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Posts posted by StuartEstell

  1. Thanks Steven, I really appreciate your interest and feedback.


    I think the greatest challenge even on a large anglo would be some of the clustery chords where multiple semitones are piled on top of each other. I played this on my Jeffries system duet, which is a 55-key with an overlap of a minor 7th from middle C to the Bb above.


    Please PM me your email address and I'll get the score to you.

  2. Quite so



    Very nicely done! I look forward to the D minor Chaconne ;)

    Thanks, Stuart. The D minor Chaconne will have to wait until I've managed to obtain an instrument with more than 30 buttons. Confined to 30 buttons, there are simply far too many instances where one runs into harmonizing notes that are only to be found in mutually exclusive bellows directions to the melodic notes, I'm afraid...



    Quite so -- I was just joshing. I suspect that the Chaconne might be a step too far even for a 40+ button anglo, especially in the furiously arpeggiated section just before it goes into the tonic major.


    But hearing how well your recording of the gigue works has given me food for thought regarding how well the Chaconne might sit on one of my duet boxes, as I used to play the Brahms arrangement for piano left hand. What could possibly go wrong? :lol:

  3. All, I have posted a recording of the premiere performance of a work composed especially for the 2015 Full of Noises festival of experimental music in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, hosted by the Octopus Collective.




    The unlikely combined starting points for "Billy Again" are Karlheinz Stockhausen's beautiful Tierkreis, and the Cotswold Morris dance tune Constant Billy.


    Like Tierkreis, Billy Again is in 12 movements, each centred around a different pitch of the chromatic scale. They may be played in any systematic order. This performance starts with the B flat movement and ascends chromatically by step to A.


    All melodic material is derived from different versions of Constant Billy.


    A studio recording and performing score will follow -- please do get in touch if you would like to see the dots. It's technically pretty straightforward and should also work on a large English.




    As a Winter Solstice tableau, this is your best one yet, Greg. And as a concertina array, it is luscious.


    What is the metal-ended concertina to the left of the huge metal-ended Maccann? Be still, my heart. . . . :rolleyes:


    Jeffries duet Ab core. Work in beginning stages of progress.

    In which case, be still _my_ beating heart! How many buttons is it Greg? Looks like a big 'un.

  5. I'm not too sure what's "organic " about concertinas, some leather in the bellows, some wooden bits but pretty much a product of the industrial revolution. For song accompaniment I would suggest that the english with its chromatic scale is more organic/industrial than an anglo. But then a duet(Hayden?) may offer expanded possibilities.


    Mmmm... I've toyed around with a Hayden. For instrumental piano type music...great, but for song accompaniment it can be a bit heavy. But not for all songs, some can be accompanied well with a duet. Generally I favor the english with its lighter feel and its versatility over the duet or anglo. Not quite high enough in G/C? Then go to A or D without having to worry about bellows direction on those accidentals.


    Steve, I think it's important to make distinctions between personal taste, what the majority of players do, and the potential capabilities of any particular instrument. The English only has a "lighter feel" these days, as you put it, because of the way it's generally used. In its heyday advanced players often played fistfuls of chords on it.


    Steve in Connecticut -- it sounds as though the anglo will be a good match, but I would still advise trying the other systems for comparison. I was convinced, when I started, that I wanted an English concertina, but when I got my hands on one it made no sense to me, whereas the anglo felt natural.

  6. My good lady and I have recorded an EP of local versions of carols - two are full band electric folk-rock arrangements, two are more traditionally acoustic. All feature Jeffries duet concertina, and the acoustic tracks also variously feature G/D anglo, my big Maccann duet, and a couple of melodeons!


    You can listen - and, if you like it, buy - here:



    Merry Christmas all! :)

  7. "Indie" was aroundin the mid-80s as a signifier of


    (a) music released on independent labels and

    (B) as "indiepop" -- independently-released slightly shambolic guitar-pop.


    The idea of "Indie" as a genre (as distinct from indiepop) came with the post-Oasis dadrock stuff in the mid-90s, Coldplay being the most obvious (and most upsetting) example. ;)

  8. This is an attempt to come up with an arrangement in the style of Philip Glass, inpired by his "Songs from Liquid Days" which I've performed on piano with a couple of singers over the years.


    "Elizabeth My Dear" was the Stone Roses' appropriation of the famous Scarborough Fair tune for their own nefarious purposes. Monarchists may find this upsetting. :o :)



  9. Of course I could really upset the esteemed members of this forum and suggest that that OP changes to Melodeon. I'll get my hat.....


    I don't get the impression that anyone's upset, merely in respectful disagreement (although as ever, tone is very difficult to judge on an internet forum) :)


    I'd assume myself the the OP did some research into the concertina systems and decided that English was the right one for them -- so suggesting a change of instrument at this stage might not be feasible or desirable. I'm sure they'll get along just fine.


    Anglos have their different advantages, as do Duets. The best type of concertina is the one that fits you.



    And there in a nutshell is the best advice regarding anyone's choice of concertina system.


    I don't play the English, as I find it totally counter-intuitive, but there is no objective reason for it to be more generally difficult to play chordal accompaniments on the English than on any of the others. The way the instrument is generally played -- as a single-line melody instrument -- certainly might influence how familiar players are with playing harmony, but I've experienced similar situations with e.g. classically-trained string players who have never really had to give much thought to harmony and chords.


    dmk56: I'd recommend having a good crack at theory, but perhaps not just yet. Music theory often looks much more complex than it actually is because of the dry way in which it's often presented -- but if, once you've mastered some basics of chordal playing, you can then get to grips with how it works, it will expand the potential of your playing enormously.

  11. I saw the title of this thread and was preparing to write a post on the Jeff duet -- something along the lines of "Logic? Bwhahahahahaha." Never mind. One of these days I will get round to writing a semi-serious article about why the Jeffries duet system layout is a work of (possibly accidental) evil genius.


    But: replacing my anglo-player's hat: in the Carroll layout is there therefore an Eb | Eb button next to it?


    My twopence-worth is that for harmonic playing on a 30 button instrument the Jeffries layout gives a bit more flexibility with the doubled C# and Eb and that nice top D on the pull in the top right corner (C/G). With 36 buttons and above it matters less as all sorts of other layout variations can creep in. As for logic, I suspect it's more a case of differently imperfect compromises with regard to the top row of "handy stuff" not on the two home rows...

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