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Daddy Long Les

Marcus English Treble Concertina - First Impressions Video

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I bought a used Marcus Treble Concertina from Hobgoblin, Brighton (UK) yesterday.

 

I thought that some members might like to see it and hear it so here it is:-

 

https://youtu.be/2nGCWZUY2wE

 

It has an interesting low F on the right hand side instead of the G# which you obviously still have on the left as an Ab.

 

Les

Edited by Daddy Long Les

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Apropos the low F, I had the same arrangement on my Wheatstone baritone. Not sure why they did it that way though. To me it makes more sense to have the F on the left hand next to the A. It's then on the side you would expect and also allows you to play an F triad or open FC fifth with the left hand. I had the reeds swapped to put F on the left and G# on the right. (I could have done it myself, of course, but the instrument was being restored anyway.)

 

Come to that, how many people use the low G#? I'd have thought modern makers would offer a low E on the right hand side instead, and I'm sure it would be a lot more use to most folk musicians.

 

John.

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Apropos the low F, I had the same arrangement on my Wheatstone baritone. Not sure why they did it that way though. To me it makes more sense to have the F on the left hand next to the A. It's then on the side you would expect and also allows you to play an F triad or open FC fifth with the left hand. I had the reeds swapped to put F on the left and G# on the right. (I could have done it myself, of course, but the instrument was being restored anyway.)

 

Come to that, how many people use the low G#? I'd have thought modern makers would offer a low E on the right hand side instead, and I'm sure it would be a lot more use to most folk musicians.

 

Another topic that has been discussed several times in the past. Suggest you folks look up some of the discusssions. I'm starting a journey early tomorrow, so I'm not likely to have time to do the searches before I leave.

 

FWIW, I find the Search facility in these forums misses a lot, though Advanced Search (the gear wheel to the right of the Search input field) has the advantage that you can search on multiple parameters, including author. So since I've contributed to those discussions, you could narrow the search by including my name in that field. Otherwise, I find using Google's Advanced Search with a restriction to the concertina.net domain to be pretty good, as long as I choose the right word(s) and/or phrase(s) to search for.

Edited by JimLucas

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My opinion is that the notes on an English keyboard are better kept in their original patern because once it becomes fully 'hard wired' into your brain you can find notes because of the logic... if you don't believe me see my recording of a Playford tune on Soundcloud ( search Geoff Wooff and go to track STE-007) here I played the tune in seven different keys ( in a chordal manner) in two minutes without using any editing. This is possible by knowing where all the notes are... well sensing where is more like it as can be heard from the odd slip. My wife would say I don't know where any of the notes are " give me an E please" err don't ask me I just play the thing.

 

So my point is that shifting notes around, out of patern might ultimately not be a good idea easpecially if you use chords and/or change keys sometimes.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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I would prefer to have the 'F'. of course, I DO have the 'F', because I am playing a Tenor, the low notes being one of the reasons for that. but if I acquire a Bari, it probly will be new, quite possibly a hybrid, and for sure, will be ordered with a low 'F" in place of the a-flat or g-sharp or whatever it is. and currently I am indeed left-leaning as to which one to sub out, for the reasons stated above. hate to give up one of the doubled notes, but it IS a low note that won't be used constantly, so nothing lost, I think. if I ever acquired a treble, it would definitely be a new order, so that I can either have the 'f" and perhaps the 'f-sharp'/'g-flat' either added on, or subbed in place of one or two doubled accidentals. I think it's ridiculous to have only to the 'g.' particularly in trebles where you don't get your low 'f', but you do have a whole octave you're never going to use, for world-folk players like yours truly. this obviously wouldn't go for people who are playing classical or other genres using the castrato octave . . . or are playing multi-voiced/chordal a lot . . . I'm largely a melody person . .. mmmmm, that low f and low f-sharp, coiled and ready to spring, for the the delish c sesh tunes, b sesh tunes, and b-flat sesh tunes . . .to me that is a big part of The Discreet Charm of the English Concertina . . .

Edited by ceemonster

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I'm going to take my Marcus to Martyn White soon so he can tweak a few tunings and give it the once over.

 

I'll discuss swapping the low F on the right with the Ab on the left - seems a more sensible arrangement.

 

I was pleased to find that after a day of playing it I still really liked my Lachenal when I picked it up - totally different of course.

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I would guess that I see this low F on around 1 in 5 English concertinas that pass through my hands - including the baritone Aeola currently on the bench.

In this case, the reeds have been heavily filed at the root and leaded at the tip, and the result is not a happy one. Both reeds are slower to respond and duller in tone than the rest. I'm not saying that it's impossible to successfully tune reeds down by three semitones, but the results do seem variable. Far better in my view to have a couple of new reeds made.

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I had the F transferred over to the left side and the Ab that was on the left moved to the right. This seemed to make a lot more sense. Also, the reason the F note was so hard to get to was that the thumb strap had been bent out of place and so was impeding me. Martyn White, who did the work for me, spotted this instantly and corrected it. He also tuned up a couple of notes and reset a reed or two and the result is a really nice instrument.

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