Concertina - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Our subject today is the concertina.  These hand-powered machines resemble accordions in many ways, except they're usually much smaller and more manageable.  They are both reed instruments that do not require electricity, but cannot work without muscle power to work their manual bellows.  Concertinas date to the late-1820s and were simultaneously invented in England and Germany.

The concertina that catches the most eyes in the American Treasure Tour currently makes the Music Room its home.  It looks strange, to be sure, with its horns creating a strong sound that will definitely draw even more attention that its looks do. Unfortunately, we have yet to hear it played by an expert, and none but the most experienced and reliable musician can be trusted with this wonderful piece.  In part because of its rarity and beauty, but also because the sound made by the inexperienced musician with this piece is, to put it simply, horrible.
QUESTION:  What is the general word used to describe instruments that make sound when air flows past a vibrating reed in a frame (such as a concertina or an accordion)?
A)  Oxygenizer
B)  Aerophone
C)  Pneumatic Vibrato
D)  Calciphier

GREEN MOUNTAIN...STATE.  Until 1933, today was inauguration day here in the United States.  Thirty different men took the oath of office to lead the first modern republic, including George Washington.  Washington did another pretty cool thing on March 4th, way back in 1791 (not an election year):  he welcomed the fourteenth state into the union - the first state that had not been one of the colonies that broke away from England with the Declaration of Independence.  That state was the former republic of Vermont.  Which means today should officially become Vermont Day!  Or maybe Former Inauguration Day!  Or maybe just March 4th Day!

WHERE THE PAULA IS.  Happy birthday, Paula Prentiss.  Born today in 1938, Paula Regusa had acting aspirations from an early age.  Her biggest challenge was her height.  At 5'10", she towered over most of her classmates, male and female.  So, when she got her break in such 1950s comedies as Where the Boys Are and Bachelor in Paradise, she was paired up with the 6'5" Jim Hutton.  Despite her popularity, she pretty much gave up acting over three decades ago, which is not to say she's not remembered.  We remember you, Paula!

QUOTE:  It took me a long time to find myself.  I'm still looking around corners to see if I'm there. - Paula Prentiss

ANSWER:  B)  Aerophone.  Air flow is typically created by either human breath or a bellows.