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English Concertina Tutorial

alison 07 Sep 01 - 02:08 AM
alanww 07 Sep 01 - 06:26 AM
Rana@work 07 Sep 01 - 08:52 AM
Marymac90 07 Sep 01 - 09:04 AM
Bob Bolton 07 Sep 01 - 09:05 AM
DebC 07 Sep 01 - 09:14 AM
alison 08 Sep 01 - 10:23 PM
Margo 09 Sep 01 - 12:15 AM
Musicman 09 Sep 01 - 12:24 PM
alison 09 Sep 01 - 08:16 PM
alanww 10 Sep 01 - 05:34 AM
alison 10 Sep 01 - 08:03 AM
Bob Bolton 10 Sep 01 - 10:07 AM
Bob Bolton 11 Sep 01 - 05:35 AM
The Sandman 14 Dec 09 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,chris 14 Dec 09 - 11:16 AM
The Sandman 14 Dec 09 - 01:32 PM
The Sandman 20 Jan 10 - 10:06 AM
The Sandman 21 Jan 10 - 06:28 AM
The Sandman 06 Feb 10 - 10:37 AM
The Sandman 07 Feb 10 - 09:59 AM
SteveMansfield 07 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM
The Sandman 07 Feb 10 - 01:39 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 07 Feb 10 - 01:43 PM
SteveMansfield 08 Feb 10 - 07:39 AM
The Sandman 08 Feb 10 - 07:56 AM
Guran 08 Feb 10 - 07:57 AM
Guran 08 Feb 10 - 08:14 AM
SteveMansfield 08 Feb 10 - 08:22 AM
The Sandman 08 Feb 10 - 09:24 AM
The Sandman 09 Feb 10 - 06:35 AM
Guran 09 Feb 10 - 12:39 PM
The Sandman 09 Feb 10 - 01:13 PM
Guran 10 Feb 10 - 07:36 AM
The Sandman 10 Feb 10 - 10:17 AM
Guran 10 Feb 10 - 04:25 PM
tinasqueezer 10 Feb 10 - 04:44 PM
SteveMansfield 11 Feb 10 - 04:45 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 10 - 06:32 AM
Guran 11 Feb 10 - 07:06 AM
Guran 11 Feb 10 - 07:18 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 10 - 07:23 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 10 - 07:24 AM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Feb 10 - 07:49 AM
Guran 11 Feb 10 - 01:17 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Feb 10 - 08:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Feb 10 - 08:40 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Feb 10 - 09:07 PM
Guran 12 Feb 10 - 01:11 AM
tinasqueezer 14 Feb 10 - 07:18 AM
The Sandman 14 Feb 10 - 08:52 AM
The Sandman 14 Feb 10 - 09:03 AM
Guran 14 Feb 10 - 03:32 PM
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Subject: English Concertina Tutorial
From: alison
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:08 AM

I am now the proud owner of a very nice Wheatstone tenor/ treble english concertina....... woohoo

does anyone know of any online tutorials?

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: alanww
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:26 AM

I've had a nice Lachenal Excelcior circa 1870 since November myself, Alison. I think it depends whether you are learning by ear or by reading the dots.
Of course, there is the standard tutorial book by Frank Butler, "The Concertina" but I found it a bit too dry for my liking. I'm trying to teach myself to read the dots as well as learning to play. Its wonderful - and I am gradually improving.
There is the Mad for Trad website for irish music, which has a tutorial facility.
You could also try a message on the International Concertina Association's website ICA .
I know its lonely practicing. There are various concertina groups in England - I have been to two - the West Country Concertina Players in Taunton, Devon and the Chiltern Concertina Group near Bedford. Details of these and others at the ICA site.
Finally, I live in Stratford-upon-Avon (UK). Are you anywhere near? Perhaps we could practice together?
"Well in eighteen hundred and sixty one, roll Alabama roll ...!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Rana@work
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:52 AM

I have a Lachenal (ca. 1920 I think). Never have got around to learning (I think I just have to get over the initial hump). The Alistair Anderson tutorial, I've been told is the best and comes with a tape. It may be hard to find, however.

Anyway, I'd be interested in finding "online" encouragement so as to (finally) take it up.

Cheers Rana


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Marymac90
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 09:04 AM

Congratulations, Alison!

I'm afraid one of you would have a rather long commute to sessions, Alan--Alison lives in Australia! Maybe via Paltalk? Or is that dead or passe?

Good luck to all in learning to play!

Marymac


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 09:05 AM

G'day Alison,

I know you want something online, but there were a number of the classical books, from late 1800s to mid 1900s, reproduced in the Australian Concertina Magazine, 1982 - 1988. Richard Evans, concertina repairer and maker, lives up in the Blue Mts to the west of you, at Bell. He has quite a lot of material from the classical period, that may help.

You probably don't want to haer the CD I have just assembled of Alex Richards, an exponent of the concert virtuoso styles of the late 1890s to 1930 ...

Anyway, Richard's e-mail is revans@lisp.com.au, if you want to try him - almost online!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: DebC
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 09:14 AM

Oooh!! Congratulations, Alison! I just got my Wheatstone last June and I seem to be rolling along nicely. The website that got me started is Concertina.net The resources on this website are fantastic with lots of links and hints for players of all levels.

Enjoy, Alison.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: alison
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 10:23 PM

thanks everyone..... and yes Alan although I'd love to jam with you..... it is a LONG way....lol... and I can read dots but at the moment I'm trying to learn it by ear.........

I have managed to get a few easy tunes out of it so far.... and chatted to a few players......

Bob, Richard turned the end pieces for it.

anyway.. thanks for your suggestions...

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Margo
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 12:15 AM

Uh, there's not much to know. I have an English concertina too. It was explained to me that the two middle rows on each side are like the white keys on a piano, alternating side to side. The outside rows are all the accidentals. I figured it out from there. Not much else to know. Does anyone else find it to be as simple as I do? Margo


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Musicman
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 12:24 PM

Alison.. being the musician that you are you should have no problems figuring the instrument out. AS Margo says.... the two center rows are the C+ scale on the piano.... lines on the left hand, spaces on the right hand, alternating rows, then the accidentals on the outside two rows, usually right beside there corresponding note....

other than that, do like I did, fool around with it... learn tunes, etc.. experiement with harmonies.. thirds are really easy to do....., 4ths, 5ths, octaves... building chords etc......once you understand the layout, you shouldn't have a problem.....

have fun.. they are a great instrument...

I have a 1890's wheatstone and a late 1870's lachinal duet (crane method)..... good fun...

musicman..


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: alison
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 08:16 PM

thanks everyone..... must be getting better the kids keep coming up and going "hey mum wasn't that......?"..... and usually it was!!! *grin*

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: alanww
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 05:34 AM

Well, what a disappointment - in 2000 I was in OZ twice, for a total of six weeks! Went to Uluru, Sydney, Darwin, Cairns etc but spent most of the time in and around Brisbane (and sang at the local folk club). But I hadn't got my concertina at that time. Maybe the next time I'm around.
Good luck and keep practicing!
"When I was bound apprentice in famous Lincolnshire ..."
Alan


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: alison
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 08:03 AM

aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh the pickled onion crisp song!!! lol

Oh I'm a golden wonder crisp as happy as can be
I've met this pickled onion and she wants to marry me!!
next time you'll have to drop in alan.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 10:07 AM

G'day Alison,

Another thought: If you are trying to take an 'ear' approach to the English concertina - and probably looking at Irish and Australian tunes for a start ... what about talking to Jamie Carlin - not too far away from you at North Parramatta - ?

Jamie has played tunes from the Australian tradition and in a very traditional sounding style - despite playing the English, rather than the traditional Anglo - for more than 40 years ... and his approach was as an ear player, learning from the old 'bush' players. I know Jamie has been about the Toongabbie Club - and, as you know - he plays with Vinegar Hill Bush Band.

I think his style is well worth a look ( ... listen), for a player of the English System, in Irish & Australian traditions.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 05:35 AM

G'day again Alison,

Just another thought - Idon't know when you got the constant screamer from Richard, but he has finally shelled out for a computer sufficiently up to date to connect to the internet &c. He may have picked up some useful online sites in the past few weeks ... and our friend-in-common, Ray Goninon, in Bathurst - a good player of English in band and stage classical styles - has been looking at concertina sites for years now, so he may have some useful tips. I'll check to see that my addresses are current and sent them as well.

Regards,

Bob Bolton

I will e-mail you separately and give you his e-mail address (unless you already have it


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 11:06 AM

I have a tutorial on ornamentation ,see DICKMILESMUSIC,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm91k-YwIqY plus two books Concise English Concertina,and a song accompaniment book


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 11:16 AM

I think you might be a bit slow off the mark there Dick!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 01:32 PM

indeed, better late than never.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina ~ Bellowsing!
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 10:06 AM

here are some belows exercises for the english concertina, you will see in the video that is perfectly possible to imitate the way an anglo would play a g major scale, in fact i have demonstrated two different methods, plus many other combinations
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmqWMm2lGao


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 06:28 AM

REFRESH


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Feb 10 - 10:37 AM

here are a couple more,http://www.youtube.com/user/dickmilesmusic#p/a/u/0/hrmm0GY0sn8and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q4LSGQyerc


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 09:59 AM

refresh,and I might add that for waltzes,tunes in3/4 time,thapeople wisah to dance a waltz too.
changing bellows direction on the first beat of the bar gives the correct waltz feel,although it is alittle predictable.
so mixing bellows changes on eveey second bar,once thorught the tune and second time through the tune every first beat of the bar,is a little more subtle.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM

I know this thread is ancient but ...

As someone who started on the EC in the past few years, I'd say that the tutorial book that comes in the package with the entry-level Jackie / Jack concertinas was actually the best one I've seen, to get you from the absolute basics to the point where you can squeeze a few simple tunes out.

The best online resource I found was the series of videos on YouTube starting at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6um4QHOvZ4


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 01:39 PM

my tutor which is available from my website,is the only one that i have seen that has in depth tuition on song accompaniment,it is available,from
http://www.dickmiles.com.does the jackie tutor discuss bellow change options?.
I have not seen an english concertina tutor that does[mine included],and yet it is bellows changes that makes the anglo so bouncy.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 01:43 PM

I was thinking, on simpler tunes fingers could probably be left on the buttons/notes required, with very little or no movement, yes..?


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 07:39 AM

my tutor which is available from my website,is the only one that i have seen that has in depth tuition on song accompaniment,it is available,from
http://www.dickmiles.com.does the jackie tutor discuss bellow change options?.


No, of course it doesn't, it's aimed at complete beginners to give them assistance in their first steps on the instrument.

Bellows direction and song accompaniment are intermediate / improvers' topics, way beyond the scope of the Jackie tutorial, which as I said above is aimed at the absolute basics.

Bellows direction, other techniques to facilitate emulation of the punchy anglo style (which inter alia is not necessarily the effect that everyone is always aiming at), and song accompaniment, are just three of the many intermediate topics that the Jackie tutorial, which is aimed at absolute beginners, do not cover.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 07:56 AM

Bellows direction, other techniques to facilitate emulation of the punchy anglo style (which inter alia is not necessarily the effect that everyone is always aiming at), and song accompaniment, are just three of the many intermediate topics that the Jackie tutorial, which is aimed at absolute beginners, do not cover.quote.
ok,of course not everyone is wishing to emulate a punchy style,however for certain forms of dance,punch is essential[morris dancing for example].
song accompaniment is [imo]advanced not intermediate,my tutor the concise english concertina,and my song accompaniment tutor,has the most in depth analysis of song accompaniment of any tutor,that Iam aware of.,these two tutors are available from
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 07:57 AM

sfmans: "No, of course it doesn't, it's aimed at complete beginners to give them assistance in their first steps on the instrument".

RE: I have a rather different view on that. I can't see why the issue concerning management of the bellows including adapting reversals to musical phrasing would not be part of the objects for any beginner. Using the bellows with squeezeboxes is what using the lungs is for a singer or a player of wind instruments. As a matter of fact I mean that it is a severe mistake NOT to start out playing a squeezebox by information and training of "bellowsing". The majority of old concertina tutors hardly even mention the topic except saying that the "bellows should be activated in a straight line" or similar things.

You say:"Bellows direction, other techniques to facilitate emulation of the punchy anglo style (which inter alia is not necessarily the effect that everyone is always aiming at...."

RE:It is not only for "punchy style" that bellows reversals are essential - ALL more sophisticated articulation of tone IS a matter of bellows control. All you can do with your finger is starting and stopping a choosen pitch.If by any chance you might have missed my earlier nagging, there are a few clips at Youtube...:-)

http://www.youtube.com/user/Gran43


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 08:14 AM

Schweik: "I have not seen an english concertina tutor that does[mine included],and yet it is bellows changes that makes the anglo so bouncy".

RE: Concerning the issue of management of bellows in general we shall not forget that Allan Atlas in his book "Contemplating the concertina" does discuss this matter to considerable depth. If the book shall the called a "tutor" or not I don't know but that is the way I really see it. Now - Allan is not at all dealing with the "folk" segment but "classical english concertina" so the "punch" thing with anglos is not mentioned.

For my part I absolutely agree however that it IS the particular integration between rhythm and bellows reversals (made necessary because of the bisonoric system) that usually makes anglo playing that "bouncy" compared to english playing.
Two things are important here as I see it:
a) by using bellows reversals systematically like you teach and inspire yourself one definitely can achieve the same style or idiom with the english as with the anglo.I think that the "Irish" idiom may come a bit more natural though than copying the typical trad "Morris" style since the latter uses the simple harmonies so frequently and in a way that is much trickier to finger on the english than the anglo
b) part of my own advocating for a steadier handle for the english (including a wrist support and a steady wrist strap and steadier thumb straps) IS that the steadier handle offers a lot better options for rhythmical playing with the english. The thumb simply is too weak to do the job and the help from the little finger is very poor.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 08:22 AM

> RE: I have a rather different view on that.

And as there's absolutely no point in trying to debate anything with you, I'm out of this thread.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 09:24 AM

it is also very possible on SOME TUNES[eg Sheebeg sheemore]to follow fiddle bowing [reversing bellows where a fiddler slurs],check out Matt Crannitch version in his fiddle tutor,some irish polkas can be played satisfactorily this way.
another experiment that appears[imo]to be successful is to play morris tunes[when in any major key]by playing all soh and doh notes on the push,and all else on the pull.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 06:35 AM

I would suggest that when playing jigs,a good starting point is to reverse bellows on the first beat of the bar,and ocassionaly vary this by reversing on the fourth beat of the bar ,and sometimes reversing every two bars,depending on whether it is musically appropriate.
   the jig haste to the wedding has in the second part,places where there is a dotted crotchet,and where people often clap[that is if the tune is being used for the dance of that name],this is an obvious place to reverse bellows.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 12:39 PM

I have to confess I am not so familiar with playing folk tunes but speaking of typical 6/8 jigs like "Haste to the wedding" intuitively I reverse (almost) without any exception on 1st and 4th regularly and with pull on the 1st, push on the 4th.This consequently results in a great deal of stress on 1st and 4th but I have a feeling maybe that fiddlers mostly play more fluently with less marked beats than what I personally prefer/produce by that routine. No harm done in my view if tunes come out a bit differently from different instruments but I am not the one to express an opinion how to play Irish...
In my view this 1 and 4 emphasis may give some "lift" to the piece, is that "musically appropriate" ?


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 01:13 PM

yes, but I dont reverse on first and fourth beats,except occasionally,I tend to reverse on first beats,otherwise[imo,which is only an opinion]it makes it too waltz like.
but each to their own.the problem Ifind is that it is not possibble to put less emphasis on the fourth beat if you reverse,and in my opinion[which is only an opinion there should be less emphasis on the fourth beat so I prefer not reverse there as a rule although I do it occasionally]


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 07:36 AM

I get your points, only with some minor modification that as I see it after all the 4th gets not as much emphasis as the 1st since pull beats by nature ( or my nature...) are a bit stronger than push beats so the waltzing risk is somewhat reduced but it is certainly there! If you reverse on 1st in each bar what do you say about the differing character between every other bar then? Or do you not have the same feeling as I that phrases on pull and push inevitably sound a bit different? That can be used of course for articulating the piece itself in different ways.As I said I am neither a trained player nor listener to Irish folk music but fiddling-wise (or flute-wise) the jigs to me mostly seem to be played very fluently with very little articulation within bars or between bars - but that may be a faulty impression? What I am aiming at is that I have believed I am playing those jigs "wronglt" by putting more emphasis on 1st and 4th even though I like it better that way myself...gives it some "swing"..less repetetive..but that may belong to the idiom on the other hand...


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 10:17 AM

I dont always reverse on the first beat of the bar but often at the beginning of a musical phrase ,which is often two notes [or sometimes one] before the bar line.I am not sure i agree that pull notes are stronger than push,[in my opinion push are stronger].
to me it is like when you are picking with a plectrumthe down picks are naturally stronger,i think you can get a stronger note with the bellows on a push,but that is only one opinion.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 04:25 PM

1)If you compare with string instruments like guitar,banjo etc as you say down strokes are naturally stronger, if you compare with bowed string instruments like violin down strokes are stronger and analogous the *movement* by the arm(s) with a squeezebox means that pull resembles down stroke or down bow and would adapt to the strong musical beat that way.
Now, there is more to it...
2)With squeezeboxes the bellows stabilizes itself on pull while it has to be stabilized by muscular effort on push. The 'problem' with this gets more evident the longer or more flexible the bellows are.
Bondonions for example can hardly be played energetically on push at all but 'our' concertinas act basically the same - it is easier and takes less effort to keep the bellows in order on pull and thus strong notes are easier to perform on pull
3) With all squeezeboxes the valves ( "pads") seal better on pull and with some concertinas it can be a real problem - particularly baritones where the low range pads always are larger and may have a tendency to leak on push because of that. Therefore also it is safer having real strong beats on pull
So - despite many players spontaneously may feel it more natural to use push for strong beats the above 1-3 motivates using pull instead.
Most people are about as strong extending as flexing the upper arms so it does not matter. Some work or physical training (bodybuilding) may result in flexion dominance but that is extraordinary so usually it doesn't matter for the body which you choose.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: tinasqueezer
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 04:44 PM

re: "Uh, there's not much to know. I have an English concertina too. It was explained to me that the two middle rows on each side are like the white keys on a piano, alternating side to side. The outside rows are all the accidentals."

But did you know that the English key arrangement has 14 notes to the Octave? In 1830's when Wheatstone invented it, scales were diferent - G sharp and A flat were different notes for instance. Now-a-days the scales have been "harmonised" in the Euro-standard meaning of the word. That's why you will find two notes per octave duplicated.

On another point - never use the bellows to produce punch to your notes, the reason that bad Anglo (and melodion) players sound bad is that they use the bellows to modulate the reeds. Good players use the buttons to modulate the notes, that way they have control. The real trick to producing punchy music is to cut notes off short - it's the end of the note that produces punch, not the begining.

There is however some excuse for using the bellows to produce gentle tremelo effects.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:45 AM

tinasqueezer

But did you know that the English key arrangement has 14 notes to the Octave? In 1830's when Wheatstone invented it, scales were diferent - G sharp and A flat were different notes for instance.

So on early ECs the relevant notes (D# / Eb, A# / Bb, and G# / Ab) were originally tuned differently? Any idea which temperament was used, and when the decision was made to switch to equal temperament?

I'd obviously heard of 'Old Pitch' before (although mainly relating in concertina terms to anglos rather than ECs) but hadn't picked up that extended to temperament as well ...


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 06:32 AM

On another point - never use the bellows to produce punch to your notes, the reason that bad Anglo (and melodion) players sound bad is that they use the bellows to modulate the reeds. Good players use the buttons to modulate the notes, that way they have control. The real trick to producing punchy music is to cut notes off short - it's the end of the note that produces punch, not the begining.
quote tina squeezer
yes and no,finger attack is important,but the reason anglos are punchier is because of bellows changes,so the two techniques are equally important.
it is aquestion of finding the appropriate place to change bellows.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:06 AM

tinasqueezer:"But did you know that the English key arrangement has 14 notes to the Octave? In 1830's when Wheatstone invented it, scales were diferent - G sharp and A flat were different notes for instance."

RE:That is not entirely correct I'm afraid! It is true that the complete 48 key "treble english" keyboard has been used with mean tone temperament tuning and different pitches for D#/Eb and G#/Ab. This went on as an optional ( not standard!) tuning for new instruments until the 1860s. I have such a George Case instrument.
BUT - the original keyboard layout ( from the Symphonium and presented in the 1829 patent papers) was NOT intended for this special feature - the mean tone tuning.That however HAS been claimed by some authors but it is a misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

"Now-a-days the scales have been "harmonised" in the Euro-standard meaning of the word. That's why you will find two notes per octave duplicated."

RE: That was obviously the standard from the start but it is hard to evaluate the distribution of the tuning methods since to my knowlege is not specified for instance in the Wheatstone ledgers. Maybe is some similar documents turn up from other makers...

"On another point - never use the bellows to produce punch to your notes, the reason that bad Anglo (and melodion) players sound bad is that they use the bellows to modulate the reeds. Good players use the buttons to modulate the notes, that way they have control. The real trick to producing punchy music is to cut notes off short - it's the end of the note that produces punch, not the begining".

RE:Hmm... maybe some misunderstanding or different use of the words "punch", "emphasis", "bounce" or more...
One thing is technically clear : you can NOT influence the amplitude of a note but except than by the bellows.In principle and for didactic reasons it is easiest to differentiate between "Finger articulation" ( meaning that the sound is initiated by first activating the bellows, then hitting the button) or "Bellows articulation" ( meaning that the saound is initiated by first hitting the button, then activating the bellows)
What do you mean by "punch" in real? Playing staccatto vs legato??
"Emphasis" with a squeezebox can never be executed by the finger - only by the bellows since it normally means that the amplitude is increaseed.

"There is however some excuse for using the bellows to produce gentle tremelo effects".

RE:I don't see what you mean. Do you play at the same volume/level constantly? No "forte" - no "piano" - no crescendo/diminuendo..??


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:18 AM

sfmans: "So on early ECs the relevant notes (D# / Eb, A# / Bb, and G# / Ab) were originally tuned differently? Any idea which temperament was used, and when the decision was made to switch to equal temperament?

RE: Like I said to "tinasqueezer" above there seems to be some misunderstanding here.It was not so "originally" but the english keyboard seemingly turned out being very well suited for being used with mean tone temperament favouring the different D#/Eb and G#/Ab.
(NOT the A#/Bb). Call it a "spin-off" maybe in modern terms but not as I said intended from the start.There was NO "decision to switch" and strangely enough mean tone tuning was obsolete in other music enviroment even earlier except that (British) pianos also were late in that transition ( mid 1860s or so) to equal temperament

"I'd obviously heard of 'Old Pitch' before (although mainly relating in concertina terms to anglos rather than ECs) but hadn't picked up that extended to temperament as well ..."

RE: Old pitch ( = "Old Philharmonic pitch" a=452,5)has been in use with all concertinas and longer in relation to Salvation Army or Concertina Band instruments likely since military brass band kept it longer and maybe since it had been used for organs and harmoniums as well.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:23 AM

yes, guran, what tina squeezer says doesnt make sense to me either,even if you are not changing bellows direction,how you pump the
bellows is vitally important.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boqwtu3xPzU
these are examples of english concertina playing that combines good bellows control with finger attack.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItcBocS_x_M http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCUVvVrlkws


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:24 AM

and this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boqwtu3xPzU


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:49 AM

"never use the bellows to produce punch to your notes"

Well that's certainly does NOT apply to a piano Accordion, but then the reeds are different (except for those concertinas that use P/A reeds - where you WOULD use the bellows for the punch!).

Indeed - there is a P/A 'bellows shake' technique, produced entirely by the bellows.... and only rank beginners cannot do it, as it takes a fair bit of practice to get the hang of it.... and you have to build up the muscles and tendons to keep it up :-)

Further, I have stunned some experts would be knowalls who obviously have little real experience/training with the instrument by the ability to play a series of keyboard notes with some accented and thus louder than others... also this can produce interesting results on the bass side, depending on how well matched the bass reeds sets are... :-)

Real fast staccato is easier with the P/A bellows than trying to get the fingers working that fast, especially at my age... ;-) of course, the smaller the instrument, the less weight and inertia, and the easier the 'shake' and related techniques are...

As far as getting an 'anglo sound' from and 'English box', there are players around who have been doing this for years, and they are all better than me... :-) and I once heard a 'diatonic button box' player play so smoothly that if you closed your eyes, you thought it was a P/A....


QUOTE
If you compare with string instruments like guitar,banjo etc as you say down strokes are naturally stronger, if you compare with bowed string instruments like violin down strokes are stronger and analogous the *movement* by the arm(s) with a squeezebox means that pull resembles down stroke or down bow and would adapt to the strong musical beat that way. etc
UNQUOTE

Sorry, this may often be gibberish as far as a piano accordion is concerned - but then the internal construction is a little different... I can usually get stronger emphasis on the "pull" than the "push"... once again, this is the case with my smaller boxes, anyway... :-), oh, and by 'twisting' or pulling the bellows not straight out, but 'swivelling' in the vertical plane, you get a higher leverage, and thus more 'punch' on the pull than you can get on the 'push'... if some 'expert' tells you than you should not play that way, just smile, nod, say 'yes dear' and ignore them... :-) like the 'expert' who told me that it was 'wrong' to ever play a P/A with only one set of piano side reeds engaged at a time... just because all those buttons and switches are there, you don't HAVE to use them all at once :-P


I'm certainly not an 'expert' on the concertina, but my Duet (with concertina reeds) works pretty much exactly like my P/As in terms of most 'bellows expression'....


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 01:17 PM

Foolestroupe:"I can usually get stronger emphasis on the "pull" than the "push"... and by 'twisting' or pulling the bellows not straight out, but 'swivelling' in the vertical plane, you get a higher leverage, and thus more 'punch' on the pull than you can get on the 'push'... if some 'expert' tells you than you should not play that way, just smile, nod, say 'yes dear' and ignore them... "

RE: Thanks, I clap my hands ! I have been saying this to concertina players for years - telling them that "any accordion player" knows: a) what bellows work means for expression b)that by "twisting" - as you say - or "fanning" as I use to call it - you can achieve better control, and "punch" as is said here. I guess you agree that this is also an essence in the "bellows shake" which maybe can not be exactly simulated with concertinas but many other ways to produce "tremolo" can be practised to get similar effects.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 08:29 PM

Schweik, got your PM - probably best to answer it where all can later find any crumbs of wisdom I may reveal....

Guran, I agree, and the word "fanning" probably produces the best visual image of that process.

Actually the 'shake' is easiest produced by me with ABSOLUTELY MINIMAL movement, but a fair amount of force (hence the need to build power and endurance, especially for the big size boxes - more inertia!) - also it works easiest with NO 'fanning' but just straight horizontal movement 'twitching' from the whole shoulder muscle complex - what or how, I don't know or care, as long as it works. If done right, it almost can't be seen by external observers, so videos really wouldn't help much I think. Perhaps thinking of 'the chicken dance' may be the right approach... :-) I also keep the left elbow joint fixed - cause it doesn't flex in that direction at right angles to the 'shake' movement anyway! The whole left arm sorta 'wobbles', but with a lot of power, like those martial arts experts who can move only an inch, but throw power enough to send someone across a room! :-)

The bellows move in and out about half an inch, but you can set up standing waves, of pulsing...

I can produce a range of speed of 'shake' - the really slow one has its uses.


The really fast 'ripple' really makes people sit up and take notice ;-0 especially once you learn how to make some movements 'harder than others around them' - so you get a rhythmic set of louder and softer pulses during the 'ripple' eg A b c d A b c d and many variations, eg A b c A b c :-)

Next you learn how to hold the piano side note down and use this procedure to 'pick out' the tune when repeated notes occur... when synchronised, it works! and being lazy, I find that I can play some tunes easier! :) eg 'Cotton Fields' becomes a physical doddle and at incredible speed - once you have got the technique right! :-) Another 'tour de force' with this technique are things like 'Me and Bobbie Macgee' - faking a harmonica 'shake' sound (you play a set of thirds on the keys) - can't 'blues bend' though - but if you bought a 'Blues Box' they replace the reed sets with ones DESIGNED to 'blues bend' - wish I could afford one!

Of course the 'experts' who have never SEEN this before keep trying to tell me I am 'wrong' hahahahahahaha! and of course they then get extremely annoyed after 30 years of only playing ONE instrument when I tell them that I am applying/modifying techniques from 'the other dozen families of instruments I play'..... hehehehehehe! eg the 'banjo rapid repeated plucking sound' is generated from the judicious use of 'shake'. I have actually TRIED hands on to teach some, but many of them just couldn't seem to get the technique thru their head quickly.

In Advanced Piano Accordion tutors, you get introduced to the 'shake' after some years of playing, but since I am a 'recycled muso' - see my thread ;-), I did many years and exams, practical and theory, and played several different instruments (as well as vocal work) before hitting the P/A, so ALL of those tutors are only designed for the starting total newbie, I suppose...


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 08:40 PM

"Actually the 'shake' is easiest produced by me with ABSOLUTELY MINIMAL movement, but a fair amount of force" etc

I'll try to explain...

I've done a fair bit of martial arts - and one very basic technique of standing and moving (in horse stance - with the knees bent) correctly is to visualise being supported like a puppet with 5 strings- 2 wrist, 2 knee and the most important, the top of the head. This one supports all the weight of the trunk, and most of the legs, and once you get the hang of this visualisation, you stand correctly, and move easily. (As far as the flinging around of weapons, punches and kicks, starting the movements from the string suspension points works brilliantly, but that is digressing.) Of course some cynics may comment on looking a bit like The Thunderbirds puppets, but, hey, who cares....

I thus visualise a horizontal rod on the bass side of the box, and 'the shake movement starts from there' - hahaha - that doesn't really help much does it? :-) but it works for me like the martial arts stuff, without unnecessary thinking effort, which suits me fine.... :-P


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 09:07 PM

Actually, mentioned in my 'recycled muso' thread on the P/A, is another technique, that once again, the experts decry - in fact beginners are specifically warned to NOT do this as it stops you getting a clear constant tone! :-)

The trick of one who thinks that they have 'mastered' an instrument, is to know HOW to do this, and WHEN to use it, especially when to NOT use it....

ANY unwanted movement of the player, will, especially on the larger boxes, often introduce a 'wobble' in the sound.

What happens is that if the bellows structure wobbles, it affects the steady flow of air, producing a pulsing effect.

So...

When doing one of my other 'tour de force' pieces, I can either produce a steady flow of air, or I can 'tremolo' individual notes. It shows up strongest and is easiest to learn when playing with minimal bass reeds and a single note and reed on the keyboard, but it works, once achieved, with the full sets of reeds on both sides.

I place a finger on a key, then shake/wobble that finger - not in teh in/out direction of a 'shake', but at right angles 'along the line of the keyboard face'. It looks a bit like a violin players wobbling finger on the string, funny enough... :-)

Simple - it then causes the energy to be absorbed in the air in the bellows, causing a pulse - you can then 'drive' this pulsing to get a whole range of pulsing speeds, from a slow 'wow' to a rapid 'flutter', even doing so while holding a single note.

This IS NOT really 'bellows shake' as defined, it's also a lot more subtle and less energetic.

Attempted illustration:

Da da da~~~~~~~ da da da da~~~~~


I think that concertinas could use this too...


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 01:11 AM

Foolestroupe,
Since I came to the concertina from P/A too I easily assimilate what you are saying and starting from the end I do agree that these methods for articulation can be practised with concertinas also.It is more difficult with the concertinas due to their floppier bellows (except old treble englishes with 4 folded bellows)since you can not get the same support and stability neither of the bellows itself nor from the weight/inertia of the instrument.Even resting the concertina on the knee does not offer comparable stability."Give me a stable point and I move the Earth" - is that what Aristoteles said...

On the other hand the lighter concertinas offer other means for similar srticulation and your latest tremolo example is one of them.
Just fluttering/flickering (? I don't know the best word in english) one or two fingers in the air, or delicately tapping the end plate can produce some minor tremolo too.

What you describe actually resembles how "bellows shake" is sometimes explained in accordion tutors (most tutor authors try some variant of their own to explain these subtilities in a more or less in-comprehensible way).

One specific articulation issue is trying to simulate violin "vibrato" which technically is impossible with squeezeboxes since the pitch can not be altered regularly with them - we always end up with some kind of *tremolo* (variating amplitude).Since the single-reeded concertina tone is dry in itself we don't have the options to "wet" the tone by using double reeds ( or 3 with "musette") as with accordions.To do that one can use some of these methods you speak of too - do you have any particular view on that?

At last one little remark. No question "inertia" related to the weight plays some part in all our activities but when talking about the effort of bellowsing we can separate some movements for which the weight is important and some for which it is not.For doing many of these articulation "specialities" weight has influence, but for simple "pumping" itself (as when moving the bellows in and out in a straight line) it is the cross-section of the bellows that causes the difference in effort ( and air flow resistance over the reed slot of course, and also the effort carrying the instrument but that strictly speaking is not necessary for sound-making)


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: tinasqueezer
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 07:18 AM

"yes, guran, what tina squeezer says doesnt make sense to me either,even if you are not changing bellows direction,how you pump the
bellows is vitally important"

Having re-read my posting I can see why it's not clear - it's difficult to use words to describe something as intricate as music of course.

I come from a background of playing for dancing so, to me, timing, tempo, attack, and emphasis are all important.

I suppose my rant was kicked off by the assertion that we want EC's to sound like Anglos, and the way to do that was to be to use the bellows. Consider how the anglo player has to use the instrument: If a rapid run of notes is needed that require changes of bellows direction then the action is something like: Press first note, release first note, change bellows direction, press next note....etc. Getting this to sound continuous is what distinguishes a good Anglo player. (yes I realise that some beginers will hold a button down and use the bellow to change note, but to me that just sounds like a donkey braying)

The fact that a note has to be released before the bellows direction can be changed is what leads to the distinctive anglo sound, not the use of bellows per-se.

I have played with a number of accordion players who can produce strong rhythmic music and they certainly do not use bellows changes to achieve it. They use the technique which I mentioned in my first post, i.e. to use the note cut-off to give punch to a tune.

The EC is a much more versatile instrument than the anglo of course and it can produce a range of musical styles. I hope I am offering a technique that will lead to EC players not wrecking their bellows by trying to emulate the anglo!

Happy squeezing!


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:52 AM

no,I disagree,it is possible to use an instrument to its full capabilities.
I have in the past recorded with NMECQ[brass band music]recorded marches and rags with full accompaniment without over dubbing,Washington Post,DillPickle Rag, Primrose polka,WoodlandFlowers etc,all using conventional English concertina bellows methods and produced good music.
However latterly, I have realised after 35 years of playing,that despite a reasonable degree of competence,I have not been using the bellows to their full potential,there is no reason to wreck ones bellows,just because one might decide for certain pieces,that a little more bellows reversals might have a beneficial effect[morris tunes spring to mind].
what I have been advocating is not to copy anglos entirely,but to use some of the ideas that irish anglo cross row players use.
take the scale of g major,play three notes g d g on the push and the others on the pull[cross row anglo players sometimes use four notes on the push gcdg so we are already compromising]this will not wreck your bellows but will produce bounce without having to use finger attack,try it on winster gallop,or on the morris tune stamp and clap[glorishears].
I have found that once I got the hang of this, that I didnt always stick faithfully to playing certain notes on the pull or the push occasionally I added anther change of direction,where it seemed musically appropriate,so a certain amount of flexibilty is included in the approach.
then I found by copying fiddlers bowing on polkas,mainly bowing paired quavers ,with occasional singles and threes,I was getting the effct that I liked for sliabh luchra music.
I then analysed how I was playing jigs,and notice that I was changing bellows every two bars or every four bars,so I decided to experiment buy changing approximately every bar,I believe this gives more variety,so I now use all three[this is not going to wreck my bellows]
at the present moment for hornpipes and reels I have gone back to the way that I have always played them with little bellows reversals,I have not altered bellows on any song accompaniments.
the key to all this is experiementation,sometimes an experiment works sometimes it doesnt,and it does not mean that I am rigid in my approach [for arguments sake to irish polkas],sometimes I go back to my old way of playing them,or I might go once through using fiddle type bowing and once through using a more conventional approach.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 09:03 AM

on the subject of wrecking bellows,you would have a hard job wrecking john connors bellows,they are as sturdy as any I have seen on an Anglo.


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Subject: RE: English Concertina Tutorial
From: Guran
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 03:32 PM

tinasqueezer,
Although you modified what you said a little I still don't quite get the point and if I believe I get it I basically agree with what Dick says.Of course there are some differences in what can be done with Anglos vs Englishes but if we are not talking violin concertos but the standard folk and dance tunes I really see m(any) important ones.
The basic playing methods can be practised with both and I like Dick I think 'bellows articulation' has been sadly ignored among english players by "tradition" - something I regard as just bad habits or ignorance since the quality of muscial performance may suffer from it.

"I suppose my rant was kicked off by the assertion that we want EC's to sound like Anglos, and the way to do that was to be to use the bellows. Consider how the anglo player has to use the instrument: If a rapid run of notes is needed that require changes of bellows direction then the action is something like: Press first note, release first note, change bellows direction, press next note....etc. Getting this to sound continuous is what distinguishes a good Anglo player".

RE: I don't quite see what you mean here unless you are talking about staccatto playing only, but even so you can do staccatto by bellows articulation too but it likely comes out a bit different unless you are extremely good at it.
If talking legato playing there is nothing for the english player to assimilate from anglo playing but in the reverse the anglo player may have certain difficulty simulating english playing for long phrases.

"(yes I realise that some beginers will hold a button down and use the bellow to change note, but to me that just sounds like a donkey braying)"

RE: ?? again only IF you only look/listen for staccatto all the time,
do you?

"The fact that a note has to be released before the bellows direction can be changed is what leads to the distinctive anglo sound, not the use of bellows per-se".

RE: This I don't understand at all.By "released" - do you mean stopped? - That the note has to be ended "before the bellows direction can be changed" ro what do you mean?

"I have played with a number of accordion players who can produce strong rhythmic music and they certainly do not use bellows changes to achieve it. They use the technique which I mentioned in my first post, i.e. to use the note cut-off to give punch to a tune".

RE: Maybe so and maybe they were just lazy..:-) but "strong rhythm" definitely with any squeezebox is easier and more efficient to do by the bellows than by finger articulation so why not usse the option??It is difficult enough to produce "strong rhythmic music" with an english anyway but even so bellows reversals may help on the way.
(Better handles would also - have I said that before?..:-)

" I hope I am offering a technique that will lead to EC players not wrecking their bellows by trying to emulate the anglo!"

RE: "Wrecking bellows" I think is a myth but the argument does come up now and then.Old brittle bellows ( or cheap ones for exammple on the cheapest german style 20 key concertinas) , more or less broken already,may risk breaking a bit more from vigorous playing. I have tried intentionally to break some bellows a couple of times from pure curiosity but by any kind of violent playing I could not do it! Only by using a lot of force far beyond any practical musical activity and without sounding any notes I finally managed...


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