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Is Irish Concertina Music Boring?


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#145 Mark Evans

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 08:56 AM

" I simply don't find the sound of a single concertina reed very exciting, compared with that of an instrument played chordally.


I hear what you are saying. The English style of playing and Jodys chordal style certainly have flair and a good phat (as my students would say) sound to it.

On EC I play chords and spend as much time hangin' with the backers as I do playing with the melody instruments. The EC not being a traditionally excepted ITM instrument gives me the freedom to act like other instruments (at least in my head). I've employed chords or fifths and drones. Not needing to change bellows direction for notes makes it very easy to provide seamless sound or punch it up with the "Lads" as an off beat to their strong beat chords. My goal is to serve not overwhelm the melody which requires an easy hand. I was complemented one evening by our most traditional fiddler at session that my combination of drones and rythmic chords had really inspired her to accent different notes on the Gravel Walks and actually gave her goose bumps. Made me feel good.


All that being said, my personal favorite is a concertina playing melody with another solo instrument or perhaps a trio. It is all very exposed and transparent. Time stops for me when I hear it or play it. A great deal of listening and responding all within that context of a single melody is for me entrancing. Certainly of all the music I dabble in, ITM is the most inspiring and comtempletive and the reason I took the instrument seriously. Go figure....

Edited by Mark Evans, 28 April 2008 - 08:56 AM.


#146 hjcjones

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 03:44 PM

All that being said, my personal favorite is a concertina playing melody with another solo instrument or perhaps a trio. It is all very exposed and transparent. Time stops for me when I hear it or play it. A great deal of listening and responding all within that context of a single melody is for me entrancing. Certainly of all the music I dabble in, ITM is the most inspiring and comtempletive and the reason I took the instrument seriously. Go figure....

What I've found fascinating in this discussion is the range of responses. The things which leave me unmoved about ITM on concertina (and while in a minority, I'm not alone) are the very same things which inspire other players like you. Which is great! What would be boring is if we all agreed.

#147 JimLucas

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 04:06 PM

With hindsight, I wish I had phrased the title of the thread a little better. Instead of "Is Irish concertina music boring?" I should have asked, "Is Irish music boring when played on concertina?"

Still wrong, in my opinion, since both questions are essentially asking respondents to declare their personal opinions to be universal "fact".

If I simply and directly answered your question as you stated it in your Topic title, my answer would have to be "no"... because "boring" is not a quality of a music or of some other subject or object, but a quality of a personal response to something. There are people who find Irish music on concertina to be boring, but that is a property of those people, not of the music, the instrument, or the combination.




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