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Bill Worsfold

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About Bill Worsfold

  • Birthday 09/08/1946

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    Music (obviously!) Started on English in 1972, changed to Crane duet in 1983, just added anglo (December, 2004).
    Also play guitar, plus lots of folk-based string, reed, wind and percussion instruments. I make my living (in partnership with my wife) as an entertainer, including storytelling, dance calling, magic tricks, etc.
    Since writing this I've retired and now play music more than ever and I've gone back to playing English system.
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    Warkworth, North Auckland, New Zealand

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  1. Another essential resource for folk inclined EC players is Alistair Andersons Concertina Worshop tutor from the 70's. It can be downloaded at: http://www.free-reed.co.uk/concertinaworkhop.pdf I came across the accompanying album at: Cheers, Bill
  2. The happy medium could simply be cross-indexing articles to draw attention of those most likely to be interested or copying to another place - the article doesn't need to be removed from one place in order to put it somewhere else, if you know what I mean. Concertina Journal seems altogether way too scholarly for me, but I did notice that Concertina Library does invite suggestions for other works to include so I shall write to them. I was just kind of hoping that someone could offer a soundfile of Alf Edwards record and a pdf of the Sing Out articles, but even better would be if they were available somewhere for anyone who wants them. Thank you for your suggestions, Cheers, Bill
  3. Oops! Sorry if I offended you. Yes, I am aware of the excellent resources at the Concertina Library. The articles I mentioned are not there - it would be great if they were. Do you think there's any chance of that? I tend to think (rightly or wrongly) of the ICA as a predominantly classical association. I think that what I was hoping for was a bit of categorical separation. I read through all of the PICA papers. Most of it was historical articles about old designs, makers and Music Hall players. Frances Wilkins article jumps out as really useful info for players (in my field, admittedly.) It's a pity that most people who would find it useful, probably won't find it. I'm not suggesting that everything that I can't use should be junked - just that, maybe, if things are streamed towards their most appropriate audience, more people will benefit.
  4. Is there anywhere I can find old recordings and print articles online. Is there an archive of concertina stuff? Especially, I would love to get hold of Alf Edwards 'Art of the Concertina' album. I know I could probably buy a vinyl copy (at great expense) on ebay, but then I'd need to get something to play it on too. It doesn't seem to be around on CD. Has anyone uploaded it for download anywhere? The other thing I'd love to get again is Lou Killen's article on playing English concertina from a 1971 Sing Out magazine (April/May, Vol 20 #4) It was accompanied by an article by Michael Cooney. Both were a godsend when I got my first concertina back then, and I'd love to reread them, but I seem to have lost my photocopy. Can articles like that be uploaded to some central site for concertina players reference, or are there copyright issues in the way? Another article that certainly deserves to be drawn to the attention of EC players, is Frances Wilkins article 'Scottish Music on the English concertina' in PICA vol 9. It's pure gold for players, but buried in a heap of dusty historical relics. If you want to check it out, go to the ICA site, click on PICA in the left column and download volume 9. Again it would be nice if it were in some central source for players. Thanks, Bill
  5. I, too, would love to read about other peoples arranging thought processes, so no rush, Wolf, but have you done it yet? On the same subject, if you look at Prof Rat's YT video of 'Rat in the Bed', in the comments section he explains bit about his arranging process - I think it involves playing the bass note of the appropriate chord on 1st and 3rd beats. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1VW2HEZzbs My absolute favourite, though, for sheer insanely wonderful accompaniment lines is Rob Harbron's 'Young Collins'. I'd love to know what was going through his mind there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h0nP63_M3E Cheers, Bill
  6. Alf Edwards played English concertina. I have a book by him called 'Wheatstone's Instructions for the English Concertina" - is that the same one that you have? I believe he made a record called "The Art of the Concertina" - maybe they renamed later editions to go with it. Thirds are really easy on EC - just diagonally adjacent buttons (making allowance for the key) mostly. Sixths (which are inverted thirds) and tenths (which are thirds spaced by an octave) are a bit trickier - they involve one note on each hand which is sometimes confusing to line up but I found some harmonised scale practice then leave it and they seemed to fall under my fingers. What I found more confusing was his recommended fingerings for the intervals. If I can figure out a way to copy a bit and post it I'd like to ask if anyone can enlighten me. Briefly though, if you're doing a scale of sixths in C, it seems to me that they work fine with just the first two fingers on each hand, but he uses the third finger a lot. Why? Does it make a difference at speed (which I haven't got yet?) Cheers, Bill
  7. Hi, I don't know that much about anglos but wouldn't bellows control play a big part in volume? In other words, get a good instrument for the long haul and prioritise bellows control in your practising to learn to play quieter, rather than looking for another stepping stone. This has the advantage of improved dynamics (most people are pretty good at 'loud'!) Or you can install fabric baffles in the ends until you're confident enough to remove them. Cheers, Bill
  8. Hi Al, Yes, I am delighted to have found it. I was kind of expecting something of the level of a Mayfair or such - it's way, way better than that! (That's why I asked just what a Linota is.) As to leaving it in old pitch, that would be fine if I were playing and singing solo, but I'm usually working in combination with other instruments so, eventually a re-tune will probably be necessary. Meanwhile, it's so well in tune with itself and so responsive that it's a treat to play. Cheers, Bill
  9. Hi Al, I just checked a sample on the right hand end and they are stamped with the notes they are tuned to (even the Jeffries-style accidental layout) Is Bb/F unusual? What are the pros and cons of that tuning (and of Jeffries versus Wheatstone accidental layout, come to that!) Given that I've no interest in Irish tune sessions - I'm more interested in song accompaniments and (mostly) European dance tunes - the home keys are good for songs (for my voice, at any rate) and not as strident as the same box would be in C/G How much do other players venture outside of the home keys on a 30 key box? What are the other favourite keys (I know Irish players use D a lot, but that's usually single lines - how is it for self-accompanied playing? I would need to get used to playing in E and A shapes in order to play in actual D and G. Are they practical? (bear in mind I've just come from a 20 key box, so I don't know yet what is easy and what is ard!) Incidentally, the serial number, 28462, shows as June 4th 1920 in the Wheatstone ledgers and is accurately described there as NP (nickel plated?) 31 keys (it has a Bb drone) black (presumably they're referring to the bellows and ends) The bellows are stamped N192, and the reedpan 22. I've no idea what those numbers mean. Cheers, Bill
  10. A further curiosity about this box is that the RH accidental row doesn't correspond to the fingering charts I have - until I compared it to a Jeffries: it's identical! Was that a normal Wheatstone practice, or has it been customised somewhere down the line? Cheers, Bill
  11. I've just been lucky enough to buy a Bb/F 31 key metal ended anglo. It has no labels in the ovals, but has 'Linota' stamped in both the wooden handgrips, so I presume it's a Wheatstone. The number written on a reedpan dates it to 1920 (using the on-line lists). I've a couple of questions: first of all, what constitutes a Linota? Is it to do with specific design factors (I've seen Suttner advertise Linota style concertinas) or a quality range, or what? In style, it's very similar to my Wheatstone Crane 48, but that doesn't have the Linota stamps Second, although it's perfectly in tune with itself, it seems to be about 30 cents above concert. Is that old pitch, or is it just a bit sharp? I haven't tried playing it with another instrument yet so I don't know whether it's tolerable or not! There is a hole through the wood, just in front of the screw on the left hand strap - it goes through into the action area - it doesn't constitute a leak but it is a bit odd. I thought maybe it once had a lyre clip to hold music cards. Any other ideas what it might be for? It's been well played - the plating is tarnished, there are small cracks on some of the bellows corners, but it plays really well - a big jump from my 20 key mahogany and bone Lachenal! Cheers, Bill Worsfold
  12. Hi, I seem to vaguely remember reading somewhere that nickel silver reeds were offered as an option for instruments being used in tropical or humid climates - presumably they wouldn't rust as readily as steel ones. Cheers, Bill
  13. We once played a barn dance in a large shed with a new concrete floor. Apart from being a lousy dance surface, everything - instruments, PA desk, (lung linings?) was coated with a fine grey powder. Not very pleasant. I've sometimes wondered about playing in places that are unlined but have fiberglass batts insulation installed. The manufacturers claim those little glass particles that are shed are harmless, but I'm not wholly convinced. We've also had problems with hay bales - especially some that had got damp and mouldy. Almost immediately the fiddler players face swelled up with hay fever. The same thing happened when someone decided to decorate the stage area with sprigs of pretty yellow, pollen-laden, gorse flowers! New Zealand, too, has just banned smoking in bars and restaurants. Life has gone on as usual (in spite of dire predictions of doom and desolation) but I've heard of no noticeable drop in customers or sales, and very happy reports from people who play sessions in bars! Cheers, Bill
  14. Hi, In my case, I don't think the number on the end paper is wrong - it's just a little bit too long for all of it to show through the little hole in the fretwork. If I look at an angle I can sort of see a '1' that I had overlooked. Re the leaks, you may be right, Paul, about the reed pans and action boards, though mine look OK. My main problem was that as I played it, pads fell off and had to be reglued. Since they had indentations molded to fit the holes and these weren't lined up when I replaced them that created gaps. I thought about maybe steaming them so they would remold to the new position but (wisely?) decided to order new pads instead. I also noticed that the air valve had two springs instead of one - a large left hand one as well as a normal sized right hand one. The big one was broken so it had only half the normal pressure on it (and I can see the gap around the pad on it) - so I ordered another spring, too. I also roughed up the chamois where the reed pans fit. If it still leaks after fitting new pads and spring, I guess I'll then have to look further. Thanks for the tip. I did notice a small amount of crushing on a bit of the honeycomb stuff on the reed pans, where it goes against the wooden surface of the action board, which would create a leak between compartments. Is this a problem and is it easily remedied? I've not noticed any notes sounding simultaneously, as I would have expected. Thanks, Bill
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