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About judyhawkins

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    building concertinas, playing traditional and classical music on concertinas, recorders, violas, banjos and the occasional random ocarina and computer
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    The Button Box

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  1. Chapter eleven of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial ---------------- Section One ---------------- Here's a favorite tune, a round my mother used to sing me and my sister to sleep with: O wie wolh ist mir am abend / Oh how lovely is the evening. If you're thinking you want to sing and accompany yourself on concertina, this is a good starting point: simple tune, simple words, lots of interesting challenges to expand into once you get the basic pattern down. Or, if singing isn't your thing, but harmony is -- rounds are a delightful way of exploring two, three, four part harmony; and of gett
  2. Chapter ten of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial rats... it edited my title and made it say Intervals Ii instead of Intervals II --- and I don't know how to fix it. ---------------- Section One ----------------- The fourth, and the fifth -- this is about two intervals with notes a little further apart from each other than the seconds and thirds. First, let's find a "fifth" in a familiar tune. Play "The First Leaves of Spring" -- play the tune in your right hand, and the accompaniment in your left hand. Play it a couple times, get it firmly in hand. Now just play the l
  3. Chapter nine of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial ---------------- Section One ----------------- Since not everyone has a lot of experience with music, I want to introduce some new definitions -- words, ideas and concepts -- in one compact chunk that you can refer to later, so you can gradually make sense out of the ideas as I go over new tunes. I'm putting musical things-to-do in each definition, so you can play around and get the feel as well as the sound of each new concept into your mind -- and if you forget them, you can always come back here and refresh the actual feel and sound, b
  4. Chapter eight of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial ---------------- Section One ----------------- Ok, finally on to harmonization. There's no one right way to harmonize anything: just what sounds best to you. But that's hard to figure out, so you have to begin somewhere. The easiest starting point is just to play the root note of the key -- G -- in the left hand, on the first note of every measure. That way you are keeping the rhythm very clear (dancers like that!) and getting some practice with your left hand operating in a different pattern from your right hand. While you're doing
  5. Chapter seven of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial ---------------- Section One ----------------- Here's the second half of the Tombigbee waltz, with "t1", "t2", etc to show where the tunelets fall (and you are welcome -- encouraged -- to experiment with other ways of breaking up the tune!) X:1 T:Tombigbee Waltz, second half M:3/4 L:1/4 K:G "t1"d || g2d | g2 d | e>dc | d2 "t2"B | BAA | ABd | e2 d | B2 "t3"d | g2d | g2 d | e>dc | d2 "t4"B | BAA | ABd | edF | G2 || And, fingerings, and diddley for the rhythm, where the first dee is the last note of the first half of the t
  6. Thanks! I've become a novice all over again on several instruments, over the years. My aim here is to put those experiences into as succinct and clear a form as I can. Judy
  7. Chapter six of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial ---------------- Section One ----------------- [For those of you with minimal musical background.] Hmmm: I said I'd show you how to add a harmonization to a waltz, but let's begin with learning the waltz, which is looking like taking all the time I have for this chapter! The basic principle is to turn the waltz into a set of little, easy to learn tunes. This is a lot easier to do from notes, but of course you may find it hard to read notes if you never learned how! But you can learn that from a bunch of little easy-to-read tunes, which y
  8. A very brief opinion: it's just plain more expensive to squash all those buttons and action and reeds into a little, light, portable box. People don't seem to expect "portability" from an accordion as much... not to mention a (wood and wire) piano. So the prices per button are just that much higher on the smaller, lighter, more portable box, even for the "cheap" ones. The original hope was to make a Morse concertina for under $1000, but the people making it still needed to do that daily meal thing, roof over the head, all that cost of living stuff. So it didn't work out.
  9. Chapter five of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial ---------------- Section One ----------------- [For those of you with minimal musical background.] Let's add one more note to the left hand of the tune, which will make it a more satisfying harmonization: moving one button right from the F, the G, using finger 2 on it: 3 2 F G C D E 3 1 C D E E D C D C D E D C C D E E D C D E D C - - C - - E - - F - - G - - C - - E - - F - - E - - 3 1 3 2 3 1 3 1 Here's the whole
  10. Chapter Four of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial -------------- a brief digression ------------- This is my extremely opinionated attitude towards what music is appropriate for playing on the concertina: I think anything you want to play on the concertina is exactly the right kind of music to play on the concertina. It's about joy, not about ought. ---------------- Section One ----------------- [For those of you with minimal musical background.] Expanding the left hand into something more interesting.... (hard to remember which hand is which? stick a note on top of the left side,
  11. Overblowing/bending notes: depending on the size of the reed, you can bend the pitch quite a bit. If you've got a good tuner, you can see it happen. Push hard on a low note and watch the pitch drop. The reeds which are the easiest to bend are the "short scale" reeds. They're almost always low range reeds, made smaller to fit into concertina designs that are too small for "full scale" reeds. Stagi and Bastari use a lot of them. Short scale reeds are reeds that would sound at a higher pitch, but they've had a lump of something heavy (steel or brass ) attached to the end to make th
  12. Chapter Three of Judy's harum scarum Hayden tutorial ---------------- Section One ----------------- [For those of you with minimal musical background.] ---------- A bit of reading here; skip down to "Try this" if you'd rather just play. The First Leaves of Spring is in what is known as a "major key". Why major, you might ask? well: the answer to that takes me into a more lengthy explanation than I want to throw at you at this stage. "Major" is a different sound than "minor", the same way "red" is different from "green". If you can get comfortable making the association betwe
  13. Hmmmm... I can see the attraction of different colored buttons, especially when you are new at it and feeling more lost, but, well: from my experience playing English, again: playing at speed there's not a whole lot of time to be looking over the end of the instrument to figure out what note you're on, anyways, so it's kind of not the best thing to depend on looking. You're going to have a much more satisfying experience if you get a map of the instrument into your head, and let it become part of your own long-term memory sense of how the instrument works. That's why I put forth the orie
  14. Chapter Two, Judy's harum scarum Hayden Tutorial. --------------------- Section One ---------------- [For those of you with minimal musical background.] Adding the left hand to The First Leaves of Spring. Using your button chart, find the lowest "C" note on the left hand side. Hold it down -- play it -- while playing the tune in your right hand. This is a grand old traditional technique known as the "Drone Note" -- bagpipes are one of the more familiar instruments that use drones. It's very easy, but gets old pretty quickly, and the way concertina reeds are, the low ones tend to overpow
  15. Elsewhere someone asked if the Button Box has plans for a Hayden tutorial; no; but I'm going to dive off the edge (wheeee!!!) and try my hand at it. Can't foist a new version of the Hayden system on an unsuspecting world and not at least offer *some* kind of user manual... So, here's a first lesson based on what I've been doing to teach myself the Hayden system. There are two sections: first one, for folks with no musical background at all; then in the second section I'll present some ideas for folks with more musical background. ------------------------ Section One --------------------
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