A year of Music and Melodeons

Well, today is the one year anniversary of my first ever post on this blog. It’s been an interesting year and thanks to WordPress, I can quantify exactly how interesting it was.

This is my 40th post and this blog is now up to 12,285 views (at the point of writing). The most popular post that I have written was Inside and Out part 2, the Sibylla Brand G/C/F belonging to Malcolm Woods, with 466 views. This was because Malcolm sold it later in the year and so the post got a lot of attention through that. Next is the first Inside and Out on my Super-Preciosa and then there is the first of the Guarding the Tradition trilogy, because of the number of people searching for “what is folk music?”. The least popular post was this one, which is rather apt as it advertises the New Roots folk competition, which those readers eligible should enter as the deadline is coming up.

I think that the best post that I have written is Inside and Out Part 3 – The Schwyzerörgeli, which is the fourth most popular post. The post that I think hasn’t got as many views as it deserves is the third part of the Guarding the Tradition trilogy. I have written four different series of posts – the “Musings” series, the “Guarding the Tradition” series, the “Inside and Out” series and the “Box Acoustic Primer” series. By far, Inside and Out has been the most successful part of this blog, with 1637 views. Guarding the Tradition has 698 views, Musings has 459 and the Primer has a lowly 376. Hopefully that will change soon, I’m attached to that series.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, melodeon.net has proved to be the most prolific of all of my referrers, with 2273 people coming to my site from it. Next are the search engines, followed by my Facebook page. Twitter adds a pitiful 100 referrers. I can also track the search terms that bring people to the site. The most common search, as expected is “ukebert”. The next is “Hohner Preciosa” and the next “What is folk music?”.

The blog has 123 comments, many of which are pingbacks. It has had views from 71 different countries and dependents, mostly from the UK, the US, Germany, Canada, France and Italy – world hubs of  diatonic accordion playing. I’ve therefore had views from approximately a third of the world’s countries. I have had views from all of the countries of Europe bar Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican City. So evidently I need to target Central Europe and the microstates next year. My success rate is higher in North America, with views from both countries and mainland South America, with views from 5 of the 13. Elsewhere it is a little more patchy (including only Nigeria and South Africa from the whole of the African continent), but I do have one solitary view from Nepal.

I could go on about statistics, but I’m aware that they will be of interest to a minority of people.

My year has been interesting. When I started this blog I was a term in to my final year of university, half way through my fourth year project on the Bolivian Charango and just starting out performing solo. Since then I have graduated with a BA(Hons) and MEng and have moved back to Cambridge. Since then I have been unemployed, which has been quite tough and for much of the last few months I haven’t been terribly happy, hence why this blog has been neglected. Hopefully all of these things will change soon and I can get back to regular updates.

This year has seen me play a fair few gigs. I’ve played thirty-seven over the last 12 months according to the gig diary, including eleven with the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band (not many for me), nine playing solo melodeon, five with There and Back Again and four with the Marianne Neary Band. I’ve played two gigs with the Red Rock Ceilidh Band, two with the Cunning Plan Ceilidh Band and one with the Backwoods Band (scratch jazz ceilidh band). I’ve played in two different shows, one at the Corpus Playroom and one at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge. I’ve also played for Gog Magog Molly at Warwick Folk Festival and tutored for Shooting Roots at Sidmouth Folk Week. So a busy year by any measure.

The real purpose of this post however is to say thank you to all of those who have given me encouragement and advice on this blog over the past 12 months, especially Gary Chapin from l’Accordéonaire and everybody from melodeon.net. Thanks also to everyone who has helped me get through a difficult year (and a difficult degree), particularly my girlfriend and musical partner Yarden Brody. Lastly, thank you very much to all you hypothetical readers, who have patiently waded through the rambles and hopefully have got to whatever it was I was trying to talk about at the centre of it all. I’m still not altogether sure why I write this blog, I just enjoy doing it. Long may it continue.

This is what you have to look forward to over the next year:

  • More on the Box Acoustics Primer and more about melodeon acoustics, due to an exciting new collaborative project
  • More Inside and Out, with three lined up and more to come
  • More interesting melodeons
  • More tunes
  • More rambles
  • More of the same…

A very merry Festive Season to you all and see you in 2013!

p.s. Why not buy There and Back Again’s new album “Long Way Round” as a late Christmas present? Still got a couple left.

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