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48-key ebony-ended Aeola Piccolo


conzertino
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Chris Algar is selling this incredibly rare instrument...

 

https://concertina.co.uk/stock-selection/english-concertinas/extremely-rare-wheatstone-aeola-48-key-piccolo

 

The only reason I didn't jump on it immedeately is that I already own three of them.

It took me thirty years to finally get my own EE piccolo in a nerve-wrecking story...

 

 

Piccolos.jpg.38c46b45c469edeeefaa9b97865b4c85.jpg

 

 

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Robbie, I used to own one and my experience was the complete opposite of yours perhaps.

   I walked into Hobgoblin on Oxford St. London and there it was on the shelf !

      Mine  had the interesting provenance of belonging to Peter Kennedy's wife who played in their country dance band , the Haymakers.

     (Peter Kennedy, son of Douglas Kennedy of EFDSS renown,  apparently  imported  Hohner  melodeons into England tuned in D&G when most were at the time tuned in C&F. 

         This led to those two keys becoming "standard" in sessions.

 I am happy to be corrected on this.....my information is from decades ago.)

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2 hours ago, Robin Harrison said:

     (Peter Kennedy, son of Douglas Kennedy of EFDSS renown,  apparently  imported  Hohner  melodeons into England tuned in D&G when most were at the time tuned in C&F. 

         This led to those two keys becoming "standard" in sessions.

 I am happy to be corrected on this.....my information is from decades ago.)

 

You'll find a lot about the subject in this post from 2004:

 

https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/1807-piano-accordions/&do=findComment&comment=17264

 

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9 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

 

Interesting, though I find it hard to believe the story about players in Northumberland preferring G and D because they learnt tunes from Irish radio. A more simple explanation is that their local Northumbrian pipes have a natural scale of G with drones tuned G D G. Plus the fact (noted elsewhere in the link) that G and D are natural scales for fiddlers to use. All of which pre-dates radio!

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3 hours ago, Little John said:

 

Interesting, though I find it hard to believe the story about players in Northumberland preferring G and D because they learnt tunes from Irish radio. A more simple explanation is that their local Northumbrian pipes have a natural scale of G with drones tuned G D G. Plus the fact (noted elsewhere in the link) that G and D are natural scales for fiddlers to use. All of which pre-dates radio!

 

I too have always found that dubious since, like I said, most Irish button accordion players had yet to work out how to play their instruments (in various key systems) in "concert pitch" D, G and A.

 

But, for that matter, were "concert pitch" G chanters for Northumbrian pipes being made, let alone in general use, then? My past experiences have always been with sets that were pitched between F and F#...

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Robin, as you may remember, I made you an offer at the time, which didn't suffice;-) I had been looking for a ME Aeola piccolo with the old labels ( which never turned up ).

The metal ended one on the picture is in fact a piccolo-sized treble!! I bought it through ebay off Chris Algar.

But I didn't like thin ends and the late labels... But I found out that - except for two notes - the ends were compatible with the other two piccolos. So I had Steve Dickinson make incredible flexible and huge bellows and swap the original ends for the Amboyna-ends.

 

888468690_Tinylang.jpg.ef514d9d011a5d875d9b2e748aaf6109.jpg

 

The result was probably the finest concertina in the world. If you play the little one for a while, you wonder, why concertinas have to be so big;-).

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edPNUN_qCiY

 

It is probably the only original piccolo-sized treble in existance. The other one I know of is a piccolo that was converted by Wheatstone to treble for Betty Aukland. In another heartbreaking story I missed that one. It lives in a happy home in New York now... 

 

For years I have been begging Jürgen Suttner to make a few...

 

Currently I am using the little one with ebony-ends...

 

PS: The amboyna Piccolo will soon be for sale - so start saving! 

 

 

 

 

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I played the metal ended piccolo sized treble of Betty Auckland's at Chris algars, maybe 14 or 15 years ago.....it was the best 'treble' he had up there.....I was very tempted to buy it, I wanted to buy it, but it was 2750 quid, which at the time seemed so expensive!🙄.....so I bottled it....

  Great playing in your socks Rob!

 

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12 hours ago, conzertino said:

It is probably the only original piccolo-sized treble in existance. The other one I know of is a piccolo that was converted by Wheatstone to treble for Betty Aukland. In another heartbreaking story I missed that one. It lives in a happy home in New York now... 

 

Hi Robert, how big (width of the end plate) is "piccolo sized"? Any chance we could see photos of the actions and reed pans?

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The ends of the piccolo-sized treble obviously have the same size as those of the genuine piccolos, as they can be exchanged ( I don't have the instrument with me right now ).

If you consider making one, I could send you photocopies of the inner ends and reedpans. Except for the lowest four reeds, all other ones are normal Aeola-reed-size.

As could be expeced, the little one has a higher air pressure inside and hence plays very quick and loud, just as baritone-trebles usually play slaggish and softer ( pressure = force / area ). On the other hand does such a small treble require big bellows. A proper piccolo has much smaller reeds and needs less air-volume. My EE piccolo has five-fold bellows, which are perfectly fine.

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17 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

But, for that matter, were "concert pitch" G chanters for Northumbrian pipes being made, let alone in general use, then? My past experiences have always been with sets that were pitched between F and F#...

 

To be honest, I don't know much about this. I was just going on a vague memory the Northumbrian pipes were in G, along with this Wikipedia article. That indicates the chanter as being in G from the earliest reference in about 1695. Probably not modern concert pitch of A=440Hz.

 

Thinking about it I seem to recall Tom McConville having a fiddle tuned a tone down to F; very likely for playing with pipers if their instruments were in F. Perhaps Northumbrian piping has a tradition of notating in G whilst sounding in F (not unlike the Highland great pipes which are notated in A but sound closer to Bb).

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2 minutes ago, conzertino said:

The ends of the piccolo-sized treble obviously have the same size as those of the genuine piccolos, as they can be exchanged ( I don't have the instrument with me right now ).

If you consioder making one, I could send you photocopies of the inner ends and reedpans. Except for the lowest four reeds, all other ones are normal Aeola-reed-size.

As could be expeced, the little one has a higher air pressure inside and hence plays very quick and lound ( pressure = force / area ).

 

Thanks Robert. I just noticed the Barleycorn advert it says it is 5 1/2" wide. The treble version must be very tightly packed indeed. I'm always interested in seeing what tricks other makers have used to squeeze as much capability as possible into a limited space.

 

I'm not taking new commissions right now but wouldn't rule out attempting it at some point in the future.

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