubt. Bob Tedrow has seen a lot of these old Italian concertinas- I would trust his opinion.
  12. Mine is my first concertina- a square, 26 button Henry Harley that I inherited from my Grandfather. It originally belonged to my Great-great Grandfather c. 1875, a mill worker in West Yorkshire, and was brought to Canada by my Great Grandfather when he homesteaded in Saskatchewan in the early 20th century. It would probably better be called a German-Anglo than an Anglo-German. It was an attempt to fill a spot in the market between cheap German and expensive English made instruments. I play it for song accompaniment sometimes- the Broad Steel Reeds have a lovely warm sound.
  13. I believe from previous posts that you play Anglo, so: Yes, those can both work. You can also alternate fingers as you tap the notes. Or sometimes the note is available in several places and you can alternate buttons. It all depends on the tune, the note, where you want your fingers to be before and after those repeated notes, where your bellows are, and how you want the tune to sound. So many choices- the glory and torment of the Anglo Concertina!
  14. Sorry, I was thinking of the wrong thread. Try searching for "Reversible Air Lever idea" in the Instrument Construction and Repair forum. I'd link to it, but haven't figured out how🙂
  15. This same issue was discussed about a month ago under the topic "the anglo and arthritis" in the General Concertina Discussion forum (and at least once before that). There were some ideas for making a lever to extend the reach of your thumb.
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