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Unisonoric concertinas: Bellow Reversal policies?

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, RAc said:

 

 

 

So I was looking for a (to my best knowledge) undocumented section of the tool handbook to tackle a very hands on issue, namely the problem that I was running out of air which in turn adversely affected the listening experience. Again I am very grateful to Wolf for establishing the link by pinpointing the issue.

 

 

 

On the subject of 'running  out of air'  :

 

The bellows  needs to be 'fit for purpose'.  The short   four or five fold  bellows  often found on  older and smaller  EC's and Duets  were perhaps meant for those who played  one note  at a time, as can be seen from early  Method  books.  Once players want to use  several notes  at once, or fist fulls of chords  then air capacity   becomes an issue.    A couple of years ago I  tried a  newly made  EC Baritone  which was  nice  but the instrument  was  of small size and the bellows definately too short  for anything but single note  playing.    I would not be  so comfortable  playing my  Treble EC in  a dance band  if it still had its original  5 fold  bellows... its  reed efficiency, general airtightness  and  correctly constructed  6 fold  bellows  allows  huge liberties to be taken  with dynamics  and  number of  buttons depressed.

Old, dried up,  leaky or stiff  bellows  ought to be considered  a  consumable  part  of the concertina  and  a good  new replacement  should transform the instrument.

 

However  RAc,  having now viewed your linked  youtube  video    and soundcloud  recordings  I think you have overcome  any problems  you  might have had... happy music making to you!

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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22 hours ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

Hi Adrian,

surely no one who has once been listening to your music would or even could be inclined to discount your findings.

Having said that I wish to point to the origns of this discussion - a fellow concertinist (@RAc) who had his own playing videotaped and posted here.

My initial take on that take was, in terms of supportive critique, that bellows reversals did occur at rather odd points whereas at then-following endings of phrases or even sections there was no such expression (it could be added now: neither reversal nor mimicking of any kind)

So undoubtedly having discussed advanced techniques for variety etc. and be pointed to the musicality that only can provide meaning (as in the more recent posts) is of great interest and certainly helpful.

However IMO this does not make hints to basic techniques which can provide a, can we say tangible, base for adding expression to a tune unnecessary. Refing may come later then (possibly even to the point where the basic tool appears as dispensable).

Guess this is two (however related) discussions in one, don‘t you think?

Best wishes - and my greetings to Rufus + Susanna - 🐺

No, I realise Wolf that I’d sort of jumped in mid-thread as usual :-) I suppose I just wanted to point out that it’s as much an issue on anglos too, although one might not realise it from an EC or duet perspective.
Cheers and hope to see you in the Wenland again next year…

Adrian 

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11 hours ago, Geoff Wooff said:

On the subject of 'running  out of air'  :

 

The bellows  needs to be 'fit for purpose'.  The short   four or five fold  bellows  often found on  older and smaller  EC's and Duets  were perhaps meant for those who played  one note  at a time, as can be seen from early  Method  books.  Once players want to use  several notes  at once, or fist fulls of chords  then air capacity   becomes an issue.    A couple of years ago I  tried a  newly made  EC Baritone  which was  nice  but the instrument  was  of small size and the bellows definately too short  for anything but single note  playing.    I would not be  so comfortable  playing my  Treble EC in  a dance band  if it still had its original  5 fold  bellows... its  reed efficiency, general airtightness  and  correctly constructed  6 fold  bellows  allows  huge liberties to be taken  with dynamics  and  number of  buttons depressed.

Old, dried up,  leaky or stiff  bellows  ought to be considered  a  consumable  part  of the concertina  and  a good  new replacement  should transform the instrument.

 

However  RAc,  having now viewed your linked  youtube  video    and soundcloud  recordings  I think you have overcome  any problems  you  might have had... happy music making to you!

Geoff.

This is very flattering indeed, a wonderful compliment that more than anything makes me blush. Thank you, Geoff. There's always room for improvement, and I have a feeling that the outcome of this discussion will help me (and hopefully others who can relate to the issues as well) make another step forward. Your explanation of the bellows volume evolution is very helpful as well!
 

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certainly - just not so easy on this video - however his „policies“ don‘t seem to be dictated by lack of air supply - and as for me there‘s nothing wrong with frequently applying reversals as a very basic (but of course replaceable) feature for added expressiveness 

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Rob Harbron plays with the middle of the bellows of his concertina across his knee. 

 

I read that he does this so that when he keeps time with his foot it causes a little pulse through the bellows.

 

Most (all?) tutors say not to do this as it causes wear on the bellows, but it works for him.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Rob Harbron plays with the middle of the bellows of his concertina across his knee. 

 

I read that he does this so that when he keeps time with his foot it causes a little pulse through the bellows.

 

Most (all?) tutors say not to do this as it causes wear on the bellows, but it works for him.

 

Yes, that has been his advice in a recent class (video had been posted here) too - however I still wouldn’t do that and reckon this sort of „pulse“ can be given over the one end resting on one‘s knee as well - he had been discussing that just as opposed to holding the instrument freely in the hands playing, resp. using a neck strap, like f.i. Wim Wakker does...

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
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