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Jeff Stallard

How Many English Players?

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Interesting estimates of player numbers. However I reckon Australia has many more than 200 players. I would say at least double that. Probably 69% anglo and 29% English, plus 4 or 5 duet players. And there's quite a number in NZ too.

Keeps me busy! :D

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How many concertina players does it take to change a lightbulb?

If it's a Jeffries lightbulb, there will be various ways of changing it.

If its a Duet lightbulb, you can change two at the same time.

And I suppose, if it's an English lightbulb, you have to keep moving from side to side.

 

And if it's a Jeffries duet lightbulb, by the time you've worked out how to change the lightbulb, the sun has come back up again. :lol:

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Interesting estimates of player numbers. However I reckon Australia has many more than 200 players. I would say at least double that. Probably 69% anglo and 29% English, plus 4 or 5 duet players. And there's quite a number in NZ too.

Keeps me busy! :D

 

Thanks, Malcolm. This is the sort of feedback I had hoped to provoke. I initially had Australia higher (at least 350, maybe higher), but chickened out. On further consideration, I expect Germany has a minimum of 50 players, probably quite a bit more, so the "rest of the world" = 75 should be adjusted upwards, also.

 

It's my opinion one tends to underestimate in general. How could it be otherwise, i.e., tell me how many players there are you never encounter in any way.

 

I am most unsettled about the UK numbers, as I could find very little on which to base an estimate.

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Double-counting should result in the percentages summing to more than 100.  They sum to exactly 100%.

 

 

the percentages do equal 100%. If I had quoted actual numbers, the total would be 18 more than the actual membership because of some members being in more than one category.

 

- John

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Interesting estimates of player numbers. However I reckon Australia has many more than 200 players.

Actually I would have thought that 200 was an over estimation - more like 100 at the most.

 

So where are they all hiding? They must all be north of the border (in NSW). B)

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Interesting estimates of player numbers. However I reckon Australia has many more than 200 players.

Actually I would have thought that 200 was an over estimation - more like 100 at the most.

 

So where are they all hiding? They must all be north of the border (in NSW). B)

 

And in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and WA. Victoria too. Lots of activity around Bendigo and also in the Warnanbool area. And East Gippsland.

I only know of two players in the Territory though, but there may be more.

 

Coffs Harbour, my nearest city, population 20,000 ish, I know 7 players. There may be more I haven't met yet. If that is typical, then the figure would be more like 7000 nationally. :o

 

Probably a bit of an over-estimation, but I suppose you can proove anything with statistics. :P

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Double-counting should result in the percentages summing to more than 100.  They sum to exactly 100%.

the percentages do equal 100%. If I had quoted actual numbers, the total would be 18 more than the actual membership because of some members being in more than one category.

Then those percentages represent types of concertina played, not numbers of players who play each type. Fair enough. I misunderstood. (Besides, the percentages wouldn't be greatly different.)

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Interesting estimates of player numbers. However I reckon Australia has many more than 200 players.

Actually I would have thought that 200 was an over estimation - more like 100 at the most.

 

So where are they all hiding? They must all be north of the border (in NSW). B)

 

I too thought that 200 players was an overestimate, but I live in north Queensland which is considered "remote" by some people from the south of the country.

 

What is the definition of a "player"? I play English Concertina and I know 1 Anglo player in Townsville (he's a multi-instrumentalist and rarely plays his anglo). I have come across two families who live locally that own ECs. One family keeps their concertina as an heirloom, and a member of the other family bought an EC but never learnt how to play it.

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Interesting estimates of player numbers. However I reckon Australia has many more than 200 players.
Actually I would have thought that 200 was an over estimation - more like 100 at the most.

Morgana, I suspect there are factors which make it more likely for many concertina players to be in communication with Malcolm than with you. Now if you went into business repairing/restoring concertinas, I suspect you might suddenly find yourself contacted by a number of players previously unknown to you. :)

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I suspect there are factors which make it more likely for many concertina players to be in communication with Malcolm than with you.  Now if you went into business repairing/restoring concertinas, I suspect you might suddenly find yourself contacted by a number of players previously unknown to you.  :)

 

That thought occured to me

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Compare the following 3 estimates:

...the figures [derived from the C.net map]

[...]

A survey by Allan Atlas

[...]

John’s sample of ICA members:

 

[...]

 

I’ve been thinking about Jeff’s question for a long time.  How many concertina players are there in the world?  Both the Atlas survey and the c.net membership are poor estimates...

 

[...]

 

How would you go about getting such information?  The only thing I can think of is educated guessing,...

Guessing is the antithesis of information gathering. Usually, presenting a guess and calling it "information" (or "data") is given the name of "fraud".

 

...with members estimating the number of players in their region from their experience.

Is that what you mean by "educated"? My own experience suggests two things:

... 1. There are more concertinas players in the world than we -- either the individuals reading this thread or any groups we individuals belong to -- are personally aware of.

... 2. We really have no good way of reliably estimating how many more.

 

I draw these conclusions from my personal experience of 1) again and again discovering concertina players that I was previously unaware of and who are not members of any concertina-related group I was familiar with, and 2) over the years the rate of such discoveries has not decreased; if there has been any change, it has been an increase.

 

A shabby methodology, no doubt, but what else could be done?

Admit that we really don't know, and that so far we don't even have the means of finding out?

 

But today it seems culturally unacceptable to admit such a thing, even (especially?) when it's true. :(

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What is the definition of a "player"?  I play English Concertina and I know 1 Anglo player in Townsville (he's a multi-instrumentalist and rarely plays his anglo).  I have come across two families who live locally that own ECs.  One family keeps their concertina as an heirloom, and a member of the other family bought an EC but never learnt how to play it.

This is an important point. But proposing a "definition" for the word "player" is won't generate a solution, though it might stimulate an argument... over the defintion, regardless of the statistics. The statistics might be very different for concertina owners, concertina "dabblers", and concertina "performers". So instead of debating what is meant by "player", those presenting estimates should simply state in sufficiently clear terms what they are estimates of.

 

E.g., I wouldn't even use the word "dabbler" except for the above purpose of illustration, but maybe something like "somebody who knows at least two tunes and spends at least an hour a month playing". And instead of "performer", I might say "someone who performs with concertina for a paying audience at least once a year (or month, or week)" or "someone who plays at least once a month for a willing audience, even if that audience consists only of family members". I would expect the statistics for those latter two categories to be quite different, but there should be little confusion if such descriptions are used, rather than the word "player" or even "performer"... followed by an argument over whether a particular estimate is invalid because it used a different "definition" than another estimate.

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For your information, the 7 *players* I mentioned in my immediate vicinity are all players by any *reasonable* definition.

 

One lady plays Irish style on a 38key Lachenal every Saturday at a local session. Another plays a 24key CJeffries (beautiful box!) mainly at folk festivals. Yet another plays a 30key rosewood Lachenal, and this lady used to run the local folk club, but plays mainly at home at present. A gentleman plays old bush dance tunes on a 24key Lachenal, and is a great enthusiast. Yet another plays a 28key CJeffries in his (mainly accordion) restaurant show. Then there is the young multi-instrumentalist who has recently acquired an anglo and is making tremendous progress with Irish tunes on a 30 key Bastari/Stagi.

 

I've missed some one out....oh yes, me! I play anglo and English. B)

 

OK, sure none of us are John Kirkpatrick or Noel Hill, but all of us are enthusiastic and reasonably competant. (Why aren't they here on C.net, I ask myself?)

 

Maybe this area of Australia is unusual. It is not a particularly musical town

and is also interesting that I know of only 4 piano accordion players here... :o

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Compare the following 3 estimates:

...the figures [derived from the C.net map]

[...]

A survey by Allan Atlas

[...]

John’s sample of ICA members:

 

[...]

 

I’ve been thinking about Jeff’s question for a long time.  How many concertina players are there in the world?  Both the Atlas survey and the c.net membership are poor estimates...

 

[...]

 

How would you go about getting such information?  The only thing I can think of is educated guessing,...

Guessing is the antithesis of information gathering.

 

REPLY: Estimating, or guessing, is a time-honored way to begin attacking seemingly intractable problems. It’s a beginning, not the endpoint. When you assume something might be true, then you begin to ask yourself what the consequences would be if it were true, examine whatever data you can bring to bear on the subject and then revise your estimate. In fields where you can’t usually generate controlled experiments, astronomy and paleontology, say, you often have to bootstrap yourself up. Consider how many times the ages of the earth, life, the size of the universe, etc. have been revised (almost always up).

Consider our problem. Other lists of concertina players exist, in one form or another. Using one fairly limited list of 75 performers in the US, I find that less than 10% belong to c.net. (There are ancillary issues about recognizability of cnet usernames, but let’s not complicate things for now.) If you assume that nonperformers join at the same rate, then you’ve got an improved idea of how to relate cnet membership to the unknown whole. Even if you find the assumption specious, as I do, you can can begin to test the validity of the assumption, try to assess the magnitude of the error, or at least be attuned to the idea of testing it if some aspect of the data passed by you, whereas before you would have ignored it.

 

 

...with members estimating the number of players in their region from their experience.

Is that what you mean by "educated"? My own experience suggests two things:

... 1. There are more concertinas players in the world than we -- either the individuals reading this thread or any groups we individuals belong to -- are personally aware of.

... 2. We really have no good way of reliably estimating how many more.

 

I draw these conclusions from my personal experience of 1) again and again discovering concertina players that I was previously unaware of and who are not members of any concertina-related group I was familiar with, and 2) over the years the rate of such discoveries has not decreased; if there has been any change, it has been an increase.

 

I draw these conclusions from my personal experience of 1) again and again discovering concertina players that I was previously unaware of and who are not members of any concertina-related group I was familiar with, and 2) over the years the rate of such discoveries has not decreased; if there has been any change, it has been an increase.

 

REPLY:Finding lower bounds is useful – if you’re interested in the answer, far more useful than total ignorance. If I knew nothing about the number of concertina players in Ireland and Israel, which have 3 and 1 members in the Atlas survey, I might conclude about equal densities. However, speaking to the ICA member in Israel, as I have, I find he can name only one other player in Israel. Shay Fogary or Stephen Chambers would presumably give a different idea of number of players in Ireland.

 

I was pleased to have stimulated the discussion of players in Australia, although Malcolm’s rather precise estimate of 69% Anglo to 29% English had me believing he was pulling my leg at least a little.

 

 

A shabby methodology, no doubt, but what else could be done?

Admit that we really don't know, and that so far we don't even have the means of finding out?

 

But today it seems culturally unacceptable to admit such a thing, even (especially?) when it's true. :(

 

REPLY: Why do it? Because you’re interested, and find having some idea rather than no idea of the answer preferable? Because it’s fun? Should we leave off the study of consciousness now that attempts are being made to move it out of the realm of pure philosophy because it’s hard, with no clear end in sight?

 

Usually, presenting a guess and calling it "information" (or "data") is given the name of "fraud"

 

Both the wording and the error estimate (also a guess) gave fair, even overconservative warning to the reliability of the estimates.

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I draw these conclusions from my personal experience of 1) again and again discovering concertina players that I was previously unaware of and who are not members of any concertina-related group I was familiar with, and 2) over the years the rate of such discoveries has not decreased; if there has been any change, it has been an increase.

 

I'm in total agreement with you there Jim. Since I started doing repair work I've been amazed at the numbers of concertina players I've discovered, several less than 10 miles from my door. Some were people I knew already, but was unaware of their concertina, others are people who are not connected in to the local traditional music scene, but responded to various forms of advertising.

 

I think its very easy to underestimate the numbers, just because we dont have the connections. I believe that our present level of communication technology encourages us to think that we can find everything with a google search. This belief is false.

 

Theo

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Coffs Harbour, my nearest city, population 20,000 ish, I know 7 players. There may be more I haven't met yet. If that is typical, then the figure would be more like 7000 nationally.  :o

Even I suspect that 7000 may be a bit high... or maybe not. I think that if we found there were 1000, I wouldn't be surprised that there were that many, though I might be surprised that we found them. B)

 

Probably a bit of an over-estimation, but I suppose you can prove anything with statistics.  :P

Not really. But what one can do -- and many people try -- is claim to have proved something by falsifying statistics. :ph34r:

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How would you go about getting such information?  The only thing I can think of is educated guessing,...

Guessing is the antithesis of information gathering.
Estimating, or guessing, is a time-honored way to begin attacking seemingly intractable problems.

Estimating, yes. Guessing, no. According to my training in science and statistics, the two are mutually exclusive. Maybe some of our apparent disagreement has to do with different use of the word "guess"? To me, "guess" is what you do when you have nothing solid on which to base an "estimate".

 

When you assume something might be true,...

I prefer to "hypothesize", not "assume". To me, when someone "assumes" something, it implies that they have already decided that it is true, and that they believe there is no need to gather evidence. Again, this might be a vocabulary issue.

 

Overcoming my tendency to statement-by-statement analysis and response, I'll say that to consider an "estimate" to be more than fiction, I need to know enough of the methodology and data on which it was based to do my own analysis. To be fair, in your earlier post you did say, "Where did I get these numbers? Semi-educated guesswork based on crossreferences with independent databases,..." before saying, "...instincts, made them up if you will." And in this your latest post you give more details of your methodology, which I can therefore address in detail. Since I was already working on a consideration of facts and assumptions presented so far, I'll continue with that and post it separately. Here I'll just respond to a couple of more general points:

 

Finding lower bounds is useful....

Indeed. But an estimated lower bound on "actively playing concertina players" should be called a "lower bound", not "the number". And estimating lower bounds on numbers of players is quite a different thing from estimating ratios.

 

Why do it?  Because you’re interested, and find having some idea rather than no idea of the answer preferable?

I'm interested in investigating the question, but I find that having no idea and admitting it is far preferable to having no idea but claiming that I do. And since that's unworkably vague, I'll make it more precise by saying that I consider uncertainty of a factor of three or more to be "no idea", for all practical purposes.

 

Because it’s fun?  Should we leave off the study of consciousness now that attempts are being made to move it out of the realm of pure philosophy because it’s hard, with no clear end in sight?

Definitely not. (In fact, you've picked one of my favorite topics, and I'd love to discuss it further, though not here on C.net.) But there's a big difference between trying to understand something like consciousness and claiming that we do understand it.

 

Both the wording and the error estimate (also a guess) gave fair, even overconservative warning to the reliability of the estimates.

Considering your own estimate of uncertainty, I wondered why you bothered to give numerical estimates at all. Furthermore, I think your estimate of uncertainty was actually an underestimate. But I'll give my reasons for thinking that in my next response (probably tomorrow morning; it's approaching midnight here).

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