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Novascotian

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Posts posted by Novascotian

  1. Knowing the gifted technician who polished it, I've just bought unseen in Nova Scotia a Butler English in excellent nick and original box made in 1904.  I won't have it for several days, but in details and fittings it looks nothing like my Lachenal English (1889) or my Lach Anglos of roughly Late-Victorian-Edwardian date. The thumb strap is distinctive, as is the rail. The case is also unlike the Lach/Crabb cases I have, inside and out. The mahogany ends and coloured ivory buttons also look a little bit artisanal. The seller is a piper and sounded it a bit for me, and my guess is that it isn't a Lachenal though it sounds brilliant. If I glean anything on the Butlers from it I'll be sure to pass on the information. All the best.

  2. Hello Alex,

     

     

    I'm looking to get a C/G Anglo but I'm also interested in the Lach Duet that you mention here, and several others as well.  Just wondering about prices. I have leave to acquire a new box but I'm not handy, so I want one in good nick.

    And the Crabb in old pitch - have you restored it (or will you) and is it playable? I've been looking to find a Sally Anne box in old pitch that doesn't cost the moon.

    These ones are also possibly suitable:

      Lachenal 31 key C/G Steel reeds, fancy fretwork

    ·      Lachenal 33 key C/G Steel reeds, fancy fretwork

    ·      J Crabb 30 key Bb/F, very fancy wooden ends – very nice, old pitch Not restored yet so choice of level of restoration/tuning

     C Jeffries 27 key Ab/Eb, metal ends, metal buttons ¼ comma meantone

    ·      C Jeffries 30 key C/G, metal ends, bone buttons

    ·      Crabb 27 key C/G, wooden ends, bone buttons

    ·      C Jeffries 39 key C/G, bone buttons

     

    I understand if you'd rather discuss prices privately.  I'm reachable at daniel.oleary@concordia.ca.

     

    All the best,

    Daniel

     

     

  3. This looks like it will be a splendid conference. And close (at least not too far) to the Blue Lamp too. I still tear up when I think how hard it was to leave Aberdeen when I last was at a conference there a couple years ago. I had to be poured onto the plane after an all night session after a Smoking' Catfish gig at the Lamp. Davy Cattenach was in fine form, and one of the friendliest folk crowds I've ever met (outside of the Maritimes). Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Just saw this thread. I almost bought this one myself. It's a beauty. I'm pretty sure that that tuning was popular with the Salvation Army and many of theirs are like that. Like you I've been combing the Maritimes for a vintage box -- they used to be plentiful here but we've lost ourselves, and our traditions have been replaced (nearly) by faux folk Americana. Though having said this I had an epic trad session with the best Cape Breton Jew's Harp player I've ever heard last week. My first time playing with just Anglo and Jaw Harp. Our Queen Anne's Reel was special! Anyway, glad to hear the Duet went to a good home. I have a Lachenal Duett (ser. 1015) that I torture from time to time, but would have loved to have adopted yours. It really is very pretty.

  5.  

    I have a very early Lach Duet(t) [ser. 1150] that from the look of it is a little earlier than the example you have.

    Lachenal Englishes, anglos, and duets had independent runs of serial numbers. By the time your duet #1150 was made, it appears that Lachenal would have produced more than 30 thousand Englishes (and more than 70 thousand anglos).

     

    Yes, I know. And that would make the number 37 a very early box. By the look of it I'd be surprised. But I'm really an Anglo player, so what do I know.

     

    Dear Drekth

     

    Thanks for posting these very interesting photos. I have a very early Lach Duet(t) [ser. 1150] that from the look of it is a little earlier than the example you have. That is to say that the "37" you have found on it is unlikely to be a serial. If you can find one you'll be able to date it (approximately). I hope you'll post what you find out about it. And good luck locating the appropriate replacement screws. Does it play? It may be in old pitch if it hasn't been re-tuned.

     

    All the best.

    "...in its box." Is it in its original box? That might provide a clue to its age. My Duet box is very different from the boxes I've seen from the late 1880s. The clasps on mine look mid rather than late Victorian. I'd love to see a photo if you do have an original box.

  6. Dear Drekth

     

    Thanks for posting these very interesting photos. I have a very early Lach Duet(t) [ser. 1150] that from the look of it is a little earlier than the example you have. That is to say that the "37" you have found on it is unlikely to be a serial. If you can find one you'll be able to date it (approximately). I hope you'll post what you find out about it. And good luck locating the appropriate replacement screws. Does it play? It may be in old pitch if it hasn't been re-tuned.

     

    All the best.

  7. I have found Scholers in 3 sizes:

    Large: Each side of the hexagon is 4 1/2 inches, 3 reads per note, so that each key plays in 3 octaves. Instrument tuned to C/G but tuned flat enough to be annoying when played with instruments tuned to modern concert pitch.

     

    Medium: Each side of the hexagon is 4 inches, 2 reads per note, so that each key plays in 2 octaves. Instrument tuned to G/D but tuned flat enough to be annoying when played with instruments tuned to modern concert pitch.

     

    Small: Each side of the hexagon is 3 1/2 inches, 1 read per note. Instrument tuned sharp of D/A so that it is almost midway between D/A and Eb/Bb. In Adam-T's photo, the small on on the left must be one of these.

     

    I have some with the pearloid "Mother-of-Toilet-seat" finish, some red and some grey, and some with the wood finish with the fake wood grain painted on. I originally bought the first one in order to cannibalize to fix different 20-button branded "Frontalini". The Frontalini has the pallet style button mechanisms, except they are metal, like aluminium or steel, and its reeds are perfectly in tune. When I found myself with a large Scholer that was the wrong size to cannibalize, I thought the 3 octave tuning was so cool, that I would get another one the same size, and use the parts from this other large Scholer to fix the first large Scholer. But in the construction of the second large Scholer, glue was used too liberally, so that it is rather difficult to take it apart and keep its parts intact.

     

    My advice about Scholers is to avoid them, no matter how cheap you find them. The wood they are made of seems to be better suited for making matchsticks, the tuning is always off, the reed are not mounted separately, but instead groups of 10 (5 in 5 out) are mounted together each on a common trapezoidal red block.

     

    If you want a simple wooden-ended 20-button, so you can look like a more authentic 19th-century sailor, then get a Hohner D40. If you want that parallel octave thing going on, then Stagi makes a 20-button that does that.

     

    I'll take some photos and post them when I have some more time.

    Just wanted to comment in case anyone is doing research on Scholers and is put off by this. I traded an old piano accordion I don't play for a 1960s D/G and it wasn't at all bad as long as I played it solo. It is true it was useless for sessions, but for singing or solo playing it was fun to play. I have several Anglos of better quality, but I still have a bash at my Scholer from time to time. I have a collection of cheap antique and vintage concertinas, and the primitive quality of some, including my Scholer, can be quite compelling - although I will admit that they compel people to leave when I try to play along with better melodeons and concertinas of a higher calibre.

  8. This sounds interesting. I have a Victorian Lachenal Duet (pictured in my avatar). My serial is 1015 but the Duets had a separate serial run. I'd love to see a photo to have a good look a the layout of the keys. Do you play the instrument? If so, do you know if the set-up differs from the Wheatstone/Lachenal English layout?

  9. I think one difficulty in calculating the concertina population is that for a great many playing is a solitary pass time. I sometimes play in sessions. But ninety-five percent of the time I play in my barn alone. It is a form of meditation and prayer for me. I think there must be many players who remain anonymous and private in their playing. That said, in Canada in my travels I seldom find concertinas, but I'm always looking.

  10. Dear Marcus,

     

    I'm not sure you received my reply to your most recent note. I am still interested and will arrange shipping through a local accordion dealer/technician if that suits you. Let me know and I will speak with her and send you contact details. I can be reached by PM now as well. Cheers.

  11. By the way, I'm not sure how the PM's work on the site, but if you do I'm happy to discuss it that way. I do love the Morse by the way. It's very fast and has a lovely bright tone. For Morris or English style, it is excellent. I've looked into the van Wyk and it looks like it would suit me perfectly. I have another D/G that I can use in its place though I will miss it. Anyway, let me know what you think.

  12. I'd love to go to Bermuda, but can't manage it at the minute though it's high on my list of places to visit. I can be reached at nova[dot]albion[@]yahoo.ca. Send me a note and we'll work out a plan for shipping etc if you are still keen. If you like we can chat over the phone if it's easier.

  13. Interesting topic. I play both D/G and G/C according to mood and the tunes I want to play. But since I generally want to play English country dance music I usually play the D/G for many of the same reasons others have mentioned. Played in a harmonic style however, the G/C strikes me as more cheerful for improvisation and unrehearsed accompaniment. But with fiddles, hurdy-gurdies, or melodeons (Morris-style) the D/G is what you want. And especially for traditional singing. I also find it better for the more formal style of playing favoured by projects like the Mellstock Band and Magpie Lane - both lovely by the way. I play melodeon as well, and often bring a four-stop, one-row C to use when the D/G concertina isn't right. I am passionately attached to all my concertinas, but the melodeon has its own charms, especially in the hands of players like Clive Williams, Anahata, or Roland Carson. By the way, I've had a Morse D/G for a couple of years and although it's no Wheatstone, its a pretty decent box, and miles ahead of the cheaper alternatives, especially if you're set on a 3-row.

  14. I know it isn't strictly concertina-related, but an antidote to American slosh (sorry chaps) like the film described above is the transcendent "Wind Journeys" (Los viajes del viento-2009), an Argentine-Columbian film about an enchanted button accordion and its prisoner player. As a melodeon, as well as concertina player, I was transfixed, and have watched the film several times. Any squeeze-box player will love the hero's profound remark: "I don't play it, it plays me"! Whenever I play one of my beloved Anglos I frequently feel as if I am being played from the past by a dead engineer named Wheatstone.

     

    The film is available on t*rrent sites I've been told.

  15. I have but don't really play the piano accordion, but I have a collection of both vintage and newish melodeons that I played for years before getting my first concertina. Of course, the concertina completely monopolized my attention for a bit, and I now have a Lach, a Morse, a Hohner and a Frontalini (which I love). I am obsessed with English style trad music and so continued to hear plenty of melodeon playing. I find that it is very easy to switch back and forth from Anglo to melodeon, but playing concertina has greatly improved my melodeon technique, and I can play things I couldn't have done before. But I also have a deeper appreciation of the melodeon. When I compare the wonderful concertina recordings of Peter Trimming (Youtube) with the enchanting recordings of Anahata on melodeon (Youtube), I can't imagine life without both. And I also realize that despite its shape my Frontalini "concertina" is really a melodeon with an more useful left-hand keyboard. All of this said, when I pick up my piano accordion (which I do rarely), I find it might as well be a rauschpfeife as far as familiarity is concerned.

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