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Anglo Concertina

Bryn Pugh 27 Nov 08 - 07:55 AM
The Borchester Echo 27 Nov 08 - 08:32 AM
The Sandman 27 Nov 08 - 09:13 AM
treewind 27 Nov 08 - 09:25 AM
Manitas_at_home 27 Nov 08 - 09:43 AM
Bryn Pugh 27 Nov 08 - 10:13 AM
Bernard 27 Nov 08 - 10:34 AM
Manitas_at_home 27 Nov 08 - 10:36 AM
TheSnail 27 Nov 08 - 10:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Nov 08 - 11:41 AM
Anglo 28 Nov 08 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 28 Nov 08 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,LDT 28 Nov 08 - 06:28 AM
pavane 28 Nov 08 - 07:04 AM
Bryn Pugh 28 Nov 08 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,LDT 28 Nov 08 - 07:23 AM
Bernard 28 Nov 08 - 07:44 AM
Bryn Pugh 28 Nov 08 - 07:53 AM
Bryn Pugh 28 Nov 08 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Baz parkes 28 Nov 08 - 08:47 AM
SteveMansfield 28 Nov 08 - 09:00 AM
The Sandman 28 Nov 08 - 09:32 AM
Bryn Pugh 28 Nov 08 - 09:48 AM
Aeola 28 Nov 08 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 28 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM
davyr 28 Nov 08 - 11:24 AM
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Subject: BS: Anglo Concertina
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 07:55 AM

This might or might not be a BS thread. More of a music thread, I'd say. Of course, I haven't heard you play. (Lame attempt at humor)

My first Anglo was a 20 key Lachenal which I bought for a fiver - £5GBP - with its case, from Johnny Roadhouse in about 1966-67. The lock of the case was bust, but who cared ?

Buggered if I know what happened to that one.

In 1974 I bought a Jeffries F/Bb Anglo for £15, an two years later sold it for £15. When I found out what Jeffries 'tinas are fetching today (particularly ones in 'brass band tuning' - F/Bb) - I could cry.

Nil desperandum - I bought one of they Scarlatti 30 button C/G Anglos from Hobgoblin Music, and to say I am made up (US - delighted) is an understatement.

It is a bit daunting to play a 'tina, the bellows of which are not like the lungs of a wheezy Old Git like my previous 'tinas, so I am having to modify my anything but competent technique. My knees (

one having been replaced and I'm waiting on the summons for the other to be replaced) no longer allow me to dance the Morris, but I was loath to lose touch. I decided to re-learn whittle-and-dub

(pipe and tabor) and thought : might as well try and re-learn Anglo 'tina, as well.

So : I'm not on commission, but if anyone is thinking of buying an Anglo 'tina, these are corkers for the price and would, I think, be ideal for a beginner.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 08:32 AM

I saw a violin in a charity shop window the other day and as the bow and case looked in fair nick, I asked how much.

"£54.99" was the reply. I said "Not a penny more, not a penny less", but they thought I was seeking a reduction.

I asked if I could see it and the manager sent an assistant off to the stockroom. I said I meant the one in the window, but was assured they had many of them. An entire consignment out of a slow boat from China. The violins, needless to say, are absolute rubbish and the bow and case alone did not justify the outlay.

Possibly the other half of the hold (is this why Chinese ships are called junks?) was filled with Scarlattis. There has to be a first time for everything, but I've never, ever heard a good word spoken about Scarlattis before . . .


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:13 AM

I am glad your pleased with your concertina.
if I was a beginner I would opt for a 26 key lachenal,price approximately 650 sterling,and I would contact a reputable dealer like Chris Algar,and no I am not acting on a commission either.
if I wanted to choose a concertina with accordion reeds,Iwould either choose a Morse or a Marcus.
but hell what do I know I cant even play the concertina.
to be fair I cant pass comment on a scarlatti concertina because I havent had the pleasure of playing one
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: treewind
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:25 AM

Dave Jolly, who sells the Scarlattis and whose opinion I'd trust, says they are remarkably good value for money. He contrasts them with the other cheap concertinas: Hohner,Gremlin, Stagi etc. and says that in comparison they're actually quite playable. I haven't tried one yet...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:43 AM

I bought a Scarlatti melodeon last year. I needed a light, cheap melodeon for rapper tours (likely to get kicked around or stolen in crowded pubs) and bought the de-luxe (!) model. Obviously it's not up to the standard of an Oakwood but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The action feels good, if not as fast an a Oakwood and the sound is quite good - it's a pity a 3 voice model isn't available. It's a bit ugly - mine is plain black without even the brand name on it - so I went to Hobbycraft and brought a load of stick-on sequins and some cheap battery operated fairy-lights which I stuck behind the grille.

I'd recommend it as a first box and certainly wouldn't be ashamed to play it at gigs when not playing the Oakwood or Hohner Gaelic.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 10:13 AM

Fair enough, Cap'n and thanks for your good wishes. If I'd had the brass I would have gone to Chris A. or our friend at Barleycorn (whose name escapes me for the time - Senior moment, obviously).

I know fine that with concertinas - whether English, Anglo or Duet, you get what you pay for, and in a perfect world I would go for a Wheatstone, a Crabb or a Sherwood, and bugger the cost.

However, I think you'll agree that there is a fair difference between 650 bar for a 26 key Lachenal, and 165 bar for the Scarlatti !

The great thing about the 'tina for Morris is that unlike my taborer's pipes it don't drive our pussy cats to distraction and beyond when I'm attempting to play.

As a matter of interest, can anyone tell me whether there is a specific reason (or reasons, as the case might be) why the price of concertinas of every shape and hue went through the roof in the 1970s and 1980s ?

Regards, B


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Bernard
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 10:34 AM

Supply and demand... good ones are in short supply, and the demand was (is) quite high.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 10:36 AM

I should imagine it was the fact that only Crabbe's were making them at the time coupled with a rise in popularity. Second-hand dealers got wise and you could no longer pick up a baritone English for 15s from a house clearance.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: TheSnail
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 10:52 AM

Did the price go through the roof or did it rise to what it should be? Compare


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 11:41 AM

Do they do a G/D or other keys Bryn? (Did you ever get hold of Geoff or Peter btw?) I have often wondered what a C/C#/D or some other chromatic version would be like as well - anyone know of any such beast?

I started with a 'no-name' 20 button. Then got a 28 key George Jones which I loved but it needed about £400 spending to fettle it so I traded it for a 30 key Hohner. That was OK but I was offered a 30 key Lachnal by Bill Sables at a fair price so I gave the Hohner to Bill in part ex.

Still can only play about 3 tunes and accompany 2 songs but hoping joing a session next year will help:-)

Them Violins were £35 in Whitley Bay, Diane. You should have come up while you had chance! They also had some nice Suzuki 'school type' recoreders for £2.99 - Got one of them:-)

Only cautionary tale I have of cheap squeeze boxes was that my mate Martin Hall bought a Parrot 48 button piano accordian. Sounded and played fine until one day when he got it out of the box at a gig and half the buttons had fallen inside the frame!

Sure yours will be OK though , Bryn:-)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Anglo
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 01:07 AM

One reason the price of Anglos went through the roof was the popularity of shows like (particularly) Riverdance. Every budding musician in Ireland wants a Jeffries.

Currently there's a Jeffries Ab/Eb, wooden ended, refurbished with Dipper bellows, offered at $13000 at the Button Box. (That's close to GBP 8500 at today's rates). But who wants to play in Eb? You can't play with anyone else.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 06:10 AM

A point to ponder. My 2 Duets (Wheatstone) are 1920 1nd 1924, and their serial numbers are late 20 and early 30 thousand.
Assuming that Wheatstone carried on making into the 1950's, They would have got to 50,000 ish (Haven't looked up, but probably not fat out)
Add to that Lachenals output, Jeffries, Crabb, etc...Lets make a guess (only that) at roughly 150,000 instruments made in total.
The question is...where are they all???
Just a thought. And sorry it's not Anglo specific!
Discuss Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 06:28 AM

bought one of they Scarlatti 30 button C/G Anglos from Hobgoblin Music, and to say I am made up (US - delighted) is an understatement.
I've got one of them...don't have any major complaints...at least none of the horror stories I've heard about the cheap ones ever came to pas with mine (so far).
The air button is loud (could just be me) and the bellows are a bit stiff (I'm sure I'm getting bigger biceps!).
Having a chance to learn on a Scarlatti (which even in my mind was quite expensive) has let me know I want to keep playing and so will be getting a more expensive model soon..I hope.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: pavane
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 07:04 AM

Ralphie,
My father-in-law was a builder, and remembers a house-clearance when a concertina was thrown into a skip because "the ends were OK but the bit in the middle was gone"!

And I have seen another quote when 50 "Clowns toys" (concertinas) were thrown on the file when the Salvation Army donated their old instruments to a music shop.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 07:10 AM

Don't matter that your post ain't Anglo specific, Ralphie - p'raps I should have labelled the thread 'Concertina'.

LDT - I'm glad it ain't just me - I thought I was going to pull a rupture on the bellows :-).

Thinking about it, I can think of a few players of the English I have seen/heard in the flesh :

Alf Edwards ; Alistair Anderson ; Mary Humphreys ; Barry Whatsisface (who used to accompany Jim Carroll in his singing days) ; Peggy Seeger ; Lucille, who used to play at Singers' Club, MSG ; "The Varmint", of Whitworth (Manchester University) Morris Men ; Mike Harding ; Steve Turner (Fanny Kettle [sp. ?]).

I should quite have fancied the English, but I may be the victim of some (spurious ?) folklore as regards the concertina :

I have heard it said that if you start playing on one kind, it buggers you up for the other ; and, you have to be able to read music to play the English.

Well : in the immortal words of Paul Graney (RIP) "music", forme (BP) is tadpoles on telegraph wires.

Mike Harding was playing his baritone one night at that club in the boozer on the corner of Wilmslow Road/Barlow Moor Road Which had more changes of name than enough - Cavalcade - and he commented : this bottom F# has been known to clear the top deack of a bus in 4 seconds flat . . .


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 07:23 AM

LDT - I'm glad it ain't just me - I thought I was going to pull a rupture on the bellows
And there I thought it was just me being a bit weak and unfit. lol!


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Bernard
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 07:44 AM

Well... the English was specifically designed by Sir Charles Wheatstone to be easy to play from written music - the 'lines' were on the left and the 'spaces' were on the right... however, the accidentals (sharps/flats) seem to be a bit of a compromise to say the least!

As a player of both Anglo and English, I play both 'by ear' even though I read music. I don't think I've ever attempted to play a tune from 'tadpoles', though in my days as a Church Organist (34 years!) I almost always played from the dots - or at least with the score as a 'crutch'.

I think the Anglo lends itself more to ear playing in its 'home' keys, but is possibly more difficult than the English to venture into the dusty bits. Certainly, the 30 key Anglo (which I play) is a little restricted unless you're only playing single note melodies (which I don't - the more buttons the merrier!). The English is much easier (relatively) to play fully accompanied tunes in most keys, because all the notes are there on push as well as pull.

Mike Harding's 'baritone' is a Wheatstone Contra-Bass, voiced as a 'tuba' (Bernard Wrigley has its 'brother' which I retuned to concert pitch from 'band pitch' many years ago when he was about to record his 'Phenomenal B Wrigley' LP). It is 'single action' - there are valves in the bellows to allow air in on the 'pull', and notes only play on the 'push'. It was originally intended to provide single note bass lines in a concertina band.

Steve Turner's beautiful Wheatstone Tenor-Treble has a few low notes which are split 'anglo style' to save space. I've only played it once, so I can't recall which notes they are. However, the action is really impressive - the slightest breeze will press a key, and very little bellows pressure is needed to sound a note. It has to be the best example of a concertina I have ever played.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 07:53 AM

Addendum : Lea Nicholson - how could I have forgotten him ?

Dave Eckersley . . .are you out there, Ecky ?


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 08:01 AM

Thank you all for your contributions - this thread is a bit good, isn't it.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: GUEST,Baz parkes
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 08:47 AM

Bryn heard it said that if you start playing on one kind, it buggers you up for the other

I haven't heard Bernard play both so no comparison intended, but Keith Kendrick does a fine job.

Quite how, I'm not sure...:-))


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 09:00 AM

you have to be able to read music to play the English.

Minor point in an interesting thread, but I'd just question the have to in that statement.

The English is indeed laid out with the notes on the treble clef lines on the left hand, and the treble clef spaces on the right hand.

If you are playing an unfamiliar tune from sheet music, it sometimes makes it easier to hit the right notes if that button arrangement is at the back of your/my mind; but (now the logic of the keys arrangement is starting to get into my fingers' muscle memory) I'm starting to find it no harder to pick up a tune by ear on the EC than on my other instruments.

Anyway. Sorry if that went on a bit, but I still recovering from the shock of the idea of getting a decent 'tina for 15 pounds ...


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 09:32 AM

KKendrick,does not read music as far as I know,but plays English very well


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 09:48 AM

Sfmans - it was 1974, and £15 was more than a week's pay to me, then.

I bought it from a chap who played a Wheatstone Duet. I think it was a Wheatstone - it was no mean 'tina, believe me. This chap was one of the first accompanists for Gorton Morrismen, so perhaps one of the founders (apart from me) can confirm or confound.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: Aeola
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 10:04 AM

KK said he doesn't read music but he plays damn well and seems to know a fair bit about music in general. I started playing by learning to read the dots but that was just me, I now find I'm beginning to play a bit by ear. So I reckon it's like everything else, it's what suits you.


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM

Yes. Mr Kendrick is rather Brill on both English and Anglo.. The man must have two brains!!
Have had the pleasure of adding my Duet to a couple of his records...


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Subject: RE: Anglo Concertina
From: davyr
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 11:24 AM

Consensus over on the Concertina Net discussion forum is that you can't beat the Rochelle Anglo for value for money as a beginner's instrument. I started on one and can vouch for the fact that the bellows are much easier to work than most of the competition:

http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/27_88/products_id/3357

...But the Scarlattis do have a nice mellow tone...


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