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Bill Worsfold

Linota Definition

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I've just been lucky enough to buy a Bb/F 31 key metal ended anglo. It has no labels in the ovals, but has 'Linota' stamped in both the wooden handgrips, so I presume it's a Wheatstone. The number written on a reedpan dates it to 1920 (using the on-line lists).

 

I've a couple of questions: first of all, what constitutes a Linota? Is it to do with specific design factors (I've seen Suttner advertise Linota style concertinas) or a quality range, or what? In style, it's very similar to my Wheatstone Crane 48, but that doesn't have the Linota stamps

 

Second, although it's perfectly in tune with itself, it seems to be about 30 cents above concert. Is that old pitch, or is it just a bit sharp? I haven't tried playing it with another instrument yet so I don't know whether it's tolerable or not!

 

There is a hole through the wood, just in front of the screw on the left hand strap - it goes through into the action area - it doesn't constitute a leak but it is a bit odd. I thought maybe it once had a lyre clip to hold music cards. Any other ideas what it might be for?

 

It's been well played - the plating is tarnished, there are small cracks on some of the bellows corners, but it plays really well - a big jump from my 20 key mahogany and bone Lachenal!

 

Cheers,

 

Bill Worsfold

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A further curiosity about this box is that the RH accidental row doesn't correspond to the fingering charts I have - until I compared it to a Jeffries: it's identical!

 

Was that a normal Wheatstone practice, or has it been customised somewhere down the line?

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

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Hey Bill, your name just leapt off the screen at me! I can't help you with any technical info on your "Linota" (though lucky you, I've always craved a Bb/F), but I just wanted to say hello. I've very happy memories of my stay at your place in Warkworth.

My very best to you and Kath.

Brian

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Since no one else has weighed in, I can venture the following. I had an encounter with an inexpensive Wheatstone anglo a few years ago. It had 20 keys, mahogany ends, I forget what the buttons were (bone? not metal); a model 51, their most basic anglo in the early 1930s. It had the famous name stamped on the hand bar. I asked about what was a Linota. Several folks (here, maybe?) responded and one opinion was that Wheatstone stamped all their anglos "Linota" for some period before WWII. It did not seem to be a specific model the way an Aeola was. So I was told, and that would explain seeing the name on Wheatstone's "cheapest" anglo of the era (though it was still a promising instrument; unrestored so it was hard to be sure).

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Bill I have been thinking about your concertina and initially took your word for the fact that it is Bp F.

I just wondered are you taking that as being so fron its tuning? It could in fact be a CG .If you have not done so most old Wheatstones had the note stamped on the brass of the reed and you can see from that what key it is in.

Al

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Bill I have been thinking about your concertina and initially took your word for the fact that it is Bp F.

I just wondered are you taking that as being so fron its tuning? It could in fact be a CG .If you have not done so most old Wheatstones had the note stamped on the brass of the reed and you can see from that what key it is in.

Al

 

Hi Al,

 

I just checked a sample on the right hand end and they are stamped with the notes they are tuned to (even the Jeffries-style accidental layout)

 

Is Bb/F unusual? What are the pros and cons of that tuning (and of Jeffries versus Wheatstone accidental layout, come to that!)

 

Given that I've no interest in Irish tune sessions - I'm more interested in song accompaniments and (mostly) European dance tunes - the home keys are good for songs (for my voice, at any rate) and not as strident as the same box would be in C/G

 

How much do other players venture outside of the home keys on a 30 key box? What are the other favourite keys (I know Irish players use D a lot, but that's usually single lines - how is it for self-accompanied playing?

I would need to get used to playing in E and A shapes in order to play in actual D and G. Are they practical? (bear in mind I've just come from a 20 key box, so I don't know yet what is easy and what is ard!)

 

Incidentally, the serial number, 28462, shows as June 4th 1920 in the Wheatstone ledgers and is accurately described there as NP (nickel plated?) 31 keys (it has a Bb drone) black (presumably they're referring to the bellows and ends) The bellows are stamped N192, and the reedpan 22. I've no idea what those numbers mean.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

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The BpF Concertina is not unusual three Jeffries came up for auction last year AE GD and BpF

I have a converted BpF and dependant on your voice it is a nice key to sing and play in.

If you just want it for singing and not for session work etc. Many would say ,me included and certainly Paul Groff,leave it as it is in old concert pitch.You will eventually learn to use the whole instrument for your singing and or chords if you wish.The Linota has a lovely sound and are very underated,you must consider yourself very lucky to have found it.

Al

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Many would say ,me included and certainly Paul Groff,leave it as it is in old concert pitch.You will eventually learn to use the whole instrument for your singing and or chords if you wish.The Linota has a lovely sound and are very underated,you must consider yourself very lucky to have found it.

Al

 

 

Hi Al,

 

Yes, I am delighted to have found it. I was kind of expecting something of the level of a Mayfair or such - it's way, way better than that! (That's why I asked just what a Linota is.)

 

As to leaving it in old pitch, that would be fine if I were playing and singing solo, but I'm usually working in combination with other instruments so, eventually a re-tune will probably be necessary. Meanwhile, it's so well in tune with itself and so responsive that it's a treat to play.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

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Speculation is that Linota was a reed maker sometimes employed to supply hand made reeds for wheatstone and that his name was stamped on the palm rest to indicate that the instrument contained his reeds.

I can attest that every Wheatstone anglo that was labeled Linota that I have heard played gives off a uniquely distinct sound of its own and is only replicated by another Wheatstone with the same labeling.

The sound is very similar to the Uilleann pipes. One of the more talented and recognized of the Linota labeled anglo concertina players is Noel Hill. If you close your eyes when he is doing his rhythmic chording you swear that someone with the pipes is sitting next to him player their regulators for accompyment. I have never heard that sound from any other anglo without Linota stamped on it. The best years for this sound would likely be around 1915 give or take a few years. I have heard three from that era and those boxes have tremendous dynamics and tone.

This is not fact but educated rumours that have come up in conversation about Linota over the past six years. No matter what the truth...I think if it is labeled with "Linota" it will most likely have a great sound if someone hasn't taken a chain saw file to them.

 

 

Steve

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I've a couple of questions: first of all, what constitutes a Linota?

Bill,

 

LINOTA was simply Wheatstone's trade mark for their range of Anglos, which were only introduced by Edward Chidley junior after the death of his father in 1899. I haven't established what year it was registered, but it appears as "Trade + LINOTA + Mark" in the earliest Wheatstone Anglo catalogue I have seen, from c.1910, and they seem to have stopped using it by World War 2.

 

Wheatstone's probably started to use such a mark, stamped into the rails (handles), because two of the most established English makers of Anglos, Lachenal & Co. and George Jones, were already doing so (in order to distinguish their instruments from cheap imported German "imitation Anglo" ones), but after the closure of Jones' (1905), and the incorporation of Lachenal & Co. into C. Wheatstone & Co. (1934) it may have seemed no longer necessary.

 

Second, although it's perfectly in tune with itself, it seems to be about 30 cents above concert. Is that old pitch, or is it just a bit sharp? I haven't tried playing it with another instrument yet so I don't know whether it's tolerable or not!

That would be extremely noticeable with another instrument. It would produce a very strong "beat", even wider than that of musette tuning on an accordion.

 

There is a hole through the wood, just in front of the screw on the left hand strap - it goes through into the action area - it doesn't constitute a leak but it is a bit odd. I thought maybe it once had a lyre clip to hold music cards.

Maybe so.

 

Speculation is that Linota was a reed maker sometimes employed to supply hand made reeds for wheatstone ...

At that period, all steel concertina reeds were hand made.

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