Concertina care

Re: Concertina care

Some questionable advice there. Bellows aren’t made only from leather, they’re made of card held together with strips of leather. Most repairers urge caution when using leather conditioner, as this can easily damage the card and the papers, and weaken the glue which holds everything together.

Most also advise always storing the instrument in its case, so that the bellows are held closed, and not just when not playing it for an extended period.

I have read the phrase “Don’t over tighten the bellows hinges” several times and I still don’t understand what it means.

I’ve no idea who this person is or how much expertise they have. Their posts seem rather superficial, to say the least. There are more authoritative sources of information, for example McNeela Instruments have a page on their website, or there is Dave Elliott’s excellent “Concertina Maintenance Manual”.

Re: Concertina care

Many of the original 19th / 20th Century cases had their handle on the end, implying the instrument should be stored vertically. Modern thinking is very much that the concertina should be kept in its case horizontal e.g.

Agree with Howard, a very superficial article. ChatGPT strikes again?

Re: Concertina care

I was thinking that myself…

I asked ChatGPT: “How to maintain a concertina?”

The response:

Maintaining a concertina, a unique and intricate musical instrument, is crucial to ensure its longevity and performance quality. Here are some steps to help you maintain your concertina:

1. Storage:
- When not in use, store your concertina in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- Consider using a protective case or bag designed specifically for concertinas to prevent dust and physical damage.

2. Cleaning:
- Dust and moisture can accumulate in the bellows and on the reeds, affecting the sound and playability. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove dust and debris from the instrument’s surfaces.
- Avoid using excessive moisture when cleaning. A slightly damp cloth can be used to wipe down the exterior, but be cautious not to allow water to seep into the bellows or reeds.

3. Bellows:
- Check the bellows for any signs of damage, such as leaks, cracks, or loose corners. Repair any damage promptly to prevent further issues.
- To maintain the airtightness of the bellows, periodically apply a small amount of paraffin wax or beeswax to the seams and corners. Gently rub it in and wipe away any excess.

4. Reeds:
- The reeds are critical to the sound of the concertina. Inspect them regularly for signs of corrosion or dirt.
- If you notice a reed is sticking or not sounding properly, it may need cleaning or adjustment. You may need to remove the reed plate carefully and clean it, ensuring it’s dry before reassembling.
- Reeds may also need occasional tuning by a professional concertina technician.

5. Straps and Buttons:
- Examine the straps and buttons for any signs of wear or damage. Replace or repair as needed to maintain proper playability.
- Lubricate the buttons occasionally with a small amount of silicone grease to ensure smooth movement.

6. Humidity Control:
- Concertinas are sensitive to changes in humidity, which can affect the wood and reeds. Ideally, maintain a consistent humidity level between 40% and 60%.
- Use a humidifier or dehumidifier as needed to regulate the humidity in the storage area, especially in extreme weather conditions.

7. Regular Play:
- Playing your concertina regularly helps keep it in good condition. It prevents dust buildup and ensures that the bellows remain flexible and airtight.

8. Professional Servicing:
- Periodically, take your concertina to a skilled technician or repair expert for a comprehensive inspection and servicing.
- They can address any issues you may have missed, perform necessary reed tuning, and ensure your instrument remains in top playing condition.

Remember that concertinas can be delicate and require care and attention to detail. If you’re unsure about any maintenance task, it’s best to consult with a professional concertina technician to avoid causing any unintentional damage to your instrument.

While not identical words, the overall tone and vocabulary sure seems nearly identical.

Re: Concertina care

It sure seems to me that all of Cassidy’s articles have this same bland, AI-generated tone.

Re: Concertina care

Sure does look like it. “The violin, an enthralling instrument synonymous with elegance and emotion, boasts a rich …”

Pretty soon ChatGPT will be swallowing its own tail….

I wonder what you would get if you asked ChatGPT for half a dozen suitable pseudonyms for an author writing about musical instruments used in Irish trad?

Re: Concertina care


What are a half dozen suitable pseudonyms for an author writing about musical instruments used in Irish trad?


Certainly! Here are half a dozen suitable pseudonyms for an author writing about musical instruments used in Irish traditional music:

Finnegan O’Sullivan
Siobhan Ceolann
Declan McHarmony
Bridget Fiddlewood
Liam Bodhrán
Eileen Piperidge

These pseudonyms have an Irish flair and are associated with musical elements, making them suitable for an author focusing on Irish traditional musical instruments.

Re: Concertina care

I’ve just inhaled half my coffee reading that! 😆

Re: Concertina care

It’s what was asked for. It knows the common usage of pseudonym. Rejecting names that it knows are not fictitious leaves obviously made up ones. To pass off something as human written needs a random Irish name that may actually exist.

Re: Concertina care

Apparently it’s not against Medium’s terms-of-service to post AI generated garbage that you’re trying to pass off as real advice. I checked.

Re: Concertina care

Interesting point; once an article is written and posted somewhere it becomes input for ChatGPT and its’ ilk. So some time soon we will see accustations of ChatGPTing levelled at genuine authors because ChatGPT has pirated _them_! Not saying that this is the case here - I don’t know.