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About MUTT

  • Birthday 05/10/1953

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    Every since I was a boy I've been drawn to the traditional tunes of England, Scotland, and Ireland. I like the concertina because it's small and portable and exotic and can play any kind of music I care to try. My favorite setting for traditional music includes two or three good friends, a kitchen table, and access to appropriate refreshments.
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    Anchorage, Alaska

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion, Don. Maybe I can use one of those "gel" packs they use for guitar cases; they are designed to keep the humidity at 55%, I think. Is that too high? My cheapo magnifier didn't give me a very good look, Geoff; I have to believe it's the same laminating as with your Aeola, however. That's good to know. Thanks to all, George
  2. Thank you for your replies. I try to keep my apartment humidified in the winter, but I'm not confident enough to say it is "humidity controlled." I also keep the concertina in it's case for safety sake. I thought of putting a small humidifying device in the case, but I'm concerned about rusting the reeds. I looked at the grill work and I can't see any lamination, but I'll take my magnifying glass to it when I get home this evening. That would be a relief if it is multi-ply. I did notice the wood was thicker than I thought at first glance, so that's something. Looking at some old Wheatstone price lists, the model 6 of this era lists the ends as "ebony" not "ebonized," so I'm taking their word for that. Stephen - the wood is jet black. I got it from a private party in Oregon who has had it for 19 years. Apropos of nothing to do with my topic, the tone of this thing is amazing!
  3. After several years' absence, I find myself once again in the concertina world. I've come into possession of a 90 year old Wheatstone model 6 with raised ebony ends. The ends, apart from some light fingernail gouging, are close to pristine. I'd like to keep them that way. For the first 70 plus years of its life the concertina resided in the UK, and then more lately in western Oregon, USA, where it experienced a similar climate. Now I have it in Alaska, which is obviously a harsher world than it has known. (There's a tremendous swing in humidity from summer to winter and back.) I know some flute makers who insist that ebony simply doesn't absorb or lose moisture like other woods, but I have also seen some wooden ended concertinas that where the grill work was pretty busted up. I'd like to avoid that. Does anyone have any advice on caring for the ebony ends? Particularly useful would be anyone living in Norway or northern Scotland, but I'd appreciate any relevant opinion. The grill work seems sooo delicate! Thanks, George Knight Anchorage, Alaska, USA
  4. It appears to me the lady on the cover is attempting to stop the concertina from playing, perhaps to save the sensibilities of her little dog, so I propose a simple title: "Unstoppable." The lady also appears to be emerging from a snail shell, but I don't know what to do about that . . . --George
  5. My hearing is very poor, which means the noise of a session easily overwhelms whatever I'm playing, so I sympathize. However, for some reason, my Edgley GD I can just manage to hear, even though I hold it further away from my ears than my big ol' melodeon. As Geoff noted, sometimes one particular instrument works better for one's ears than another, although I don't know how you'd go shopping for such a beast. It seems to be up to luck, perhaps. Years ago a friend of mine used to wear a big, wide brimmed hat to old-time jams. She said it helped her hear herself. It sounds silly, but for a lady especially, it might worth a try. She put flowers on it, too, and got compliments for that. --George
  6. This has been going on for six years? Wow. Perhaps this is a Yank thing (although perhaps not, since Utah is already represented), but I have never had the SLIGHTEST idea of what you wonderful people are on about with this game. That said, play on, and I hope you have a lot of fun. Perhaps in another six years I might begin to get a clue. Assuming there are any real clues to get. --George
  7. what like defining folk music? EXACTLY!! No matter how close you get, you're still wrong, which means you can research another paper. Or buy another round, if you're in the pub.
  8. My results: Enthusiasm for music 95% Musical perception 99% Emotional connection 89% Social creativity 67% Musical curiosity 96% Group the music 0, but I grouped 3 out of 4 correctly twice; that's worth an "attaboy," isn't it? Match the beat 15/18; Tap the beat, 3 high 4 medium 2 low:I did better when I "whacked" the space bar rather than "tapped" it. Melody memory 12/12; I've had lots of practice on this one. It would be interesting to see how the scores for Musical Perception correlate to years of experience playing music. My bias is to see this as a result of practice, so it would be fun to see the statistical result.
  9. Which is precisely why you should never ever ever EVER let anyone else tell you whether or not you "should" or "should not" play music, "should" or "should not" play a particular instrument, etc. Some things on the test don't go deeply enough to get good answers, and I don't know how they could. For instance, my lowest score was in the "social" category, playing with others and composing. I used to play with others a lot, but since my hearing has deteriorated with age and abuse, I've backed off because it has become more frustrating than satisfying. Also, I've written tunes since I was a boy; I can't think of a time I haven't, so whatever markers they were using for that category misfired. (To be fair, they said I "may" have a problem imagining new melodies). Some things are based on personal experience and training, not on any innate musical ability. I scored 12 for 12 on melody memory, but as a singer, I've spent my whole life transposing melodies into my vocal range; that's not an innate ability at all but a result of constant practice. Still these things are fun, and I had fun doing it. If I were a behavioral psychologist or music pedagogue, this is the exact kind of thing I'd be hip deep in designing, because the challenge is to see how well you can define the undefinable, and what researcher can resist that?
  10. Which just goes to show that anything capable of bringing beauty into our lives can also bring ugliness. Except, of course, the concertina. George
  11. Left-handed pianists and piano accordion players do it all the time, so I don't imagine it's much of a problem. Until you become convinced it is.
  12. I have the same trouble with my Windows machine at work, but not my Mac at home. The answer, of course, is to not check out this forum from work, but then I'd have to carry on actual conversations during coffee break, so THAT's not going to happen. So, I just use a text editor and cut and paste into the "reply" box. But it is a problem.
  13. Yep, I was looking at the wrong page. The seller had supplied a link to the page below, and I followed suit, and made the same mistake the seller did, reading the wrong column. My world is right-side-up again! 28606.pdf
  14. This morning I was outbid on a nice looking (but probably in need of restoration), metal ended, eight sided Wheatstone English concertina. That's okay; I knew I really didn't have the money to stay in the game, if it got serious, and of course it got serious. My question is in regards to its serial number, 28636. The Horniman Ledgers show this to be a model 22, yet there it was, with eight sides, and the seller calling it an Aeola, which I thought would have made it a model 17. The only other model 22 I've seen had 6 sides. So my question: is the only difference between a model 22 and an Aeola the number of sides, or am I incorrect, and the model 22 was always an Aeola? Or is it more complicated than that? (Yes you're right; that's three questions.) For what it's worth, I would be happy to own either a 6 sided or 8 sided model 22. My wish list will just have to stand a bit longer, now. Recent Ebay 22.pdf
  15. I play ITM on a G/D concertina. I'm very much the learner, but I chose G/D because of some physical limitations I have with the left hand; it's an advantage to me to put more work on the right hand. I find I go to the middle and outside rows a lot on D tunes. I can't help it; it gives me more options for phrasing, air management, and "punch." Oddly, I find that when I borrow a friend's C/G concertina, a lot of work falls on the weak fingers of my LEFT hand, especially the pinkie; maybe I'm doing it wrong? Or perhaps C/G players are so used to it they don't notice, anymore? I certainly don't notice the work my right pinkie does on a G/D anymore, not like when I first started. I find tunes in A and A minor a snap on the G/D; you wouldn't think so, but that's the way it works out. I don't find the tone of my G/D "deeper" or "more sonorous" than that of a C/G, providing I'm playing in the same octave as everyone else. A440 is A440, in my experience. I can see, of course, if a C/G player picks up a G/D concertina and uses the same fingering he or she is accustomed to, the tone will be deeper; he or she will also be in the wrong key, but transposing has it's benefits. If Irish players had originally started with G/D concertinas, I agree that Irish concertina music would sound different than it does today on the C/G. It would still sound "Irish," I think, because a lot of different instruments are used in ITM, and they all sound Irish. That particular "concertina" sound would just be a little different. For G/D to become a standard (like the B/C accordion), or even a secondary standard (like the C#/D accordion), some brilliant player will have to come along (the Joe Cooley of the concertina) and make his or her music on the G/D concertina, and then a lot of new players will ask "what's that sound" and rush out and buy G/D concertinas. That's what happened with the banjo, guitar, and bouzouki, and it could happen to the G/D concertina, but it's not necessary, in my opinion, since the C/G is doing so nicely for so many. If you want to play ITM, I recommend getting a C/G concertina. You'll have more resources available to you for learning, as others have mentioned. If you have a physical limitation, like me, or a G/D is the best instrument available to you, go for it. In the end, I believe music is in the head and heart, not the equipment. If you want to play ITM on a G/D concertina, you certainly can. Whether you can play it brilliantly it totally up to you.
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