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CrP

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  1. I've always thought that the concept of drone can include a repeated or held note above a melody, e.g., the 5th or the high tonic. As has been discussed, the most common drone, viz. organ, most bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, is the note played/held below a melody on the tonic in the mode or scale of the melody. Certainly there's a richness that comes from the drone on the 5th of the scale in Northumbrian smallpipes, other bagpipes, and 'gurdy that allows for musical complexity (and dissonance). So why not concertina? I can think of a couple of tunes that work well on anglo that use an "above the melody" drone [for want of a better term]. There's the beginning of "Flatworld," for instance. As for holding down a tonic by using the thumb-operated button on the left-hand side of the anglo 'tina, I find it difficult to make it sound musical without, as several others have noted, becoming too insistent or intrusive. The effect sounds good on a some Greek dance tunes, especially those in the hijaz mode.
  2. Craig! Happy to see you here. I do have a full sound system, if you're ever in need. You know where I am! THis Roland, suggested by Jody Kruskal, is also very nice. I chose the Eurolive because of the diminutive size and the way it fits on a mic stand. My son recommended the Roland (if I were able to find it locally at, let's say, Chuck Levins' music store). However, the "fits-on-a-mikestand" feature of the Eurolive I think would be particularly useful.
  3. Thanks for the fix. Great to see you, your better half and your unusually appointed Morse instrument. We can't go acoustic because we can't get any kind of balance; the sax, trombone, drums, etc, would overwhelm the concertina and maybe even the accordion.And certainly the bouzouki, which is the engine behind this band. Soundmen groan when they see us coming because of the difficulty of getting a good mix. And the reality is that younger dancers want it to be loud and expect it. A new generation of contra dancers is being weaned on "techno contras," which use DJs and incredibly loud techno music. Not my cup of tea, but it's drawing lots of new dancers into the contra world. I've been playing for Shepherdstown Mayday and for the two MOrris teams there for a lot of years, so I should know the tunes! Thanks, Jim for some good real-world advice. My wife and I played for a wedding this past weekend that wound up needing two portable amps instead of one -- one for announcements, reading of the ceremony, etc., and one for the musicians, so I had to cobble together at short notice a second set-up. My old (vintage 1980s) "Mighty Mouse" battery-operated portable did well, but I could surely find something better and more technologically up-to-date than that. I'll certainly take your endorsement of the "Eurolive" unit as high praise. Craig
  4. That exhibition sounds fascinating. I've been to the Brussels museum and found it fascinating, so I shall make a point of going next year, when I'll be in Europe. Thanks for posting.
  5. If I may suggest a possible solution to the "too big gig bag" problem that Shas mentions, here's what I did with a thinly padded black nylon case, for use at those times when a gig-bag-type case with shoulder strap is the best choice for carrying (as oposed to, let's say, a hard box-like case with only a carrying handle). At the local hardware store, I found some jute matting, sold by the yard from a roll, so I paid a couple of bucks for a yard thereof, took it home, cut it to fit neatly inside the gig-bag and thereby succeeded in decreasing the diameter by about an inch or so. The matting rolled nicely -- fiber side inside, towards the instrument. I ran the matting piece through the washing machine a couple of times to remove the smell, and then covered it with some fairly sturdy canvas, stiched on by hand (needle & thread), added a couple of end pieces of packing foam (also covered in canvas) and made my concertina a safer, happier instrument. Is that not a owrthy goal? Yes, it did take a a couple of hours of the "measure twice, cut once" approach, but I'm pleased with the results. I even excavated in the two end inserts a cruved space for the button rows, so that all the weight of the instrument rests on the frame & end plates rather than on the buttons. Now, if I were ever to buy -- and master -- a digital camera, I'd take photos. Alas, I'm a fan of old technology, and old instruments, besides, hence, no photos.
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