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#1 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:23 PM

Ishtar wrote: "To my shame, I didn't even know the accordina existed, but there is an accordina maker about 60km from here, in the Gard.:

Well Ishtar, I'm astonished to say that I had never heard of the Accordina either but sure enough, it's a cool mouth blown free reed with some popularity in France and perhaps elsewhere. It was invented in the 1930s and comes in two fingering patterns, blow only. Much like the melodica but hand made with those big round black and white buttons. Get yours here for about 1450 Euros.

#2 Ishtar

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 01:39 AM

Well Ishtar, I'm astonished to say that I had never heard of the Accordina either but sure enough, it's a cool mouth blown free reed with some popularity in France and perhaps elsewhere.


Hi Jody! I think that the accordina is even less well-known than the concertina. There is another concertina player close by (he has a diatonic and a duet, I think), there are uillean pipes, Highland pipes, dead-goat pipes, fiddles, Zydeco washboards, Klezmer groups, bodhrans, Lunel (10km from me) has a mandolin festival http://www.mandolinc...400.shtml...... and so on..... but I have never set eyes on an accordina!

OTOH, it does look like it's more popular in the jazz world. Jazz is HUGELY popular in France, but I'm not a fan, so I could easily have missed any accordinas that are in the area.

I might just take a wander up to Marcel's workshop one day and try out an accordina. If I can't immediately play it like this girl, I will be very disappointed. :-) http://www.youtube.c...h?v=8Tn0wIetlXU

#3 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:42 AM

I might just take a wander up to Marcel's workshop one day and try out an accordina.

Funny little instrument as it appears; I'd really like to try one as well...

If I can't immediately play it like this girl, I will be very disappointed. :-) http://www.youtube.c...h?v=8Tn0wIetlXU

... and listen to her admirable CBA playing! :)

#4 Ishtar

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:29 AM

Funny little instrument as it appears


It does have a "toy" air about it, doesn't it! But there are YouTube clips where it sounds lovely (better than a sax, imho). I wonder if, in the hands of a beginner, it might sound like an overly expensive toy. If I ever try one, I'll let you know.

#5 DaveM

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 08:28 AM

the first youtube video I found
doesn't sound like a toy at all to me.

#6 Ishtar

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:06 AM

Absolutely not, but it might in my hands. :-)

#7 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:16 AM

the first youtube video I found
doesn't sound like a toy at all to me.

Try this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdqJsmL_UQ0&feature=related

Just as Ishtar said: It depends on the hands playing (and lips blowing) the instrument (as on its make anyway, I guess).

#8 Kautilya

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:41 AM


the first youtube video I found
doesn't sound like a toy at all to me.

Try this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdqJsmL_UQ0&feature=related

Just as Ishtar said: It depends on the hands playing (and lips blowing) the instrument (as on its make anyway, I guess).

Great find, sounds and so atmospheric.
Not cheap
http://vente.donkiz....s/accordina.htm

tho dramatically better sounding than melodica (which has less options tho cheaper - in fact I just got one for free.........).
Melodica needs a lot of lungpower/air so would be interesting to know how much effort, if you get try one out Ishtar, the accordina needs , in comparison say with a "full size' harmonica. Also volume in comparison say with a regular Anglo 'tina. The 16 yr old had a mic on her side blown model and do i see a wire coming out of Dreux's end blown (as per melodica)model?
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=UFOqXt4G24o

Edited by Kautilya, 29 November 2011 - 10:44 AM.


#9 danersen

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:48 AM

I have played Accordina for years and I can assure you that a Borel or Dreux Accordina it is anything but a toy.
My first instrument was a Borel which was superb, and my recently acquired Dreux is truly magnificent.
For the uninitiated, but interested, I have provided a list of URLs to a representative variety of YouTube samples in various musical genres below.
They are listed in no particular order.
Both Borel and Dreux instruments are played in these videos.
Enjoy!
Dan

ACCORDINA YOU TUBE VIDEOS

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

Edited by danersen, 30 November 2011 - 12:57 AM.


#10 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 03:04 AM

I have played Accordina for years and I can assure you that a Borel or Dreux Accordina it is anything but a toy.
My first instrument was a Borel which was superb, and my recently acquired Dreux is truly magnificent.
For the uninitiated, but interested, I have provided a list of URLs to a representative variety of YouTube samples in various musical genres below.
They are listed in no particular order.
Both Borel and Dreux instruments are played in these videos.
Enjoy!
Dan

ACCORDINA YOU TUBE VIDEOS

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

Hi Dan,

I am rather overwhelmed with the artistry and depth of the accordina clips you have shown us. Every one is a masterpiece from classical to jazz and pop. Where are the concertina players to achieve this level of musicality? Step forth concertina players and achieve the breath of life in your bellows. I know you have it in you and in your instruments.

#11 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 03:35 AM

Where are the concertina players to achieve this level of musicality

These are nevertheless mainly jazz musicians - and jazz people use to be well trained...

(and regarding the - Anglo - concertina, we all know the various Comhaltas kids, just for instance)

#12 JimLucas

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 08:43 AM

Where are the concertina players to achieve this level of musicality? Step forth concertina players and achieve the breath of life in your bellows.

Jody, I admire your enthusiasm, but your implication that there are no concertina players at least as good does a disservice to us all.

Leo's periodic listings of YouTube videos including concertina tend to be indiscriminate, but among them are certainly many -- including yourself, Jody -- as good as these with accordina, and over a far broader spectrum of musical styles. And there are many brilliant recordings that are not and probably never will be found on YouTube.

Every one is a masterpiece from classical to jazz and pop.

But no folk, and only one each of classical and pop. Only one entirely unaccompanied, and only very little harmony on that one. And while I doubt that the few videos listed so far are the entirety of what's being done with/on accordina (French folk tunes, anyone?), or necessarily even the best, is it any more thrilling than a fine trumpeter or violinist? Or more impressive than a fine CBA player? After all, it's really just a mouth blown CBA... without the left hand keyboard, so that both hands are available on the "right-hand" keyboard. Are any of them getting twice as much out of it?

I don't mean to belittle either the instrument or the players. It's a fine sound and fine music, and I've just recommended to a friend (who, together with her husband, has recently taken up the CBA) that she check out this thread. But I don't think it's as exceptional as your response and some of the others here suggest. I'm guessing that you're confusing, in part, being impressed by novelty with being impressed by artistry.

#13 danersen

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 10:02 AM

Jim,

RE: "I don't mean to belittle either the instrument or the players. It's a fine sound and fine music ...I'm guessing that you're confusing, in part, being impressed by novelty with being impressed by artistry."

And, yet, it seems that you do – by imposing your own judgement, standards, and declaration of what constitutes novelty and what constitutes artistry onto Jody's – thereby implying that Jody's (and, likely, others') are somehow indiscriminate and, accordingly, inferior. At least, you offered partial credit!

Be Well,
Dan

Edited by danersen, 30 November 2011 - 10:04 AM.


#14 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 02:12 AM

Where are the concertina players to achieve this level of musicality? Step forth concertina players and achieve the breath of life in your bellows.

Jody, I admire your enthusiasm, but your implication that there are no concertina players at least as good does a disservice to us all.

Leo's periodic listings of YouTube videos including concertina tend to be indiscriminate, but among them are certainly many -- including yourself, Jody -- as good as these with accordina, and over a far broader spectrum of musical styles. And there are many brilliant recordings that are not and probably never will be found on YouTube.

Every one is a masterpiece from classical to jazz and pop.

But no folk, and only one each of classical and pop. Only one entirely unaccompanied, and only very little harmony on that one. And while I doubt that the few videos listed so far are the entirety of what's being done with/on accordina (French folk tunes, anyone?), or necessarily even the best, is it any more thrilling than a fine trumpeter or violinist? Or more impressive than a fine CBA player? After all, it's really just a mouth blown CBA... without the left hand keyboard, so that both hands are available on the "right-hand" keyboard. Are any of them getting twice as much out of it?

I don't mean to belittle either the instrument or the players. It's a fine sound and fine music, and I've just recommended to a friend (who, together with her husband, has recently taken up the CBA) that she check out this thread. But I don't think it's as exceptional as your response and some of the others here suggest. I'm guessing that you're confusing, in part, being impressed by novelty with being impressed by artistry.

Hi Jim,

Point taken. There are excellent concertina players out there to be sure. I strive daily to be a member of that group. However, I'm not saying "that there are no concertina players at least as good" as the ones in Dan's collection of youtube links. Those are your words not mine. What I'm responding to, and what I hoped to address in my words is to encourage a level of expert musicianship on concertina systems that could benefit from improvement and a greater level of professionalism. What that means for a folk musician is a thorny question. Still, Dan's collection of mouth blown accordina links in my eye and to my ear amounts to a challenge to bellows driven free reed systems to play with the level of expressiveness that the accordina players seem to effortlessly achieve.

I think that the bellows is a great invention, but one step divorced from the breath as a means of making music. Accordina players side step that degree of separation by blowing into the instrument. Singers are the closest to real, honest music-making as a human expression of emotion, story and connection to the physical well-spring of music. As concertina players, we should all be aware of the connection between the bellows and the human breath. Many players great and small loose sight of this connection and the music that comes from those players, regardless of how proficient they are with finger work remains aloof and mechanical.

Do I make myself more clear? In part, I'm writing a letter to myself here, because in being impressed by those linked accordina players I have to ask myself, "How can I play my chosen system with those qualities that I admire"?

#15 Ruediger R. Asche

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:50 AM

I think that the bellows is a great invention, but one step divorced from the breath as a means of making music. Accordina players side step that degree of separation by blowing into the instrument. Singers are the closest to real, honest music-making as a human expression of emotion, story and connection to the physical well-spring of music. As concertina players, we should all be aware of the connection between the bellows and the human breath. Many players great and small loose sight of this connection and the music that comes from those players, regardless of how proficient they are with finger work remains aloof and mechanical.

Do I make myself more clear? In part, I'm writing a letter to myself here, because in being impressed by those linked accordina players I have to ask myself, "How can I play my chosen system with those qualities that I admire"?


why, those are very insightful and highly interesting observations - lots of food for thought!! If it's true that music can be defined and classified via attachment to the body of the musician, then we could probably "rank" musical instruments by the degree of the attachment, with the voice being the closest and, say, MIDI recorded on a touchscreen (where there is not even a physical relationship between the source of the sound and the tactile senses as opposed to for example the keys of a concertina via the levers and the pads) the farthest. Interesting. The question is then whether any valuation can or should be tagged on to the scale - folkies would respond, "why, of course - I'd dump any electronic music for a good ol' fiddle and dulcimer any day," but a lot of musicians from other walks of life would probably argue along the lines of "rubbish. Music is music. It's important what you hear, not how it is produced and what the attachment to the physical limitations of something as imperfect as the human body are." So we're in religion land now which is all about beliefs...

Don't get me wrong, I'm as much of a folk nut as you (and fortunately many on this forum) are, and I don't really relate to modern electronic music - just like you (I think), I want to experience the human behind the music (with his/her limitations, shortcomings, anxieties, emotions and the whole spiel) as much as the music itself when I listen to it. But in the digital age, we seem to be a species on the verge of extinction. I've never liked the music industry with its approach of looking at music as a sellable product and the musician behind it as a cost factor to be cut down on to increase revenue - however, the more detached music gets from the musician (iow, the "farther away" on the voicetomidiscale outlined above - the more interesting it appears to become to the bean counters for obvious reasons.

But I don't care a whole lot - as long as there still is music alive in the sense that you can see the sweat on the musicians forehand and feel the trembling of his hands while listening to his music, I'll take it any day, and I'm willing to pay for it, even though lots of people these days belive in free art (brainwashed by Napster, YouTube etc).

I can see your point about the closeness of the accordina to the human bellows, but the argument could also be turned around: Isn't it at the end HARDER to be as expressive on the concertina than on the accordina because OF the detachment? Or, put the other way around, won't a player of the "same level" (I know, this is getting into very murky waters here) on the concertina by definition be less expressive than a comparable accordina player because the latter has the advantage of directly translating his innermost to the instrument? I don't have an answer to or a position about this question, this is just something that came to my mind.

Well, now I've written a letter to myself in turn to yours and carbon copied half the world. Apologies, but I felt like it...

#16 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:59 AM

I think that the bellows is a great invention, but one step divorced from the breath as a means of making music. Accordina players side step that degree of separation by blowing into the instrument. Singers are the closest to real, honest music-making as a human expression of emotion, story and connection to the physical well-spring of music. As concertina players, we should all be aware of the connection between the bellows and the human breath. Many players great and small loose sight of this connection and the music that comes from those players, regardless of how proficient they are with finger work remains aloof and mechanical

We might have touched the point in that long-winding thread...

I'd like to recall one reference which may well serve as orientation once again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3idTdmwGt4&feature=youtu.be&t=7s

#17 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:07 AM

I think there must be a few Accordina players of 'Folk' musics in France because I have seen this instrument on a stand or two at the Saint Chartier festival( where many instrument makers from all over Europe display their wares) and Marcel Dreux advertises in the French " Trad Magazine". Not that I have heard anyone playing the instrument.

#18 Marcus

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:08 AM

Now that's played with feeling! Fantastic!




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