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CrP

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About CrP

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    Male
  • Interests
    Anglo player of Scandinavian, French, Klezmer, E. European music. Also for past few decades a player of traditional acoustic E. European music on bagpipes, flutes, tamburica, amongst others--music of Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Macedonia.
  • Location
    Kensington MD

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  1. Here are some ideas about other musics that sound good, in my opinion, on anglo and for which a typical 30-button anglo in C/G is well suited. That's not necessarily to say that musicians within these traditions have made or are still making extensive use of anglo concertinas, just that there is some (or even a great deal of) evidence that concertinas have served those musics well in the past and may still serve: Swedish [lots of polska & other dance tunes] French dance music [concertinas seem to have been generally but not completely eclipsed by melodons & accordions] Russian [Russian music has a strong tradition of using English and anglo in the genre called "chastushki"] Czech & Slovak Klezmer dance tunes and lots of Yiddish songs (concertina as accompaniment or as melody lead) Sea shanties from many countries and, of course, South Africa's "boermusik" I suggest that you consult Dan Worrall's 2-volume masterpiece called "The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social History," Concertina Press, Fulshear, Texas 2009 ISBN 978-0-9825996-0-0 if you want to delve deeper into this.
  2. I'll weigh in cautiously about choosing trad. concertina-reeded instruments vs. accordion-type reed instruments in my capacity as the owner of several anglo Jnes instruments (both C/G and G/D). I agree with the often-expressed opinion that hybrid instruments that play well are going to be somewhat more afforable than the vintage concertina-reeded instruments -- as a general rule. However, the distinction for you that might make the most sense is the responsiveneass -- the quickness to speak on the part of reeds -- that is rather important to ITM. That speed of response allows for some very quick, brief grace note/ornamentation that is difficult to execute cleanly and precisely on an instrument with even slightly slower reed response. Here I can cite my own experience with my several JOnes instruments. Loving their tone, I use them back up for singing and as accompaniment to other instruments that can play lead. Fast response is not what I expect from my Jones reeds -- certainly nothing like the speed typical of a Lachenal or a Jeffries in the hands of a competent player of ITM. [BTW, I own both a gorgeous 44-button Jeffries and a 36-button Lachenal.] So, my point is this: play the instruments you might be tempted to buy before settling on a general type, e.g., accordion-reeded vs. concertina-reeded to see what suits your playing style and the genre you want to play. That's really the best and only way to decide. Button Box, IMHO, has the choice of enough instruments at any given time to allow you to compare several at one time side by side. I've been delighted with the work of Greg Jowaisas and with his willingness to let me try instruments he may have on hand whenever I've visited him, so there's another possibility.
  3. In case you're searching for other music by Tom Anderson, there's the Hardie Press which has published a great deal of his work. See: https://www.hardiepress.co.uk/ and https://www.worldcat.org/title/tom-anderson-collection/oclc/266803147
  4. Yes, I play a great deal of klezmer (and Yiddish & E. European) music on anglo. Without getting into a definition of klezmer [the best succint version of which I found in Mark Slobin's introduction to the book, American Klezmer, 2002, U of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22717-4], I can tell you that an anglo concertina can sound really good for this, IMHO. It works very well as accompaniment for singing. If you play with other musicians, then you can find a role for concertina that may vary from melody to chords to harmony, depending on the sound that the band is aiming at and you skill with the instrument. Here's the caveat: A great deal of the music that many klezmer musicians play winds up being in Dminor and Gminor, so a concertina player will need to be able to play in those keys and to find work-arounds for the chords that don't fall easily, e.g., Cminor, C7. I just came back from a practise and recall the frequency of this modulation: D major C minor, D major and then you'll need Eflat (major) sometimes for the G minor stuff -- that's hard to get in the right register on a C/G instrument. So, I am fortunate to have 2 concertinas that serve well -- one is a 44-key in Bflat/F, so its related minor keys are easy & handy -- Dm & Gm. I also have a modified 34-key Jones on which I had Greg Jowaisas substitue push Bflat/ pull E and C#/F# reeds for the "novelty noise" buttons [baby cry, etc.] so I can esily play G minor, C7 and some other combinations that you can't do or can't do easily on a standard C/G 3-key anglo.
  5. Allow me to add a summary of what I see happening in the Washington DC area, where FSGW [Folklore Society of Greaterr Wahsington] continues to find a huge range of folk musics & musicians to perform at the annual 2-day Washington Folk Festival [not to be confused with Smithsonian Folklife Fest], 1st weekend of June each year -- something that has been a big folk event for waaay over 30 years. For instance, there are ethnic groups as diverse as Scandinavian; Greek [Karpouzi trio], tamburica music from former Yugoslavia [Šarenica]; Hungarian táncház music [Tisza]; Macedonian [Luk na glavta]; Bulgarian [Lyuti Chushki]; French [a lot of really fine musicians playing Bal Folk], Moldavian Szikra; more klezmer bands than one can count and these are only the ones I personally know about. Since my introduction to the folk music revivial at Obelrin College in the early 60s, I've seen many changes to the music, to the level of musicanship [generally rising], and especially to integration of that music into people's lives outside of commercial venues. Money in folk music there isn't a lot of, nor venues where performers regularly appear -- but energy and lots of scholarship, reclaiming of ethnic heritage(s) -- those there certainly are. For those of us of the older folk revival generation, we're seeing a lot, I think, of interest in passing along the traditions to subsequent generations. Books to consult: Mirjana Laušević, "Balkan Fascination" Oxford U.P., 2007; Neil Rosenberg, "Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined" U of IL Press, 1993; Carol Silverman, "Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora" Oxford U.P., 2007 -- lots of the Romani music discussed is happening right there in NYC [Oxford has published several really interesting books in its "American Musicsphere" series about folk music. Enough from me.
  6. Lovely music-making; certainly made me want to dance because it moved well and had a good energy. Thanks a lot.
  7. Truly a splendid case worth treasuring! If it were mine, I'd feel torn beteween fixxing it for continued use as a protector and cleaning it up so as to render it as beautiful as before, possibly at a sacrifice of its more protective aspects. An alternative might be to find a case maker here in the USA who would duplicate it (or come very close) to achieve a brand-new protective AND beautiful item. I'd consider seeking a good leather-worker who might do custom work (I have suggestion). Also a fine cabinet maker, which reminds me that my cousin's husband is such a cabinet maker, who lives in upstate NY. May I ask him about this kind of thing, without mentioning your name or anything? Then, if it looks like a possibility, you could contact him to pursue it?
  8. Jim & Randy: In addition to your playing having a very clear sense of the proper "feel" (or maybe emotion?) to the melody, a nice sense of mood, it was almost perfectly danceable. That was a fine, melancholy waltz, if ever i heard one. More, more, please.
  9. A major consideration for me is the type of music I play, so ask yourself that question, namely, what type of music do you play (or want to play)?. Much of the klezmer music, which I'm playing a lot these days, involves D minor and G minor, so my Jeffries Bflat/F is my favored instrument. That said, I find D minor is also an easy key for my (male, low tenor, high baritone) voice, so C/G can easily cope with D minor and its associated chords -- F, Bflat, C(7) when it comes to accompanying singing. These chords + keys fall easily on a C/G; they fall more even more easily on a Bflat/F. instrument So one consideration I would offer is to consider what role you and your concertina want to play -- in a band, where you'll need an instrument that has tonal & volume power enough to compete with other instruments? Or one that works with your voice and its range when there's little or no other (additional) instrumentation. Is there/are there common keys that you keep thinking you can't easily play on your C/G? Hope this helps.
  10. Pretty good song salesmanship, altho' I daresay it's the piano accompaniment that really makes this one work. Can we say "only in America....?
  11. My preferred instruments are by Jones -- I have several concertinas from the house of Jones. They vary in responsiveness and it's difficult to generalise about, let's say, Jones reeds in contrast to reeds in Lachenals or Crabbs or Jeffries. My 26-button G/D Jones is one of the best concertinas I've ever played-- fast, strong, loud, even tone from bottom notes to the top -- it's a joy to play. I also have a 44b Jeffries --a really fine B♭/F, and a very good 36b Lachenal. So, my point is that over the course of years of manufacturing, who knows how many reed makers, reed tuners, parts suppliers might contribute to the instruments of any given maker. Generalisation based on a limited sample, from particular instances is a fraught activity. Manbe all your Jones needs is a visit to a good repair person.
  12. Thanks for the photos of reed pans and action. The longer I look and the more I compare those photos with the inner workings and other evidence of my Jones instruments, the more similarities I see. For instance, the posts on which the levers operate look identical to those on my Jones instruments. Similarly, the lettering/numbering styles of the numbers stamped into the wood look awfully similar. I grant that the makers and stampers of concertina parts may have obtained their tools from a very small number of manufacturers and nobody particularly cared what typeface was used for those stamps. However, my eye sees similarities between the shapes of the numbers and their placement on the outer edge(s) of the reed pans. So, circumstancial evidence like this tends to make me think the instrument was from G. Jones. My wooden-ended, 34-button anglo that is most like it bears the serial No. 17021. So, that's my small contribution to the mystery.
  13. As an owner of a couple of Jones instruments, I thought that the bellows papers in the photo were the same as those on one of my instruments. Beyond that particular clue, tho', I can't say I notice anything that looks especially "Jones-y."
  14. Several more by the same group -- "Naches" -- the note indicates the performance occurred in March 2008 "Doina & Skočna" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbZoETZrhp4 "Obodivker dance & Chasidic happy tune [meaning, most likely, a 'freylakh']" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdKmM58FR-EThe video for this one has problems but the sound is OK and "Fun der chupe" with a nice melody intro on English concertina before the band picks up the tempo. The bess player does a really nice solo shortly into the piece : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9oR97KIu04
  15. Nice little quartet, called "Naches, "with a lively rendering of a Bulgar on clarinet, bass, violin & English concertina (playing chords on the off-beats). I think the group is either Czech or Slovak. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCw7djJJbE
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