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Mike Franch

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About Mike Franch

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    Chatty concertinist

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  • Interests
    English concertina, English country dance music, folk music
  • Location
    Baltimore Md. USA

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  1. I asked a German friend about this. She replied, "It looks like a special event at a "Musikverein" (musical society) - of which were many; even the smallest town or village has one! " She, too, loved the plumage on the hats. --Mike
  2. Very clever and simple, but the handle on the right-hand box made me a bit nervous, I have to say! Maybe it's just a bit of scuffing on the top of an otherwise solid handle?
  3. Another thing to think about is learning to play it. Wouldn't it be neat to get enjoyment out of your mother's concertina?
  4. Lovely instrument with a lovely pedigree. Since no one has yet mentioned this, I'll comment about the hexagonal wooden case. It's lovely, but not the thing to keep the instrument in, at least as it's designed to sit on its bottom. It might work sideways, unless it would roll. The reason is that keeping the concertina vertical will result in the leather valves on the bottom distorting as gravity pulls them down. It can also be tricky putting the instrument into and getting out of the box. I'm sure others on the list will chime in on their preferred ways of keeping their concertinas safe: some prefer waterproof plastic boxes (originally designed for other uses), modern concertina cases, or padded camera bags. In any case, you'll want it stored horizontally with a bit of compression.
  5. How would these round holes, as opposed to traditional scroll work, affect the sound of the instrument? I assume it would, given various discussions over the years about fretwork.
  6. John is correct that there is a tradition of offensive negative stereotypes against various groups. I won't comment on how that might have played out in the treatment of these groups in Britain, but the continuing discrimination and violence against African Americans in the U.S. makes concern over "blackface" and the minstrel show tradition more than a matter of "political correctness." That said, I think "Minstrel" is a fine name for a concertina.
  7. I wonder if they were made after Wheatstone acquired some of the Lachenal equipment when Lachenal went under. I've seen a Edeophone-looking instrument that was Wheatstone badged. I didn't get a look inside.
  8. You might also contact Greg Jowaisas, who is on this list or is reachable at gjowaisas (at)insightbb.com. He restores vintage concertinas and often (sometimes?) hs instruments for sale in the range you want. Anything you'd buy from him would be in very good working order and, in my experience, a good value.
  9. I often find that when playing my EC while processing that it helps steady it by holding it high, with my elbows braced against my body.
  10. Echoing Wolf. Hope you'll hop back into the forum.
  11. David, you've got a good beginning, buying yourself a good concertina. That will make learning easier, and you've saved money by not starting with something cheaper and having to upgrade. I don't have advice, other than to enjoy each level of proficiency as you go along. I was thrilled to be able to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" (hey, the tune was good enough for Mozart!), even as I aspired to do better and experienced frustration along the way. The frustration moved along as I moved along, of course, but a helpful realization is that my sense of frustration was not saying, "damn, this is too hard for you," but "this is a challenge that you'll surmount and is part of the fun, part of the sense of accomplishment." That by and large, has proven true.
  12. Wolf, please feel free to picture me wherever you like. I'm pretty much always here in Baltimore--Maryland, US, not the one in Ireland that we're named after. Thanks for remembering my interest in English country dance (ECD), which, in some ways, is done differently in the US than in Britain. There also seems to be an interest in ECD in Russia; you can find some nice YouTube videos of dancers in St. Petersburg. Maybe it's my turn to do some imaginative relocating, and to think of you in England because you always write so effectively in English. Someday, perhaps, I'll become sufficiently adept in the language of music to be able to follow all your finer points of musicianship!
  13. Seconding this. A few weeks ago, Greg gave me a quick turnaround on my Wheatstone Model 21, did some tweaks, and I'm a happy camper. I should also say that I was very happy with the U.S. Postal Service with their track-able two-day delivery. It worked fine both ways. I suspect that the concertina traveled faster than the envelope with my check (for a reasonable amount) to Greg.
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