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Everything posted by RAc

  1. ... Hello and welcome to this Form, Dashy! This may or may not be useful (apologies if not), but you may want to also look at this project: https://www.koopinstruments.com/legacy-projects/harmonicade-prototype-1
  2. I'm surprised you neglected to list the fifth element: Money... SCNR
  3. Stephen: There is reason to believe that Mike (the user with the nick ragtimer) passed away a few months ago: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/catonsville-md/michael-knudsen-10091483 Let's hope I am wrong... All the best, RAc
  4. I guess I don't think about it, I simply take it as it is... I believe your confusion stems from the fact that the lowest C happens to be a "wraparound." If the layout would start to rows up, your lowest note (again a C) would be the rightmost one in the center; thus, the right to left zig zag pattern would start in the "intuitive" position. The simple math involved (diatonic scale in three columns) stipulates that octaves are always offset by one column, so the RH lowest C (if it is required that it is the lowest note) could be in any of the center columns.
  5. Thanks for the information, Łukasz, interesting stuff! The harmonic table layout turned around 90% counterclockwise would IMHO be completly unusuable for melody playing because then you would have major thirds on top of each other in the same column. It would be the Crane fourth issue superimposed to major thirds which are among the most frequently used intervals. Also, you'd lose the ability to play power chords with a flattened finger which is one of the Crane's greatest assets. As you wrote, with big enough buttons you could play even full chords, but it looks like then you'd have to go through extra pain to leave out the third of the chord (ie twist the finger sideways). It would be interesting, I believe, to combine different layouts, for example such that the HTL could be on the left hand and 5CC on the right, or something like that. Yet I've always believed that every minute argueing about layouts is a minute wasted on practicing your chosen system instead, so unless something jumps into my face (or I end up with plenty of overhead time I can not use practicing), I'll stick with the Crane system as it is and try to get better at it, may there be "better" systems around or not.
  6. Well, I now have been able to program a 5CC keyboard for my concertina simulator (isn't a lockdown in combination with the festive season good for something after all?...). So far I am, well, flabbergasted. All of the points made by @Little John are right on spot. For the left hand, this layout is a dream come true; all of the Crane's complexity reduces to one consistent power chord shape, similar to the Hayden (as far as I understand it), and the major and minor full chords reduce to a very few equal shaped triangles. Even diminished chords (which are very inconsistent on the Crane) fall very easily into a single pattern. I haven't looked at seventh chords yet. On the right hand side, 5CC becomes (as John suggested) a truly transposing instrument. This is particularly useful for my current favorite music genre (ragtime) as ragtime frequently has a Trio Part D which is generally Part B transposed a fourth up, so unlike the traditional Crane layout, where you have to think one note off when transposing, 5CC is simply next higher row for part D over B, period. Also, for the most widely used keys in English folk, all of the root notes (G,C and D) are in the center column with the respective note leading right into it (the seventh interval) immediately next to it. This makes it much easier to think of the center column as the "home" regardless of your key. The property 5CC has in common with the Crane - a scale zigzagging left and up - makes it fairly easy for Crane players to convert; on my simulator, I could pick out most of my standard tunes rather fast. I also tried to finger out some of the more chromatic tunes, and so far I have found nothing where I would consider the Crane system superior, I wished I had known about this earlier. Now my Plan A would be to send my cousins Luigi and Angelo with their violin cases to Alex and convince him to abandon all instruments in the works in favor of a 5CC for me. Unfortunately I don't have cousins named Luigi and Angelo, so I have to revert to plan B which would be redesign my MIDI concertina for the 5CC layout so I can start practicing 5CC. In case there is any maker out there who'd like to try out designing and building a 5CC, please contact me immediately! 😉 I don't know why 5CC hasn't ever made it into the concertina mainstream, it would practically be something like a Hayden turned 90° around, with all the Hayden ease and orthogonality combined with the Crane idiosyncracies.
  7. Thanks, Steve! I am aware of that option, I even have one or two of thoser alternative addresses already. I also don't really need the notifications; I go up on the forum regularly anyways and have sort of settled on not getting the notifications. It's just that I get a little nervous about my provider arbitrarily deciding for me which mails to swallow - as long as there is no transparency in it (in fact, I have encountered a "wall of silence" in this case - the people at DT won't even tell me what the issue is, ie whether an IP address or an Email is blocked and why and all of these things), I must assume that they also withhold Emails that I want and need to get (such as from potential customers or existing business contacts). Overall, I am very satisfied with reliability and service from DT over the last 25 years; sometimes it takes a while to get knowledgeable people on the line, but that's the grain of salt to take it with. However, in this case all I got from them is a "no way, we can't help you or tell you anything." I guess I'm just an enquiring mind who would like to know.
  8. 😁 Can you give me a quote for Viagra as well? Thanks everybody for your help! The deal APPEARS to be this: My email provider (Deutsche Telekom) has blacklisted NO-REPLY@concertina.net (the originator of automated notification messages) as Spam and thus added it to a list of addresses that bounce globally. That SHOULD imply that every forum member who is at the Deutsche Telekom will not reeive any emails from that address. Unfortunately, everybody at Deutsche Telekom one can hold of insists that as a recipient, I do not have any authority nor right to request removal of the address from the black list (possibly yes IF I put down more money for a premium account), so the one to claim the removal must be some postmaster at concertina.net. In private conversations with Ken and Paul, it turned out that they theselves don't qualify as the back end if hosted by someone else, so the work that would need to be done to get the process started would exceed anybody's capacities. Oh well. If I didn't need my spare time to practice concertina, I'd put some energy into braking this idiotic spell. Thanks again!
  9. ...unfortunately not, so I'll have to keep on looking, but thanks anyways!
  10. I have not received any notifications from the forum for 8 months now. I suspect that may be due to the forum being blacklisted by my provider. I have now added a white liast entry. If anyone could leave any kind of respose so I can see if this works. Thanks!
  11. One of the reasons why I prefer to record my videos in nearly headless Ruediger mode... 😁 very nice recording, Jim, well done!
  12. As for the material: Any unwound (even used) steel string (guitar, banjo, dulcimer...) will do nicely, costs very little and comes in a wide choice of strengths to choose from. I use between 0,5 and 0,7 mm diamter type. A nice side benefit of them is that they normally come with a ball end that helps jamming them to build up the tension mentioned by Tiposx.
  13. FWIW, I also recorded a video: ...mostly to prove to myself that I am able of single taking a slightly more complex piece. It does get a wee sloppy towards the end, I understand, but I was out of time I could shell out for music after about three hours restarting and discarding take after take (there are many errors one can make when there are many notes in a piece). Thanks for watching!
  14. Indeed, very good and useful information, David, Thanks! The one addition I'd like to make would be this: Like any other musical skill, these techniques must be explicitly and systematically practiced. One possible practical approach to this is to record yourself playing the "obbligato" (verbatim) part (or take an existing recording), then play it back in infinite loop mode and accompany yourself, forcing yourself to play different variations out of David's toolbox every time through. The brain must get used to a) knowing where in the piece you are at every time and b) drawing from the toolbox in real time. Without drill and practice of exactly this skill, it's not very likely to happen by itself. Another great place to practice this (once you've done it on your own for a while) is in a session with enough participants so that your individual mistakes and experiments don't throw off the entire group. In such a session, you can do things like stop in arbitrary places within a tune and make sure you'll get back in (that helps sharpening skill a above), switch between accompaniment part, melody and both, accompany with chord arpeggios or chord fragments, vary, add or remove melody notes and so on. The important thing (I believe) to understand is that this process requires patient and careful (sometimes frustrating) drill just like it takes a beginner to find his/her way into Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Over time it'll get easier and more natural, but only when you force yourself to do the drill regularly (sounds disgustingly teacherish, doesn't it? Guess I should start following my own advice then before ranting on...)
  15. I decided to learn this piece for several reasons: 1. It's a witty rag that sounds good both slow and fast (I do the former as I can't play at lightning speed) 2. It was written by a woman, and although women have contributed significant pieces to the ragtime realm, few are known to the musical public, so I like to draw attention to those underrated composers 3. It's tons of fun to play 4. I'm an IU graduate. Played on Holden#3 Crane Duet All comments (especially critical ones) welcome and appreciated. Thanks for listening!
  16. Hello, I received my copy of "The Unexpected Polka & Other Tunes" a few days ago. You'll find the details here: Home | The Unexpected Polka & Other Tunes I do recommend the book for everyone who is interested in folk dance music, in particular English. I've known Chris for several years now, and he never fails to amaze me with his profound and deep knowledge of almost everything musical. He's a very experienced and seasoned (multi instrumentalist) musician, dancer and caller (and also a wonderful human being). He is always looking for the little twists and surprises and unusual turns in pieces that make the tunes and dances stand out and fun. Unfortunately I never met Alastair in person, but I don't have doubts that he's also a first class musician and a perfect match for Chris in this project. Obviously, decades of hardcore musicianships have found their way into this book. The things that IMHO distinguishes this collection from other ones are first the selection which is very broad in every respect and second the arrangements. Have a listen at the audio section on the web page - there are unique and idiosyncratic second and sometimes third parts to every piece, even the very simple pieces, which makes them fun to listen to, let alone play. Aside from the contents, the book is also very well crafted with great love for detail. Obviously a lot of heartblood went into it. This book will very likely become one of the cornerstones of the English ceilidh and session group I am a part of (conveniently, a good share of our standard repertoire is already in it). The usual disclaimer: No, I don't get paid or receive any other types of benefits, and I did write this recom up on my own and without any coercion. I just truly believe that the book deserves a broad audience.
  17. As an additional use case, I'd like to repeat that I have only recently (a few months ago) downloaded the font and put it to use in conjunction with FluidSynth as the PC side of my MIDI concertina experiments. It works like a charm and sounds very nice. Thanks again, Phil and Don!
  18. I agree with everything Sean wrote. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The usual pre-sales test recommended is to print out the layouts of the different systems and do some "air playing" on the paper (which of course helps only a little with regard to bisonoric). The only layout that ( I believe) feels unfamiliar for guitarists is EC as the pitch hopping between the hands is nothing known to guitar players. But then again, a number of seasoned guitarists have successfully switched to EC. Thus, in terms of transition ease, duets (jn particular Cranes and Haydens) probaly are first, followed by Anglos (that feature the additional complication of bisonority), finally ECs. Then again, maybe ease of transition is not a showstopper criterion for you.
  19. Interesting, thanks or the explanation! Do you happen to have more information about the durability of SW on other surfaces (eg french polished wooden surfaces)? As for the above clarification, wouldn't that also imply that any device that has TWO dabs with different codes on it would make it legally difficult to distinguish the age of the two dabs and therefore the original ownership? What happens if the target object has been legally sold and now contains two dabs? What if the original owner doesn't bother to remove his code from the database (which will very likely happen in many cases) and thus the object can now be attributed to two owners?
  20. Well, I don't know. All the website tells us about the durability of SW (probably for good reasons) is that it is "remaining on skin for weeks and indefinitely on clothing." Even if the clothing is being washed regularly? Hm. Yuck. So what about other surfaces? Nothing truly remains indefinite, so we should assume that Smart Water will eventually disappear from surfaces treated with it. So if it should be sweat that washes the substance off human skin, a good idea would be to NOT dab the SW on those concertina surfaces that are in contact with bare skin. That leaves us with... uhm... well... Also, nothing can be deferred about what happens if you overdab one layer of SW with another. so if I WERE a concertina thief AND SW would be a threat, I might consider overdabbing every candidate surface with a layer of SW of my own, which would effectively make me the legal owner, no? I'd also agree with David that the use case for concertinas is rather limited. Since every owner of a quality concertina knows the serial numbers and the individual look and wear traces of his/her instruments by heart anyways, it wouldn't necessarily need a SW tracker to provide proof of ownership: If the instrument ever showed up in public, the theft victim would need to take the case (not the concertina case, but the prospective theft case) to the police anyways. If if didn't... well... As for tracking devices: They're all nice and dandy as the saying goes, but on the downside, they're all battery operated, which means the batteries must be replaced frequently. According to Murphy §23.4, a theft always takes place very close to or after the battery exchange due date (I know because I once gave a key tracker to my beloved. Guess at what time we really needed it?).
  21. FWIW, there has been a recent discussion on this on reddit: Steve Martin's Concertina model? : concertina (reddit.com)
  22. I have transcribed a few of Al's tunes before and would volunteer to do this one as well unless someone else has already done it (Kautilya's link appears not to work anymore). Can be a couple of weeks though before I get around to doing it.
  23. How about Jody Kruskal (an active forum member here)? He's a very experienced teacher as well as an excellent player! For face-to-face lessons he probably qualifies too (depending where in NYC you are located).
  24. I believe what Don refers to is the fact that any mechanical switch is subject to wear and chemical processes that will eventually cause unreliable up to failing electrical contacts. This is particularly important for switches used in musical instruments as these are very heavily used (he mentioned in other places that professional instruments use gold plated contacts to counter the effect of rusting). Thus, after some time xxx the buttons will fail and need to be replaced, very likely the only parts in the entire setup that require maintenace at all. Iow, the better (and more expensive) the mechanical switches, the longer the maintenace-free lifetime of the entire instrument.
  25. Roger, your argument misses the point that a tab system is nothing "objectively" "good" or "bad," but provides a window into the musical mind of the one who came up with the tab. Again, if the reader's individual approach to music matches the one of the tutor's author, the system will resonate, otherwise it won't. It's as simple as that. A "good review" as suggested by Alex as well as "trashing" should take this into consideration. If a tutor, say, has real mistakes in the written music such as wrong fingerings, it's fair to "trash" the tutor on those grounds regardless of whether I can make sense of the notation or not. If the fingerings and everything else is correct but the system simply doesn't resonate with me, it wouldn't be fair. If the notation does resonate, that alone shouldn't be the sole reason for a raving review (there may still be deficiencies in the tutor such as notation errors, layout problems, didactic shortcomings and so on). My impression of the OP's attitude was that he expects some kind of universal notation standard for tabs that matches his expectations and considers a deviation from those standards as ground to totally dismiss that tutor. There are several fundamental problems with that attitude that have all been pointed out here.
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