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How Compressed When Storing A Concertina


RWL
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I made a custom case for my concertina and left a little extra room in the end for an audio recorder, etc.

 

I need to place the blocks in the case next and I'm not sure how far apart to space them.

 

In its natural resting state, the instrument is 5-3/4" long.

With a little pressure it compresses to 5-1/2"

With a strong press it is 5-1/4" long

 

How far apart should the blocks be?

What is the reason for storing a concertina in the compressed state?

Is it harmful to compress a concertina "too" tightly?

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I'm wondering if less than full compression might have some advantage in the event that the case with concertina fell on its side. The instrument would have a little bit of air buffer to keep the side facing the impact from the full force all at once.

 

What is the purpose of compression anyway, or are those closure straps on cheap concertinas just to make them easier to carry? (Mine is an Edeophone, not a cheap one)

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What is the purpose of compression anyway, or are those closure straps on cheap concertinas just to make them easier to carry? (Mine is an Edeophone, not a cheap one)

 

I guess they primarily belong to accordions and melodeons as they are stored vertically. Every time you put the instrument down you're in danger of dropping the bass side which might affect the bellows in the long run (and if you take it up it's just the same).. All the more, if you have a large PA or CBA (or three row melodeon) with shoulder straps you will want to keep the bellows safely closed while, well, shouldering it...

 

Cheap concertinas used to come in a hexagonal cardbox which causes similar problems - as does my Lachenal hex box from which I have to litterally pour out the instrument (whereas I kind of impose the box on the instrument when storing it for transport)...

 

At home I store my concertina horizontal anyways, and I can't see any need in closure straps...

Edited by blue eyed sailor
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Firm compression is what I was taught and still advise,

 

two reasons:

 

  1. it keeps the bellows from creeping open so it ensures even bellows resistance when playing - all the way up to the 'closed position'. This will help with phrasing and air usage.
  2. as said above, it stops the bellows moving in the case.

Concertinas should always be stored, axis horizontal, bellows compressed and damp free.

 

Dave

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Very much agree with Dave. Concertinas that are quite old with original bellows are probably loose enough so they will stay put no matter how you put them down. Some newer bellows made with soft thin chrome tanned leather probably the same. For everything else, leaving a concertina out of the case or loose in the case sill tend to begin to expand. Then it requires a bit of extra pressure to play beyond that point. I hate to see instruments left on the table for days partially extended. None of this is critical, but the case is the safest place for the instrument, and blocks should keep it as closed as you would close it using normal hand pressure. Eventually, concertinas in blocked cases will tend to stay closed if left out, but even then, they may start to creep open if left out all the time. Geoff Crabb mentions this in an old post. There are hardly any concertinas that could be called cheap these days. Take care of them guys!

Dana

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  • 4 years later...

If the concertina has a tendency to open a bit when not compressed, what's the problem with that? I never close my bellows fully when I am playing. Really you want little resistance either direction;  the point is to have the bellows move in and out freely.  I am sure there are no peer review studies but surely someone must have first hand experience. I've only been playing for about 50 years (EC for ten and Anglo for 40) and haven't had any bellows problems to speak of that were caused by not compressing the bellows.

Not having the bellows compressed seems to me would make the concertina better able to withstand a blow to the ends since there is more give. That's why I fancy a well made canvas bag rather than a hard case. If you drop the bag more of the shock will be absorbed by the bag than if you were carrying the concertina in a hard case that had no give to it. 

Edited by David Levine
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In addition to Dave's remark that concertina's should be stored damp free.

I guess that a concertina case should not be made air tight, else it may become wet inside when the temperature decreases.

Would it make sense to drill a few holes in a case for air ventilation and to avoid moisture problems.

Or would it be enough to put a bit of silica gel inside the case to keep it dry when you are travelling (or in rooms that vary in temperature). 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My Dipper came in a pelican case lined and blocked in such a way compress the bellows completely while not touching the keys.  I assume the Dippers know what they are doing.  Pelican cases are known to be waterproof. If the air around you is damp enough to mildew things put on a shelf  (like books or laundry) you may need silica gel, but I'd put a hydrometer in a case if i were messing with the humidity just to make sure you didn't go down too far.  My humidity control is in the room given the swings in dry/humid air in the midwestern USA.  I have humidfiers that run in the winter and dehumidifiers that run in the summer.

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