Music

FolkTuneFinder: Why are the search results so different to what I typed?

When searching FolkTuneFinder, you may find search results that you don’t agree with or can’t understand. You may think tune has nothing to do with your query, or the highlighted notes bear no relevance to what you typed. Here’s why. The thing about folk tunes is that they’ve survived in the aural tradition, in many cases for quite a long time. A good tune spreads because people like it, and different parts of a tune may appeal to different people.

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Recent downtime on FolkTuneFinder.com

I started FolkTuneFinder as a student project back in 2008. I’d done websites for a few years before, but this was the first serious one with any kind of heavy lifting or interesting behaviour. Over the years I added features that allowed people to interact, such as the commenting and FolkTuneFinder blogs, which has been surprisingly popular. I have always had a very small problem with spam: I received perhaps a small handful of blog posts a month, which was fine to deal with.

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Day of the Dead

Today is Day of the Dead. The Hurly-Burly-Bright-And-Early Band was out in force this evening celebrating. Or rather, mourning the passing of the Summer. Exactly six months to the day (give or take) since May Day. My pipe is at a worrying angle.

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The Gribbin

There’s no hiding musicianship. Lock it up, put it in a box, or — crucially — ply it with significant quantities of drink … still it will shine through. There’s something immutable about musicianship that means that a bottle of Pimms and and half a bottle of whiskey later, it still keeps on playing. It was in circumstances such as these that The Gribbin came together for the first — and last — time.

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My Instrument Zoo

I like instruments and have somewhat of a menagerie. Here are some of the less embarrassing inmates. Squeezeboxes Here is a Castagnari Lilly. It’s a small, single-voice D/G melodeon. Because of its size and the fact it has one reed per note, the reeds are mounted directly on the board rather than in a reed-block. It sounds a bit like a concertina. The buttons are much smaller than a normal melodeon so it’s easier to play fiddly things.

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Fixing a leaky Castagnari Lilly

After a brilliant Swanage Folk Festival, I got my box home and, to my horror, heard a slight hissing sound. Nightmare. A few seconds’ listening suggested it was coming from behind the grille. So off it came.   Somehow the wax on the pallets had melted and allowed a valve or two to slip out of place. The wax melts at a very low temperature (a bit _too_ low in my opinion).

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De-Dusting Melodeon Air Vents

My third- (or perhaps fourth-) hand Dino Baffetti melodeon has some pretty impressive basses, but the tonics on the chord side (key-note) have slowly started to sound a bit out of tune. Jon Spiers suggested that whilst it might be a problem with the reeds, the shape of the chamber also affects how reeds speak. It was noticeable that the tuning was fine at low volume, but at higher pressure the tone bent up as much as 50 cents.

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