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Thomas Hardy-novelist

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So, accordion in one publication in 1996 or thereabouts, and concertina 10 years or so later ... curioser and curioser.



Not that curious at all!


Reminiscences of musical instruments by non-musicans must always be taken with a pinch of salt! To the untrained eye, the similarities between objects of the same class are more apparent than the differences. So larger plucked string instruments tend to be lumped together as "guitars", smaller ones as "mandolins". Similarly, the layman may lump saxophones together with "brass," and "horn" or "trumpet" may be used indiscriminately for the brass instruments. The free reeds are no exception!


Even the expert's explanation may confuse the uninitiated. If someone asks you what a concertina is, you may be tempted to say, "It's like an accordion, but smaller, and it has no chord buttons." The incomprehensible bit about chord buttons doesn't register, so hey presto! a concertina is a "small accordion." And if the person thus "informed" encounters the term "small accordion" in someone else's writings, he thinks he knows better, and translates the vague "small accordion" to a more precise (but quite possibly wrong) "concertina.":P


All very logical!




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I'll give you that John! My father still refers to my accordion despite being correctly informed of the nomenclature every time. Mind you, you would think that somebody who lived with a musician who played a particular instrument might have picked up the correct name of it.


My "curioser and curioser" was actually related to the fact that the details in the republication of the book were actually changed , rather than to the fact of mistaken identity . It would be interesting to know why the change . Did somebody actually obtain some evidence which gave rise to it, for instance?

Edited by Irene S
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