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How loud is the concertina?


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Hello! Total newbie here.

A while ago I started looking into accordions as a second, portable instrument (piano is my first). Quickly I discovered two gripes: firstly the weight and unwieldiness, which was what made me start thinking about a concertina. My second gripe is the sound level: it doesn't seem like the kind of instrument you can pull out and play at a park, or in a company, in good conscience (unless you are a very evil person).

Unfortunately I think it will be hard for me to find a concertina that I can try before I buy where I live, hence my question. Is the concertina a good park instrument, or would the sound get on people's nerves?

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A fine Concertina should be capable of being played very quietly or quite loudly, if and as you wish. As instruments go they are not hugely powerfull at 'Forte' like a Saxaphone or piano etc.

A poor quality Concertina will, most likely, have limited dynamic range and be only medium volume. But there are a vast range of types of Concertina.. from the mild and docile to the screamers .

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Well, any replies will be subjective...

 

A good concertina will be capable of being played quietly. I have practiced in hotels without complaint, I wouldn't dream of practising with my Hohner button accordion in that environment.

Although to be fair, a good accordion should also be capable of quiet playing.

 

A concertina is much more portable than most accordions, of course. You can get small, light, relatively quiet accordions but perhaps not so common.

 

My opinion...

Malcolm

Edited by malcolmbebb
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Your replies are both very helpful, and seem to say that the concertina may suit my needs.

As for a good concertina being able to play quietly, I am not sure what constitutes as a "good" one. If I'm getting one, it'll probably be Concertina Connection's Jack/Jackie. I can't afford anything more expensive as a beginner's instrument and from what I've seen, concertinas get amazingly pricy very fast.

I've noticed that these two are a fair bit larger than the average -- do you think the additional size contributes to the sound level?

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the size doesn't really contribute to the sound level. the quality of the reeds do. the reason the concertinas you are looking at are larger is because of how the reeds are mounted, which helps cut down on cost. those concertinas will not be too loud to play in a park! I think all instruments are equally likely to annoy or entertain random listeners in a park.

 

as far as how loud are concertinas, well, let's just say that it depends on the player more than the instrument. good concertinas can get louder AND quieter than lower qualit ones, yes, but you can put any 'Tina in my hand and quickly wish you were NOT sitting next to me! I couldn't overpower a whole ceili band on a Chinese-made instrument, perhaps, but then again unless I'm leading the band I shouldn't really be doing that anyways, :-)

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Hi,

 

I have a Jackie and can now play quite quietly. It took a while for me to develop the level of control to be able to play a tune quietly, at a reasonable tempo, and sound OK. When playing music that includes harmonies or chords I still occaisionally have trouble with one of the notes not sounding - which never happens if I apply a little more pressure. I've played more expensive instruments and found that they will play more consistently with mimimum pressure but that shouldn't be taken to mean that you can't play a Jackie quietly if you're willing to do the practice.

 

Cheers,

 

Robert

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If a concertina is too loud for you, you can always add baffles to soften the tone. Baffles traditionally go inside the concertina (which involves taking it apart), but you can also put them outside. Here is a picture of my Stagi 18-button miniature with external baffles. I just cut them out of ultrasuede (any sound-absorbing fabric will do, I'd think) and attached them with velcro. They really do make a difference in volume - without them, I couldn't practice in my living room for more than a few minutes without giving myself a headache.

 

I also have a Jack, to which I've added internal baffles (only because the ultrasuede pieces I had were not big enough to make external ones). If you like, I can take pictures of those and explain how I made them.

baffled stagi.tiff

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My model 19 can be forced to match the loudness of accordions and other generally much louder instruments, subject to a likely increase in human error. It’s better not to force and wise to keep in good company instrumentally.

 

That said, I’ve had the experience of hearing a couple or so impressive ITM band sets [bearing an AC] during a major pipe bands event and the ACist was playing competently and relaxed under the clash of loud bagpipe bands nearby. His sound was also successfully [albeit barely] reaching over all of the other louder instruments within the circle of players, yet I’d contend that the AC had the least volume.

 

There’s something distinctive about the tone that can help it to overcome such duress, which however necessitates the utmost concentration against the forces of noise/distraction.

 

Regarding its capacity in quietness:

 

Take for example a hearing test where some tones can be next to silent:

 

[i had one recently and fortunately my hearing is okay for my age! ]

 

My 1912 Aeola model 19 T-T can reproduce an equivalent quietness.

 

Not kidding!

 

However, I’ve not been able to enjoy this quietness quality in my flat, generally, due to competing [exacerbated] noises perhaps from residing downtown. It’s indeed a sheer joy when this is occasionally quelled to hear the instrument’s true sound quality and to help ease any learning and practise challenges.

 

Forgive me for feeling the need now as follows to update [the forum] on my distraction troubles, albeit it’s something good this time to report rather than bad, which I must get off my chest!

 

It’s still kind of ala related to the thread, and is occasionally a little novel-like, apologies:-

 

 

 

 

One typical weekday afternoon recently, barely a couple of months ago, I could hardly believe my ears and luck when suddenly no exacerbated noises were coming in-between my ears and the instrument. Yes, traffic was passing as normal etc. and this reminded me of the [call it a relative] tranquillity that was more common for me in the past; and which I thought could certainly strike at anytime but rarely ever did. More follows later.

 

I don’t know what causes the exacerbation!

 

Should a neighbouring flat (vacated or otherwise) decide to (above an uninsulated area of flooring) run a boiler continuously, this might not help, if not at the root. This was unfortunately the case for me over my last few New Years. Last summer has been the last straw!

 

As something is generally exacerbating the mere traffic noise [and I don’t know what], it’s each and everything together I think, I’ve found myself being extremely intolerant of revving traffic and more, especially during practice as the concertina naturally makes it worse. What’s more? Loud house music from either one of the nearest bars or from kids on the nearest pedestrian precinct equally as intolerable as the revving despite their remarkable distance from me.

 

When I put my ear to some particular areas of walls there is a tremendous humming vibration, which I’m thinking is possibly a transmittance from neighbouring fans appliances and apparatus etc. It’s happening now actually and might be making the adjacent construction humdrum appear louder than it should.

 

When this [ever] stops is perhaps when that aforementioned tranquillity occurs ergo when the instrument can be heard properly in a more normal setting of un-exacerbated noises. This is when you can enjoy the instruments unique ability to air almost silently.

 

When I was in that unimprisoned moment recently there was surprisingly normal construction activity and traffic still flowing. Surely some kind of anti-noise apparatus wasn’t working in my favour for a moment.

 

Obviously I can’t go around all my neighbours and ask them to turn things off! But, if I should ever re-experience the same momentous tranquillity, as recently, then I’ll be sure to log it and check if the strange wall vibration (NB funnily not detectable on the immediate flooring) have stopped in order to deduce whether or not a ‘flanking transmission’ problem is at bay.

 

Now back to that great incidence of tranquillity:

 

Around that lunchtime, just before heading off to do voluntary work in the afternoon as I do, I’d been practising “Memories of You” (which I’ve not quite mastered yet) and remember having the overwhelming feeling of a released prisoner, Nelson Mandela springs to mind. I took this feeling all the way on my journey to work later that afternoon; and within about an hour of cataloguing drawings I finally began to settle my emotion...

 

When I’d got to the bridge on that song, i.e. “How I wish I, could for-get those, hap-py yes-ter, years___, they have left a, rosary of tears___” the self pity had kicked in big-time, except that my tears were dry from feeling too joyous a sadness perhaps.]

 

Suffice to [or dare I] say, I’ll have to revert in my mind to “they will leave [not “they have left”] until perhaps my next New Year, when I might be able to once again assign the tears to the past tense!

 

Something spiritual perhaps also to consider is that this bout of silence had actually occurred or rather coincided after making my very first in-roads on the recently prolific self-tuition advances that I’d been making and felt compelled to write about here.

 

Oh, and the thumps that were occurring during all shop hours below, during 1 March 2012 onward; are back to occurring during merely closing [and sometimes opening] times, yippee:

 

Here was my diary entry on the thumps for 25 May:

 

“yes thumps happened today DITTO at 932am opening , but also at closing 17:58__pm? unusually bounce on floor mis-coordinated with one of the door slams !!/still great it's not during all [shop] hours/big improvement since mid May onward...”

 

Radical construction works (since 2008) will however continue around me I suspect until ironically the recession ends!

 

Various nearby alarms have also, once again, been testing me recently, i.e. during and outwith construction activity, but thank goodness not at anywhere near the same levels as they’d been doing during the last construction-free period.

 

Anyone else suffering the same challenges? Perhaps you stay in downtown NY or share a party wall with largely non-residential properties that run all manner of things against the fabric of your property.

 

If so, please feel free to start a separate post on the topic.

 

 

 

"big improvement since mid May onward..." I.E.TENTATIVELY SPEAKING NOW, I WISH I HADN'T MENTIONED IT!

 

Anyone got the Equaliser’s number, although I wouldn’t be able to tell him what extent my problem might be societal or personal:

 

I said novel-like earlier: but now confess a little ‘film-noir’ too at times, so I reiterate the above apology and please don’t feel obliged to read my - albeit rarely occasioned - self pity spiel!

 

I’ll think I’ll be able to refrain from such spiel after I get this part off my chest. Fingers crossed as I’d rather focus on my repertoire proper.!

 

So on with the addendum to my original comment above - IT'S NOT A PRETTY PICTURE AND I HOPE I'VE IMAGINED MOST OF IT:-

 

 

[i’m heavily suspecting that] it’s near all pointing to the upstairs flat coordinating an assault on my senses, not without the incidental assistances of the downtown environment that I’m always quick to point the finger at:

 

1) occasional garlic odour during restaurant hours, i.e. in house despite shut windows, albeit [of late] opening windows to get fresh air in take from the front can help dispel it; and dispel the notion that it might all be coming entirely from outside – it’s not clear sometimes where it’s from...; as with ditto

 

2) putrid and off smoke-smell during opening front windows while managers light up prior to doing business (this occurred for at least 2 out of the 3 shops once, but now appeared to be merely the one [of late]). I’m not discounting the shop’s possible involvement because when I decided to keep my front windows open during Easter Sunday morning – at 7.45am thinking they’d definitely not appear [whilst knowing that they’d been arriving earlier and earlier to - surely unintentionally - counter my window opening times on normal Sundays as well as weekdays], I got the whiff and one of the managers was there of course. Since another incidence a bit later on than this occasion [exact time in diary probably a normal Saturday at 7:30am: 3 EH officers called by after my complaint – my story was told, but too difficult for them to witness let alone comprehend] I’ve since then been more observant from my window and have arrived at the conclusion that I don’t think it’s purely coming from singly that source as I haven’t seemed to detect the smell when my head is fully out the window and they’re blazing away – I’ve not been so shy about opening my windows now an keeping an eye/nose on things. Furthermore the last few smells of stale but not putrid smoke in my room – even as I write – have appeared to not be coming from outside. Come to think of it not one of my last few neighbours has been a non-smoker. I’ve always been far from against passive smoke, even yet, in spite of these happenings;

 

3) {& yes, inclined to write in diary today as the thumps occurred back as normal – this time during laptop activity), spoke too soon about improvements eh! at 16:39/51/2-3x during 55-59/ although it used to happen also during concertina practice too – and I’m suspecting this will be reinstated; At first I thought that the construction thuds were causing it this time as opposed to downstairs, but it was simply the construction hammering merging with structural floor thumps/movements from above I’m certain - although here I'm sure I caught one out during mid thump - I just felt a slight floor wobble there a sec ago as if someone heavy upstairs jumping on the [structural] floor, ergo perhaps neighbour is trying to coordinate outside and inside noises together..., i.e. not forgetting in tandem with something that's causing the noise vibrations too – the bouncy feel appeared to be attempting to map with the present heavy construction hammering, but I’m now certain that these are indeed separated noises - thanks ears!! The upstairs neighbour wouldn’t answer chaps nor the phone no. given to me recently when the (possible) owner passed it on after an inspection recently of his water leak coming in. The neighbour was speaking loudly foreign with someone else on another speaker phone I think; also at 17:13 the same thing again, he wouldn’t answer - he'd resumed talking with someone else. This reluctance to answer the door [& buzzer] also happened on the previous occasion after noticing the aforementioned leak; although that time there wasn’t any audible signs of anyone talking. The creaks above were however an obvious indicator of someone’s presence. This is in line with previous neighbours in my attempts to sort an emergency e.g. leak or the likes... The 2011 agent told me initially that I’d have to contact them myself this time as they’d no longer managed the flat, i.e. the same agent who’d not asked the owner (RE my last neighbour) to deafen the offending hollow floor area with insulation, which in turn caused me to lose/cover over 2 of 3 spotlights to prevent sound leaks [i.e. mitigate droning appliance/s noise]. I may ultimately have to insulate this part of the ceiling with sandwiched insulation above an extra lowered acoustic ceiling layer/s myself, perhaps in vain to a degree due to there being a structural as well as airborne noise issue]; & finally

 

4) a couple of nights ago I went to hear [with ear to] the wall to correlate the unusual creaking/dropping/steps to see if it's a real human, i.e. since the identically unusual noise was reminiscent of each of my previous neighbours, but I didn't hear what I was expecting: what appeared was someone not walking around at all (i.e. not genuine footsteps) and the dropping of things occasionally, etc. , but someone see-sawing on something creeky from a slight distance away (perhaps a creaky part of the floor) very uniformly and steadily like ‘exercise machine work’, which was perhaps stressing the joists and making these very unusual irregular and much more apparent airborne step/creak and bang noises that have plagued me since circa 2007?/ i.e. 3-5 neighbours ago. Again, the joist zone here is uninsulated in this area – the agent 2011 said recently that the owner now manages their own affairs – looks like I’ll have to sound proof over the offending area from my end, myself!

 

5) [but not related to upstairs per se although historically attached]: how would you feel writing this when over the last 1 hour and counting a light hammering has not stopped on my wall [ps stopped after another 0.5 hours] . This work is connected with the aforementioned [on a separate post] fit-out works curiously started on the upper floor above the restaurant, which happens to straddle the North wall of my property, I’ll concede that it could be access flooring and perhaps suspended ceiling works if the latter transfer noise down structurally. It’s more likely to be the flooring works, which would be about from 7ft up on my wall. When will it ever end, with the activity having started slightly after the beginning of March after having spilled the beans with others (on its apparently empty state over the last 2 years albeit appearing occupied with travel agent window posters that‘d been there so long that they’ve left a slight embossing onto the now clear glass), and shortly before recording it here too? I’ll be calling the contractor shortly of course for feedback. This property could have been possibly [melodramatically speaking] one of the bains of my life over the last few months without realising it, but where do I point my fingers: UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT – you name it; superficiality feels rife everywhere around, can I be blamed? Doubtfully! The vibration on the wall could either be from this office; the restaurant below it; the once barbers below the restaurant – I don’t think it’s the flat above me; and neither the shop nor its basement area, below me, in this particular instance.

 

This is all a great shame as I’m shortly approaching a worthwhile conclusion on my rendition of “Memories of You”, probably a couple of weeks to go before recording trials. I can start to hear Eubie’s intention/playing/rendition coming through on the tina now, perhaps by having observed the you-tube posted live and recorded examples, from the early 1980s and ca’69 respectively. Yet, what I’m playing seems to be closely compatible with the typical 1930s recordings/renditions.

 

[Add to this unnecessary mayhem, the current factor troubles and constantly crippling fees, Another dissertation-worth of word count required: where £70per month isn’t enough apparently to cover 1k of built up underpayments through ordering expenses I have no say in. Not to mention they won’t even return my calls ever on any of my requests, e.g. on most recently a letter 25 May stating that my Building Insurance is possibly inadequate and requires a professional valuation or to suffer any devalued claims. I suppose not as bad as the time they tried to charge me £500 to photograph my interior for any cracks prior to a 2008/9 redevelopment operation on the next building [multi-storey offices] up in the other direction – why couldn’t they’ve simply refurbished the 1970s block - yet the factor won’t get round to tackling real problems that concern me week after week. As the months pass they keep pacifying me on the phone but no word of action ensues, ergo I’ve evidence of this now across both private and communal matters. Frightening to think they’re one of the more established factors – unbelievable really – who should realise that I’m neither a veritable benefactor nor a happy victim of an unacceptable service!]

 

Right: back to real [voluntary] work and the songs now that I’ve got that off the chest – phew!

 

It won’t change though. I’ve basically inherited a nightmare of a flat since being herded here in 2001 after attempting to acquire my own (& 1st) flat: herded because the flat I really wanted at the Merchant City fell through – that particular agent blatantly lied and said I hadn’t turned up at the property on time to view, while I wasted an entire lunch on it; ergo I couldn’t turn down the following offer, on the week after, from a rival estate agent, for the [yet to this day extremely attractive] flat, which I’d later discovered happened to be just fitted out by the architect who’d just merged with the architectural practice I’d just joined after graduating. A good ally I thought until a few weeks down the line when a veritable encyclopaedia of troubles began accruing straight after a pointless defects liability period and way beyond. It hasn’t ever mattered what has ever changed hands around the property – a veritable purgatory has ensued and will never end!

 

11 years’ discontent and counting, eh!

 

Leave one alone, one might say! Yeah right, I’m sure that’ll work...

 

Apologies for this relapse into more than just some mere distractions, but had to get it [an abstract] out of my system for the time being – as indecipherable or comedic as it may seem!

 

I really should [instead of such] be getting on with those provocative numbers that appear in THE THIRTIES songbook as listed/posted on the ‘Songs/Tunes’ forum.

 

Could do with a shoulder/neck massage after that update, apologies again!

Edited by kevin toner
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the reason the concertinas you are looking at are larger is because of how the reeds are mounted, which helps cut down on cost.

Interesting! I'd been wondering about the reason for the size difference. I guess it makes sense. It's not really something that bothers me -- it's still more portable than most instruments.

 

I have a Jackie and can now play quite quietly. It took a while for me to develop the level of control to be able to play a tune quietly, at a reasonable tempo, and sound OK. When playing music that includes harmonies or chords I still occaisionally have trouble with one of the notes not sounding - which never happens if I apply a little more pressure. I've played more expensive instruments and found that they will play more consistently with mimimum pressure but that shouldn't be taken to mean that you can't play a Jackie quietly if you're willing to do the practice.

Thank you, it's good to have specific information about the model I'm interested in. Seems like practice is a big part of this, but I wouldn't be picking up a new instrument if I wasn't prepared to practice. :)

 

If a concertina is too loud for you, you can always add baffles to soften the tone. Baffles traditionally go inside the concertina (which involves taking it apart), but you can also put them outside. Here is a picture of my Stagi 18-button miniature with external baffles. I just cut them out of ultrasuede (any sound-absorbing fabric will do, I'd think) and attached them with velcro. They really do make a difference in volume - without them, I couldn't practice in my living room for more than a few minutes without giving myself a headache.

 

I also have a Jack, to which I've added internal baffles (only because the ultrasuede pieces I had were not big enough to make external ones). If you like, I can take pictures of those and explain how I made them.

This is excellent information :) I'd been googling on ways to muffle the concertina, but found nothing. This way seems pretty painfree. Good to know you can muffle it without taking it apart. As for internal baffles -- I don't think I'll want to go poking at the innards much, not being very confident in my technical abilities. But it would be interesting to see your solution, if it's not too much trouble.

 

kevin toner:

Whoa, long post! It seems you are lucky to have such a good instrument, and unlucky to have such a frustrating aural environment. I hope you find out what causes the exacerbated noise. Noise pollution is certainly a testing thing to live with...

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...

 

kevin toner:

Whoa, long post! It seems you are lucky to have such a good instrument, and unlucky to have such a frustrating aural environment. I hope you find out what causes the exacerbated noise. Noise pollution is certainly a testing thing to live with...

 

Thanks for understanding Tripwire : I wouldn't wish it on anyone!

 

I hope you enjoy your time on the forum. I for one have gleaned much!

 

All the best

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This is excellent information :) I'd been googling on ways to muffle the concertina, but found nothing. This way seems pretty painfree. Good to know you can muffle it without taking it apart. As for internal baffles -- I don't think I'll want to go poking at the innards much, not being very confident in my technical abilities. But it would be interesting to see your solution, if it's not too much trouble.

 

You don't really need to be a technical genius - you mostly just need to know how to use a screwdriver. (That said, my Jack has always been my secondary or tertiary concertina - if it were my main instrument, I doubt I would have poked at the innards quite so boldly.)

 

Here are some pictures. The first one shows the outside (with the baffle installed). Take out the six screws from around the edge, and the end will come off. The second picture shows the underside of the end. Note the tiny screw that's barely visible right at the corner. There is a second one 180 degrees opposite. Take these out, and the plywood piece will come loose from the outer black celluloid end. The third picture shows the baffle inside the end - it's just held in place with a few drops of glue. You can see that I didn't do a very precise job of cutting it. It still seems to work fine.

 

I got the ultrasuede (for both concertinas) from a company called Knoll Textiles. They offer free samples that are the perfect size for this job. I don't know if they'll send them outside the US, though.

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post-9191-0-40691000-1338334980_thumb.jpg

post-9191-0-88220400-1338334988_thumb.jpg

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hmmm.....can't recall the thread now, but once when i noted with regret that my dipper county clare could not be heard in a noisy session even playing quite energetically, someone here posted on to the effect that this was not limited to a make or model, but was pretty nuch a universal with the concertina, given the diameter, reed size, etc.

 

and i believe that post was correct. concertinas can be very loud and project very well in an intimate environment without a lot of background noise. but they are often (not always) drowned out, inaudible in the noisy setting. of course, currently finding noisy settings unbearable for playing, and currently feeling very cynical about the mythology foisting noisy pubs as being "the" places to play irish music, i'm not sure whether i care about this consideration at the moment....

 

 

[i started looking into accordions as a second, portable instrument (piano is my first). Quickly I discovered two gripes: firstly the weight and unwieldiness My second gripe is the sound level: it doesn't seem like the kind of instrument you can pull out and play at a park, or in a company, in good conscience (unless you are a very evil person).]

 

are you talking about two-row bisonoric accordions? if so, you can get one of those at about 6.5 poudsn, or a single-voice (like the castagnari lilly) for very close to the weight of a concertina--and a helluva a lot cheaper. the lilly weighs about 3.5 pounds. for PA or CBA, if you can stand 11 1/2 pounds, models of that weight and very compact dimensions are out there. actually, if you can stand about 9 3/4 pounds, single-reed compact CBAs are out there. well, cbas with a couple of octaves of free-bass notes on the left side----more than ample for world folk music.

 

on the "evil" or "good conscience" front, you have to have a single-reed setting on your accodion, even if like me, this is not your favorite accordion voicing. the casti Lilly is ONLY single voice. on PAs with switches marked with the names of orchestra instruments to describe that particular voice configuration, the single-middle-reed switch is sometimes called the "clarinet" reed. but other times, it is labeled the "concertina" reed, and for good reason. not just like a concertina. but a high-quality accordion on the single-reed setting can be heard much better than a concertina, and won't involve the "evil" factor. in fact, the types with no appreciation for the accordion sound i love, the old-skool sound with about 10 cents of tremoo, usually love and approve of the single-voice accordion sound.

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Johanna, Thanks for the photo of your Stagi mini external baffle. That could make quite a hit in my house. That little mite is LOUD.

You're telling me. :) Here are some better photos that should tell you all you need to know about what I did to make it.

post-9191-0-48020800-1338348054_thumb.jpg

post-9191-0-58276200-1338348063_thumb.jpg

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hmmm.....can't recall the thread now, but once when i noted with regret that my dipper county clare could not be heard in a noisy session even playing quite energetically, someone here posted on to the effect that this was not limited to a make or model, but was pretty nuch a universal with the concertina, given the diameter, reed size, etc.

 

and i believe that post was correct. concertinas can be very loud and project very well in an intimate environment without a lot of background noise. but they are often (not always) drowned out, inaudible in the noisy setting. of course, currently finding noisy settings unbearable for playing, and currently feeling very cynical about the mythology foisting noisy pubs as being "the" places to play irish music, i'm not sure whether i care about this consideration at the moment....

One thing I find in noisy sessions is that since the sound comes out of the sides of a concertina then I sometimes can't hear myself play - however across the room what I'm playing can invariably be heard, including all the bum notes. :huh: You'll often see concertinists in sessions lifting their instruments to one ear or the other so as to hear themselves play. I've mused about the 'concertina stethoscope' or 'concertina ear-trumpet' as a possible aid. <_<

Edited by SteveS
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Johanna:

Thank you for the informative explanation. I am saving this somewhere for future use. :)

 

are you talking about two-row bisonoric accordions? if so, you can get one of those at about 6.5 poudsn, or a single-voice (like the castagnari lilly) for very close to the weight of a concertina--and a helluva a lot cheaper. the lilly weighs about 3.5 pounds.

Lots of terminology I'm not entirely familiar here... but I think I know what kind of accordion you're referring to. I've seen them played and they look very handy. But aren't all of those accordions diatonic? Having a chromatic instrument is pretty important to me and is why I started looking into the Jack/Jackie. I'd like to be able to play with friends and having to constantly transpose songs would complicate that, I think.

 

for PA or CBA, if you can stand 11 1/2 pounds, models of that weight and very compact dimensions are out there. actually, if you can stand about 9 3/4 pounds, single-reed compact CBAs are out there. well, cbas with a couple of octaves of free-bass notes on the left side----more than ample for world folk music.

...I think you lost me there. :P You seem to be talking about chromatic instruments here? (or maybe I'm just getting confused... damn my dubious English skills!) Do you have any examples of this kind of accordion? Maybe it'll be easier for me to wrap my head around if I can google around for a bit. Those weights seems pretty okay -- I think the ones I've tried were a bit heavier.

 

on the "evil" or "good conscience" front, you have to have a single-reed setting on your accodion, even if like me, this is not your favorite accordion voicing. the casti Lilly is ONLY single voice. on PAs with switches marked with the names of orchestra instruments to describe that particular voice configuration, the single-middle-reed switch is sometimes called the "clarinet" reed. but other times, it is labeled the "concertina" reed, and for good reason. not just like a concertina. but a high-quality accordion on the single-reed setting can be heard much better than a concertina, and won't involve the "evil" factor. in fact, the types with no appreciation for the accordion sound i love, the old-skool sound with about 10 cents of tremoo, usually love and approve of the single-voice accordion sound.

Once again, I don't think I am knowledgeable enough to understand all of this... I know you can change the voice configuration on most accordions, but isn't that usually only on the treble side? From what I've seen you can't change the bass, which is always pretty dominating.

Thanks for your answers, they are very helpful if a bit hard to understand for my musically-not-very-knowledgeable self. I seem to be learning a lot of new things here. :D

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I find that the my antique 20 button Lachanel Anglo drives my wife to distraction when I am working earnestly on perfecting a difficult bit, and since I'm just starting out, most bits are difficult! A few reeds are just a little slower to sound, so I find the quiet part of the range can be hard to maintain. On the other end of the range, I have no problem being heard above her guitar, or even banjo.

 

The concertina also drives the cat to out of the room. He leaves as soon as the concertina comes out of the case, scratches at the carpet in protest, then dashes upstairs at top speed. Does the same for the tin whistle, but has gradually learned to ignore the low whistle, piano, my wife's guitar, and recently even my banjo. But it seems the concertina is just a step too far.

 

As for playing in a park, just watch out for rain!

Edited by Ted G
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