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Posts posted by AlanEgan

  1. I thought I was through with this debate (and, in fact, I am with skins-)


    But, I thought of one more way to illustrate the dynamic range of the fiddle: it is far more difficult to make a concertina sound like a fiddle, than vice-versa.


    Good day all :D


    so you can double octave, throw in chords at will etc.... the list goes on.


    If one wanted to make their fiddle sound like a concertina just pick up a concertina and vice-versa.


    You really don't get the point.


    Seperate instruments, different techniques, etc etc etc.... been through this already.

  2. That is why I got onto my mate to ask him. He is expert on both. Read the quote. And what exactly is your experience on concertina and fiddle? I can play the fiddle and lots of other instruments, but I only consider myself to be a concertina player.


    Skins- you appear very defensive. My experience is that I am a player of both.


    Not at all, I just don't like to see rash comments made on something I feel strongly about. Nothing wrong with that.


    You are entitled to your opinion as I am. It just seems to me that you really need to be more adventerous with your concertina and see what she can really do. Endless possibilities. And just like pinball, it can be exciting and fun, not sure if I could say the same about golf.

  3. Skins- you're missing my point.

    I think perhaps the problem here may reside in that I suspect you don't play the fiddle.


    Skins- there is no substitute for experience.


    That is why I got onto my mate to ask him. He is expert on both. Read the quote. And what exactly is your experience on concertina and fiddle? I can play the fiddle and lots of other instruments, but I only consider myself to be a concertina player.

  4. I think you've lost my point.


    But anyway, don't worry, I still love the concertina :D



    Really didn't, you may love the concertina but obviously underestimate it. It is as versatile as any other instrument.



    To quote a friend of mine who has mastered both instruments, Only person I know who actually has,


    "i'd say the fiddle prob takes longer to get reeeeeeally good


    but i think to be reeeeeally good on concertina you need to be more musical


    theres just soooo much more scope on there"


    his exact words.



    Yes John I am only speaking about ITM as it's what i know best. I don't like to talk on stuff I don't know enough about.


    the traditional Irish jigs, reels, hornpipes etc., is fiddle music. The tunes themselves, and the customary decorations - not to mention the keys - are very "violinistic".


    I would agree that alot of ITM was written by fiddle players but it easily can be played on any instrument. It really should not be a problem

  5. Same as saying the bow and strings do the work for you.


    Actually, not. Shall I spell it out? The concertina is a machine: the finger activates the button; the button selects the reed, and only that particular reed in only that particualr fashion; the reed is activated by friction (air from the bellows), again, in only that particular way--across the reed--with fluctuations in amount and attack/decay. The only "work" is to select the button with the finger, and move the bellows (albeit, simplified). Fiddle: the finger acts directly upon the string in an infinite choice of scale lengths to render pitch; the string is activated by friction (bow is drawn across the strings). In this scenario, the bow is again worked directly by the muscles, as is the bellows, but may be activated in more variety of ways than the machine is capable. Again, simplified.


    All of the above is true, you don’t seem to understand that the subtleties that can be created with a bow can also be done with correct use of bellows, and many varieties of tone and effect can be altered.


    As for finger positioning on the strings, your fingers know where to land from years of playing just as our fingers know which buttons to press to get a particular note, this is the basics of learning. Eventually for both instruments we don’t have to think anymore when we want a note, our fingers automatically go there. On concertina we have different options on which button we choose to get that note. Each instrument has its own techniques to master and each is very different but all are to produce the same end result. Ye bow we bellow. Don’t forget the fiddle is also a machine.

  6. Psst: (I'm speaking in allegory :D )


    Hint: the bellows and the buttons do the work for you..



    lol if only it was that simple. In a perfect world maybe.


    Same as saying the bow and strings do the work for you.


    Ridiculous comment.

  7. Another point, if you were to attend any Fleadh and go to both concertina and fiddle competitions, you would find that the standard of music is higher in the fiddle. If the concertina was an easier instrument, wouldn't you think the reverse to be true?


    There is a reason there is a vioin section in the orchestra, but not a concertina section. :lol:



    Hmmm I didn't know we had orchestra in ITM?


    Maybe read what I wrote again, I think it cleary states AC and ITM

  8. I'd say this is a case for Misha's math: the concertina (and virtually any instrument with "stops") is roughly 10 times easier than fiddle (or virtually any instrument without stops).


    Intonation challenges (to say nothing of note clarity, tonal production, and all the fundamentals of musical value) inherent with fretless strings are non-issues with instruments with stops: button A renders note B, etc. But with fretless strings, as they say in mathemetics, there is infinite space between the notes. There are myriad more nuances to effect expression on fiddle (or any fretless, stringed instrument) than on concertina.


    Or, to put it another way, there are myriad more ways to go wrong on the fiddle than on the concertina: take a group of 100 random school-age children. Give them each a fiddle and a concertina -- ask them each to learn a simple tune on both instruments and send them on their way. Ask them each to play that tune on both instruments one month later. I rest my case.


    For ITM and AC I would agree that if one had never played either instrument and tried to learn a simple tune on both that the tune would sound better on the concertina. This does not translate that the concertina is any easier. For some people they would not be able to get their heads around push-pull logic and may find it a lot easier to play the tune on the fiddle. I have seen this many times with children.


    I happen to know a few musicians that play both concertina and fiddle. If you were to ask any of them they would tell you that the concertina is actually harder to master and get flow in the music.


    Another point, if you were to attend any Fleadh and go to both concertina and fiddle competitions, you would find that the standard of music is higher in the fiddle. If the concertina was an easier instrument, wouldn't you think the reverse to be true?


    Again why would you even want to compare which is harder to play. That's like trying to say, languages are harder than maths or vice versa. Yes both are true all depending on the person.


    Some people get maths some people get languages.


    If someone is lucky enough to have an instrument chosen for them that "fits" we get great musicians.


    That's just life and what makes it interesting, how boring would it be if we were all good at everything?

  9. That is the first post that I've read written by you that I take absolutely no excetion with. Charming music--thank you.


    I agree.


    All I heard there was 2 chords and notes. To me this is the same as playing ITM from notation with out any extras. I would give it ago myself having never attempted anything other than trad but I dont have that range on an Anglo. I thought the point was to show technicality? All that was there was notes. I am not knocking your playing, It is very well played but there is nothing technical about it is what I am saying. Do you have something that I would have the range to play on an anglo so I can give it a go?

  10. Skins-


    I'm proficient on half-a-dozen instruments, and dabble on half-a-dozen others. All, likely, because I never studied the one instrument that I'd really like to play--piano. Still, I find much usefulness from the other "lesser" instruments.



    Likewise catty but this is why I choose to have my main instrument as concertina as it is the one I like best. Why not learn to play piano now, its never too late to start!

  11. I play cello and concertina, both as a 2nd (or 3rd) rate amateur (but actually quite a serious one), and they both offer different things. The concertina's a lot more portable for a start. And a lot easier (just trust me on this!). Playing the cello really shows me how "deep" an instrument can be as a vehicle for expression, and I simply can't help looking at the concertina with that in mind.


    Easier for you maybe and every instrument is a vehicle for expression when you know how to play them.



    Why not sit back and smile and take a sip of tea/beer/whatever? He's not doing any harm!


    Comments like that do harm. There is no place for crap like that here. But I can sit back and smile at the stupidity of them.


    I don't know why it is that whenever I write that the concertina is fun and a great instrument to play, but it's not _quite_ the pinnacle of musical instruments in some specific regards.... I get accused of hating it and doing it a disservice.


    I don't remember pointing any fingers at you in relation to this Ratface so let’s not be so personal.


    Absolutely. And some people think that it is worth being honest about the instrument we all enjoy playing, and that being honest (warts and all etc) is more helpful than not being honest, or only being partially honest.


    Honesty is fine; if you’re having trouble with something then this is the place to go for help.

  12. Well as long as you’re happy Ratface. It just seems reasonable to me that if you prefer another instrument why not play that instead?


    And if you expect me to sit back and let people make comments like this

    Leading ITM AC (wow!) players are as far from been "World Class Players" as any Joe-Shmoe, picking a melody with one finger on Piano


    you are sadly mistaken.


    If someone doesn't like the concertina create a www.ihateconcertina.net and post it there.


    This site is for people to discuss and help each other, not to ridicule and knock.

  13. I completly agree with what you have said Mark. But just a few little things to add.


    The violin is an instrument without equal in my opinion as well. So versital and unique and taking on a different voice with each player who picks it up. It's a thing of wonder.


    In my opinion the concertina is an instrument without equal. Nothing is impossible with its versitility, even more so than fiddle, but again this is just my opinion. What you said above is common place with all instruments.


    Misha, is Misha and will from time to time stir the pot. I don't see why he needs any experience with ITM to have an opinion on ITM.


    Misha is welcome to his opinions, but to try and force them on other people without a full/rich understanding of ITM is what I have a problem with.


    It's wise to know ones limitations.


    I agree that it is wise to know ones limitations, but to try and raise our limitations is how we get to achieve what we want.


    If Misha has some classical solo concertina music I would really like to hear it to see how "serious" concertina music should sound.

  14. I really don't think my comment was in any way low. It was not a dig, and I have never commented on anyone’s music ability on here. If I thought for one second that fiddle music sounded 10 times better than concertina music then I certainly wouldn't be playing the concertina.


    As for Misha, he may have a great knowledge of music but he does not have the experience when it comes to ITM to justify some of his degrading comments. I would not dare speak on other genres in depth.


    In my opinion, the above recordings are both played with complete mastery. I included a fiddle and concertina to show the technicality of both players, they were not meant to be compared as you cannot compare two different instruments. Every instrument sounds different when played, some people will prefer concertina, others fiddle, others flute etc...


    What you like is your own personal taste, to say that there is a problem because you think one sounds 10 times better is your problem and yours alone.


    Why play one if you think another is leaps and bounds ahead??

  15. The concertina sounds like one tenth of the fiddle above. Real problem. Very strange instrument, this concertina.


    So you agree with m3838 then Ratface? Is this not a concertina forum? If you agree with it then why are you even in a concertina forum???


    It's not hard to see where yer points are coming from if ye think that the concertina is a "very strange instrument" and a "Real problem"

  16. Thanks for that Tombilly. It is possible to double octave every tune for the whole tune, in order to do this you will have to switch between lower and upper octaves. Again this is all down to personal taste but I would really reccommend against, it is nice to maybe do one part all double octave if you are playing the tune a good few times for a bit of variation. How much you want to octave is all up to you and how it sounds in the tune. The thing is, when double octaving you will have to sacrifice some chording.


    You can hear this the second time Michael plays it, if there are chords introduced you get very little double octaving. Its nice to mix it up every now and then but not to wear it out by doing it in the same place everytime. Just mess around with it, if you having trouble doing it, slow it right down, do each hand individually and then together, it will become second nature eventually and you wont even realise your doing it.

  17. I see now where the problems are and I realise that I am wasting my time repeating myself, I can see from your comments that you really don't have a great understanding of Irish Traditional Music and have obviously not been exposed to some of its amazing musicians who can just about do anything on their instrument with very technical proficiency.


    You are generalising all folk music and this is another problem. You seem to class the depth of music on what can be written down on paper and analysed, this might work for some genres but definitely not Irish Trad. If you asked one of the many great Irish musicians to play a tune, ask them again the day after and compare both, I can guarantee that there will be many differences. To try and confine ITM and put it in writing is not what trad is about and that is why we have "simple" notation that anybody can learn.


    There is no point in me explaining myself over and over. I just hope you allow yourself to be more open-minded and take in some of the wealth of music that is out there, and not just what you consider to be "professional" or "serious" music.

  18. It's all down to personal taste Tom; Joe Burke would be one of my favourite box players. :D I have heard Micheal playing live also and at times he can let loose, I personally think this is him at this best and having a bit of fun with the music but I can certainly understand that it's not for everyone. Both his CD's are him playing very traditional without any of his "letting loose" so to speak, the more you listen to them the more you will appreciate and pick up on what he is doing.


    Would be nice to hear that recording if you can source it.

  19. you are off the wall again with your last. If you knew anything about Irish Traditional Music

    Sometimes I have the impression that many English-Irish-Welshmen are actually Russians, so grumpy and opinionated they are. You successfully destroyed yet another stereotype.

    If I wasn't bred in Grumpy and opinionated Russia, I would have formed an opinion of you, that is very close to opinions of some of your countrymen, formed about me.

    But I like straight talk, (only with condescension toned down some 87.98%).

    Like many self-centered folks, we tend to attribute greater knowledge than earned to ourselves, and deny others their due.

    It looks to me that you consider ITM yet another separately standing mountain. Perhaps your binoculars are too strong. And I hold more holistic point of view, that music is music, and all the qualities you attribute to ITM musicians, are just as equally important to all the rest. I agree, you can't be taught real music, be it ITM or Classical, or Jazz or any other artificial genre denomination. You have to be born with it. ITM, as form of folk music, is simpler than, say, classical Jazz, so instead of technical proficiency the emphasis heavily lays on those basic foundations, all arts and crafts stand on, and you named them all.

    In comparison, modern architecture is immensely more difficult to design, than Barocco, that uses lots of ornamentation, bordering sometimes on kitch. Modern Architecture depends wholly on composition, and one has to be born with the feel of it. It can't be taught, and much of modern architecture problems lay there.

    Now you may argue that ITM is not any simpler than Jazz or Classical music, but we have been there before, and obviously your ears are trained better than mine.

    There are two usual reasons for such an assumption: One, is that your ears are better trained, but in such a case you wouldn't be picturing many mountains, but see a more harmonious world. Two, that your ears are simply... yours. But the same token we can easily assume that since my ears are mine, they are trained better than yours. Overall formula:

    "Mine is better than yours" is universal, convenient and undeniably correct, although sometimes leads to wars, which are good for the Mankind.

    So everything is just as usual.

    Best of luck.


    ITM is as simple or complicated as the musician playing it. Two musicians can play the same tune on the same instrument and make it sound completely different depending on their interpretation and style. This relies solely on their own composition and as you say cannot be taught. Some people play very simple with great effect and others are just as technical as any other musician of any genre. You stated a very important and valid point about trained ears. Not everyone can hear what a musician plays, lots of ornaments, nuance, etc.. can skip by a lot of people who are not as exposed to that genre.


    The fact of the matter is, music is music, and everyone is different in what they like. My preference is Irish Traditional Music and I have a respect and amazement for a lot of other genres and their musicians. I am not so egotistical to even comment on who should be called "world-class" or not, there are many an Irish musician worthy of this title as there are in every genre, to try and compare them under one category of music is just ridiculous.


    I was not being grumpy or opinionated, just stating a fact that it is nobodies place to knock a particular genre or its musicians. Different talents and abilities are needed for each form of music. Just because some of these are not as emphasised in one genre does not make it any less "professional" or "serious".


    So maybe a little thought would be nice before disrespecting a whole genre and its musicians the next time.


    Best of Luck,


  20. Hi, Skinsegan,

    I just edited your last posting to remove the words "Irish" and "traditional". Here's how it reads then:

    Modified posting:

    If you knew anything about (***) Music you would understand that it comes from within the musician, yes anybody can play it but only some can master it. You cannot learn to be a good (***) musician you have to have it in you. To even suggest that (***) Musicians who spend their lives playing (one genre) are not "serious" musicians only validates my point.

    I know a lot of (genre) trained musicians with full grades who have tried to cross over to (other genre) music and failed because they lack music! Everything seems so analysed and robotic and really does not work for (other genre) music. If "accentuation, universality, education, phrasing, depth of nuance, complexity of harmony, elegance of application" were that of what you consider a "serious" musician then we would really have a problem in (***) Music. You cannot learn from a book to be a good (***) musician, you need to immerse yourself in the tradition where you can develop your own style and not just play a tune the exact same as everyone else plays it.


    Put that way, it rings true for any genre of music. It really contradicts your summing-up:


    So as I stated before, you cannot compare Genres! You may aswell be trying to compare Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

    Don't quite get the analogy of Phelps and Bolt. They're both exceptional athletes, dedicated to winning and probably doped to the gills, and have a lot more in common with each other than with normal people, like us musicians.





    The words were there for a reason. If you edit anything and take it out of context you will have contradiction.

    I was showing that Irish musicians and classical musicicians or any other could not be compared as m3838 suggested that irish musicians were not "serious" musicians because we lacked certain aspects that classically trained musicians had.


    And yes excuse my ignorance, I forgot that swimming and sprinting were the exact same thing.

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