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Kevin L Rietmann

Why Is The English Concertina Played Sideways?

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Thanks, that's interesting, he certainly added a lot of mass to things there though. The setup on anglos/duets seems much more straightforward; you might have to drill some new holes in the ends of your EC, though. I don't really have any qualms about that as mine is really beat up; in fact it'll take quite a bit of work to make it play at all, looks like. And I'm thinking instead I might just set up in the normal fashion and see what I think first.

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I just received my EC 18 button Hohner and I found out that my small hands kept me from using my pinkies. The next finger allows only two free to play with but it is now PERFECTLY ergonomically correct for me and a breeze to play. Maybe it would make sense and be useful for some folks to experiment as I did. :P

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I just received my EC 18 button Hohner and I found out that my small hands kept me from using my pinkies. The next finger allows only two free to play with but it is now PERFECTLY ergonomically correct for me and a breeze to play. Maybe it would make sense and be useful for some folks to experiment as I did. :P

 

As I understand it, Wheatstone designed it for use that way, and it's only in more modern times that EC players have put their pinkies in the rest and freed up a third finger for playing.

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Hope this is not contributing to thread creep, but in regard to number of fingers to use and the use of the pinkie rest, Alan Atlas, in his exhaustive essay on "The Victorian Concertina: Some Issues Relating to Performance," says

 

"There can be no doubt that most of the professional concertinists of the Victorian period

played with four fingers of each hand, moving the little fingers (the pinkies) from the finger rests . . . to the button board freely and often . . . . Gradually, though – to judge from the method books of the period – the little finger stopped jumping around and remained ever more firmly planted in the finger rest, thus leaving the player with only three fingers on each hand (index, middle, and ring, called 1, 2, and 3, respectively) with which to negotiate the button board. And there can be little doubt that most present-day players – myself

included – use the three-finger method."

 

See http://www.concertina.com/atlas/victorian-concertina-performance/atlas-victorian-concertina-some-issues-relating-to-performance.pdf, section on fingering. It's hard to see how anyone could play some of the period music with only four available fingers!

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David and Mike,

 

" I thank [you both! For your ] exuberant support of the arts and music in general and ... for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments and my own obsessive – even nutty! (and growing worse) – need to play the concertina in particular."

 

I really enjoyed reading this fascinating and detailed history, especially about Wheatstone's amazing and illustrious background, and, about the Victorian (my favorite time period) history and background of my personal new obsession: Valentina, my concertina.

 

Eve

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Christian,

 

I saw both of those ergonomic videos. It seems to be a great answer though it must add great weight to an already enormous machine! However, I see that the knee bears the instruments weight so use of his hands are quite free and easy.

 

Thanks.

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