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Posts posted by CrP

  1.      Having no use for squeekers or whistles, I had someone re-purpose the 2 additional LH side buttons on a couple of 34-button C/G Jones instruments. The re-working isn't cheap, nor something I'd ever attempt to do myself, since takes some very fine woodworking, re-carving of the centre hole thro' which air flows. Result: the very useful additional 4 notes gained thereby makes a huge difference to playing and the tunes I tackle -- easy playing in keys of F, D minor, G minor.

         My approach was to put squeeze Bb/pull E on one, and squeeze F#/pull C# on t'other.

    What I gain thereby (on squeeze) is a really nice Gminor ; C7 and a C# + F# combination that allows for nice pairing of 3rds up & down a D scale. If you want, I can send you a note schematic/layout.

  2. In case you might be wanting to compile your own collection of French songs, allow me to point you towards these sources:

    1) "Les Fraises et les Framboises" which has a good, rousing chorus. Words my offend some folk, since they include euphemisms for sexual activity. Still, it's fun to play. Transpose to C for your 20-button instrument: http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/Contra/NEFRT/0038

    2) "Ah! Si mon Moine Voulait Danser" notes in several keys (C, G, F): https://www.google.com/search?lr=&as_qdr=all&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=notes+ABC+OR+score+"Si+mon+moine+voulait+danser"&safe=images&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiRmbq2--rxAhWWbc0KHTyjDvEQjJkEegQIGhAC&biw=1286&bih=664#imgrc=WjTthkTy7_8dvM

    The following book has words & notes for "Ah! Si mon moine..." pp.82-83.

    3) If it's still in print or available as a used book (it's small, pocket-size, spiral binding) this is a really nice collection -- "Les 10 Plus Belles Chansons" pub., 1956 by Entreprises Culturelles, Inc., 399, rue des Conseilleurs, porte 17, La Prairies [Québec] J5R 4H6   ISBN-2-7614-0061-5 or perhaps ISBN-13: 9782761400619

    Available in Europe : https://www.abebooks.fr/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=22876375904&searchurl=sortby%3D20%26tn%3D100%2Bbelle%2Bchansons&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-image3

    and in N. America [specifically, Gene the book peddler in Winchester NH], sold thro' ALibris (different ISBN, i.e., ISBN-13: 9782761400619) for $30: https://www.alibris.com/musicsearch?mtype=M&keyword=ISBN-2-7614-0061-5&hs.x=41&hs.y=21

  3. Here's my take on the issues related to button shape, amonst other factors. Briefly put, I've had several Jones concertinas with flat-headed metal buttons  [more on that in a moment]; a bone-buttoned Lachenal that was lovely and easy to play; and still own a fabulous 44-button metal-buttoned Jeffries.

    Jones: I had Greg J replace all the 34 metal buttons with bone on each of my (at last count 5) Jones anglo instruments that I still own or have owned and sold. In addition I have 2 26-button Jones anglo concertinas with the larger-diameter (7 mm, bone) buttons.  I found that the buttons' hard metal edge was irritating my fingertips, making them slightly sore after only 10-15 minutes of playing. In comparing button feel on extremely similar instruments, then, I found the bone buttons were less annoying than the metal. The bone buttons are of 3 types :

    1) larger, slightly convex [dome-shaped] 7 millimetre diameter

    2) medium, slightly convex [dome-shaped] 6 millimetre diameter

    3) small, nearly flat 5 millimetre diameter, obviously recycled from an English-type instrument, since most have a letter incised on the top of the button.

         Now, here come some complicating considerations:

    Spring tension + button height (action, one might call it) seem to play an important role in the way that button-fingertip interface affects comfort. Namely, the flatter, smaller-diameter buttons combined with the higher spring tension (resistance) seem more annoying than do the larger-diameter more-convex buttons with lighter spring tension. That's a big generalisation, admittedly.

         Here's yet one additional observation, based on playing my metal-buttoned Jeffries anglo with tiny buttons (4 mm diameter, slightly convex metal) -- I can play it for long periods of time without complaint from fingers, mainly because IMHO it has such light spring tension (low resistance to push), it's super airtight, and responds really quickly. In other words, I find it rewards minimal physical effort more than it does maximal physical effort. Sure, yopu can push it hard and get great volume, but there seems no need to do that. Can you say the same of your instrument?

         Conclusions: Get your instrument(s) set up to find the best balance of button shape (probably favouring slightly convex); material type (I'd choose bone over metal); spring tension (maybe the most important criterion) -- as light as possible; and button height + diameter.

         Hard for me to comment on is (are) variables such as these:

    Playing style, e.g., do your fingertips descend vertically onto the buttons? Do you catch the tops foursquare or at an angle, from one side or another? Are you a "pedal-to-the-floor"/"push 'em till they bottom out" player or do you play with relaxed, just-barely-enough force (very "light" touch) to open a pad allowing air onto a reed? Are you playing lots of multi-note/multi-button chords or more single-note-at-a-time melodies? Figure in some contributing effect from height of handrests and looseness of hand straps, which can make for more or less tension in hands & fingers.


  4. I think I spy a 4th concertina --  also a  miniature -- on the table (shelf?), in front of large accordion at knee level of Ms Rita Delroy, right next to the octagonal metal-ended English concertina

  5. Label replacement -- I've done it on several of mine. There's a local engraving shop that does trophies, sports medals and the like. I give them dimensions, I give them a pdf of the piece, having decided on typeface and correct serial number, send it to them and for about $25, they make me a brass-coloured plate [plaque, if you will] that is easy to glue onto the fretwork. Looks nice. I can send small schematic with dimensions to anyone who wants [haven't yet succeeded in attaching a photo to a message for Cnet] Send me a pm.

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  6. Allow me to repeat and reinforce Dana Johnson's suggestion "Doing a few opposite twist stretches after playing should help keep your muscles balanced.  Stay aware of your body. " 

    As I deal with arthritis and other such aging problems, I've found that

    *body awareness

    *constructively dealing with muscle tensions [call it conscious relaxation] have proven very helpful to making music. This applies to many instruments where repetitive small motions can lead to tension in places to which one doesn't/isn't (but should be) paying attention.

    So, go into playing and practising already having focussed on finding the least-stressful position, least stressful for everything (back, arms, wrists, etc.)

    Stop every few minutes to shake things out and re-assess: Where is the strain? where am I putting tension? What tends to be sore after palying [whether a few mins. or hours afterwards]?


    BTW, do take a look thro' the Forum called << Ergonomics >>  Many other players give lots of thought to this topic.

  7. Thank you for your work and dedication in pulling together this home-made ode  to music-making -- I really appreciated seeing the great variety of skill levels and musical approaches evident in all these players. It does my heart good to know that amateur music-making is alive, thriving, and full of originality. Long may it continue!

  8. I came across an unidentified 6-fold bellows, metal-ended anglo for sale by Bolton Auction Rooms, Greater Manchester, UK -- Lot #116,.There's no info about the instrument, no maker's name [wooden case included]. From what little I can see, the staining of the wood around the handles, the wear on the bellows, the look of well-worn leather, this instrument has been played a great deal. I'm curious to know what becomes of it. Auction date is August 10. Worth a look: https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bolton-auction-rooms/catalogue-id-srbolt10428/lot-8977bc7e-aa50-4d46-b410-abfb00e66597



  9. By way of a notice, not a recommendation (since I lack any first-hand knowledge of the instrument) --  the Skinner Auction house in Boston, Mass has a bone-button anglo for sale, labelled " Lachenal & Co., London, c. 1910, serial no. 130621" The only photo I could see showed 16 buttons + air button on the RH side. Might be worth looking into:


  10. Thank you for finding this and bringing it to our attention. Having watched the video & explanation all the way thro',  I think know the difference between a "bayan" and  "garmoshka" and a "Cherepashka."

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