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#37 catty

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 01:22 PM

Azalin-

That one fish is notably larger than the others. Thank you for answering the question once and for all.

#38 Azalin

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 03:01 PM

Azalin-

That one fish is notably larger than the others. Thank you for answering the question once and for all.


You were wondering if I was fat?

#39 catty

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 04:27 PM

Oh, not at all--I'm sure the other fish are no svelter than yourself...merely...of lesser stature.

#40 Azalin

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:31 PM

Oh, not at all--I'm sure the other fish are no svelter than yourself...merely...of lesser stature.


Ah, you are refering to the fact that, based on my posts, my head seems to be bigger than my aquarium? Working hard at getting somewhere, versus thinking you are somewhere when you're not, are two different things...

#41 catty

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:16 PM

Well said.

#42 hjcjones

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 08:31 AM

Sebastian, the point I was trying to make (and if I misunderstood your posts I apologise) was to try to get away from the idea that to play in C you use the middle row and to play in G you use the inner row. It is perhaps inevitable that to begin with a novice player will do this, but the sooner they understand the alternatives open to them and start to explore the possibilities the instrument offers, the better in my opinion. The notion that some players have that playing across the rows is an "advanced technique" needs to be discouraged.

#43 Bill N

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 08:59 AM

The notion that some players have that playing across the rows is an "advanced technique" needs to be discouraged.



I think you are right there. I've been at this for about 5 months now. I'm not an ITM player (or any kind of player, really!), and initially I did play almost exclusively in the rows. Some of the tunes I was trying to learn had passages that were very difficult to play smoothly, but I assumed that the only remedy was more practice, and just kept plugging away. Then I sort of stumbled on a "cross row" alternative to a particularly jerky spot, but to undo the effect of dozens of hours of practice was much harder than learning the tune in the first place. So now, when I'm learning a new tune, I look at the whole keyboard and try out various fingerings before I start to practice in earnest.

#44 hjcjones

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 09:21 AM

I should perhaps make the point that I am writing from the perspective of a harmonic, RH melody LH chords player. As I understand it (which isn't very far), ITM uses cross-rowing from the outset, because it is mainly in fiddle keys which don't fit neatly onto the rows of a C/G instrument.

#45 PeterT

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 09:26 AM

ITM uses cross-rowing from the outset, because it is mainly in fiddle keys which don't fit neatly onto the rows of a C/G instrument.

That's an interesting perspective, Howard, and I'm sure it's right. I made the identical comment, last night, to my pupil, about the keys in which Morris tunes were collected, since I understand that most were collected from fiddle players.

Regards,
Peter.

#46 LDT

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 09:27 AM

ITM uses cross-rowing from the outset, because it is mainly in fiddle keys which don't fit neatly onto the rows of a C/G instrument.

That's an interesting perspective, Howard, and I'm sure it's right. I made the identical comment, last night, to my pupil, about the keys in which Morris tunes were collected, since I understand that most were collected from fiddle players.

Regards,
Peter.

Is there any tunes that are written exclusively for concertina?

#47 Azalin

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 09:39 AM

Then I sort of stumbled on a "cross row" alternative to a particularly jerky spot, but to undo the effect of dozens of hours of practice was much harder than learning the tune in the first place. So now, when I'm learning a new tune, I look at the whole keyboard and try out various fingerings before I start to practice in earnest.


Yes, I've been there, and still there, but I have to undo 3-4 years of practice instead of a few months, count yourself lucky! I don't even feel I'm in a "cross-row" kind of technique when I play buttons from different rows, I'm simply opening to the possibilities of the layout and the result is that it simply makes the tunes easier to play, for me anyway. Where a single finger, or 2-3 fingers would need to do some wiazrdy work on the right side, now one or two fingers on both sides do the work, and it makes it so much easier. Less choppy, more fluid, stable, etc.

But I don't know anything outside the ITM world so wouldnt know what is the right/best thing to do for other genre of musics. Since LDT wants to be able to play everything, though, I don't know. As for myself, if I wanted to play English music AND ITM, I'd learn english tunes on an english, and irish on an anglo, but that's just me and I don't want to get into the eternal debate of "yes it's possible to play english on an anglo and yes it's possible to play irish on an english".

#48 PeterT

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:59 AM

ITM uses cross-rowing from the outset, because it is mainly in fiddle keys which don't fit neatly onto the rows of a C/G instrument.

That's an interesting perspective, Howard, and I'm sure it's right. I made the identical comment, last night, to my pupil, about the keys in which Morris tunes were collected, since I understand that most were collected from fiddle players.

Regards,
Peter.

Is there any tunes that are written exclusively for concertina?

I guess that you are asking from an "Anglo" perspective. Back in the 19th century, some of the early highly skilled/virtuoso players wrote music specifically for the English. Also, it has been mentioned that Bach wrote music for the concertina. He must have been a highly gifted composer, since he lived before the concertina was invented!

In terms of Anglo, I guess that we are talking about (mainly) about tunes written "in a traditional style" by contemporary musicians. I guess that many of us will plead "guilty" to having written one or two, and I can think of at least four C.net members who have written tunes; I'm sure there will be many others, too.

However; most tunes are written just as that. Tunes; not specific to any instrument.

Confused?

#49 Daniel Hersh

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 12:03 PM

LDT, let me suggest another possible approach for you, especially given that your sig file says "Born in the wrong century." In 1846, Carlo Minasi published an excellent tutor for the German concertina (which had nearly the same setup as the two "home" rows of today's Anglo) that is available in its entirety at http://www.concertin...-tutor-1846.pdf. It includes tablature that tells you which button he recommends for every note and whether to press or draw the bellows, so you'd have an alternative to reading the musical staff. You might want to give it a try.

That having been said, I also agree with others' suggestions that you find another local player or players to spend some time with if you can.

Daniel

#50 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:28 PM

In this situation I think it is really helpful to know about the concept of rows: The middle row is the main row, the lower row is an addition you use when the melody moves onto the new key. (And of course you can misuse it to play more smoothly, if you want to reduce bellow changes.) The upper row is in fact no row but only a collection of helper buttons.


This is really a gross oversimplification. The bottom row is in a separate key and is a scale unto itself. It isn't just "an addition," as you say. It makes the concertina much more interesting and flexible.

I use the lower row all the time, in every tune I play. And please tell me how it is a misuse if you use the bottom row to play more smoothly?

And the top row is more than just "helper buttons." They give you the accidentals, like the black keys on the piano. You need them for playing in keys other than C, G, and their related minors. Are the black keys on the piano also only "helper buttons?"

Peter is absolutely correct when he says: The instrument should be considered as a keyboard, albeit with some notes in unexpected places.

I don't want to be mean to you, but how long have you been playing and how accomplished are you that you are so free with bad advice? Usually people should be playing at least five years before they give bad advice. Until then you only be receiving bad advice, and not handing it out.


David,
If I may throw your own phrase back at you, I think you're over-simplifying here! ;)

"A keyboard with some notes in unexpected places" would be a good description of a Maccann duet. Englishes and Crane duets are like keyboards, with the naturals together, and the sharps and flats where you'd expect them, like the piano. They are all bisonoric and fully chromatic, and one dot on the stave means one particular button (excepting the LH/RH overlap on the duets).

The Anglo-German is different. It is bisonoric, so the "one dot, one button" principle does not apply. It is also a diatonic instrument; that is, it is not built on the principle of a keyboard-style C-major scale with handy accidentals, but rather on two 7-note diatonic scales overlapping by a fifth (C/G, G/D, etc.).

These two systems reflect two philosophies for two clienteles: The fully chromatic English, with its button arrangement reflecting the lines and spaces of the stave, aimed at the bourgeois amateur who had had piano lessons; and the diatonic layout reflecting the I-IV-V7 harmonies and modulation along the Circle of Fifths typical of German popular music, aimed at the emerging proletarian amateur musician who could not afford tuition.

Bearing this in mind, it is clear that "the Row" is a basic concept in the diatonic layout, which is the German gene of the "Anglo-German" concertina. The Richter push-pull scale limits the harmonic choices for a given melody note to a couple of chords, which can be selected easily by anyone with a reasonably musical ear. And the stagger of one fifth between the rows means that this factor is carried over when a tune modulates.
I would agree that the inner row of an Anglo is not an add-on, but rather a complement to the "main" row. It can also be used for playing in a different key - useful in a song accompaniment situation, because if a singer can't reach a song in one key, he or she can usually reach it in a key a fifth higher or a fourth lower.
And, because the scales of C and G have only one note different (F/F#), the combination of the two scales provides alternate fingerings that make more sophisticated harmonies possible.

When the Anglo-Chromatic with its third row appeared, this was not merely an "accidentals" row - it offered interesting, additional alternate fingerings that were not available with 2 just rows. It thus supports the playing of richly harmonised music "along the rows" in the home keys. (When I play a harmonised piece in C major or G major, I also use all 3 rows of my Anglo.)
Had the intent been to make the German system chromatic, surely a second row in C# would have been more pertinent. But this would have cancelled out the "automatic" modulation, and confined the "automatic" harmonies to just one key.

If, however, a diatonic instrument like the Anglo concertina by a quirk of history comes to be used in a "foreign" musical culture like that of the West of Ireland, where the music is traditionally purely melodic, and the I-IV-V7 cadence is not of central importance, and the modulation up a 5th seldom happens - then the rows lose their significance. For someone playing in this style, the Anglo may appear as a C-major keyboard with the sharps and flats in unexpected places. It may even be beneficial to him to think of it as such.

But the diatonic free-reeders are not defined by ITM and Tango exclusively!

Cheers,
John

PS: Ah, yes! My credentials: I've been playing Anglo concertina and Bandoneon (neither ITM nor Tango!) for some 40 years now, and I'm just starting to explore the Duet ... ;)

#51 David Levine

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:15 PM

John, I think we should all preface by saying what kind of instrument we play and what music we play.
Everything I say is with reference to ITM played on the C/G Anglo. English trad music fits quite nicely on the rows.
We have no disagreement.

As far as the concertina not being made for ITM as it is played in the west of Ireland,
my response would be that the keyless flute wasn't made for ITM, nor was the fiddle made for bluegrass.
Or the harmonica for blues. The intended purpose is totally irrelevant.

I started playing English concertina (for about ten years) but fell in love with Anglo when I came to Ireland
in the eighties. Almost as soon as I started playing Anglo I took a few lessons with Noel Hill.
It has taken me twenty years so far to absorb what he said back then.
I am still intrigued by the complexities of the instrument and taken by the way it speaks.
HC Jones is absolutely right when he says ITM uses cross-rowing from the outset - at least Noel teaches that way.
I understand Tim Collins teaches little kids to play from the rows because they are too young to get the concept of playing
across the rows and it would confuse them to introduce alternate fingerings.

If you want to sound like Kitty Hayes or some of the older players then get a D/G and play on the rows.
Or stay in the keys of G and C.
If you want to sound like Michael O'R, Noel, Dympna, Claire, et. al., then learn to play across the rows.
Everybody sounds like somebody else. We all learn from somebody.

I suppose that Sebastian's comments must be understood in light of his limited understanding of ITM.
And my ignorance be forgiven because I have never played any music on the Anglo other than ITM.

#52 Sebastian

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:22 PM

I suppose that Sebastian's comments must be understood in light of his limited understanding of ITM.


I thought it obvious that I was talking not in the least about ITM:

Don't you have popular songs in England? (...) Just try to play some of those. Or what pop/rock music do you listen to? Theses tunes are playable too. Or what about the songs you sing during mass?



#53 Samantha

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:36 PM

Hi LDT
As you can see - too much choice is not only your insurmouintable hurdle - it is, eventually, one of the delights of playing the anglo. Now and again posts in this thread suggest that you should meet other players to see what they do and how they do it. I think this would be very helpful to you, it was to me when I'd been playing for just a few months. There are many events that take place through the year - a session at the George in London (I think Alan Day can point you in the right direction) wouldn't be too far or too expensive for you, I think. Or travel to spend a couple of days in Yorkshire to coincide with a session at the Royal in Dungworth (Mark Davies is your man to contact for this). Or you could choose to splash out a little more and go to a weekend-long event, check out the ICA website or the calendar here on c.net for these (yes, I run one here on Arran and you'd be most welcome!!).
Meanwhile, I would repeat what another poster said - you have to go through Twinkle Twinkle (or any tune) being boring (because you're still thinking a little about which finger goes where) to the point where it is automatic, you can sing along, harmonise as you sing, or talk to someone while you play it, or make up harmonies (to start with, try using the button next to the melody note on the same row) as you go.
Another tune to learn by ear, starting on the same note as Twinkle Twinkle, would be "Doh, a Deer" from the Sound of Music.
I admire your enthusiasm and wish you success - but it'll take a bit of plugging away, too!
all the best
Samantha

#54 m3838

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:10 PM

Meanwhile, I would repeat what another poster said - you have to go through Twinkle Twinkle (or any tune) being boring (because you're still thinking a little about which finger goes where) to the point where it is automatic, you can sing along

That is, if you have no better tunes to learn on.
But the best teachers out there will find various music for you, to keep you interested.
I'd say, drop that Twinkle dead and find gazilion other tunes, it'll keep you motivated. Nobody needs automatic playing of that needlessly boring tune, no matter what tune that is. The more tunes you learn in short period from the beginning - the better. Then you'll slow down, if your talent or musicality will allow you, and you'll start working on the quality of few more complex pieces. If you go from there, and most people never do, you'll spend a year just working out one composition, if you are inclined.
Why Twinkle? Why are people so obsessed with it? Any French tutor will have tens of simple tunes in Amin, Gmaj, Cmaj, that you can play along the rows or across, as you pleased. German, Italian, Russian, English tutors will introduce you to their simple songs. You'll have no lifetime to play all simple tunes that exist, yet, we hear about Twinkle. We are adults, for God's sake.
The rule is: you'll spend just as much time polishing Twinkle, as equally polishing 10 other simple tunes, but in the end you'll know those 10 tunes.



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