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Hybrids: A Unique Instrument Or High End Replica?


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If hybrid concertina's are a unique instrument or unique class of instrument, then they can be compared and evaluated soley on their own merits against other contemporary instruments. There is no need to compare them against any historical standard, because they are something different. If someone is in the market for a hybrid, they try all of the ones currently offered and pick one to their liking. Done deal. Btw...If this is the case, will accordianish sounding hybrids reset the standard for concertina tone?

 

One the other hand

 

If hybrids are replicas then I'm very interested to know what is it that they are trying to emulate, especially and primarily from a tone perspective. Will the hybrid makers efforts to work with reed makers like Antonelli, and advances in reed pan design, etc continue to close the gap to vintage instruments? Are there specific standard bearers (makes and/or models) in vintage instruments which the hybrid makers are working towards?

 

My interest is limited to Anglo C/G concertinas, but experiences and perspectives across many types would be relevant for my questions.

 

Thanks a mint for your thoughts!

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If hybrid concertina's are a unique instrument or unique class of instrument, then they can be compared and evaluated soley on their own merits against other contemporary instruments. There is no need to compare them against any historical standard, because they are something different. If someone is in the market for a hybrid, they try all of the ones currently offered and pick one to their liking. Done deal. Btw...If this is the case, will accordianish sounding hybrids reset the standard for concertina tone?

 

One the other hand

 

If hybrids are replicas then I'm very interested to know what is it that they are trying to emulate, especially and primarily from a tone perspective. Will the hybrid makers efforts to work with reed makers like Antonelli, and advances in reed pan design, etc continue to close the gap to vintage instruments? Are there specific standard bearers (makes and/or models) in vintage instruments which the hybrid makers are working towards?

 

My interest is limited to Anglo C/G concertinas, but experiences and perspectives across many types would be relevant for my questions.

 

Thanks a mint for your thoughts!

 

well, if we ignore historical standard, we can still compare them against concertina-reeded concertinas made by modern makers.

 

if you wanted a hybrid, why wouldnt you try as many as you can? to further that, as a shopper for a hybrid, you should still try antique as well as newly fabricated "traditional" concertinas, for no other reason than to educate yourself.

 

there's a good chance that hybrids may redevelop the standard for anglo concertina tone; i was at a session the other day that was inundated with little children playing better than i can, and three of them on the concertina! i bet some of these little girls and boys will grow up without ever having heard or touched any other type of concertina (as most of us did, as well!).

 

i can certainly tell the difference between a hybrid and a much more expensive concertina, but i am proud to own my edgley concertina. it does not cost as much as the highest end instruments, but the quality of workmanship is not less. the only difference is in the reeds, which are still premium... they're just made for a different member of the free reed family. it's just fantastic to see the ways that such reeds have been worked to not only suffice, but create a distinct and unique sound and feel.

 

it is very interesting to play different hybrids. i played a morse ceili for the first time the other day and it was completely different. you could tell that the guys at the button box were aiming for a completely different feel and sound.

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You can change the strings on a guitar, and significantly alter the tone and the response, but it is still a guitar. It looks like a guitar and you play it like a guitar. You may prefer steel strings or nylon, light grade or heavy, etc., but it is still a guitar.

 

A violin is still a violin, even though these days most people do not use "authentic" cat gut for the strings.

 

If something looks like a concertina, and you play it like a concertina, then it is a concertina. You may prefer the sound of traditional concertina reeds, and someone else may actually prefer the sound of "accordian reeds".

 

I guess most of us would prefer the distinctive sound of traditional concertina reeds. However, I wonder what would have happened if the first models ever had been made with what we call accordian style reeds, and someone later had invented what we call concertina style reeds. Would we be having the same discussion today? Would people be saying that the modern ones were "not the real thing"?

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well, if we ignore historical standard, we can still compare them against concertina-reeded concertinas made by modern makers.

 

if you wanted a hybrid, why wouldnt you try as many as you can? to further that, as a shopper for a hybrid, you should still try antique as well as newly fabricated "traditional" concertinas, for no other reason than to educate yourself.

 

there's a good chance that hybrids may redevelop the standard for anglo concertina tone; i was at a session the other day that was inundated with little children playing better than i can, and three of them on the concertina! i bet some of these little girls and boys will grow up without ever having heard or touched any other type of concertina (as most of us did, as well!).

i can certainly tell the difference between a hybrid and a much more expensive concertina, but i am proud to own my edgley concertina. it does not cost as much as the highest end instruments, but the quality of workmanship is not less. the only difference is in the reeds, which are still premium... they're just made for a different member of the free reed family. it's just fantastic to see the ways that such reeds have been worked to not only suffice, but create a distinct and unique sound and feel.

 

it is very interesting to play different hybrids. i played a morse ceili for the first time the other day and it was completely different. you could tell that the guys at the button box were aiming for a completely different feel and sound.

I don't have extensive knowledge but from my experience I would say that there seems to be a wider range of sounds in the hybrid market than those boxes with true Concertina reeds.

 

Colin Dipper says something along the lines of 'the reeds are the concertina'. You can see what he means if you put my old Jones steel reeded Anglo next to a Dipper - it's obvious which is the better instrument in all ways, but from the actual sound they generate, you can see they are very closely related. The notes sound very similar. Now if you put my Norman next to a Morse - the sound generated is very different - from each other and from the 'true' Concertinas. For my personal taste, the very pure tones that 'true' Concertinas produce are slightly less preferable to those produced by the best Accordion reeds - a bit too 'sweet' for my taste (I like it rough! :o ).

 

I think that Hybrids are a closely related species (Wolves to the 'true' Concertina Poodles? :P ). Certainly, aside from the reeds, the build quality of the instruments I have encountered seems at least a match for most 'true' Concertinas, and the Accordion reeds used seem to be of an excellent quality. I believe they should be judged for their own qualities, not for how closely they replicate 'true' Concertinas.

 

- W

Edited by Woody
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the well-made ones are marvellous musical instruments and little art works in their own right. they have nothing to prove save whether they are finely-crafted and responsive. they don't have to earn a status anyplace but in regions culturally conditioned to prefer a type of sound, and if they do get a change of status in those setting, i surmise the driving force would be economics---the astronomical prices of the so-called "authentic" concertinas could sooner or later make the beauty and value of the hybrids shine by comparison. a few bold and unconventional "early adapter" type avant-gardists would break the barrier by playing gorgeous music on them to widespread marvel and acclaim in bands or all-irelands....the rest will be history....

 

of course, before that occurs, (and i think it is on the verge of the early-adaptor stage starting somewhere or other) something could happen to make "authentic" reeded concertinas less expensive and time-consuming to produce. then the impetus to open the ears, the wallet and the heart to the hybrids wouldn't be operative in settings culturally biased against the accordion reed sound.....in short, i'm going with a marxist historical dialectic on the matter.

Edited by ceemonster
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