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An Ordinary Lachenal...


Pistachio Dreamer
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Possibly that the finger wear patterns around the buttons are reversed from the usual? Have reeds been swapped about inside?And it looks like someone has retrofitted an old belt as a handstrap?

Edited by Bill N
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Possibly that the finger wear patterns around the buttons are reversed from the usual? Have reeds been swapped about inside?And it looks like someone has retrofitted an old belt as a handstrap?

It is the finger wear patterns that are reversed from the usual that caught my attention, and I think, as Ransom suggests, this shows that whoever played this instrument held it upside-down/backwards, using the little finger on the air button. The reeds are in their normal positions. The LH side wear pattern is mirrored but less pronounced. There's an account of someone playing in this manner reported in an article on the Crabb firm here: http://www.concertina.net/rd_crabb.html Never seen evidence of this peculiar technique before. Thanks for your replies!

Edited by Pistachio Dreamer
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I'm not buying it. What I see is someone used their little finger as a brace, I see people doing this a lot. The marks between the C row and accidental row around the 4th and 5 th buttons are from the same thing, the third and fourth fingers placed between the buttons as a brace to keep the end steady, especially when using the air button at the same time as playing a note. One of my students, a 12yr old, does exactly that.

 

As a further clue, put the instrument on and see if you can get your thumb onto that dent, your hand would have to be on a very strange angle.

 

This is a cheap instrument, it would have needed a stronger hand to get volume and pace from it, I think these marks are a sign of a determined player.

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I'm not buying it. What I see is someone used their little finger as a brace, I see people doing this a lot. The marks between the C row and accidental row around the 4th and 5 th buttons are from the same thing, the third and fourth fingers placed between the buttons as a brace to keep the end steady, especially when using the air button at the same time as playing a note. One of my students, a 12yr old, does exactly that.

 

As a further clue, put the instrument on and see if you can get your thumb onto that dent, your hand would have to be on a very strange angle.

 

This is a cheap instrument, it would have needed a stronger hand to get volume and pace from it, I think these marks are a sign of a determined player.

 

Sounds very plausible, though I do still find it easier to hook my thumb round the end of the hand rest and into the dent than get my little finger anywhere near it, but my hands are large. As a budget model it would no doubt have been played by a young (and determined) student.

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Can't offer an opinion on this particular box but I have seen/heard someone playing an Anglo back-to-front. He was part of a little ceilidh band in, I think, Tolpuddle -- quite some years ago. I asked him how come he played like that and he told me he was left-handed and self-taught and that way came most readily to him. I seem to remember he sounded pretty good at it too.

 

Chris

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Can't offer an opinion on this particular box but I have seen/heard someone playing an Anglo back-to-front. He was part of a little ceilidh band in, I think, Tolpuddle -- quite some years ago. I asked him how come he played like that and he told me he was left-handed and self-taught and that way came most readily to him. I seem to remember he sounded pretty good at it too.

 

I used to know an Irish accordion player in London, Paddy Hayes from County Wexford, a lovely man, who borrowed a nice Wheatstone off his fellow box player Raymond Roland and won the All-Ireland playing it upside-down, around 1986. It made more sense to him that way because he could finger the lower notes (which he needed the most) with his right hand - like it was a button accordion.

 

Oh, and I visited Raymond's flat one time, to look at a very unusual 20-key metal-ended Jeffries that he was selling. I didn't buy the Jeffries, but I did finish up doing a bit of work on that Wheatstone for him - and he cracked open the whiskey bottle to reward me... God be with the days! :rolleyes:

 

Here's a taste of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKnueQouMaY

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