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Englo or Anglish?


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Here's a curious image! :unsure:

 

Anglish or Englo?

 

Do my eyes deceive me or is this a Concertina with a Thumb Strap for the right hand & a Hand Strap for the left hand! :blink:

 

I wonder, did anyone get one of these in their Christmas Stocking this year? ;)

 

Seriously though, I'm wondering if a Concertina ever really has been adapted with a different strap set up on either end, for someone who was perhaps suffering from some form of physical problem?

 

Cheers

Dick

Edited by Ptarmigan
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Here's a curious image! :unsure:

 

Anglish or Englo?

 

Do my eyes deceive me or is this a Concertina with a Thumb Strap for the right hand & a Hand Strap for the left hand! :blink:

Not so much your eyes, but maybe your interpretation of what your eyes see is deceptive.

 

I believe that's a picture of a standard English, with two thumb loops, though with the view of the left-hand one blocked by the rest of the hand. The "hand strap" is not mounted as on an anglo or duet, but more resembles the "wrist straps" sometimes found on English concertinas, which are in addition to the thumb loop, not a substitute. As for why he's using it for only one hand, one can only speculate (unless someone actually knows the person in the illustration), but I know that when I got my baritone-treble, only one of the wrist straps was intact.

 

Seriously though, I'm wondering if a Concertina ever really has been adapted with a different strap set up on either end...?

Well, yeah. The one discussed in this thread.

 

As for your "Englo or Anglish" title, I think that with the weather many of us are experiencing at the moment, a more appropriate title might be "Igloo or Anguish". ;)

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Another duet system uncovered?!!

 

I remember pics of a concertina with the buttons on only one side (straps on both sides)and speculation that this was a specially made/modified instrument perhaps for a First Great War veteran.

 

Greg

 

Was it this one?

 

Edited by mike byrne
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Another duet system uncovered?!!

 

I remember pics of a concertina with the buttons on only one side (straps on both sides)and speculation that this was a specially made/modified instrument perhaps for a First Great War veteran.

 

Greg

 

Was it this one?

 

 

I believe that's the one! Thanks, Mike.

 

Greg

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Seriously though, I'm wondering if a Concertina ever really has been adapted with a different strap set up on either end, for someone who was perhaps suffering from some form of physical problem?

 

Morning - yes there have been several I believe. I recall a story about a concertina player in Hexham who used to play having lost a limb in the Great War (or maybe 39-45?). The concertina only had a single functioning end. I don't know what system it was or whether the instrument was taken up before or after the injury.

 

cheers

 

Rob

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Morning - yes there have been several I believe. I recall a story about a concertina player in Hexham who used to play having lost a limb in the Great War (or maybe 39-45?). The concertina only had a single functioning end. I don't know what system it was or whether the instrument was taken up before or after the injury.

cheers

Rob

 

Interesting Rob.

 

Either before or after, it still shows amazing guts & determination for them to struggle against the odds like that.

 

Makes me automatically think of someone like Django Reinhardt. People like that could so easily give up & just be content to listen ..... or just play a Bodhran! ;)

 

When I'm struggling with a new tune &/or having trouble learning a tricky phrase of a new tune, I try to give myself a kick up the @r$€ by thinking of musicians like these. Puts it all into perspective really, doesn't it.

 

Cheers

Dick

Edited by Ptarmigan
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Morning - yes there have been several I believe. I recall a story about a concertina player in Hexham who used to play having lost a limb in the Great War (or maybe 39-45?). The concertina only had a single functioning end. I don't know what system it was or whether the instrument was taken up before or after the injury.

Either before or after, it still shoes amazing guts & determination for them to struggle against the odds like that.

Is the glass half full, or is it half empty?

It all depends on how you view life.

 

For some people (I think I'm one of the them, though I hope I never have to find out), it's not about "guts", "determination", or "struggle"; it's about taking pleasure in the abilities you have.

 

I know of an acclaimed cellist who contracted severe arthritis, so that he could no longer play to a performance standard. Did he sit home and mope? Did he struggle futilely to maintain a career that was no longer possible? No, he took up photography and was soon in great demand in his new career.

 

I don't know, but I think it's possible that the person who had the above single-ended concertina built wasn't a musician before (s)he suffered an accident (not necessarily in a war), but like Turlough O'Carolan turned to a musical career when other work became impossible. Or the "struggle" scenario may have been the real one. Does anyone know the history of that particular instrument?

 

Then there are those who start out with something different (I will not characterize it as "less") from what others have, and learn to use what they have, often in ways that we "normals" would never think of:

  • I've met two dance/session musicians, each "suffering" from a birth defect leaving him with one complete arm and one partial one, yet the one plays recorder, the other wooden flute, both excellently. In teaching themselves to play, did they "struggle" more than the average child taking piano lessons? I never thought to ask them, and they didn't bring up the subject, either to brag or to complain.
  • As for concertinas, I knew a folksinger in New York State who had only one functional hand/arm, so he took a cheap 20-button anglo, closed off one end (as in the above photo), and added a strap to fasten it to his thigh. He didn't play fast jigs and reels, but he did use the concertina quite effectively for song accompaniment.

Makes me automatically think of someone like Django Reinhardt. People like that could so easily give up & just be content to listen ..... or just play a Bodhran! ;)

Or give up music altogether, for that matter. But the point I'm trying to make is that while some folks might feel depressed and either give in to the depression or fight against it, it wouldn't even occur to others that one would need to "struggle".

 

Just another way in which we're not all the same.

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Jim, I was thinking more in terms of someone who could play & then through an accident perhaps, lost the use of a digit or two, or a limb & was then faced with the prospect of giving up, or getting back on the horse.

 

For someone who was used to playing, I reckon the effort of trying to get back to the same standard would surely be a bit of a struggle, both physically & mentally.

 

There used to be a Whistle player in Sandy Bells who I think had perhaps suffered from Polio, but whatever, he only had the use of I think two fingers of one hand. However, he had wanted to play the Whistle, so he just used four from the other hand to give him six & got on with it.

 

I think sometimes, people can tend to be a little shy, when it comes to drawing attention to any trait that might perhaps make them stand out in a crowd, so I take my hat off to anyone who has the deck stacked against them, but just gets on with it, & leaves others to do the worrying.

 

Cheers

Dick

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I've met two dance/session musicians, each "suffering" from a birth defect leaving him with one complete arm and one partial one, yet the one plays recorder, the other wooden flute, both excellently.

Would one of those be Jerry Jenkins, of Cambridge, NY?

 

One of the most incredible folk recorder and pennywhistle players I've ever heard, and his left arm ends in a stump just below the elbow (congenital amputation). He uses all four fingers of his right hand to cover the uppermost holes and the stump to cover one or two (or fractions) of the lower holes. Once when we arrived to play a dance at a grange hall that somebody had forgotten to leave unlocked for us, he broke in by opening a window about 5 feet off the ground and climbing in, in a way that suggested he was no stranger to climbing techniques.

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Another duet system uncovered?!!

 

I remember pics of a concertina with the buttons on only one side (straps on both sides)and speculation that this was a specially made/modified instrument perhaps for a First Great War veteran.

 

Greg

 

Was it this one?

 

 

Ah yes, from the "half off" sale.

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Colin and Rosalie completed a pair of G/D 36-button concertinas for me and a friend last summer. The layout was designed to allow more reversal options and reverse chord options in the main keys. To allow more flexibility, my friend had his made with a thumbstrap and English style wrist strap on the right side (the left being standard anglo strap). I stuck with the traditional anglo strap arrangement but he is very happy with the thumbstrap arrangement. I have tried it and it does work well. When I picked mine up, I did get a chance to try the Franglo and once you can wrap your brain around it being essentially laid out like a melodeon, it is very playable and has more bass options than a regular melodeon. In fact, I am extremely tempted to order one........

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Jim, I was thinking more in terms of someone who could play & then through an accident perhaps, lost the use of a digit or two, or a limb & was then faced with the prospect of giving up, or getting back on the horse.

 

For someone who was used to playing, I reckon the effort of trying to get back to the same standard would surely be a bit of a struggle, both physically & mentally.

 

There used to be a Whistle player in Sandy Bells who I think had perhaps suffered from Polio, but whatever, he only had the use of I think two fingers of one hand. However, he had wanted to play the Whistle, so he just used four from the other hand to give him six & got on with it.

 

I think sometimes, people can tend to be a little shy, when it comes to drawing attention to any trait that might perhaps make them stand out in a crowd, so I take my hat off to anyone who has the deck stacked against them, but just gets on with it, & leaves others to do the worrying.

 

Cheers

Dick

Although not a concertina player, John Wilson, bagpiper, is one who struggled with the effect of an accident which would have made many give up. John Wilson was a very accomplished Highland piper, who lost his thumb and two of his fingers when he unwisely picked up a blasting cap he foulnd during the war. Not giving up, he learned to play with the stumps and went on to win the most prestigious prizes in piping in Scotland. Years later, he lost a lung to cancer and miraculously survived for many years. On his sixty-sixth year, and after not playing competitively for at least 20 years (he had been a piping judge and composer/compiler of tune books) he entered solo competitions at the highest level, and won second! ---one lung, missing fingers and inhis mid sixties!!! For more remarkable details visit http://www.piping.on.ca/myimages/File/John%20Wilson%20bio.pdf

Edited by Frank Edgley
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