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Jim2010

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    Accordina
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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. You don't see neumes everyday. If you start playing concertina from neumes, you will be creating the newest of the ever expanding notation systems that players use. Neumes were the first notation I ever saw as a child, singing in a boys choir in a cathedral. That was before I reached the age of reason, and started playing trumpet in the school band. Trumpet was better because we got out of class a half hour early on Wednesdays.
  2. Regarding mirrored layout... CBA players who play freebass accordions (except for some Russian models) play on mirrored instruments. If I am not mistaken, Wim Wakker had them in mind when offering a mirrored option. When I think of playing a mirrored concertina, I think of the relationship of the hands as generally similar to playing a harp. The harp notes go in one direction in relation to the body (highest pitches closest to the body, lowest notes farthest from the body), and the hands are simply positioned on either side. Whatever right hand fingers a harpist uses to play a chord or series of notes, the left hand can do the same. You could build a bi-directional harp, but you would need two sets of strings. The right hand strings would have their lower pitches closest to the body, and left hand strings would have their higher pitches closest to the body. With that setup, a harpist could have the fun of using different fingerings for chords and melodies depending on which hand they were using, while keeping in mind which direction the pitches ran on either side of the harp. It might seem confusing and unnecessarily complicated to an experienced harpist. But they could get used to it. Concertina players play this way without any trouble.
  3. Wonderful music, wonderful performance Didie. Thank you for posting.
  4. I have a BA in music with classical guitar as my main instrument. At the time, my university did not have a professor of guitar. As a result, all the classical guitarists studied with professors from other nearby universities or teachers unaffiliated with universities. The unaffiliated teachers were acceptable if the university considered them to be of approximately the same level as the professors who taught the other instruments. Show Toronto or Victoria don't work out for some reason, other universities might be possibilities. Above, jduray mentioned Joan Cochran Sommers. She is professor emerita at the University of Missouri Kansas City. She may know of universities that would welcome a PA accordion student. Search for her name + accordion and you will find her email address.
  5. Could it be It that there is some kind of "spring mechanism" that pushes the bellows up (pull) unless the player is pushing them down (push)?
  6. Some nice recordings from the 2021 Northeast Squeeze In (NESI) by regular contributors to concertina.net Not all of of the videos have been posted, so there may be more performances by familiar names still to come.
  7. I reconfigured the diagram to match the view from the camera position shown in the video. Is the right hand layout correct? Is the left hand layout correct (the right hand rotated 180 degrees)? On the left hand, are the higher sounding notes at position 1 or position 2?
  8. That was my obviously failed attempt at humor.
  9. Geoff, If you can afford it, and you think it would bring you ease or pleasure, I say get a Bb EC. As you mention, Anglo players do this. So do harmonica, recorder, viol, lute, guitar, and other players. Sometimes it is for sonority, sometimes (as you mentioned) it is for quick transposition without having to learn new fingering. My favorite example of transposing in this way is the "transposing piano." For those who have never heard of it, a transposing piano is essentially a regular piano with keyboard and hammers attached to a contraption that can be cranked from side to side. In standard position, when you press a C key the hammer hits the C string(s) inside the piano. If you crank the contraption a little bit to the right, when you press that C key, the hammer hits the C# string(s). Crank it a little farther to the right and when you press the C key the hammer will now hit the D string(s). The same thing happens when you crank to the left. With a transposing piano you could learn everything in your favorite key, and just crank right or left whenever you wanted or needed to have the music in a different key. The only downside is that, unlike a regular piano, a transposing piano is too heavy to throw in a bag and take with you to gigs.
  10. It might be on useful to think about the relative importance of musical notation for a beginner. Playing a musical instrument involves a wide range of capabilities. Reading music (in whatever form) is just one of them, and an optional one for many people. When we are just getting started, it can be frustrating trying to decide what aspect of music to work on first. I have long and extensive experience as a musical performer. I can read many different forms of musical notation. But when I started to learn to play a new instrument—a free reed instrument, musical notation was the last thing on my mind. To learn to play well, I would have to master the techniques that produce the sounds that attracted me to the instrument. I would need to play long even notes, and long notes that gradually got louder or softer. I would need to be able to play legato (making a smooth, connected transition from one note to the other), and staccato (short, unconnected notes). I would need to learn to manage the flow of air, and so on. To do those things, I needed to teach my fingers and hands (and brain) new, unfamiliar movements. Some fingers were better at it than others. What could I do to make them as equal/capable as possible? What the names of the notes were or how to write or read the melody of a song were and would be irrelevant until and unless I could make the necessary sounds. Notation was a concern (and there are a couple of concerns) for a later time. It is commonly said that you need to spend 10,000 hours to master something as complex as playing a musical instrument. Let's say that you don't want to master the concertina, but just play at the level of the lowest 10 percent of players. You will have about 1,000 hours of practice ahead of you. How should you use that time? It is very common for beginners to attempt to play simple songs. I didn't do that. It was months before I worked on any actual music. Even now, seven years later, very little of my practicing involves playing thought entire pieces. I practice the hard parts of things I am working. I also practice the ongoing skills I need as I get better. Performers at the highest level emphasize the importance of learning to play without any tension. They emphasize the importance of practicing slowly (since playing fast is nothing more than playing slowly fast). They emphasize the importance of listening carefully to the sounds you are making. The emphasize the importance of isolating and practicing the things you find difficult slowly and relaxed enough that your muscles can learn how to do whatever it is. Too often, people play/practice too fast, making the same mistakes over and over, essentially practicing and getting very good at making the mistake. We all have big hopes for making wonderful music. Fortunately, even on day number one you can begin to practice some little aspects of that. Figure out a couple of the notes. Play them slowly and relaxed. Listen carefully to make sure you like the way it sounds. If you can't make it sound the way you want it too, figure out what you need to solve that. That is what practicing is. You don't need any musical notation to do that. I hope some part of is helpful.
  11. Very informative, clear, and well written. Thank you.
  12. To answer Geoff's question from the standpoint of do any of us have a musical joke [ourselves, rather than knowing about one on youtube], here is one that was used by a musical group I performed with many years ago. While you are playing one piece, you slip into another piece, ideally one that is more lighthearted than the first. Depending on one's personality (you have to be willing to look foolish), you can act as if you are just absent minded, or that the instrument has mind of its own, the sheet music is wrong, or something else that is not your fault. Since most popular music begins and ends on the tonic cord, you can switch from song to song endlessly. Switching from a somewhat serious song to a Christmas carol is a good way to start. You can then catch yourself and go back to the serious one, and soon enough drift off into a different Christmas carol. Victor Borge is a good role model for this sort of thing.
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKeqaDSjy98 Such as this... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKeqaDSjy98
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