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About RAc

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    Chatty concertinist

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  • Skype

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  • Interests
    Acoustic music (guitar and concertina), paragliding, popular science
  • Location
    Southern Germany

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  1. RAc

    Cool Tunes; Practice Those Incidentals!

    I'm resurrecting this thread to bring home the point that this dance, more than 40 years after it was written and 14 years after having been discussed here, is still a favorite in the folk dance scene. A few years ago when I began playing the concertina and got involved in the Ceilidh world, this was the tune dancers loved and musicians hated. Now it's still the one dancers will do almost anything to dance to. So here's my attempt: It would also benefit from more speed, and the B part is somewhat shaky at times. Yet a great and fun piece to play. It looks a little bit frightening at first, but when looked at structurally, a lot of it reduces to repititions (the A part consists of 4 subparts identical in rhythm, and the first half of the B part consists of the same music played twice, only 2 whole notes apart), so at least it is very easy to learn. As Pat Shaw has died less than 70 years ago, his legal successors still claim a right to his compositions. I'll try to get the permission to publish this recording from them (since there already are numerous renditions out there, I don't foresee problems); if denied, I'll remove the track asap. Thanks for listening!
  2. well, Chris wrote "15 or so years ago" (which would be around 2003 if my math doesn't fail me), so I selected at point of time a tad after that... interestingly enough, this "new forum" appears to have been archived in full (at least the few samples I clicked on were fully readable) whereas the "early version" didn't archive the contents as Alex pointed out.
  3. well Chris, as I'm sure you know, the internet doesn't forget anything (blessing&curse). You can browse your old content to your heart's delight in the way back machine, e.g. here: https://web.archive.org/web/20050208001320/http://www.concertina.net:80/forums/index.php?showforum=10 Just pick an archived point at the time beam on top to get closer to the snapshot time you're interested in.
  4. I uploaded a recording of Old Kiss My Lady to my Soundcloud presence:


    Coincidentally, this tune has also been added to Paul Hardy's tune book, 2018 edition.


  5. Yes, c.net is both a valuable and an invaluable (😉) ressource as well as a great community. Almost impossible to overpraise it. Thanks to everybody involved, in particular the mods!
  6. ISBN 9780956787309. Details here: link . Apparently it's out of print, and all the usual suspects on the i'net don't have it in stock. Does anybody have a source (preferrably a small independent folk music store willing to ship that's worth supporting)? Thanks!
  7. RAc

    Digby's Farewell

    I can only respond for myself, but my experiences (see below) appear to apply to all Duet players I know (very likely I hang around in the wrong circles...) That's interesting. I don't know a single Duet player who learnt the instrument the way piano players generally learn their instrument. I come from the guitar. I can read music due to a semi classical background, so never bothered to read the bass clef (don't need it for the guitar). To me the duet is somewhat like the guitar; the right side of my Crane is designated for melody playing, while the left hand side fills in the accompaniment. Thus, the only relevant musical notation to me is the melody notation (usually treble ~ violin clef). For the left hand, all I need is chord symbols. Everything else that consitutes as left hand side embellishment (bass runs, chord inversions etc) sort of fits in on the fly and is at times ad libbed or varied (if I interpret this correctly, this is a lot of what Adrian's and Gary's "Harmonic Playing" is all about; at least I found a lot of similar elements in Adrian's very recommendable classes I had the good fortune to attend). Thus,a "fake sheet" (written out single line melody with Chord symbols on top of or below the staff) is the best notation I can ask for. A full score w/ both hands written out separately to me is more of a hinderance than a help (using only the chords, I can even bs my way through a piece I don't know at a session; I simply Oohm-pa the chords in that case either on one side or distributed over the two sides . Works like a charm as long as there are enough instruments to carry the melody). But David is spot on, of course; it's very simply a matter of how you practice. My father was a classically trained piano player, and even though he preferred complex classical music, he didn't have any problems sight reading a ragtime from a written two voiced score. I become more and more fluent in sight reading single line melody scores but never needed to bother with two different clefs. Of course, this won't work with more elaborate pieces of music. In the rare cases where I indeed tackle arranged music in which both voices need to be written out, I normally use the treble clef for both sides and do the transposition in my head as I practice (preparing myself for a flame storm at this point. I'm not implying that this is good practice, it's just a work flow I have come to live with that spares me the additional work of learning a new clef). BTW Adrian, very nice recordings. As Siegfried Farnon would put it: "They live up to your usual standards." 👍
  8. Interesting. The tops of the "valve heads" appear to have been produced by a hole puncher. The fragments that can be deciphered there almost awakens the amateur sleuth in me. For example, one of the text fragments appear to read "MP3" (although it might also be a longer string containing MP3) which would imply it hasn't happened too long ago... Do you also have pictures of the other 3 reed pan faces?
  9. Hi there Michael, I am following your work with great interest. I'd be willing to put down real money for an app like that that would allow me to freely configure the fingerboard myself. Is that something you might be willing to consider? Thanks!
  10. RAc

    Two Quicksteps On A Crane...

    HI Rich - thanks for the feedback! Do you mean nothing happens when you click or you can not even see the tracks on my main page http://www.soundcloud.com/rac-13 ? Probably the former. It seems as if the new forum software does not automatically detect web links nor convert them, so by clicking into the string http://... nothing happens. I did convert them to links manually a minute ago, so now they should work in the last but one posting - please let me know if you can listen to them now! Thanks again and apologies for the mishap!
  11. RAc

    Two Quicksteps On A Crane...

    FWIW, I added two more sets to my soundcloud collection: Herd on The Hill/Windshield's Hornpipe Jane's Fancy/Just as the Tide Was Flowing The most recent one is a Northumbrain Pipe classic I learnt from Alex Wade on this year's Folk Camp. It's tons of fun to play. The other one is somewhat unusual as a combo but I thougt it fits quite nicely. Thanks for listening!
  12. RAc

    Fingers slipping

    Christine: Maybe you could post a video of your hands while playing? That would be much more the basis of a hands on discussion (pun intended, but by no means an attempt to ridicule the issue).
  13. RAc

    Wanted - Large Crane duet concertina

    Actually it depends on what kind of music you intend to play with it. I have a 48 and a 55 button Crane, and for about 95% of the music I play (mostly English and French dance tunes) the range of the 48 is perfectly sufficient. I even found that a larger keyboard has its drawbacks. For example, the shape of the Crane keyboard makes it rather susceptible to being a row off which happens less likely with fewer rows. One of the things that could improve the Crane design dramatically would be less overlap between the left and right hand sides and instead add lower notes (eg shift the entire left side one row up such that the B below the RH lowest note would be the LH highest note and fill the lowest row with the three notes below the low C). The only drawbacks about that design would be that 1. the LH and RH scales are not the same anymore and 2. some chord shapes would move downward, but I'd think both novices and experienced players would pick up that oddity rather fast.
  14. RAc

    Wanted - Large Crane duet concertina

    I don't think this is what the OP is looking for. The 55 button layout only extends the range to the top, if I understand the charts on http://craneconcertina.com/layouts.html correctly, so anybody who wants lower notes must go for at least 68 buttons...
  15. RAc

    Advice, please.

    sorry for the noise, must try a Hayden asap