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Playing In Octaves

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Octave playing was designed for playing for medium tempo ballroom dances, full stop. Today players mostly want to play for listening in pub sessions, instead. I think it somewhat tiresome to hear that octaves aren't 'musical'...to say that is to miss the point. Playing for dances is the pinnacle of concertina playing, IMHO. But that is just me!

Dan

 

It's me, too. I was wondering why you hadn't jumped in this thread!

 

For Morris, I play a style that's pretty heavy on chording and bass runs, but add bursts of octave playing when it can punch up the music in ways that give some additional lift to the dancers. It provides a lot of added texture to the music, keeps simple tunes from sounding boring.

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Don't know how I missed this thread....I guess I have been busy.

 

 

Have fun, whatever style you play!

 

Dan

 

Still working my way through Volume 1 of your Masterwork! A huge amount of research, knowledge and love of the subject, written with enthusiasm and style. Thanks.

 

I'm interested by the "octave style" because it is one of those "unintended outcome" things that makes the Anglo so quirky and charismatic.

 

As I understand it, the early 10 button German concertinas were in effect an equivalent of a 20 button melodeon, but with the keyboard shared between the two hands to facilitate more interesting fingering.

 

Also, the Richter tuning was invented specifically to make certain basic chords easy to find.

 

So here is an instrument invented/developed/designed to allow easy chording, and easy multiple fingering - yet one of the most popular early styles was to play along the row in octaves to make it louder.

 

Even when the two row concertina came out, many (most?) early players played along the row, and usually kept to the outside row.

 

The same basic effect could have been obtained by playing a single row melodeon, "octave tuned", with no need to coordinate the actions of two sets of fingers working on subtly different button arrangements. My Hohner 1 row* melodeon is louder than my 3 Anglos put together, and far easier to make and therefore cheaper. (*That's 1 "row" to rhyme with "how" or "cow"!)

 

Conversely, because I set out on day one with my first Anglo to play across the rows and harmonically, I sometimes come up against the limitations of the instrument. There isn't always a suitable bass note or pair of notes in the right bellows direction. Time and again I try all sorts of clever work-arounds, only to surprise myself by belatedly remembering that the octave will always fit!

 

When I started to play, I was keen to avoid the melodeonesque oom-pah style. I had earlier given up on the melodeon because although I could knock a tune out of it, it felt very mechancial, and the relentless oom-pah was part of that. On the whole as an Anglo concertinist I have avoided this and my style has a lot more oom than pah. Ironically, over the same period I have had more chance to hear the melodeon played imaginatively and well.

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Alex - I think it's worthwhile for us to note that although the single-note style is referred to as "Irish", it nowhere near encompasses the varieties of playing styles in Ireland. Ella-Mae o'Dwyer is probably the poster girl for heavily chorded and octaved playing on a double-reeded concertina.

I agree with that. Even worse, there is the term "English style Anglo playing" to mean a style with chords. It would be better if people would just use terms like "monophonic" and "polyphonic" or "single melodic line" and "with harmony". But, it seems that the term "Irish" has been in use to mean the ornamented single melodic line style commonly found in Irish sessions has been in use long before either of us were born, so I am not going to fight the use of that term.

 

I'll have to see if I can find some recordings of Ella-Mae O'Dwyer. I have not found any on eMusic

I also think it might be a bit reductivist to suggest that if you want a double-reed sound, you should just play a different instrument. Plenty of people used to play on double-reeded Germans because they were cheaper and more available, and people today might be interested in their playing styles if they opt for that type of instrument specifically. It is certainly a reach to say those aren't "real" concertinas!

 

--Dan

I did put quotes around the word, so no need to take it so seriously. I would not be surprised if that is what Chemnitzer players call their instruments on their on-line forums. Also, I just reflected what I thought was the attitude held by everyone here towards those cheap German boxes. See the paragraph 6: http://www.concertina.net/buy_used.html So, I am evading responsibility on that one too.

 

After my experience with Scholers, I am not going to recommend those to anyone, unless it is for taking apart. I did not see much wrong with suggesting other instruments, because I am learning melodeon too. Maybe, I should have suggested the Stagi C-2, but that is the best quality anyone is likely to find in a double-reeded hexagonal Anglo.

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Well here are that last videos I did of my playing (in what I call) octaves. ;)

 

 

 

really need to do an update.

The use of the chords on the first one works very well. I have been stuck in oom-pah mode for a while., so I never thought doing it this way.

On the second one, I like the way the chords come in as it progresses.

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I'll have to see if I can find some recordings of Ella-Mae O'Dwyer. I have not found any on eMusic

I also think it might be a bit reductivist to suggest that if you want a double-reed sound, you should just play a different instrument. Plenty of people used to play on double-reeded Germans because they were cheaper and more available, and people today might be interested in their playing styles if they opt for that type of instrument specifically. It is certainly a reach to say those aren't "real" concertinas!

--Dan

I did put quotes around the word, so no need to take it so seriously. I would not be surprised if that is what Chemnitzer players call their instruments on their on-line forums. Also, I just reflected what I thought was the attitude held by everyone here towards those cheap German boxes. See the paragraph 6: http://www.concertina.net/buy_used.html So, I am evading responsibility on that one too.

 

After my experience with Scholers, I am not going to recommend those to anyone, unless it is for taking apart. I did not see much wrong with suggesting other instruments, because I am learning melodeon too. Maybe, I should have suggested the Stagi C-2, but that is the best quality anyone is likely to find in a double-reeded hexagonal Anglo.

......................................................................................................................................

 

Ella Mae O'Dwyer was recorded by Neil Wayne and John Tams in the 1970s, and those recordings are part of the Clare Set of classic recordings of Irish concertina music. Those recordings as a group are a standard for anyone interested in Irish music.

 

Your information on German concertinas is both a bit narrow and out of date. In the old days, there were many grades of quality among German concertinas. I have seen excellent players in South Africa still using their grandfather's double-reeded German concertinas, still in excellent playable condition. The really cheap ones indeed would fall apart, but good musicians would eventually gravitate to the better quality ones. I now own Ella Mae O'Dwyer's German concertina, having been given it by her son Sean, an excellent Anglo player. It is a 'Ceili' model from the early 1950s, and contains double (octave) steel accordion reeds that are individually mounted, very like modern hybrids. It and its bellows are in great shape, a testament not only to the instrument's quality but to the care taken of it by Mrs. O'Dwyer. It plays very well, especially considering that each depressed button plays two reeds instead of one, and that the bellows are much larger than those of most Anglos. These instruments are designed for, and well-suited to, playing the moderate tempo ballroom dance music of their era, not the frantic pace and reel-rich repertoire of modern revival sessions.

 

In South Africa, where like in Australia the old ballroom dance repertoire still reigns amongst traditional musicians, German concertinas are held in high regard by consummate players who also know their way around 40 button Wheatstone keyboards. In fact, South Africans have begun to make their own replacement German-style concertinas, patterned after one that is similar to Mrs. O'Dwyer's. These superb two row German-style hybrid boerekonsertinas are made by Danie Labuschagne; you can read about him and his new-made Germans in my 2009 history of the Anglo-German concertina, available (free) online at Google Books. I own two of his (CG and GD) and think the world of them. As you can see, the Stagi is definitely not the best quality one can find in a double-reeded German-style concertina (by the way, they are not 'Anglos').

 

As a matter of interest, German concertinas outsold Anglo concertinas by a factor of nearly 100 to 1 in England and Ireland during the concertina's heyday in the late nineteenth century. Certainly price had very much to do with that ratio, but German instruments with their accordion-like double-reeded sound were highly sought after for the house dances (ballroom dances in houses) of the time in Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

 

Cheers,

Dan

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There are some nice examples of octave playing by Kitty Hayes and Micheal O Raghallaigh in the Faoi Lán Cheoil video that I mentioned in another thread.

Edited by Daniel Hersh

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I would appreciate some expert insight into this topic as applied to the EC.

Octave playing on the EC is, was, a normal part of Dance band playing . Quoting Gordon Cutty the dance band leader from N.E. England " I like a good melody with lots of Octave work and never did take to beat music. Octave work is easy on the English 'cos you're on oposite side of the instrument and I like to improvise on a tune, work out new accompaniments".

 

I do this too and in much the same circumstances as describled above by Dan Worrall, in playing for dancing of the social type as in Australia etc, but now in France where Polkas, Schotiches,Mazurkas and Waltzes are a good part of the evening along with the more local dance forms like the Bourées.

 

I find that I am using octaves combined with another apropriate harmony note much of the time.

 

To listen to Gordon Cutty get his CD from Free Reed Records... I'll look for the web site address..........www.free-reed.co.uk

 

Any more help needed just ask,

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Well here are that last videos I did of my playing (in what I call) octaves. ;)

 

 

 

really need to do an update.

The use of the chords on the first one works very well. I have been stuck in oom-pah mode for a while., so I never thought doing it this way.

On the second one, I like the way the chords come in as it progresses.

Thank you. :) Glad you like it and its given you ideas.

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Just a quick one.

 

I've posted some photos of the innards of new-built South African "German" concertinas on my website, www.angloconcertina.org

 

Go to the photo essay on South Africa, and then to Part 4. Hope you find those concertina photos interesting.

 

Daniel Hersch pointed out in a note to me....quite correctly!....that some of the best bandoneons have bars of reeds, so that it is not always a sign of cheaper construction. I hadn't thought of that, and it is good to know. In two row German concertinas that I have seen, reed bars have always seemed to be part of cheaper grade ones. Just goes to show there are no hard and fast rules in this concertina world!

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Ella Mae O'Dwyer was recorded by Neil Wayne and John Tams in the 1970s, and those recordings are part of the Clare Set of classic recordings of Irish concertina music. Those recordings as a group are a standard for anyone interested in Irish music.

 

Could you be so kind as to provide a link to a place where I can find these recordings? Or is that all covered in your House Dance publication? Seriously, I do intend to read it sometime in the near future.

 

Your information on German concertinas is both a bit narrow and out of date.

 

I was rather transparent about my sources being this article http://www.concertina.net/buy_used.html and my experience with Scholers. Maybe you should inform someone who is in charge of concertina.net that this article needs updating. My statement against purchasing Scholers should be understood as a statement informed only by experience with Scholers.

 

As you can see, the Stagi is definitely not the best quality one can find in a double-reeded German-style concertina (by the way, they are not 'Anglos').

 

Hold on there buddy! I never claimed that the Stagi "is the best quality one can find in a double-reeded German-style concertina." I stated that the "Stagi C-2 is the best quality anyone is likely to find in a double-reeded hexagonal Anglo." I am not sure how the English language works in your region, but where I am from, the phrase "is likely to" means something rather different from "can possibly". If you have a basket containing 3 black marbles, 5 white ones, and 11 grey ones, and you reach in and grab one without looking, you are most likely to grab a grey one, though it is possible to grab a black or white one. My deliberate choice of the phrase "is likely to" was intended to avoid excluding the possibility of finding a better quality parallel octave-tuned hexagonal squeezebox. It was intended to include such a possibility.

 

If you count the number of hexagonal double-reed squeezeboxes currently available for purchase on the English-language world-wide-web, and the ones you can find at local music stores, I'll bet that the largest number are those Chinese-made imitation Scholers, then of course Scholers, and if you look just a little harder, you can find Stagi C-2's at a number of shops. As for these higher quality hexagonal double-reed boxes that you describe, is the number of these in playable condition and currently available for purchase greater than the number of Scholers or Chinese ones available for purchase? Is it easier find one of these higher-quality ones for sale than it is to find Stagi C-2? If you can prove that one is more likely to find a high-quality double-reed octave tuned hexagonal squeezebox than a Stagi C-2, then I will admit that my statement was dead wrong.

 

If it were not for your web site, I would have no idea where to look for one. I would credit you as being most responsible for informing the English-language community on the existence of these.

(by the way, they are not 'Anglos').

Okay, I have already stopped using the term "Irish" to mean "without chords", and I never liked the phrase "English-Style Anglo playing" to mean "with chords", so now the term "Anglo" is off-limits too. I am pretty sure I am not the first person to use use that term to refer to any concertina whose bottom 2 rows are tuned much like a pair of harmonicas split in two. So, would you care to enlighten me (and anyone else reading this who might be responsible for misinforming me) on when it is appropriate to use the term "Anglo"?

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If you Google the words 'clare set neil wayne' you'll go right to it, but here it is anyway:

http://www.clareconcertinas.ie/the_clare_set.html

 

I do have some recordings of Mrs O'Dwyer on House Dance as well, and much more information on her life and times than is on the Clare Set. But the several CDs of the Clare Set comprise a key work IMHO for anyone interested in Irish-style concertina playing.

 

Anglo is short for 'Anglo-German', which is distictly different in construction style from a 'German'. Both originally had geographic meaning...the former was made in England, and the latter in Germany. Nowadays there is no geographic connotation, just as Wim Wakker can build an English concertina in Washington State, and Labuschagne can build German 'style' concertinas in South Africa, and Suttner can build Anglo-German (Anglo) concertinas in Germany. Those terms and their convoluted history are described in detail in my 2009 books, which are freely available online in their entirety; see my website for the links. Scholers and other double-reeded concertinas are 'German' concertinas, I think exclusively - not Anglo-German ones. There is also information in those books about Danie Labuschagne's instruments and a nearly complete global list of manufacturers, as far as I knew them at the time.

Edited by Dan Worrall

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Hi Dan,

 

That's interesting. I've not heard this clarification of the word "Anglo" concertina before. It's still not clear to me exactly what makes an Anglo an Anglo. I guess I have to read your book too, rather than just peruse it. However, I thought that in modern times, in the USA, UK and EU at least, that all six sided 20, 30 or more button bisonoric squeezeboxes with that double harmonica pitch plan were called Anglos.

 

I know that the German ones are different in design in that the reeds are in banks that face at 90 degrees from the traditional English construction and that they stick into the hollow space in the bellows. They are waxed into place (like the American made Morse). Also the levers are in banks with shared wire fulcrums... but I thought they were still called Anglos. If I'm wrong, then I think I may at least comfort myself with being in the majority... or am I just displaying my own cultural tunnel vision?

 

I looked up the Castiglione web site. Out of all the (Ahem!) Anglo Stagis offered, they call only the three W 15 models "Anglo" concertinas, and all the others just plain "concertina." They do not call any of them "German" concertinas. I happen to know that my W 15 Anglo is built with all the features of a German style instrument that I mentioned above. I know this because I just opened the darn Bastardi up to fix that sticking button again!

 

Let's take a look at the Stagi site, http://www.brunnermusica.com/concertine.php?categoria=4

OK, Brunner who makes Stagi calls everything just concertina, except for the Heydyn, Bandoneon and Modello (whatever that is, looks like a 20 button Anglo to me) They do not use the term "English" at all, though they do offer tenor, treble and baritone versions. That's interesting. They just show you pictures and you have to know what you are looking at.

 

Are they just trying to avoid the confusion between these poorly named categories? Is it a vestige of resistance to 19th Century British imperialism?

 

"English" concertinas should be called Wheatstone concertinas after the inventor. IMO

"Anglos" should be called Uhlig concertinas after their inventor. After all, they all share the same core of 20 buttons and their push/ draw pitch relationships. Every thing else is just the delivery system with it's various improvements and additions over the years. IMO

 

From now on, I'm going to call mine a 30 button Uhlig concertina.

 

Sure Dan, the construction style is different between a Stagi and a Dipper... but that Dipper is also different from the construction style of a Morse. Very different. (BTW, I seem to remembering Dipper telling me that a hybrid is actually not a concertina at all... or something like that). To me, they are all three the same beast because of those twenty little buttons of genius. Thank you, Carl Friedrich Uhlig the father of the Anglo.

Edited by Jody Kruskal

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Oh dear, Jody....now you've opened a can of worms. Yes, I do recommend that you read Chapter one of my (free online) book before you go renaming things! :wacko:

 

German concertinas happened when Uhlig and his proteges started to apply a hexagonal shape to the formerly square 'new type of accordion' (Uhlig's words) and started to call it a 'concertina'....thinking it would sell better with that name, no doubt. But they didn't change its innards....a popsicle stick action and a rack of reeds that are usually mounted perpendicular to the action board, not parallel to it. These concertinas almost always have two rows. They frequently but not always are double reeded, wheras Anglos effectively never are. Carl Friedrich Uhlig invented what he called this 'new type of accordion'....nowadays slightly modified into the hexagonal German concertina.

 

Anglo is short for Anglo-German concertina, and has been so from the start in the early 1850s. It is what happened when builders of English concertinas applied their building technology to the Uhlig keyboard. It can typically have two or three or even four rows. It uses the metal levers of the WHeatstone/Lachenal/Jeffries makes of English concertina. And it has concertina reeds installed flat, parallel to the action board, in the fashion started by Wheatstone. Carl Friedrich Uhlig did NOT invent the Anglo-German concertina. It is a combination of German keyboard and English action. Uhlig did NOT invent the push-pull keyboard (harmonica makers and accordion makers beat him to that), but he did saw the keyboard in half, placing it in both hands...his biggest contribution. He did NOT invent English-style actions and reeds. You can thank Wheatstone for all that. And you can thank Jones or Nicholds, Crabb & Co. - not Uhlig - for putting the two together into the Anglo-German concertina. If you insist on naming your concertina after its inventors, then it is a 'nameless-Uhlig-Wheatstone-Jones-Nickolds-Crabb' concertina.

 

English concertinas have the Wheatstone-invented keyboard arrangement, metal levers, and concertina reeds mounted flat, parallel to the action board. Doesn't matter where they are built, and neither does it matter where German concertinas are built. And Anglo-German concertinas are not built part in Germany and part in England...they can even be built in the wilds of Australia and the US of A.

 

Hybrid Anglos are concertinas with Anglo-German style innards (nice levers and valves, and reeds flat and parallel with the action board) but with the substitution of accordion reeds for concertina reeds. Hybrid English concertinas are similar.

 

I don't see any real problems with this nomenclature, although I suspect that the dedicated naysayers can always find exceptions. There is a real difference not just in quality but in timbre between German concertinas and Anglos, full stop. But not all German concertinas are trash, by a long shot...the point of my posts.

 

In like fashion, there is a difference in timbre between a Hybrid Anglo (Hybrid) and an Anglo. Both may be excellent players, but they sound different and command different prices, mostly because of the reeds. The Morse, the Tedrow, and the old Edgley concertinas are Hybrid Anglos (or Anglo Hybrids, if you prefer). That is very different than Dippers, which are Anglos. Suttners and Carrolls are also Anglos, even if not made in England. It is the innards that tell the tale, not the external wrapper or the geography. No one knowledeable that I know of would confuse a Dipper/Jeffries/Wheatstone Anglo with a Morse/Tedrow/Herrington/Edgley Hybrid Anglo. They all make great fruit to eat and play, but apples and oranges taste different and are priced differently. Which you prefer to play is probably a combination of personal preference and perhaps pocketbook.

 

Mass manufacturers in Germany and elsewhere (like Italy) have for well over a century tried to use names like 'Anglo' to sell their German concertina product for more money to the unwary, even at times copying the external look of Anglo-German concertinas....but that doesn't make it an Anglo. The innards do. And of course the Italians wouldn't call their Stagi a 'German' or even 'German-style' concertina. It sells better as an 'Anglo' (Anglo-German), even though as you can see the term is not a good fit from a historical or a technological perspective. It is a marketing decision for them, but I try not to be misled. This is not to cast any bricks at their playability and such....they can be quite good value for the money, and many of us (myself included) started quite happily on a Bastari/Stagi.

 

By the way, I happen to own a real Uhlig concertina....a little square one from the 1850s, with a bar of brass reeds and some popsicle stick wooden levers, built either by Uhlig or one of his proteges. It is a real treasure. What you have is NOT a 'Uhlig' concertina. You can call it whatever you want, I suppose, but then I shall call you an organ grinder!!! :angry: :P :D

Edited by Dan Worrall

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Wading in here...

 

Dan, I've read your book (though a while ago) but I don't fully agree with you on the Anglo vs. German issue.

 

Here's my understanding of the background on this:

 

The earliest German concertinas (made by Uhlig and possibly others as well) were square. They had flat-mounted reeds (not mounted on accordion-style blocks) but the reeds were "ganged" or long-plate reeds. They had wooden action levers, set parallel to each other.

 

The first Anglo-German concertinas were quite different: six sides, reeds on individual reed shoes, and metal action rods pointing in various directions.

 

Soon after the Anglo-German concertinas appeared (or perhaps a little earlier than that), I think that most German makers switched to a six-sided design and a wooden external end design that often looked fairly similar to the Anglo-German concertinas. I think that this is because they were selling mainly to players in England - the German players by this time were playing larger square concertinas (Bandoneons, Carlsfelders and Chemnitzers). But the internal German concertina design (long-plate reeds, parallel wooden levers) didn't change despite the change in external appearance..

 

This basic design difference continued until the mid-20th century, so the "Anglo" vs. "German" distinction is pretty clear for concertinas made before that time. But post-WW2 concertinas are a different story. The remaining German makers (e.g. Scholer) started to use accordion-type reeds (on a 2-reed aluminum plate) and a parallel metal action rather than a wooden one, and they mounted the reeds on accordion-style blocks. Italian makers (Bastari was the biggest and longest-lasting, still going strong today as Stagi/Brunner) used similar designs. Meanwhile, Wheatstone in England started producing their own accordion-reeded Mayfair line.

 

Then the later mid-priced "hybrids" came along, starting with Andrew Norman's Gremlin Saxon concertina for Hobgoblin in the early 1980's and followed by many others, using accordion reeds mounted flat (not in accordion-style blocks) and a British-style metal action. Even later came the Rochelle and the other Concertina Connection basic concertinas, which a British-style action but block-mounted accordion reeds.

 

My point in laying all this out is that I think there's too much variation in post-WW2 design for the Anglo vs. German distinction to be very helpful for concertinas built in the last 65 years or so. And since so far as I know most of the people who play these concertinas today call them "Anglo" (except for those who just call them "concertina") I don't see any problem in calling all the post-WW2 concertinas Anglos.

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well this thread lasted pretty long before drifting ;)

 

I call mine a squeezebox...people find it hard enough to comprehend melodeons and concertinas have different names let alone blowing thier minds with concept that there are severall different kinds of concertina.

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I'm still reading Dan's Bumper Book of Concertina Knowledge. Excellent book, but one to take in small and regular doses.

 

As I understood it, the early German concertinas had all the actions pivoting on a common axis, and the reeds were not set in individual shoes. The later Anglo-German instruments had individually placed pivots for each button-lever-pad combination, and the reeds were in individual shoes that were mounted parallel to the plane of the end of the concertina. I think everyone agrees with that distinction.

 

However, my Marcus has the individual pivots, and the reeds are mounted in the same plane as the end of the concertina, but the reeds are accordion style and are held in place by screws overlapping the individual reed plates. So that's a hybrid, right? I think everyone broadly agrees with that definition?

 

But my old Rochelle, which I bought as an "Anglo" had the individual pivots, but the accordeon-style reeds were NOT mounted parallel to the end of the box. They were in blocks, and mounted rather clumsily. So, what do I call this? It has something nearer to the "German" reeds, but something that most people would accept as the "Anglo" action. It's not quite what most people would call a "hybrid". Perhaps it is a "mongrel"? That means the same as hybrid, but has a suitably pejorative overtone!

 

But when you play the Rochelle, the Marcus, the Jeffries or the Dipper, you are essentially doing the same thing: operating a hexagonal squeeze box with two rows of buttons, each being similar to a harmonica, and 1 additional row of accidentals. The sound is different, but that is partly a quality issue. A cheap plywood guitar with nylon strings is still a guitar, even if played next to an expensive one with top quality metal strings.

 

Dan Worrall clearly has a valid point that for those who are discussing Anglo-Germans, Germans, hybrids, &c., the distinctions are real. LDT has an equally valid point that in day to day conversation, the exact terminology is a matter of convenience and habit. Even in the 19th century and early 20th, according to Dan's own book, the terminology was rather fluid. For example, no one in the UK wanted to use the "-German" bit of the name during the war with Germany!

 

Back to the playing in octaves thing: I had a great moment on Tuesday. Unable to find a convincing chordal accompaniment for a particular 4 bar section of a Morris tune, and I tried octaves - mainly on the "on beats". I went to my lesson on Tuesday and my teacher whipped out an old vinyl LP of John Kirkpatrick - to show that he had come up with essentially the same solution on the same tune. :-) I must admit, I am not a fan of the dry octave sound in big dollops, but it is a good tol to have in the tool box.

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My point in laying all this out is that I think there's too much variation in post-WW2 design for the Anglo vs. German distinction to be very helpful for concertinas built in the last 65 years or so. And since so far as I know most of the people who play these concertinas today call them "Anglo" (except for those who just call them "concertina") I don't see any problem in calling all the post-WW2 concertinas Anglos.

Daniel,

I agree point for point with the system of categorisation that Dan Worrel outlined above. Yet I call my Stagi W15 an "Anglo!"

 

But this is not short for "Anglo-German" - it's short for "Anglo-Chromatic" - a term that hasn't cropped up yet!

 

I've understood the thread up to now to refer to 20-button concertinas. Here, the distinction between "German" (Richter-style keyboard, parallel action with grouped reeds) and "Anglo-German" (German Richter-style keyboard, English construction) is quite clear. 20-button, accordion-reeded concertinas are hybrids of one type or the other. Modern German concertinas don't have those typically German 10-reed plates any more than the hybrid Anglos have traditional English single reeds, so other features decide what's what!

 

But as soon as the number of buttons exceeds 20, we leave the German and Anglo-German concertinas behind, and have the Anglo-Chromatic on one side of the North Sea, and Chemnitzers, Carlsfelders and Bandonoens on the other side. The Lachenal/Crabb/Jeffries outer row is peculiar to English-style chromatic, bisonoric concertinas. The "big" concertinas that originated in Germany all achieve their enhanced range differently.

 

So I'd say, as soon as we have a concertina with 30 buttons (+ or - a couple) in Wheatstone or Jeffries or a similar layout, we have an Anglo(-Chromatic). Whether it has accordion or traditional English reeds, or a radial or parallel action, or reed-banks or reedpan. For me, a thing with a Wheatstone or Jeffries layout is an Anglo(-Chromatic).

 

That's why I call my 30-button Stagi an Anglo, even though it has parallel levers, reed-banks and accordion reeds.

Another English feature of the Stagi W15 is the orientation of the button rows, which is perpendicular to the flats; German concertinas traditionally have the button rows parallel to the flats.

 

Cheers,

John

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