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Polyphonic Playing


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Years ago, under the guidance of my mentors, Serge and Boris Matueswich, I learned to arrange by playing the melody with or counterpoint to the chording on the English Concertina. I evetually developed a standing repertoire of over 10 dozen tunes (I noticed a posting about song lists recently which on I responded).

Is anyone else doing melody over 3 - 5 note chords? If so what genre of music do you play and in what venues?

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Edited by Randy Stein
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Years ago, under the guidance of my mentors, Serge and Boris Matueswich, I learned to arrange by playing the melody with or counterpoint to the chording on the English Concertina. I evetually developed a standing repertoire of over 10 dozen tunes (I noticed a posting about song lists recently which on I responded).

Is anyone else doing melody over 3 - 5 note chords? If so what genre of music do you play and in what venues?

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When I compose or arrange, I generally do it in a polyphonic style. I'm a grad student, and have performed one piece in public (it was a showing of the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and a group of use wrote music for it). My interest is in the classical music of the 20th century, and I tried to write it in an expressionist/2nd Viennese school style to match the expressionist film. I've done a bit of arranging as well, but not too many public performances.

10 dozen tunes is pretty impressive! Do you play from sheet music?

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Years ago, under the guidance of my mentors, Serge and Boris Matueswich, I learned to arrange by playing the melody with or counterpoint to the chording on the English Concertina. I evetually developed a standing repertoire of over 10 dozen tunes (I noticed a posting about song lists recently which on I responded).

Is anyone else doing melody over 3 - 5 note chords? If so what genre of music do you play and in what venues?

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Randy, would you post a couple of your arrangements? Thanks

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Years ago, under the guidance of my mentors, Serge and Boris Matueswich, I learned to arrange by playing the melody with or counterpoint to the chording on the English Concertina. I evetually developed a standing repertoire of over 10 dozen tunes (I noticed a posting about song lists recently which on I responded).

Is anyone else doing melody over 3 - 5 note chords? If so what genre of music do you play and in what venues?

rss

 

When I compose or arrange, I generally do it in a polyphonic style. I'm a grad student, and have performed one piece in public (it was a showing of the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and a group of use wrote music for it). My interest is in the classical music of the 20th century, and I tried to write it in an expressionist/2nd Viennese school style to match the expressionist film. I've done a bit of arranging as well, but not too many public performances.

10 dozen tunes is pretty impressive! Do you play from sheet music?

In my recent group I use sheet music. When I play solo or concertize I rarely do. I have memorized almost all my music. I always keep a fake book handy.

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Randy,

 

I would second the request to hear some of your material--it sounds very interesting! I play in a style I'll call "contemporary classical" on a 30b Anglo, which often does involve triads set against a melody line. My material is available for free through my website. I don't know if you receive Pauline de Snoo's publication Concertina World but she also has a longstanding interest in different styles of playing, with an emphasis on the classical tradition of the English concertina.

 

Best!

Steven

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I don't know if you receive Pauline de Snoo's publication Concertina World but she also has a longstanding interest in different styles of playing, with an emphasis on the classical tradition of the English concertina.

 

Best!

Steven

 

I feel impelled to point out the Concertina World is the newsletter of the International Concertina Association. Pauline is the Editor, and very good she is too.

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You have clearly made the best of having some famous teachers. There were some Matueswich arrangements made available on the Internet recently and they looked fun. (I didn't take careful note of where they were posted I'm afraid)

 

I get the impression that many modern English players are reluctant to venture into harmony, and I'm not sure why. To me it seems like giving away one of the major strengths of the instrument. I am a duet player, though, so I suppose you would expect me to say that. I met Iris Bishop earlier this year. She is a leading British Maccan player and we were discussing this. She told me that she had attended an ICA concertina competition 'in her youth' and that the English-playing competitors could not be distinguished from the duet players if you closed your eyes, the music was just as complex; somewhere this changed. Still if that's what people are happy with, it's entirely their choice, I suppose.

 

I'd love to hear you play something too if you can do it. Mind you, I have no right to demand; my grasp of technology is a bit slim and I've made some pretty poor recordings using the computer in the past and have only just bought a decent portable recording device (with coaching from the other forum members) which I am still learning to cope with. So if you simply can't deal with the technology on this one I am completely sympathetic!

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I play the English concertina and while I like the idea of harmony and use it in a basic fashion on slow pieces, I find it difficult to present well. My oldest child is learning violin and the basic beginning tunes work as a foundation for the more difficult pieces coming up. I have not found fun recognizable pieces at a basic level for the English concertina. Instead, since I first picked up the English concertina when I was 40, I have discovered that I find pieces and tunes that I like and cobble something together within my abilities. This means I cannot build effectively from a simple idea to music that is more complicated. I reinvent the wheel constantly. That being said, the concertina is a great instrument and is effective with a great variety of music.

Thank you, Eric

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I play the English concertina and while I like the idea of harmony and use it in a basic fashion on slow pieces, I find it difficult to present well. My oldest child is learning violin and the basic beginning tunes work as a foundation for the more difficult pieces coming up. I have not found fun recognizable pieces at a basic level for the English concertina. Instead, since I first picked up the English concertina when I was 40, I have discovered that I find pieces and tunes that I like and cobble something together within my abilities. This means I cannot build effectively from a simple idea to music that is more complicated. I reinvent the wheel constantly. That being said, the concertina is a great instrument and is effective with a great variety of music.

Thank you, Eric

That sounds entirely believable, Eric; the situation was much the same for me when I started out on the duet. I had been playing accordion for some years and one reason for switching was to be able to play written music more precisely; I wanted to move on from 'play the tune, improvise the bass'. That meant I needed some music to attempt. In my case I latched onto a set of music that David Cornell had posted on the web specifically aimed at Maccan players. (In fact they work quite well on all flavours of duet I am told; certainly there's a Crane player using them. Hallo Henry!). They were well beyond me at first but I KNEW that they were playable on the Maccan because of their origin, so I stuck with it and it all slowly came right. Later I used the ICA library where, again, you can find stuff specifically arranged for concertina; these days I look at all sorts of music, so as my playing has advanced my options have opened up.

 

But it's finding the material to get off the mark without just losing the will to live (or practice) that is the difficult part, I agree. I know exactly what you are saying, and I don't know where to suggest you look, unless it is those Matueswich pieces I was talking about. I wish I could remember where they are; there was a good selection and it would have to be worth your while having a try at some.

 

Thinking about it, I must have invested a lot of time in finding suitable music, though. You do have to hunt about a bit. You could ask the ICA librarian if he would be willing to select pieces of known difficulty for you, if you are a member. A lot of their music is popular classics arranged by a Mr. Stanley who had a good grasp of how to make a concertina sound good, arranged for both English and duet, and of varying technical levels (according to who commissioned it, I've been told)

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Years ago, under the guidance of my mentors, Serge and Boris Matueswich, I learned to arrange by playing the melody with or counterpoint to the chording on the English Concertina. I evetually developed a standing repertoire of over 10 dozen tunes (I noticed a posting about song lists recently which on I responded).

Is anyone else doing melody over 3 - 5 note chords? If so what genre of music do you play and in what venues?

rss

Randy, would you post a couple of your arrangements? Thanks

Here is a version of Summertime by Gershwin. At some point I stopped writing down my music and just used sheet music and memorized my arrangements periodically pulling out the music to freshen it or try new arrangements. I have a wonderful arrangement of Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Earl Hagen I will try to get on to Facebook or YouTube at some point. Need my son to help with that. I also have an old script of a Bach Partita that is oversized but a nice transcription for English Concertina I'll try at some point to get to you. I warm up my practice with the Mazas Violin Etude studies. It's a good way to learn phrasing. The bellows and the bow have very similar phrasing with slight adjustments.

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Hi

I thought that I would like to have a go at Randy's 'Summertime' however I can't find a way of accessing it. It doesn't seem that I can download it. In the past I have 'copied' a picture onto a word processor document and that has worked- but not with this current set up. I have also, in the past taken a digital photo and found that can be usable-unfortunately Randy's score is too big to do it that way. HELP!!!!!!

chris (frustrated)

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The International Concertin Association has a new librarian who has great plans to publish more of what we have in the library. There is a lot of interest which cannot be seen yet. But you will find in coming publications of Concertina World and on the website www.concertina.org which is at this moment being renewed (will take a little time though) more information soon. Also we are working on digitalizing all the music in the library so that it becomes available more easily.

Pauline de Snoo

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Hi

I thought that I would like to have a go at Randy's 'Summertime' however I can't find a way of accessing it. It doesn't seem that I can download it. In the past I have 'copied' a picture onto a word processor document and that has worked- but not with this current set up. I have also, in the past taken a digital photo and found that can be usable-unfortunately Randy's score is too big to do it that way. HELP!!!!!!

chris (frustrated)

 

I opened it, saved the file onto my desktop as a JPEG as normal, without trouble. Don't know enough to suggest anything but it worked for me..

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Hi

I thought that I would like to have a go at Randy's 'Summertime' however I can't find a way of accessing it. It doesn't seem that I can download it. In the past I have 'copied' a picture onto a word processor document and that has worked- but not with this current set up. I have also, in the past taken a digital photo and found that can be usable-unfortunately Randy's score is too big to do it that way. HELP!!!!!!

chris (frustrated)

 

I opened it, saved the file onto my desktop as a JPEG as normal, without trouble. Don't know enough to suggest anything but it worked for me..

 

Point at the picture/click with right mouse button/safe linked file as...

Then go to that file and click with right mouse button. "Open with", choose any: Windows picture, iPhoto, whatever.

That's it.

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Hi

I thought that I would like to have a go at Randy's 'Summertime' however I can't find a way of accessing it. It doesn't seem that I can download it. In the past I have 'copied' a picture onto a word processor document and that has worked- but not with this current set up. I have also, in the past taken a digital photo and found that can be usable-unfortunately Randy's score is too big to do it that way. HELP!!!!!!

chris (frustrated)

 

I opened it, saved the file onto my desktop as a JPEG as normal, without trouble. Don't know enough to suggest anything but it worked for me..

 

Point at the picture/click with right mouse button/safe linked file as...

Then go to that file and click with right mouse button. "Open with", choose any: Windows picture, iPhoto, whatever.

That's it.

 

Thanks all

I didn't see the 'save' symbol at the bottom due to the picture being so large - I just didn't think to scroll the picture :wacko:

chris

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That's a nifty arrangement! So you generally play from lead sheets, then? What fake book do you use?

yup. I use sheet music and fake books (main one is The Fake Book I bought when I performed at the 1982 Worlds Fair from a guy) with melody lines and chord charts and can go from there. Music is a learned language and your instrument your muse. Each piece is your poem. Metaphorically speaking of course. I got to a point where I just used sheet music and charts and arranged and learned and memorized a piece and stopped writing them down, periodically going back and looking at them to refresh or rearrange. Its why I memorized so many pieces.

I have attached a piece I arranged quite sometime ago. I have changed this arrangement many times since.

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Edited by Randy Stein
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When I played a lot of jazz (on trombone, not concertina), I generally used The Real Book. I didn't realize there was a fake book called The Fake Book - what type of tunes does it have? Both of the tunes you've posted are of the older popular variety (though Gershwin can be hard to pigeonhole), is that mainly what you play, or do you play other styles as well?

Edited by njurkowski
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