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Dan Worrall

The Anglo Concertina Music Of William Kimber

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Just a note to let Forum readers know that my collection of transcriptions of William Kimber's tunes is now available from the EFDSS website: http://folkshop.efdss.org/publications/mor...ance/index.htm#. The book contains notation for 28 tunes showing both melody and chords as played by Kimber, including suggested fingering for left and right hands. There is some discussion of the elements of Kimber's style as well as some historical notes on the anglo concertina.

 

The book includes a Foreword from Roger Digby, who suggested the publication and was extremely helpful at all stages of the project. Additional thanks go to Randy Merris, Robin Harrison, and Bob Gaskins, who all helped in various ways. All proceeds benefit the EFDSS. I understand that the Button Box will soon have copies on hand in the US.

 

I've attached an example of a first page from one of the tunes; the numbers refer to suggested buttons and fingering on each hand.

 

post-976-1130171964_thumb.jpgpost-976-1130172007_thumb.jpg

Edited by Dan Worrall

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Just a note to let Forum readers know that my collection of transcriptions of William Kimber's tunes is now available from the EFDSS website: http://folkshop.efdss.org/publications/mor...ance/index.htm#. The book contains notation for 28 tunes showing both melody and chords as played by Kimber, including suggested fingering for left and right hands. There is some discussion of the elements of Kimber's style as well as some historical notes on the anglo concertina.

 

The book includes a Foreword from Roger Digby, who suggested the publication and was extremely helpful at all stages of the project. Additional thanks go to Randy Merris, Robin Harrison, and Bob Gaskins, who all helped in various ways. All proceeds benefit the EFDSS. I understand that the Button Box will soon have copies on hand in the US.

 

I've attached an example of a first page from one of the tunes; the numbers refer to suggested buttons and fingering on each hand.

 

post-976-1130171964_thumb.jpgpost-976-1130172007_thumb.jpg

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Absolute bril!

I am a late entry into concertina playing and play Irish only right now, but I would like to extend into other styles. I collected my new Claire (spelling?) model Dipper from Colin just a few weeks ago and he played a chord style that just made the instrument honk and shout. The two styles are a world apart: I will certainly purchase a copy. Is there a disc with it?( maybe you've already said if so), it always REALLY helps.

Looking forward to getting my copy, Alan Caffrey.

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The disc, which has been around for a couple of years, is called "Absolutely Classic", and is also available from the EFDSS web site.A very good buy for all sorts of reasons.

 

Chris

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It's a great thing for us anglo players to see this music book in print and available to everybody.Using it, you can now easily play Morris tunes EXACTLY how William Kimber played them and it thus provides the basis of one style of Morris accompaniment.

I've listened to Kimber's recordings regularly since the mid 1970's and play for the Toronto Morris Men in (I think ) his style. Using these transciptions ( I helped proof read the fingerings) , I would get a moment of bliss ( yes!!) during certain passages............the shock of sounding not to close to Kimber, but identical ! It brings his playing alive in the way I felt about it 30 years ago.

This , for me, is the most valuable aspect of Dan's work.The Kimber style is very appropriate way to accompany some Morris traditions and this book make it accessible.

Another aspect is that it is just great fun to play along with Kimber using the CD Chris T. mentions in the previous post.

Anyone interested in the anglo should put in a Christmas order right now. Get Dan' s book, a copy of William Kimber on the "Absolutely Classic " from the EFDSS and let January, February and March take care of themselves.

Robin

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I've ordered my copy. This is the style I would like to be playing. For morris and sessions, would it be fair to say that the G/D is best suited to this style, particularly taking into account what instruments others may be playing? Dan, what keys are most of the tunes in?

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I've ordered my copy. This is the style I would like to be playing. For morris and sessions, would it be fair to say that the G/D is best suited to this style, particularly taking into account what instruments others may be playing? Dan, what keys are most of the tunes in?

Did Kimber play a G/D? :unsure: :unsure:

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Kimber's Jeffries was a G/D (7 fold bellows). I don't think there is any evidence for the two-row he owned before it broke so famously!

Best wishes

Roger

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Kimber's Jeffries was a G/D (7 fold bellows). I don't think there is any evidence for the two-row he owned before it broke so famously!

Best wishes

Roger

DO tell ... I've not heard the story!

Samantha

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Kimber's Jeffries was a G/D (7 fold bellows). I don't think there is any evidence for the two-row he owned before it broke so famously!

Best wishes

Roger

DO tell ... I've not heard the story!

Samantha

 

I think Roger meant to say it was a C/G Jeffries. All his recordings are in C and G, as was the instrument. It is true that we don't know what brand the two row was, but we do know that it existed and even have a photo of it, published in Sharp's Morris book (see below). The photo seems to have been taken sometime around or before 1909, although the Morris Book came out a few years later. The story is indeed interesting and worth retelling.

 

Firstly, it now seems clear that Kimber learned on a two row german or anglo german concertina, as did his father. Of all the tunes I transcribed, he seems to use the top row only for one single note of one ballroom waltz, where he needed a Bb....the rest is all played on the C or G rows. This puzzled me ten years ago, because at that time I knew only of the three row CG Jeffries Kimber owned, via Rev Ken Loveless' writings. Why would such a master musician not use some of the other notes available? I did not know then that the early nineteenth century imported concertinas were mostly two rows, and that these were the instruments most widely played until the English makers got busy perfecting better English-made versions. But I concluded he must have learned on a two row from the music itself, and the attached photo, which I noticed only a year or so ago in Sharp's Morris Book, shows clearly that this was indeed the case. The photo I had, from a fifth generation reprint, was too murky to tell much about the instrument, but this photo from a first edition (at the EFDSS' library) shows it clearly.

 

Kimber was busy playing the concertina (probably the one in the attached photo) for one of Sharp's lectures in Steinway Hall in 1909 when it broke. The audience, realizing his predicament, took up a subscription and bought him the CG Jeffries three row that you usually see him pictured with (see the photo on the first posting on this thread). You can read a fuller version of this story in Ken Schofield's biography of Kimber, in the EFDSS CD mentioned above in this thread. All the recordings made of Kimber are of him playing this three row Jeffries, but of course by then he had long since put together his Morris repertoire on a two row, and he never seems to have much used the additional row.

 

This summer, during Chris Timson's thread "English Style of Anglo Playing" (http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=2625), several early anglo tutors came to light via Randy Merris and Stephen Chambers that show that Kimber's style of playing the two row concertina with left hand chords and right hand melody was well established from the very beginning of the instrument in 1840's Germany and London. Thus it seems that it should perhaps even be expected that Kimber learned in a two row style, and that he and/or his father heard others play in a similar "English" style.

 

Well, Samantha, that is probably more than you wanted to hear about this....

 

 

 

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Well I'll be doggoned. That *is* a two-row in the picture!

 

You'd think I'd remember that. We had those books in the house from the time I was 9 or so, and I actually read them. More than once.

 

Well, I know what I'll be asking Santa for this year, Dan!

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Thanks, Dan, for correcting my mistake. Thanks also for telling the story for Samantha.

 

What Dan didn’t add is that the concertina is now back in Headington with Julie Kimber-Nickelson (William’s grand-daughter). Dan and I, together with Dan’s wife Mary, visited Headington Quarry on Whit-Monday this year and we were invited to join the dancers for their social evening after the dancing. Julie brought the concertina over to us. I had played it before when it was in the possession of Ken Loveless, but I had not remembered how very robust it was nor that it had 7-fold bellows and masses and masses of air. Talking to John Watcham a few weeks ago, John said that he had a 7-fold Jeffries. I didn’t ask how many buttons! A 7-fold Jeffries bellows is not usual and possibly unique on a 30 key. Also unusual is the lack of decorative papers and the slightly lighter green.

Now, let’s speculate!! Kimber’s (father’s) concertina broke. How? A broken strap, a broken spring, even a broken reed could be replaced. The most likely break which is serious enough to write-off an instrument is for the bellows to burst. The concertina was already in its second generation of Morris work; it’ s easy to imagine well-worn bellows with home-made patching finally giving up!

Now what DIDN’T happen next was that Kimber popped into to Jeffries next morning on his way down to Paddington Station and the train back to Oxford and bought a concertina off the peg! The concertina was formally presented to him a few weeks later. It is easy to imagine the representative of the Steinway audience visiting Jeffries and explaining the situation. Certainly, if I’m right that it was the bellows that had broken there would be a real incentive to make specially robust and 7-fold bellows for this vigorous player. Perhaps the change to the usual visual element was to draw attention to this. All speculation of course......

Our visit to Headington brought me another piece of information. It’s a commonplace that collectors record what they want to hear. Traditional singers were seldom asked for their comic songs; nearer home, Scan Tester’s huge repertory of popular songs, his standards when busking and entertaining on charabanc trips, was not recorded though his step-dances were recorded over and over. At Headington I met an old dancer and asked him whether Kimber had a repertory of popular songs. Yes he had. He also accompanied another dancer who had some traditional songs. Of course when the microphones came out, the ‘Father of the Morris’ played what was expected of him.

Best wishes

Roger

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Is there any audio examples?

I believe that what Dan has produced is transcriptions from existing and readily available "audio examples", specifically the recordings (and history) of Kimber on the "Absolutely Classic" CD produced by EFDSS. CDSS in the US also carries the CD.

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