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More Than One Concertina. Do They Get Played?


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If you are fortunate enough to own more than one concertina, how often do you play your other instrument(s). Do you play them in rotation, so they all get played a little (or a lot) over time, or do they just sit in their boxes gathering dust? I guess it can depend on the type of system you play; e.g. if, like me, you play English concertina, you might also own a baritone and a 'spare' treble, like I do. My main instrument is a my Lachenal Edeophone and that gets played the most, virtually every day. I endeavour to play my other two at least once a week for an hour each, though the baritone tends to get neglected as I haven't learned much of a repertoire for it yet. On the otherhand, you may own an anglo and a duet and need to find time to play both systems. This begs the question of how many hours we are willing/able to devote to our hobby. Perhaps you spend too much time on line browsing forum topics when you could be playing! Your responses appreciated.

 

Chris

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I have four EC's: two from about 1850 (a very sweet very quiet treble and a mellow baritone), a model 21 from 1913, and a 1921 tenor treble aeola. I play all four of them reasonably regularly, though I haven't quite figured out which situations call for the model 21 (metal ended treble) and which call for the aeola, so I sort of alternate. I also have a crane which hasn't been getting as much play time because I haven't mastered the system yet. I play some concertina daily. If my wife is trying to work in another room I play one of the 1850 parlor instruments. When I play for dances I use either the aeola or the model 21, which is a bit louder. (We play without amplification for about 50 dancers at monthly sessions). I usually use the loudest instrument in sessions (being heard over the ancient air conditioner, which is a drone in A, is a bit hard with the quieter instruments). The slow session I go to is in a room with much less noise and very live acoustics. It's a nice venue for the aeola. Different settings call for different instruments.

 

I suspect, and my wite is sure, that I don't really need another concertina!

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I split my time between a Bb/F ( Suttner ), and a C/G ( Shakespeare ). I find it very helpful to play on both very regularly. The Suttner being the more responsive instrument, can be seductive to play, but I need to play in concert pitch for gigs and sessions. For gigs where it is just myself and a bouzouki player I prefer the Suttner, not just for the fact it is Bb/F, but for the power and tone. It compliments the flute I normally use, and makes a natural way to vary my sound when playing out. A few weeks ago I only played the Shakespeare, because I needed to stay only in concert pitch. I can't wait for the Suttner C/ G to get here, so I have the "same" action, and "same'' tone as the Bb/F. A few years back I sold off all of my antique flutes, due to lack of use, and same with my old mandolin. Now only a Sobell 10 string. When your instruments are all world class I think you feel more at home picking them up if even for a few minutes. It isn't like, oh let me think... on this one I can do X, and this one I can play Y, they all need to give you what expect, and need all the time. That said, I would never hang on to something if it was just for collection sake. My instruments are either played, loaned to my students, or sold off to make room for more clothes in my closet. As for hours to devote, I normally play about 12 hours a week, between practice ( learning tunes ), and sessions / gigs. I teach whistle and flute 5 hours most weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are fortunate enough to own more than one concertina, how often do you play your other instrument(s). Do you play them in rotation, so they all get played a little (or a lot) over time, or do they just sit in their boxes gathering dust? I guess it can depend on the type of system you play; e.g. if, like me, you play English concertina, you might also own a baritone and a 'spare' treble, like I do. My main instrument is a my Lachenal Edeophone and that gets played the most, virtually every day. I endeavour to play my other two at least once a week for an hour each, though the baritone tends to get neglected as I haven't learned much of a repertoire for it yet. On the otherhand, you may own an anglo and a duet and need to find time to play both systems. This begs the question of how many hours we are willing/able to devote to our hobby. Perhaps you spend too much time on line browsing forum topics when you could be playing! Your responses appreciated.

 

Chris

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My Rochelle gets used more than my Céilí (which, by the way I found out is pronounced "Kay-Lee"). I sometimes take it into work if I have to go in on a weekend to practice. I actually do most of my practicing on the Rochelle, because if I can play something almost in a musical way on the Rochelle, then it ends up sounding like I actually know what I'm doing when I play it on the Céilí.

 

It's the 'Noel Hill' button, I'm sure.

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It all depends on what I am doing. My Jeffries G/D is my session instrument. My Dipper C/G baritone is for song accompaniment. I have a Morse G/D which is for playing for North West morris - it's very light and I wouldn't want to risk the Jeffries.

 

I used to have a Wheatstone/Dickinson C/G. Beautiful instrument, as its prior and current owners agree, which I played a lot at first, but as my playing pattern evolved as above it ended up spending months at a time sitting in its box. I could not justify this so I sold it. Nevertheless I felt uncomfortable without a treble C/G around - for one thing it's the instrument of choice in workshops - so I got a rosewood ended Lach.

 

Finally there's the Jones 26 button G/D. I don't play this much, but it gets played! I bought it to lend to people to help spread the addiction.

 

Chris

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More Than One Concertina. Do They Get Played?

They do.

If you are fortunate enough to own more than one concertina, how often do you play your other instrument(s).

My whistles, flutes, trumpet, saxophone...?

They all get played, though not in equal amounts.

 

But you meant my "other" concertinas, and to that I have to say that I don't have just one that's primary, to which I consider the others "other". I play all those that are in playable condition and not on loan to others. I make no attempt to "equalize" the relative amounts of time on each, but neither are the proportions the same from day to day, week to week, etc.

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...how often do you play your other instrument(s).

Hi Chris,

 

An interesting topic, and one which could spin off in several directions!

 

As a "non working musician" (probably the best description of me!), it goes a bit like this. The Anglo is my "working" instrument, so if I turn up anywhere with one concertina, it will be Anglo. However, I like to think that by "playing" other systems, I learn things which I can also apply to the Anglo without having to go through a learning curve.

 

To give a specific example from Tuesday this week. One of the Calatayud compositions "Cancion de Cuna" is in the key of Amin. Now; it obviously sounds good on English, in this key, with chords etc., but with my level of expertise on the English, I can play little more than melody line. So ....... Amin being the relative minor key of C, and I have a C-tuned Jeffries Duet, I wondered how the tune would sound on this system. Well: it fitted this system perfectly, and I felt brave enough to make a WIP YouTube recording (yesterday). Since then it has come on a bit.

 

This morning, I wondered how "Cancion de Cuna" might sound on the Maccann Duet. Now, I have to say that for the two years that I've had the Jeffries Duet, the Maccann has been somewhat neglected. However, it is G-tuned, and has a lovely deep tone. Well, whilst the tune doesn't really "work" in Amin, when I dropped it down to Bmin, if sounded deep, moody .... almost a different tune, in terms of character. Not up to playing standard, though!

 

So; back to Anglo. With the tune comfortably "in my head", it didn't take me long to come up with more than one fingering on each of two tunings of Anglo.

 

Final analysis. For me, "Cancion de Cuna" feels "right" on the Jeffries Duet, however, if I'm somewhere with the Anglo, and feel the urge to play this lovely tune, I'm happy that it will come out sounding good on the Anglo.

 

Peter.

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They all get played as they all have different tones or are in different keys. I accompany someone who tends to sing in Bb, and Eb, while Anne prefers F. I prefer C and G and most tune sessions I go to are best serviced by a G/D.

 

Robin Madge

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How do you work out that your Maccan is 'G tuned' Peter? Normally 'one size fits all' and they're supposedly fully chromatic.

 

(since I'm here I'll edit in that I have just the 67 and 71 key Maccans, both Aeolas - on adjacent pages of the Wheatstone ledger, I discovered the other day - and I play both; I prefer the 67 but the extra low F and F sharp of the 71 are important, so time is probably evenly divided. The excuse for having 2 similar is to allow for the odd repair)

Edited by Dirge
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They all get played. The C/G and G/D live in a double case so I carry them around together. The 31 key G/D is mainly for sessions, but for solos I would normally choose to play the 40 key C/G, for its additional buttons and brighter sound. However some tunes just sound better on the G/D.

 

The F/C baritone gets played least, but still gets regular airings.

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Hello,

 

I had times when I didn´t play the concertina that regularly and at the moment I am using one out of two definitively more than the other. I have always used these pauses to give one instrument away to someone who actually plays it: a beginner or someone who simply needed one.

And never made any bad experiences with that.

 

Christian

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How do you work out that your Maccan is 'G tuned' Peter? Normally 'one size fits all' and they're supposedly fully chromatic.

The "normal" tuning, or "standard" keyboard could be referred to as "C" tuning (i.e. when you play the scale of C, you only need the central four rows of buttons, and not the accidentals). On my instrument, with the same fingering, the scale comes out as the G below C (a fourth lower?).

 

Difficult, when I used to have a nice Maccann in "normal" tuning, but this one was left to me by the late Frank Fuller, so it seemed sensible to keep this one, especially since I played it at Frank's Funeral.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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If you are fortunate enough to own more than one concertina, how often do you play your other instrument(s).

Well, I play my euphonium a lot, but only out of the house at band rehearsals :lol:

Seriously, I have two Hayden Duet concertinas -- a Stagi 46-key and a Bastari 67-key bandoneon style. I normally play the Stagi, especially when working out a new tune, because I feel more at home on its key layout, and it's more responsive. It's also the one I play out with, since it has the volume needed to work in a group.

 

I practice the Bastari when I don't need the volume, want the extra bass notes and flat notes, and to get myself used to the "Hayden Standard" button layout and spacing, to prepare for the future when I can get a really good Hayden instrument.

 

Right now the Bastari is at the B. Box waiting to get its reeds tweaked, so the Stagi is my only squeeze, besides a few junker accordions I sometimes fool with.

Perhaps you spend too much time on line browsing forum topics when you could be playing! Your responses appreciated.

Chris

Now there's a thought! But I don't squeeze when my wife is at home trying to work in her home office, so that's my online time. --Mike K.

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Until last week I had 2 EC's.

I started off with a pretty Lachenal "Nonpareille" (Amboyna) which I bought 2 years ago in England from Chris Algar.

After a year I discovered the limitations of this instrument, especially the slow responding reeds.

About that time I found on eBay (also from Chris Algar) a Lachenal New Model , which I won for half the price of the Nonpareille.

It played and sounded so much better, that my first instrument was nearly never used anymore.

So last week I went over to England again and traded in my 2 concertinas (and some cash) for an decent Aeola.

And I'm very pleased with it!

 

So for me, at home learning to play, one is enough. :)

 

(In a few hours the New Model will be sold again on eBay)

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I must be wired up wrong as I play Anglo and English (sometimes swapping mid-tune).

 

I play mainly Northumbrian (and anything non-Irish) on EC because the hornpipes etc. just seem to fall under the fingers nicely.

I play mainly Irish on AC, again, the Irish tunes just fall under the fingers, but make sure I can play the Northumbrian stuff on AC as well, to save taking 2 concertinas all the time.

Some tunes are easier on one than the other, other tunes fit either.

 

I like the sound of both, I play them both as much as each other at home, but I guess I take the AC out to sessions more - because it is LOUDER.

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My Rochelle gets used more than my Céilí (which, by the way I found out is pronounced "Kay-Lee"). I sometimes take it into work if I have to go in on a weekend to practice. I actually do most of my practicing on the Rochelle, because if I can play something almost in a musical way on the Rochelle, then it ends up sounding like I actually know what I'm doing when I play it on the Céilí.

 

Interesting. I own a Rochelle and am contemplating the Morse Céilí. Are you saying that you practice on the Rochelle because it's harder? The musical equivalent of playing tennis with a smaller racquet?

 

To take the question a step further, why ever bother owning the Morse at all?

 

-jim

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