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Anthony Cipolone

Regondi's Nails?

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I was pondering the dust pile growing on my guitars and, since my degree is (finally) completed have some time to get back into my old hobbies. A thought popped into my head, though, as I've been keeping my nails short to play the concertina easier: what were Regondi's nails like? Classical guitarists are typically pretty particular about their nails, and while they all debate on "proper nail length," I was having trouble picturing Regondi playing the concertina with his right hand nails at any of the arguable lengths.

 

Were his concertinas known to show a lot of wear in the finish on the right side? Did he alternate playing guitar for a period of time, then trim the nails and play concertina, then grow them back to play guitar again? I would hardly imagine that, as most guitarists get grumpy when they can't play for a period of time. (Well, twitchy, mostly, but grumpy as well.)

 

On that note, has anyone ever inlaid a thin piece of metal around the keys on the wood end of a concertina? Would such a thing work?

 

Just wondering. :)

 

Anthony

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I think he played with short nails.

 

My brother plays theorbo without nails. He also plays the concertina (Anglo).

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...has anyone ever inlaid a thin piece of metal around the keys on the wood end of a concertina? Would such a thing work?

 

Just wondering. :)

 

Anthony

 

 

I have seen several of these over the years. Noteably a 48 key Wheatstone Aeola Crane system from the 1940s and also a Lachenal 48 key new model English from the 1920s, both with raised ebony (stained pearwood?) ends. The key surrounds appeared to be nickel silver and were attached to the ends with 5 small screws. Certainly saved the ends from wear, though if they were custom made like that, one wonders why they didn't just order metal ends??? Maybe a tone thing, but they also looked quite attractive.

 

I have photos somewhere, but may have been in a pre-digital lifetime. If I find them I'll post a scan.

 

I have never seen these attached to anything dating back to Regondi's time though, but it may have been the ideal solution for him and could well have existed back then.

 

MC

Edited by malcolm clapp

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I think he played with short nails.

 

My brother plays theorbo without nails. He also plays the concertina (Anglo).

 

I did some quick research after I posted (probably something I should have done before posting) and saw that a number of the more famous guitarists advocated the use of no nail at all. I'm assuming once performance spaces became larger the need for a louder sound might have become necessary. You're probably right -- short to none. :)

 

I have seen several of these over the years. Noteably a 48 key Wheatstone Aeola Crane system from the 1940s and also a Lachenal 48 key new model English from the 1920s, both with raised ebony (stained pearwood?) ends. The key surrounds appeared to be nickel silver and were attached to the ends with 5 small screws. Certainly saved the ends from wear, though if they were custom made like that, one wonders why they didn't just order metal ends??? Maybe a tone thing, but they also looked quite attractive.

 

Well, I've only heard one concertina with metal ends and two with wood ends (though one of those was a Stagi, which I would hardly consider wood), so I can't make a real call on it, but I suspect it would be a tone thing. The metal ended one I heard was very loud and bright, and my wood ended Lachenal is quite soft and mellow (which I kind of like!) ... If you can find that picture to scan, I'd love to see it!

 

Thanks. :)

 

- Anthony

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A couple of years ago I serviced an instrument 48k Treble, that had a metal inserts into its wooden action box covers where the wood had been eroded by nail tapping. It looked quite hansome, and sounded as if its wooden ended charactristics were unimpaired. From memory, it was stainless steel. It must have been a bit of a bugger to do though.

 

Dave

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On that note, has anyone ever inlaid a thin piece of metal around the keys on the wood end of a concertina? Would such a thing work?

 

Just wondering. :)

 

Anthony

 

 

Thought I remembered seeing something like that so had a search and found this Lachenal english which was sold in 2004.

 

Pete

post-53-1171057062_thumb.jpg

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I was pondering the dust pile growing on my guitars and, since my degree is (finally) completed have some time to get back into my old hobbies. A thought popped into my head, though, as I've been keeping my nails short to play the concertina easier: what were Regondi's nails like? Classical guitarists are typically pretty particular about their nails, and while they all debate on "proper nail length," I was having trouble picturing Regondi playing the concertina with his right hand nails at any of the arguable lengths.

 

Were his concertinas known to show a lot of wear in the finish on the right side? Did he alternate playing guitar for a period of time, then trim the nails and play concertina, then grow them back to play guitar again? I would hardly imagine that, as most guitarists get grumpy when they can't play for a period of time. (Well, twitchy, mostly, but grumpy as well.)

 

On that note, has anyone ever inlaid a thin piece of metal around the keys on the wood end of a concertina? Would such a thing work?

 

Just wondering. :)

 

Anthony

 

Here are two pictures that will probably get you as close as anything can to knowing what his nails were like...the usual photo is just a head-and-torso shot. They are from an interesting concertina web page: http://www.kolumbus.fi/hilkka.rocosa/la%20concertina.htm ....not sure I catch the language...it it Catalan or some such? Seems part French and part Spanish (I will be truly embarassed if it is more simple than that!).

 

Dan

 

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They are from an interesting concertina web page: http://www.kolumbus.fi/hilkka.rocosa/la%20concertina.htm ....not sure I catch the language...it it Catalan or some such? Seems part French and part Spanish (I will be truly embarassed if it is more simple than that!).

 

Dan

The ".fi" in the domain name suggests that the page is housed in Finland and words like "hilkka" in the URL seem to support that. I agree, though, that the text on the page looks a little more romantic than Finnish. :huh:

 

Just for fun, I went to google language tools to see what would happen if I tried translating the page from Portuguese to English. Many words translated, but less than half.

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FOLKS: Dan's surmise was correct. . . .it is Catalan. . . .but is the concertina player Regondi?. . . . .

 

as someone who plays both instruments, Douglas Rogers could shed some light on the matter...............allan

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