Inside and Out Part 7 – The Atzarin Accordion

Well. It has been a while since I last spoke to you, hasn’t it? My apologies. Life moves on, ever more hectically and finding the time to keep up this blog gets ever more difficult. But I shall try. I always seem to have a few posts in mind, I just need to find the time to write them down!

Since last I spoke to you I have been busy. I spoke at a conference in Oxford on Musical Instruments organised by the Galpin Society and gave a poster at the Stockholm Music Acoustics Conference. This was very rewarding. Musically things are starting to pick up again (see this post if you are new to this blog) and I have an extremely exciting project starting, of which more anon. Continue reading

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Harmonetta Bass

Some of you, the more astute ones perhaps, may be aware that I am interested in fingering systems for accordions. I have already posted on the Loomes Chromatic and am currently working my way through the Atzarin Accordion (very much a work in progress). And, of course, I already play a D/Em melodeon and a B/C+C# with Hayden free bass. Continue reading

Inside and Out Part 6 – The Shand Morino

Today we go back to Inside and Out and I’ve got one of the giants of the accordion world to take apart for your delectation and delight. For those of you who are new to the blog and don’t know what this series is about, see Parts 1234 and 5. This week I’ve been given a set of pictures by Ian Cruickshanks (the same Ian Cruickshanks who took the pictures of the Schwyzerörgeli) from one of his other accordions – his 1950s Shand Morino.

Continue reading

The Loomes Chromatic

If you aren’t at all interested in melodeon fingering layouts then look away now. You have been warned.

My last blog post of 2012 is on an interesting idea. Regular readers may remember that I wrote a little-understood post on classifying accordions a little while ago and mentioned in that post the possibility of Chromatic, Bisonoric, Button Accordions. This I defined as an accordion which uses buttons, having different notes on push and pull and based around a chromatic scale. There haven’t been any such accordions built, but the subject of this blog post is one possible idea. Continue reading

Inside and Out Part 5 – The Impiliput

Yes, it’s back! After a gap of three months, Inside and Out is back. I’ve got some exciting boxes yet to come in this series, but the subject of today is the newest addition to my collection, a Hohner Liliput. Specifically, it is a 12 Hayden-style Free Bass B/C+C# Liliput, or “Impiliput” for short. Continue reading

Box Acoustics Primer Part 2 – The Reed

Second post already! I know, prompt. I’m posting this now because my internet access will be fragmented next week until I get internet sorted in my new place.

The first of the series was an overview of melodeon acoustics – the second is about the reed itself. I will make a confession here: I have never been quite happy with the explanation of the melodeon reed. So the following is what I’ve been able to glean from what I can, but shouldn’t be taken as gospel. If at some point I discover more about it then I will let you know. Continue reading

Box Acoustics Primer Part 1 – An Overview

Momentous changes are afoot in my life, as I am moving back to Cambridge to live as a Real Person this weekend. I also had a fantastic gig on Monday supporting the wonderful Lady Maisery at Green Note in Camden for Folk on Monday and have another gig on the 17th of this month, at Baldock and Letchworth Folk Club, supporting Jody Kruskal. So I’ve had a fair amount on my plate and somehow blogging has fallen by the wayside. I’ve started four posts, but this one I have finally finished. Continue reading

Inside and Out Part 4 – The Shruti Box

Hello everyone and welcome to yet another installment of “Inside and Out”. To those wondering if the pain will never end, fear not! This is a post rather different from the previous three, for it is not on a melodeon, nor even an accordion, but a Shruti box. It is also a short post, because it is late and I have to go to bed, and because the Shruti box is a simple instrument. Continue reading

Melodeon Reed Transients – An Indicative Study

Over the last year, I have been looking at the acoustics of the Charango, a small stringed instrument from the Andean region of South America, using a Polytec Laser Vibrometer. Now that this is all done (got a distinction in it by the way) I got permission to use the equipment for around 5 hours in one day to try and take some measurements of melodeon reeds. Unfortunately I did have only 5 hours and didn’t have much equipment other than the vibrometer, so I was limited in what I could do. In addition, I don’t have MATLAB on this computer, so I am limited in the analysis as well. I hope however that the following is of interest to those intrigued by how the box works. I haven’t concluded anything game-changing, however I hope that this study shows that within 24 hours, interesting experiments can be carried out. If there is anyone out there attached to a research centre who is interested in studying these instruments then please get in touch with me – I would love to hear from you. This is not a formal report, this is not a formal study and nothing should be taken to be conclusive. I think however that it can be considered to be indicative. Continue reading