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Don Taylor

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  1. I just spent a few hours watching Youtube videos on working with waxed-in accordion reeds. Unless you have an adjustable temperature soldering iron then be careful using a regular soldering iron as they run pretty hot. In which case you may find that smooshing the wax down and then holding the iron close to, but not actually touching, the wax will do the job without smoking the wax. I now realize how the BB gets such a smooth finish to their wax - I think that they use a pot to heat and melt new wax then use a 'wax spoon' to pour liquid wax around the reed plates. This post on Melnet is worth reading.
  2. If you mean reed wax on the reed tongues then sure, if it is just on the plate then I doubt that matters. The Ceili does not have reed blocks in the accordion sense, the reeds are waxed onto the underside of the action board: You are only able to access one side of the pair of reeds in each plate. Have you tried removing the reed so that you can get at the underside reed tongue? Actually, I need to do this on my Beaumont to fine tune one or two reeds but I have been a bit hesitant to do this as the the wax work on Morse concertinas looks so perfect and my attempts at rewaxing look pretty crude. I have a red Chinese 20B that I bought to use the bellows for a tuning table and I have been experimenting with removing the waxed in reeds on that. I remove them by running an Exacto knife around the plate and then gently leavering it out. Not too tricky. After I put it back by simply pressing it home then I find that I can test the result without having to melt the wax back into place. Once I am happy with the result then I use a soldering iron to melt and reflow the wax. Easy to do, but the results looks a bit crude. There has not been much discussion here about working on accordion reeded concertinas and I would really like to hear from folks who know what they are doing for these types of concertinas.
  3. Hi Nabio Just a thought after I have just gone around our house filling the humidifiers with water, but how is the humidity in your place? Here in Canada and the North-East the air is 'dry as a dead dingo's donger' as our antipodean friends say, and this can cause all sorts of changes in wood. Not too good for humans either.
  4. The buzzing might be the leaver arm vibrating against the bare inside of the button hole, where you might be missing a bit of felt? I don't think that the felt can be glued inside the hole in the button, there is no glue that will stick to Delrin. Can you replace the felt?
  5. This is terrible news! No more Morse concertinas? They already say that they are not taking orders for Beaumonts, ESBs and Geordies.
  6. A few questions: Will the concert be accesible to non-ICA members? How long will it last? What time of day (GMT) will it be broadcast? Will it be available for viewing after the event, maybe on Youtube? I ask because I have a few non-concertina playing friends that I might recommend watch this, but I have not been able to figure out the how and when of this concert.
  7. Is it conceivable to create a local resource that served audio from a synthersizer like FluidSynth playing a concertina sound font?
  8. Try site:concertina.net George Case in a Google search.
  9. I am not sure that you can use a sound font in a webapp, you would need something like fluidsynth to host the sound font file. I would like to be proved wrong about this!
  10. Luke: What tool are you using to write your app? A couple more suggestions for you to consider: 1. A dialog box that allows the user to enter a chord by name, or select it in some way which results in all of the notes of that chord being being highlighted on both the keyboard and the Anglo. 2. A way to select a key and then a note in that key, your program would show all the possible common chords that harmonize with that note. You would probably need to provide a way to cycle through the chords one at a time.
  11. Perhaps it has Mylar valves on its accordion reeds? If so, then maybe these valves do not bend to gravity in the same way that leather concertina reeds do.
  12. Maybe you have one of these early Bastaris re-badged by Hohner. https://www.concertina.net/kc_bastari.html
  13. I got this in an email from Rob Harbron: I've got a couple of online concertina workshops coming up. On Jan 22nd I'll be covering bellows, phrasing, articulation and tone; and on Jan 29th I'll be diving into harmony and chords. Both workshops will take place on Zoom - they'll last for a couple of hours and afterwards I'll send a link out so you can access them indefinitely. Full info on my teaching page These are Zoom workshops that take place at 10:30 am GST, but you can access the videos indefinitely afterwards. I watched his earlier workshop on "Turning a Tune into an Arrangement" and really got a lot out of it. Although Rob plays EC, I felt his arrangement video was quite applicable to other systems.
  14. I really thought that the OP was asking about pickups or transducers for a Hurdy-Gurdy! Completely off piste I know, but I was listening to an old interview with Dave Swarbrick about his Fairport Convention days. He was asked how he managed to have an electric fiddle/violin before they were available. He said that they smashed an old telephone handset and glued the microphone onto his fiddle. All of the early recordings and performances were made with that device.
  15. Are you sure that you are in the right room? AFAIK, concertinas use neither.
  16. Lovely playing. I also like the way that you have notated both parts on the stave and not just the melody line. I play duet and I have to reverse engineer Gary's tabs for the LHS into standard music notation.
  17. Looking at the Crane and 5CC layouts in the first post of this thread: https://www.concertina.net/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=17290 this seems to clarify something that has puzzled me about the Crane layout. I have a Crane and I tried to think about scales as moving from left to right as they do on a Hayden and on a piano. So I think of C to D as one step across to the right, then E as the only note in the next row up, then up another row to give me F to G, and so on. But looking at the 5CC layout is seems clear to me now that scales move up from right to left: C to D to E, up a row, F to G to A, up a row, B to C to D and so on. On a Crane, the lowest C is on its own is the last note of a row in an upward scale. So, C, up a row, D to E to F, up a row, G to A to B, and so on. The chevron pattern makes this a bit misleading whereas the parallelogram pattern on the 5CC makes this clear. How do Crane players think about the movement of notes in a scale?
  18. Another approach that, I think, requires less thinking about is chord-based harmony. If you have (or can work out) the chords that go with the melody then try playing one, or more, of the notes in that chord while playing the melody note. Try sustaining one, or more of the chord notes over a few melody notes. Try the same chord note in different octaves or try sound two of the same chord note in different octaves. There is much more that can be done, but this is enough to begin playing harmonically. Practice playing the whole chords for a while before trying to fit some chord notes to the melody. As a self-taught very late to the game musical learner, I find that I have to do this one measure at a time, slowly and thoughtfully until I am happy with the sound. Then I need to write it down (I use Musescore) before moving on. The next measure often causes me to re-consider the previous measure if I cannot find a comfortable way to finger the transition from one measure to another. I also find that I need to be able to first play the melody on 'auto-pilot' before trying to fit the chord notes - my brain and my fingers cannot learn both sides simultaniously. Chord shapes are easy and consistent on an EC, but the need to alternate between sides for the melody notes does make finding playable chord notes challenging. You will notice that, in your video, there are two ECs in play, one is playing the melody and the other playing the harmony. If you are accompanying a singer then you generally only need to play harmony and the EC does that very well. Here are some EC chord charts: http://www.concertina.net/images/wm_english_chords_left.jpg and http://www.concertina.net/images/wm_english_chords_right.jpg I started on an EC but find that I can make more progress with playing in the 'harmonic style' on a duet. The Hayden and Crane duets in particular have regular, easy to remember shapes on the LHS, the Maccan and Jeffries have more 'interesting' layouts.
  19. My experience, such as it is, is that new bellows are stiff and hard to play because they are new. Old bellows that have been played a lot are pliable and easy to play. Bellows are made out of many small pieces of leather glued together with hide glue - it is mostly the glue that makes new bellows stiff, but over time the large, stiff patches of glue fracture into tiny fragments that still hold the leather together but that bend easily when playing. So, either get squeezin' or buy a vintage instrument. Even the non-leather bellows on low-end instruments like the Rochelle improve over time with playing. I suspect it is the same reason - the glues need breaking in.
  20. Interesting. I have a Morse Beaumont with standard reeds. The low note reeds respond quickly enough but they are loud and I was wandering about resetting the reeds lower to try to quieten them, but have not done so for fear of them losing their responsiveness.
  21. Obviously DT is run by a bunch of piano accordionists.
  22. I once had a nice Lacenal Crane that originally came with decorative papers. At sometime it its lifetime somebody (I assumed a Salvationist) tried to blacken the papers with shoe polish, the result was not that good, but I suppose he was trying to make God happy. It was the devil's (sic) own job to get those heavily waxed papers off to put on some nice new ones from Dave Elliott. If you must use shoe polish then keep it off the papers.
  23. Be warned that 'tinkering' can lead to 'fettling' and then on to 'making'...
  24. From the Introduction: Best Practice is written for non-professional, adult musicians, of any experience level, who play traditional music. The term traditional music can refer to regional musical styles from any part of the world. A defining characteristic of these styles is that they have historically been learned and transmitted person-to-person, by ear, rather than through written music. The focus is often on playing for dancers or on playing together as social event in itself, rather than playing for paid audiences. Traditional musicians of many styles have started to refer to their music as “trad,” and that’s the term I use most often in this book.
  25. Have you tested your Phoenix for air-tightness? Hold it vertically through the hand strap of one end with the bellows closed. When you let the other end drop under its own weight (no buttons pressed) then it should take some time to fully extend - 20 seconds or more. More is better. If it drops open in a few seconds then it needs fixing.
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