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  1. Are there any collections (or even rare instances) of written tunes or arrangements that include the tune notation in two separate octaves? Like, 'normal' and also the octave above. I play the English concertina and sometimes the written music is low, so I want a (same key) higher version as well. Yes, I can play by ear, and I often do, but sight-reading is just a different, other option. Could change the key, yes, but no…not if I'm sight-reading. I could play the written notes 8va, yes, sort of…but I'd rather actually be seeing the higher octave notation. At least while still learning a song. So I am transcribing some things, using ABC (ZapsABC). Good exercise, not bad to do. But if there's already stuff out there…where?
  2. I first played by ear, then gradually learned to read music to the point that I can sightread enough. Two different processes for sure. So, when trying to learn a tune I use both ways together. I fumble along through the dots on a page, usually taped to my cupboard right in front of my chair. And, along with that, I create or download a primitive file like an easy midi (.mid) to listen to every now and then throughout the day. I keep the midi on my phone's homescreen, and delete it once I've got the tune in my head. BUT -- that said -- one other really helpful thing (in my opinion) is to determine the chord progression of the song you want to get into your memory. If that's an option....because I know not everyone wants to bother with chords. Create a simple lead sheet and indicate where the chord changes are, above the measures. Don't need to write out all the notes...just need to know where the chord changes are. (A song like Hark The Herald Angels has a chord progression, though it's true that some traditional tunes don't really have "chords." ) When I was learning to play the accordion as a child (never got very pro), my teacher did not really read music and we used simple lead sheets all the time. Just the measures with a time signature, the slashes indicating beats in the measures, and the chord symbols above the measures. The tune was mainly just in my head. It was helpful to see that melodies usually had simple chord structures and repetitions.
  3. So my sad words, set to "Sad Is My Fate," are: Oh-- cold is the night and lonely And- cold- is the war Every road that I follow only Ends where I was lost before Where are you, where do you wander without me, my love, my- own? We will never walk together a--gain I am so weary, I can't go on all a-lone any longer Cold is the night and- Sad, so very sad, is my fate. (...really, I'm not this sad, for the record. Just a way to learn a tune!) And here's my verse for "The Fairies' Hornpipe" -- If I don't drink some coffee in the morning I am such a mess What's in front of me and moving, well now, I can only guess I will poke you in the eye I will surely make you cry If my morning cup of coffee Is a cup that's dry
  4. That sums up part of my day today, and how I felt about it! I did go back to bed. Though, we've been in a drought so I won't complain too much about the rain.
  5. Just the other night, two bullfrogs (or something) singing, would have joined in with my concertina but then they probably would have quit. I have a large wind chime near a door, and I'll never forget the time (years ago, now) when, as I stood quietly and unlocked the door to go in, it very mysteriously and perfectly played the first phrase of "Jingle Bells." That was fun but kind of creepy....ha ha
  6. So anyway, the tune "Sad Is My Fate" is one I found on thesession dot org. It's also known as Is Bronac Mo Cineamuin. I tried to add an image but that didn't work... later
  7. I wonder how many are the same as what I'd know from my own church history. Many of the tunes in the Baptist hymnals had Scottish or Irish origins. (And after singing them every week for years, I couldn't forget them if I tried!) I recently got a Robert Burns songbook and another Scottish one. And some Jean Redpath CDs with her singing some, so I can play along. This all has led me to study Scottish Gaelic with Duolingo (though, Burns did not use Gaelic, but Scots-English I guess it'd be called).
  8. I'll have to try these words. That's one of the tunes I've got in my notebook but I haven't played it much yet.
  9. Ah yes, I have used the "West Side Story" tritone for reference many times! Took a solfege class way back in my (very short spell of) college.
  10. Now that I think about it some more... I do first try to just learn the tune, no words. I take note of the intervals, the chords, anything that helps. And if that's all I need to do, then I don't write words. But if the tune just won't stay in my mind for some reason, then I write a verse, and that works. Some of the ones that are easily committed to memory are not super simple, either, but something about them just works. Then, there are the simple tunes that still need help, from some words.
  11. Hmm, yes, maybe I'll add that, too. Actual words can help set a mood, though, in addition to learning the tune. I wanted a sad song recently, for company....so I searched "sad" and got Sad Is My Fate, which turns out to be a beautiful tune. I made up some sad lines, which I can't call great - they are almost more silly than sad, but they work! I soon felt better, in addition to adding a tune to my collection. That tune may have some original words, but I didn't look for them so far.
  12. Just wondering how many other concertina players do this. I invent my own (good or not) quick lyrics to some tunes I'm trying to learn, solely for the purpose of memorizing the tune. Takes a little work sometimes but it does help the tune stick.
  13. I'll give it a try! Update --- If i miss the deadline, that just means I didn't do it, and count me out. Very busy these days taking care of parents, etc.
  14. Here's my 'footage' -- baritone Morse Geordie and foot bass Wendy Stanford YouTube- March Of The Concertinas
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