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First Post And First Concertina


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Hi Guys

Just thought I'd stop and say hi! So I've been toying with the idea of a concertina, having had a little experience on a melodeon, but always preferring the concertina sound. Today I bought my first accordion (a la ebay) with limited information - I have attached a pic and wondered if any one could shed some light on it if they've seen similar before. I don't know what keys it is in (will be a nice or unusual surprise when I get my paws round it) or whether it's english or anglo. If anyone has any clues it would be appreciated :) Its a 21 button (I suspect one of these may be an air valve) German Galotta.

Take Care all!

post-10609-0-22066700-1366805284_thumb.jpg

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I don't know what keys it is in (will be a nice or unusual surprise when I get my paws round it) or whether it's english or anglo. If anyone has any clues it would be appreciated :) Its a 21 button (I suspect one of these may be an air valve) German Galotta.

 

Oh, it's neither an English nor an Anglo, but the "German" precedessor of the Anglo (which is therefore a.k.a. "Anglo-German"), i.e. bi-sonoric (different notes on the push and on the pull), one accidental on each side, just lacking the third row(s) of the (30+1 button) )Anglo. Will probably be in C/G (might be G/D).

 

Hope you'll enjoy it! Best wishes - Wolf

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Hi, Myrmy,

 

Yes it's a German all right!

 

You say you prefer the concertina sound. If you're thinking of the usual Anglo and English concertina sound, you may be surprised. You'll find that the German has a much softer, more mellow tone. More like a melodeon, but more musical, because you've got single notes on the bass side, which give more variety than the pre-set chords of the melodeon.

 

I'm just back from a concertina weekend in southern Germany, where German concertinas outnumbered English-made ones, and it was interesting to hear what a good player can get out of a 20-button German instrument, especially in the area of dance music. Quite impressive, but very different from what Irish players get out of their Anglos.

 

Have fun exploring it!

 

Cheers,

John

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Hi Guys

 

Just thought I'd stop and say hi! So I've been toying with the idea of a concertina, having had a little experience on a melodeon, but always preferring the concertina sound. Today I bought my first accordion (a la ebay) with limited information - I have attached a pic and wondered if any one could shed some light on it if they've seen similar before. I don't know what keys it is in (will be a nice or unusual surprise when I get my paws round it) or whether it's english or anglo. If anyone has any clues it would be appreciated :) Its a 21 button (I suspect one of these may be an air valve) German Galotta.

 

Take Care all!

 

Looks like a Galotta to me. I have one that's not bad. Mine's in D/A - unusual, but a good bet for playing Irish tunes in the "along the row" style.

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Hello,

 

I'm new here, too, and new to the concertina. I've already made my first mistake and bought a cheap Chinese 20 button Anglo from E-bay. I'll keep it to learn some scales and simple songs and upgrade to a better instrument later. I'm interested in learing some folk songs and sea shanties.

 

I'm finding it interesting to play compared to my 30 something years playing a diatonic harmonica.

 

Terrence

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I'm new here, too, and new to the concertina. I've already made my first mistake and bought a cheap Chinese 20 button Anglo from E-bay. I'll keep it to learn some scales and simple songs and upgrade to a better instrument later. I'm interested in learing some folk songs and sea shanties.

 

I'm finding it interesting to play compared to my 30 something years playing a diatonic harmonica.

 

Hello Terrence! While a cheap Chinese off eBay may not be the best starter, the important thing is it's gotten you started playing, so I wouldn't call it a "mistake" yet! You will promptly want to start setting aside some cash for an upgrade though, maybe chuck a few bucks in a jar every day and by the time you max out the potential of the cheapie you might have the cash for a CC Rochelle, or maybe you'll have taken to it so seriously you'll skip over the mid-step and buy a good used Anglo off the classified adds here. Only way to find out is keep playing and learning to figure out if Anglo is for you, and what features you most want to see in an upgrade.

 

In the long term, what kind of music are you looking to play?

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Oh, it's neither an English nor an Anglo, but the "German" precedessor of the Anglo (which is therefore a.k.a. "Anglo-German"), i.e. bi-sonoric (different notes on the push and on the pull), one accidental on each side, just lacking the third row(s) of the (30+1 button) )Anglo.

German, yes. Anglo-German, no. Anglo-German is what became of the German concertina when Wheatstone et al started making it using their British construction techniques and materials (ie., reeds). Sounds like an English, plays like a German. Anglo-German. And commonly called "Anglo" for convenience.

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Oh, it's neither an English nor an Anglo, but the "German" precedessor of the Anglo (which is therefore a.k.a. "Anglo-German"), i.e. bi-sonoric (different notes on the push and on the pull), one accidental on each side, just lacking the third row(s) of the (30+1 button) )Anglo.

German, yes. Anglo-German, no. Anglo-German is what became of the German concertina...

 

That's just what I wanted to say - having realized later on that the reference to "which" was a bit doubtful... ;)

 

So just in case it needed a clarification - thank you!

Edited by blue eyed sailor
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Hello Terrence! While a cheap Chinese off eBay may not be the best starter, the important thing is it's gotten you started playing, so I wouldn't call it a "mistake" yet!

 

I second that!

 

I started out with a cheap, East German 20-button instrument (there were no Chinese concertinas in those days), and by the time it had gone out of tune, I had learnt all you really need to know to play the Anglo. The main thing is to get your mind round the push-pull scale and the semi-automatic chording that it offers. When then you upgrade to a better Anglo with more buttons, you'll still be able to play what you've already lernt, but more easily, and it will sound better, and can take your time exploring the possibilities of the extra buttons.

 

Cheers,

John

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In the long term, what kind of music are you looking to play?

 

I have to admit that I really haven't chosen a genre. I love hearing Irish music but I worry that I might not ever learn enough to do justice to some of the beautiful songs I hear. I might like to learn a few sea-shanties just for fun to sing around the campfire for entertainment. I used to play harmonica and chord guitar with a bluegrass group and I might try some on the concertina. I also have somewhat modern songs from the re-enactors that I hang around (SCA, if anyone is interested). Yes, I've followed the concertina/history discussions here online and fully understand that the instrument dates from the 19th century, but that doesn't stop us from entertaining each other with modern guitars and anything else that's fun. Some traditional gospel might fit in there somewhere.

 

Terrence

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I have to admit that I really haven't chosen a genre.

 

No need of excluding decision-making and thus no need for admissions of lacking it to date IMO.

 

The concertina is an extremely versatile little instrument, great for the use in a wide range of genres or styles. Thus it's rather the other way round: Only when heading for just one quite limited genre, a certain subspecies of the concertina might be regarded as preferable (for instance, for Irish Traditional Music in the style of Noel Hill and the likes one might choose and try out the Anglo primarily).

 

From my very personal point of view I consider the English concertina to be the most versatile and therefore most suitable for a player who's open to any music he'd like. But OTOH its alternating scales seem to be as maddening to some people as the bi-sonoric approach of the Anglo is to others (and the Duet might turn out be as great for chording and complex scores as frustrating for single line melody playing).

 

So you'll "just" have to find the instrument that matches your musical "thinking" in the best way...

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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and the Duet might turn out be as great for chording and complex scores as frustrating for single line melody playing

 

 

Now that's just silly. Of course we can play single line melodies with ease; but you'd look a bit of a fool using only one hand most of the time.

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and the Duet might turn out be as great for chording and complex scores as frustrating for single line melody playing

 

Now that's just silly. Of course we can play single line melodies with ease; but you'd look a bit of a fool using only one hand most of the time.

 

I didn't mean to offend anyone (and apologize for apparently having created such an impression whilst having been a bit in a hurry this morning), just wanted to include the Duet.

 

And of course you "can play single line melodies with ease", wherefore "frustrating" appears to be grossly overstated in any event. But aside from the advantages of using both hands in the way they are supposed to scarcely anybody would choose just a "Duet". OTOH fellow concertinists who have taken up the Duet in adition to playing the EC would probably make use of the latter when playing only single lines, wouldn't they?

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I have to admit that I really haven't chosen a genre.

 

A genre? Why should you restrict yourself to only one?

Variety is the spice of life... and music.

(Admittedly, some folks prefer less spice than others. That's OK, too.)

 

...and the Duet might turn out be as great for chording and complex scores as frustrating for single line melody playing
Now that's just silly. Of course we can play single line melodies with ease...

 

Agreed, Dirge.

 

Frustrating, Wolf? You find it frustrating? Not in my experience. Not on any of the duets I've tried, save one.

 

In decreasing order of my experience, those would be... Crane, Maccann, Pitt-Taylor (one of his many designs), Jeffries, Hayden, and the Wheatstone double (of which I made a keyboard mockup, on which I tried various things).

 

The one exception was the Jedcertina, which I found awkward for just about anything I tried on it. (I actually owned one once. I literally gave it away.)

 

So you'll "just" have to find the instrument that matches your musical "thinking" in the best way...

 

I think it's more "feeling" than "thinking". Just sayin'.

 

Of course we can play single line melodies with ease; but you'd look a bit of a fool using only one hand most of the time.

 

Like so many Irish accordion players? B)

 

But that needn't be a concern.

  • To be played in the normal range, some tunes require going into the left hand... more or less, depending on the size/range of your duet.
  • Or a tune can be played an octave down, mainly in the left hand, but which may require more or less crossing into the right hand.
  • Or play in two octaves at once... for a richer sound, or simply for variety.
  • Finally, for those parts of a tune that lie in the range of overlap between the two hands, one can deliberately cross back and forth between the two hands for short segments or even individual notes, or play such parts in both hands at once in the same octave for a richer sound.

But the original poster has an "anglo" or "German" (depending on whose dictionary you choose to use), so this is probably thread drift... at least for now.

Edited by JimLucas
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...and the Duet might turn out be as great for chording and complex scores as frustrating for single line melody playing

Now that's just silly. Of course we can play single line melodies with ease...

Agreed, Dirge.

 

Frustrating, Wolf? You find it frustrating? Not in my experience. Not on any of the duets I've tried, save one.

Perhaps you hadn't already taken notice of my reply to Dirge prior to submitting yours. I can't jugde on this by means of any personal experience. I never tried out a Duet until now, and I probably won't in future (and will remain silent on this matter for the time being therefore) because I am increasingly happy with the EC.

 

But the original poster has an "anglo" or "German" (depending on whose dictionary you choose to use), so this is probably thread drift... at least for now.

 

Well, now that you mention it... :D

 

P.S.: ...and I have happily noticed that we both coincide in pleading the cause of variety!

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Since this thread has drifted anyway ...

 

The one exception was the Jedcertina, which I found awkward for just about anything I tried on it. (I actually owned one once. I literally gave it away.)

 

Oh! Had I known that you were giving away a Jedcertina ...

 

I've been on the lookout for one, admitttedly for the non-musical reason that my name coincides with that of the Jedcertina's perpetrator, John E. Dallas. I've only seen one on Ebay, and it went for as much as a Lachenal Anglo, which not even my vanity would let me spend on it.

 

What was awkward about it, BTW? I appreciate that 20 monosonoric buttons don't give much of a compass, so you'd have to transpose into all sorts of abstruse keys to get the normal repertoire of tunes to fit in it. Or was it that the piano-style keyboard doesn't lend itself to playing in handstraps?

 

I'd love to know!

 

Cheers,

John

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The one exception was the Jedcertina, which I found awkward for just about anything I tried on it. (I actually owned one once. I literally gave it away.)

 

Oh! Had I known that you were giving away a Jedcertina .

 

Alas, that was more than 20 years ago.

 

What was awkward about it, BTW? I appreciate that 20 monosonoric buttons don't give much of a compass, so you'd have to transpose into all sorts of abstruse keys to get the normal repertoire of tunes to fit in it. Or was it that the piano-style keyboard doesn't lend itself to playing in handstraps?

 

That last. The button array was too wide, not so much in terms of centimeters, but in number of buttons. Just playing a scale requires, at some point, shifting/jumping the fingers sideways, because there are almost twice as many notes in a diatonic octave as there are fingers on one hand. The chromatic scale has 3 times as many notes in an octave as fingers on a hand.

 

On a linear piano, the thumb can be used to play a note at the same time that it serves as a pivot for lifting and shifting the fingers, but with the bar-and-strap concertina handle, it can't be used that way... or at all.

 

Since this thread has drifted anyway ...

 

Shouldn't we be sending a tug to bring it back to shore, rather than setting additional boats adrift? ;)

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