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Brian101

Bellows

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Can anyone advise on the merits of having more bellows folds on an English concertina-say seven folds instead of six?

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It is perhaps interesting that although the standard English Concertina, say a 48key Treble, started off with less folds than six (usually five during the earlier 1900's), the bigger models made then usually had more folds,as in Six for a tennor and tennor/treble, seven or even eight for the baritones etc.... when you consider that these larger instruments have far more wind in the chest due to their crossectional area...

 

It would suggest that the players of the bigger instruments, wanted more air for playing chords, that the lower pitched reeds take more wind also.

 

When swapping back and forth from a large concertina to a small one it is possible to feel insecure due to the distinct difference in the amount of available air. But an adjustment to the way you play soon overcomes this feeling.

 

If you tend to use a lot of chords then there may be some benefit to having seven folds but I am quite content with a six fold bellows on my 48 treble which I often use at full power in a dance band with three or four reeds playing at once.

 

A longer bellows can get squiggy especially with the lighter construction that is favorable to the EC. For quick response to bellows direction changes (Bellows-ing) the bellows will work better when closer to the fully closed position.

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My Scates concertina came with 4 fold bellows(1851), I had 6 fold fitted. Oddly enough I had no air issues with 4 fold but had more issues with six fold. I suppose that I had got used to phrasing with 4 fold and had to relearn my phrasing to get benefit from the extra folds. The early players (1840's), for the most part, probably only had 4 fold - didn't seem to stop them.

My baritone with its original bellows had 5 fold (1857ish) My Lachenal Inimitable has its original 5 fold (1890ish)

 

chris

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...It would suggest that the players of the bigger instruments, wanted more air for playing chords, that the lower pitched reeds take more wind also...

 

Indeed!

 

In this example here with 3 long and deep extended semibreves, I'd have to play these in 3 bellow actions rather than 2 if my T-T EC bellows weren't 8-fold.

 

I'm not sure if I'd get away with a 6-fold equivalent without trying.

 

This goes into my notations 'hall of fame' for being "...so unkind" ergo to us concertinists ;)

 

The more I look into this song "Memories of You" as a testbed, the more incidentals I find! Thanks Brian101 for helping me spot this particular one.

Edited by kevin toner

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It is perhaps interesting that although the standard English Concertina, say a 48key Treble, started off with less folds than six (usually five during the earlier 1900's), the bigger models made then usually had more folds,as in Six for a tennor and tennor/treble, seven or even eight for the baritones etc.... when you consider that these larger instruments have far more wind in the chest due to their crossectional area...

 

Thanks for this bit of Eng C. history. Back, oh, 25 years ago when I got my first Wheatstone, it had only 5 folds. Whenever I saw a visiting artist playing English, they always had 6 folds. My Wheatstone, which I sold about 5 years ago, was built around 1915-16, so I guess that explains the 5 folds?

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It is perhaps interesting that although the standard English Concertina, say a 48key Treble, started off with less folds than six (usually five during the earlier 1900's), the bigger models made then usually had more folds,as in Six for a tennor and tennor/treble, seven or even eight for the baritones etc.... when you consider that these larger instruments have far more wind in the chest due to their crossectional area...

 

Thanks for this bit of Eng C. history. Back, oh, 25 years ago when I got my first Wheatstone, it had only 5 folds. Whenever I saw a visiting artist playing English, they always had 6 folds. My Wheatstone, which I sold about 5 years ago, was built around 1915-16, so I guess that explains the 5 folds?

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Thanks everyone Food for thought. Just having mine fitted with 7 folds!

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I recall reading somewhere that it's not only an issue of the number of folds but also of their depth. A fewer-fold bellows, depending on other factors, might be able to move as much air as a bellows with more folds.

 

That said, I'm glad to have six rather than four now.

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