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Inherited a concertina. No idea what to do with it!


roo
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It would be good to consider keeping this in the family, better still to make the decision to learn to play it. Consider this. The learning of a musical instrument can be difficult, but this in many cases is circumstantial, expectations, the learning environment, the encouragement, the teacher etc all conspiring to make it a poor experience. Seeking to learn to play an instrument that is a treasured family heirloom with connections to family members who have passed on, is a real link to the past in many many ways. It sets in place a self-affirming mode of learning.

I can almost guarantee that if you put a week of effort into starting to learn the instrument, (and the Youtube videos mentioned are a great help) you will find yourself falling in love with the concertina. Within a few days you will feel bereft if you cannot spend time each day with it. The benefits you feel extend into all sorts of areas. I too was hopeless on guitar, but have found recently that it makes more sense to me. I believe that anything that creates new neuronal pathways is beneficial to menatal well-being too.

 

Obviously if you decide to sell it will make a tidy sum, but money is money, and somehow paint on walls is not the same as having the heirloom and giving it new life. The sounds you make with it will have absolutely direct connection with the sounds made by your late uncle and father.

 

Remember too that a lot of people collect concertinas, a lot play them. You may need to decide, if you care about the fate of the instrument, what is to happen to it. A passionate player wanting to graduate from an inferior instrument might breathe more life into this than a collector/player who might want to add it to their collection.

 

Lots to think about. Good luck.

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roo,

Don't sell your musicality short until you have given it another chance. 45 years ago a Dominican nun kicked me out of the choir because my changing adolescent voice could not decide which octave to sing. If I had taken her opinion as final judgement I would not have learned a dozen different instruments or made my living performing folk music the past 35 years.

 

Many people find musical success after numerous false starts.

 

We are encouraging you to take advantage of a rare opportunity: A chance to learn on a quality instrument with family history. We are all rooting for you to give it a go. (There are gatherings of players all over England and, I'm sure London, and they will point you toward repair or reconditioning of your instrument and give advice on instruction and possible teachers.)

 

In any case don't be hasty in your decision. Opportunities like this are often once in a lifetime.

 

Best,

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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Many people find musical success after numerous false starts.

 

We are encouraging you to take advantage of a rare opportunity: A chance to learn on a quality instrument with family history.

...

In any case don't be hasty in your decision. Opportunities like this are often once in a lifetime.

 

Roo,

I agree. I had piano lessons for a year as a child, and learned - nothing! Couldn't play a thing :(

 

But my father had an old fiddle, a lovely mandolin, and a mouth organ. They seemed to give him a lot of fun, and I tried them out. All I got by way of tuition was how to play the scale, and I took it from there. Very slowly, but since I was interested in the nice sounds they made, I kept at it. When the banjo arrived in our house, my father was at a loss to help me, so he just bought me a cheap tutor, and I started making interesting noises with that, too. No stress, no expectations, all in my own time.

Recently, after decades of messing about with the banjo, I've been taking it seriously, and can now actually play instrumental solos that elicit applause at the open mic.

I am glad that I had those opportunities with the instruments that were in our family. My father's gone now, but his mandolin is still with me.

 

As someone pointed out, a good, old Lachenal concertina makes a beautiful sound when you just press a button and draw out the bellows. With the fiddle, flute, trumpet, guitar - what have you - even this takes weeks or months of practice! By that time, you'll have learned enough single notes on the concertina to play a simple tune :)

 

It's worth a try, anyway!

 

Cheers,

John

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What a nice bunch of encouraging concertina players we are on C.net. Keep the concertina! It's a family heirloom! Learn to play it! I wished I'd inherited such a nice concertina as yours, roo. It would have saved me a packet. All I got, was a descant recorder that my father used to play a bit. I am surprised that no one living in or near Merseyside, has offered to re-decorate your mum's house in exchange for the concertina! ;) Recently, a chap called Keith B., finally put his father-in-law's Wheatsone Aeola baritone treble concertina up for sale on Ebay after umming and ahhing for several months about whether he should keep it or not and learn to play it, following him making a similar posting to yours on C.net. Of course, because all C.net members are passionate in the extreme about their concertinas and playing them, it's no wonder you are getting the kind of encouragement and advice to hang on to it and learn to play it. To sell or not to sell: the decision is entirely yours. I suspect that you will end up selling it and becoming some £1600 - £1800 richer. And hopefully, this lovely instrument will end up going to a deserving player. BTW, it's never too late to learn, as other posters have pointed out. 'Many people find musical success after many false starts', as Greg Jowaisas states in an earlier posting. I didn't take up playing the concertina until I was in my late fifties, having tried and failed to learn to play the guitar, banjo, flute, recorder, melodeon, accordeon, piano and tin whistle, when I was younger. Now, with a few tunes under my belt, I can hold my own in sessions! (Concertina, that is) <_<

 

Chris

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Hi roo...

I'm going to chime in with everyone else.

Give it a go! You can take it anywhere with you and go years without tuning it.

Lots of help to be had here, and other places on the internet.

Not many folks have the opportunity to start learning on a fine instrument like that one.

The older I get, the more I realize that - without music - there'd be a big hole in my life.

Some days it'll make ya want to tear yer hair out, BUT - most days it'll keep you from going gray too soon. :blink:

And, what the heck....if you don't "take to it" after a year or two - you can still sell it.

I'll bet you a dollar U.S. that if you post "OK..I'll try it. Where do I start?? Help!" you'll have

people stacked up offering assistance.

 

So - that's my $1 and 2 cents worth. ;)

 

Cheers

(psst - go for it)

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Blimey! I'm overwhelmed by your responses! Thank you to everyone.

 

I can't gt my hands on it till I go home for xmas so - after your gentle encouragement :P , I may give it a go then.

 

Further news: My mum eventually got back to me and tells me the serial number is 40058. From what I have read elsewhere you can look the serial numbers up. Does anyone know where I would be able to find this listed?

 

I'm beginning to get quite excited by all this :lol:

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My mum eventually got back to me and tells me the serial number is 40058. From what I have read elsewhere you can look the serial numbers up. Does anyone know where I would be able to find this listed?

This should be a useful starting point:

 

http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=41...al+number&s

 

By the way; I vote in favour of you keeping the instrument!

 

Regards,

Peter.

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........

Further news: My mum eventually got back to me and tells me the serial number is 40058. From what I have read elsewhere you can look the serial numbers up. Does anyone know where I would be able to find this listed?

 

I'm beginning to get quite excited by all this :lol:

 

Looking up serial numbers is only possible for Wheatstone concertinas. See http://www.horniman.info/.

Lachenal used different numberings for Englishes and Anglos.

I've owned an Lachenal English "NonPareuil" #35480 which is estimated by Chris Algar to be build in 1896, and a English "New Model" #42054 (c.1906). Two years ago Dave Robertson restored a English "New Model" #41343, supposed to be from 1904.

So I'd say your # 40058 was made in 1902 or 1903.

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Plenty of good advice for Roo who has described himself as having " all the musical ability of a dead halibut ". Not just a halibut mind you.......a DEAD one !

I once knew a halibut who played the water organ.

But he's dead now.... :unsure:

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I'll chuck my vote into the 'why not learn to play it yourself' corner.

 

I used to teach children how to play concertina.....and I regularly gave them the music for Auld Lang Syne just before the Christmas break, knowing that they'd be getting a concertina for Christmas. They were always able to play that tune by New Year's Eve.

 

A concertina has a very low learning curve. It's easy to learn the basics......although you might spend a lifetime perfecting your playing.

 

A word of warning.....recently a Jones concertina came up on these pages with a similar story to yours. Eventually it went on to Ebay and sold for what I thought was an awfully low price. Knowing what the state of the market is at the moment, now might not be the best of times to sell.

 

On the other hand........it really does look like a lovely instrument.

 

Lucky you,

 

Phil

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Plenty of good advice for Roo who has described himself as having " all the musical ability of a dead halibut ". Not just a halibut mind you.......a DEAD one !

I once knew a halibut who played the water organ.

But he's dead now.... :unsure:

I once had a haddock.... groucho.gif

 

-- Rich --

 

With no particular reference to our friend Roo, are we claiming that there is no such thing as incurable tone deafness ? Only asking !

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With no particular reference to our friend Roo, are we claiming that there is no such thing as incurable tone deafness ? Only asking !

Incurable tone deafness exist. According to Wikipedia: "Amusia refers to a number of disorders which are indicated by the inability to recognize musical tones or rhythms or to reproduce them. Amusia can be congenital (present at birth) or be acquired sometime later in life (as from brain damage). "

 

I recommend reading Oliver Sachs' Musicophilia.

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But, far and away more common than the tone deaf are the poor sods like me, who at an early age were put off playing instruments,or singing, by thoughtless remarks, or bad teaching.

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Ok ok!!! :P

 

I'll go home at xmas, give it a bash and see how it goes.

 

The phrase "tone deaf" has been bandied about around me - usually when I sing in the office - so I wouldn't be surprised.

 

I promise I'll pop back in the new year and let you all know the outcome of what my husband is now calling "The Great Northern Cat Torturing Experiment". Whether he is alluding to the sound he expects me to make or the effect it may have on our Bengals, he won't say.

 

I can only thank you all once again for all your comments and best wishes.

 

Roo x

 

PS I'm a girl BTW :lol:

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