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I Know It's Not A Concertina, But What Is It?


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While touring the 2009 Seattle Folk Life Festival some months back, I spotted a Didgeridoo player working some sort of free-reed instrument (I least that's what I guessed it to be) in harmony (of sorts) with his Didgeridoo. It appeared to have hinged bellows on two sides that could be operated independently, though the fellow playing it only pumped one side. It looked like the panels were spring loaded to open on their own, so he only had to squeeze to operate it.

 

I think that it only sounded when the bellows were squeezed, and looking at the opening I imagine I see “stops” that might be turned on or off for various pitches, but I don’t know that either is the case. It was at the end of a long day, there was a big crowd and the Didgeridoo player was inclined to play longer than I was inclined to stand by waiting to get a chance to talk to him. I took a few photos and finally retreated to the car and home.

 

Regardless, I have thought about it a few times since and decided I might be interested in getting one of these things if I could figure out where to find one. Knowing the name for the instrument would be a great help. Anyone have any ideas?

 

I have a notion that one might be able to set one of these up to use as a foot pumped drone for concertina accompaniment. Although it doesn't appear to be nearly as versatile as another foot pumped instrument I've seen referenced on this site, if the price is right and the sound appropriate, it might have potential.

 

 

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Thanks Jeff.

 

I see lots of Internet references now that I know what to look for. In reviewing the Wikipedia description I see it has already established a minor presence in traditional Irish music. I'll leave this post up for a time in case I'm not the only one that was unfamiliar with the instrument.

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In reviewing the Wikipedia description I see it has already established a minor presence in traditional Irish music.

Well ther's Noirín Ní Ríain with her "electric handbag" (as I heard somebody call her shruti box once :rolleyes: ) anyway, and I did import s few of them from India (along with other stuff) when McNeill's was still in Capel Street, Dublin, but a very minor presence really... :unsure:

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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Interestingly he's got a couple of hangs there. Serious and very beautiful musical instruments.

chris

Well, I'm ready to dismiss them simply because the Swiss twerps who invented them felt the need to create a new vowel sound for the name...instantly labels them 'New Age Tosh' for me.

 

(and plural. Hanghang indeed. That's the plural you're supposed to use, if you haven't bothered with the link. I expect if you've paid for one you're probably daft enough, too)

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snidey comments aside this topic has been annoying me because I feel sure one of our regular lady members uses one of these routinely and has written glowingly about it, but no one has put their hand up.

 

Isn't it Rhomylly? (I apologise for the spelling in advance, if you see this, Mrs.) And doesn't she (don't you) play it with her foot?

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snidey comments aside this topic has been annoying me because I feel sure one of our regular lady members uses one of these routinely and has written glowingly about it, but no one has put their hand up.

 

Isn't it Rhomylly? (I apologise for the spelling in advance, if you see this, Mrs.) And doesn't she (don't you) play it with her foot?

 

I don't remember who it was, in part because I was too lazy to search through all the results of my search on the term "foot bass," that being what the lady in question had--it's not quite the same, since it's played (as you mention) by foot and I believe plays more notes than the sruti box does (this is my impression only; I'm far from being an expert on either instrument).

 

Joshua

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snidey comments aside this topic has been annoying me because I feel sure one of our regular lady members uses one of these routinely and has written glowingly about it, but no one has put their hand up.

 

Isn't it Rhomylly? (I apologise for the spelling in advance, if you see this, Mrs.) And doesn't she (don't you) play it with her foot?

 

I don't remember who it was, in part because I was too lazy to search through all the results of my search on the term "foot bass," that being what the lady in question had--it's not quite the same, since it's played (as you mention) by foot and I believe plays more notes than the sruti box does (this is my impression only; I'm far from being an expert on either instrument).

 

Joshua

I vaguely remember Bellowbelle mentioning her playing one of these:

http://www.bandoneon-maker.com/footbass_1.htm

 

Thanks

Leo

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instantly labels them 'New Age Tosh' for me.

Very much how I feel about the didgeridoo. But I first encountered the hang in the hands of a street musician in Bath who was using it to play superb music. Because I didn't know the name I had no hangups about it. I just loved the sound. And, of course, Hector Berlioz made a not-entirely-dissimilar condemnation of the concertina ...

 

Chris

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