New member in Scotland

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rancoman
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New member in Scotland

Post by rancoman » Thu May 18, 2017 11:51 am

New member to the forum - best described as a Ranco pervert, I think.

I just can't live without them {} Closest sound I ever found to a decent old domino Shand Morino, superb for all things Scottish (but I admit limited in their usefulness for more modern music.)

Anyone else in love with the quality, tone and general superlativeness of these instruments?

Soulsaver
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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by Soulsaver » Thu May 18, 2017 4:39 pm

.... has to be part of your culture I guess... :) but I like the instrument.. they usually look and sound great. and welcome to the forum.
Music Game full rules are on the original (first) post in its thread...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=444" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Stephen Hawkins
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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Thu May 18, 2017 9:40 pm

Hey There, Ranco.

A warm welcome to the forum.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

rancoman
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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by rancoman » Fri May 19, 2017 10:08 am

Thanks, Guys. I think you're spot on with the culture point - the traditional sharpness of fiddles and pipes are reflected in our music and the way we play it, and the 'lift' comes from the dancing that goes with the music.

My original local hero played a Salas Stradella (c1930) - a two row chromatic with pinned reeds, and it was crystal clear and sharp for the kind of music we play. No microphones in those days, so the sound had to be loud and clear to get right to the back of the hall. In my pre-Ranco days I played a 1960's Excelsior, and I TORTURED John Huband to get him to tune it to make it sound like a Shand Morino - which of course it never could, as the reeds were waxed on.

Eventually, by similarly torturing everyone I could find who knew about these things, I discovered the pinned reed stuff, and eventually bought one of John Crawford's own Rancos, which I still play.

george garside
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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by george garside » Fri May 19, 2017 12:24 pm

''and the lift comes from the dancing '' etc. There is a very short (30seconds) youtube of Jimmy Shand making that very point. I have no idea of where he was playing and it certainly was not with his normal band setup.

put in ' youtube BBC four arena Jimmy Shand' and it should come up.

I play a gaelic 3 row which I view as a sort of poor man Shand Morino and I agree that the sound of the SM is both wonderful and unique

george

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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by rancoman » Sat May 20, 2017 10:21 am

Thanks, George - I tried that search but can't find the clip. Doesn't matter, though - I had a Scottish Dance band for many years, and I know exactly what he meant. It doesn't always happen, but when you get the volume, tempo and lift right, the dancers ride on the wave and the whole thing just rolls along under its own momentum - it's hard to even make a mistake when playing (Ha!) under those circumstances, and it's a wonderful feeling to be part of something like that.

I remember one of the 'famous' musicians years ago talking on a broadcast about tempo. He likened the correct tempo to the speed of a horse doing a 'collected trot'. I had a lot of trouble with that, thinking of different speeds for different sizes of horses and so on, but eventually I got the hang of what he meant. When we play for dancing, the timing is actually related to gravity. When folk are dancing, it's all about lifting off the floor and falling back under gravity (or at least changing the weight from one foot to the other).

Gravity is constant, so the rate of something falling is constant, irrespective of the size (think of a petite wee lady dancing with a great hulk of a man, in perfect timing) so it's all about the length of time it takes for something to fall back to ground from a given height. It's all happening very quickly in dancing, but I'm sure it could be measured accurately with the technology we have nowadays. We all lift off to approximately the same height when dancing, so we all hit the ground ready for the next step at the same time + or - a very small margin, and that sets the correct tempo for that dance in beats per minute or whatever.

I think the lift comes from emphasis placed on the music by the musician - the famous 'dunt' of the bellows to increase volume spoken of by Jimmy Shand, and I believe that might be the clue the musician gives the dancers about WHEN to start the next lift movement. Thinking about it for the first time this morning, the 'dunt' seems to occur fractionally before the dance movement.

Because of the physically small size and the extra bellows work needed, SMs and Gaelics are ideally suited to 'dunting' - as is the Ranco, which is actually not much bigger, although the keyboards are extended to full size at the side.

Reading that all back, it's a bit scientific and complicated for this time of the morning - maybe I need more coffee?

george garside
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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by george garside » Sat May 20, 2017 3:50 pm

Rancoman, I too have argued that gravity brings the buggers down and the bands job is to help them take off again! When everything comes right I think of it as reaching 'floatation speed' where both dancers and musicians seem to float along together with minimum effort!

Sadly I have come across quite a few playing for 'folk' dancing , mainly of the English veriety, that think all the emphasis should be on the beat rather than subtly catching the off beat.

Others may of course have other views to air on here

george

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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by Soulsaver » Sun May 21, 2017 1:55 am

This one? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00gj2hk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Music Game full rules are on the original (first) post in its thread...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=444" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Chinese Accordion Manufacturers - list post #1 here viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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rancoman
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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by rancoman » Sun May 21, 2017 9:42 am

Yep - that one worked - thanks, Guys.

Jimmy was a lovely man - so calm, and quiet. Once, when we were chatting about something to do with a tune, he picked up his box and showed me what he meant (no straps on, just balanced on his knee) and it was as though the box was part of him, a living thing, just an extension of his body. Wonderful!

It would be interesting to see what other folk on the forum think of this 'lift' topic - any takers? Should it be a separate thread, or has it all been thrashed to death before I joined the forum?

george garside
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Re: New member in Scotland

Post by george garside » Sun May 21, 2017 4:43 pm

I will start one under teaching and learning and wait with bated breath !
george

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