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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bob Bolton alf edwards concertina accompaniments (92* d) RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments 29 Aug 12

G'day Good Soldier Schweik/ MtheGM /Owen/ Charlie/ Brian/ Dave & sundry GUESTS ...

I think that this issue of the place of the concertina in "folk music" as well as specifically "sailors' music" - forebitters or chanties ... got off track way back when the 'folk revival' musicians bought the line coming from the "Concertina Revival" of much the same time ... and their claim that Wheatstone's "English System" was the only real concertina ... and all those vulgar German boxes were just cheap attempts to fool the public into buying something less than "God's intended instrument.

By this time ... and very importantly for the Concertina Revival, the Salvation Army was only seen to play either 'English system' or their 'Triumph system' ... equally chromatic - but easier to chase harmonies ... without staring at 'the dots' ...

Recent research ... not nearly so possible before the recent availability - on the web - of 19th century newspaper and magazine articles in scanned - and OCRed form has allowed researchers to read what actually happened ... instead of academics and bandmasters pushing their own line. The wonderful recent posting in these areas was the original Salvationist concertina manuals ... all for "Anglo" ... admittedly in Bb / Eb ... and the clear evidence that the Booth Family ladies played concert versions of Salvationist hymns ... to great acclaim ... on good quality English-made Jeffries Anglo-system concers!

The evidence of the 19th century papers and magazines does show a strong 'snobbish' disdain for the popular public playing of the 'Anglos' ... but that was automatic in the social structure of the day.

We only have to listen to what Brian Peters can extract from the Anglo-chromatic concertinas to realise that all those little boxes (of all systems) were God's gift to the travelling, rambling, working musician on land or sea. Alf Edwards was a product of an earlier era when prejudice and class structure dictated attitudes that have spent too long being regarded as 'writ in stone'!



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