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Current players of The Maccann ?


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Whilst looking for videos of Maccann Duet players on Youtube, of which I found precious few, I started wondering just how many current players there might be worldwide.

I feel sure that to make such a count of English or Anglo players would be a daunting task but Duets......

Anyone (and everyone) have any thoughts on this ?

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Whilst looking for videos of Maccann Duet players on Youtube, of which I found precious few, I started wondering just how many current players there might be worldwide.

I feel sure that to make such a count of English or Anglo players would be a daunting task but Duets......

Anyone (and everyone) have any thoughts on this ?

Having once considered going for the Maccann system myself, I remember a guess of 10 to 20 players in total, but cannot tell where it actually was, I'm afraid.

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Pam Bishop

Anne-Marie Boisard

Gilbert Carrere

Suzanne Higgins (spare Parts band)

 

that makes 16 so far with the other names already mentioned

 

I know a few other individuals but they might not want publicity

 

- John

I believe that I've heard that Claire Beorn Norman, who lives in my general area, plays Maccann. I've found some photos of her online with her concertina but can't see the concertina well enough to tell what system it is. I think that I've met a couple of other people in California over the years who played at least a little Maccann, though I think they played other systems too.

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Having once considered going for the Maccann system myself, I remember a guess of 10 to 20 players in total, but cannot tell where it actually was, I'm afraid.

A severe underestimate, I'm sure.

Trying to make up a list of my own, I have so far:

  • Ten that I have met personally and at least had conversation with. Of those ten, I'm pretty sure that four aren't members of concertina.net.
  • There are others (in classes at Witney, e.g.) that I have seen play, but whose identities I never learned.
  • One with whom I've communicated by email, but not yet met in person. Also not a member here.
  • Six more members of concertina.net listed by others.
  • Three more nonmembers listed by others.
  • Four additional concertina.net members (including myself) that I know have Maccanns, but may not (yet) class themselves as "players".
  • One other nonmember of uncertain "player" status.

That's already at least 25 that I know about personally. Actually more, since I mentioned that I've seen others without learning anything about them. And I'm pretty sure there are Maccann-playing members of concertina.net who have mentioned the fact, but whom I've forgotten because they don't post much. And a couple more names have been added to this thread by others while I've been composing and proofreading this post.

 

Also, I believe there are quite a few Maccann players who are members of the ICA, but not members of concertina.net. And I'm sure there must be others (e.g., in South Africa) who are members of neither.

 

Another set of statistics that ought to be useful, if we could get it, is the number of Maccanns sold or worked on by our dealers and repairers, in the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Australia, etc. Or the number sold on eBay withing the last year or two. I'm fairly certain that both those counts would greatly exceed the "guess of 10 to 20 players in total".

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I don't think you can conclude anything at all from Ebay sales. I reckon the majority of Maccans have been stored by non players; either descendants of the original owner or musicians, especially players of other concertina systems who buy them on a whim and, because they can already make a good noise with their Anglo or English never really apply themselves. In today's depressed times they look around for something they don't use to cash in; lo and behold another Maccan hits the internet auction. None of these deals tell you anything about players. Then there are straight collectors about these days. Furthermore a serious player would aspire to own a reserve instrument (or two, or six!) so trying to say 'every instrument must be bought by a player' doesn't work either.

 

There are many people in the Maccan world that you would describe as a player out of courtesy rather than conviction which makes all this rather open ended. I think you'd be more likely to get somewhere if you defined 'play'. If you ask for the number of Maccan players in the world currently capable of doing a convincing solo piece; suitable for display on Youtube, perhaps given that was where you started Geoff, you might get a meaningful number.

 

On that principle I might struggle to get to 10 names; treble it at least for the unseen ones; my guess: 30 or 40.

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Bob Harvey plays a Maccann and Chris Coe plays an Edeophone Maccann duet and then there's my and Ralphie Jordan's friend Lis Stewart, who plays a 46 key Lachenal Maccann. BTW, I thought Iris and Pam Bishop - no relation - played Crane duets.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Drinkwater
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Chris - from what I was given to understand from Al at Sidmouth it's likely to be out before Christmas. However, there is so much material available that not everyone that has submitted will get on to it.

 

Re Iris Bishop and Pam Bishop -I'll second Jim here - they most certainly do play Maccanns :)

 

At Whitby Folk Week in 2010 Sylvia Needham ran a duet concertina workshop. It was intended as a beginners' workshop, but the programme didn't include that detail. The night before Sylvia and I had joked that I would be her only pupil, and that we could repair to the John Kirkpatrick Workshop elsewhere instead. However, by the time the dust had settled the room actually had more than 20 players present - including Iris. Of these, only three didn't have a Maccann in their hands. And at least two other Maccann players that I was aware of were not there (one being Bill Whaley, the other Will Hall). So on one day in one place last year there were at least 23 Maccann players in town! Ralphie had joked when we had performed our show at the Black Diamond Folk Club in Birmingham, which included two duet duets from us, that as Pam Bishop was in the room with her instrument, with three in the same location an implosion was likely to occur. In fact at Whitby last year, we should presumably have set off nuclear fission! :blink:

 

And there is, of course, Jack Bradshaw's site Maccann-Mccann concertina players where there are currently 50 members registered (including Geoff now, I notice!!)

http://maccann-mccann.ning.com/

Some of the members on there have been mentioned on here already - others have not. Might go away and check the full list!!

 

(BTW I'm honoured to be included as a player Dirge ... although the L plates are still up of course)

Edited by Irene S
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I nearly forgot. I haven't mentioned Graham Coyne, a friend of the late Barry Callaghan who helped in the production of the video on Reuben Shaw. He posted two videos onto Youtube earlier in the year and I have been in contact with him. He has been playing for over 30 years, but rarely performs in public. He has given me to understand that Reuben's son, Reuben, probably also plays. As he doesn't get out to play much Graham had been under the impression that Maccann players were as rare as hen's teeth. I'm sitting down to prepare an Excel spreadsheet of the names mentioned so far - recuperation from sickness occasionally has it's uses.

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OK - I've now produced a spreadsheet of those players who are signed up to Jack Bradshaw's group, and those who have already been mentioned here ... and the total so far is 64, with players stretching out to Hong Kong, Australia, Kyrgystan, USA and South Africa as well as UK. (That's my next task for curiosity's sake - working out where everybody is).

Edited by Irene S
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