Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Hyp

English or Anglo

Recommended Posts

Hello Hyp

 

This lady from the Netherlands gives English concertina lessons, and is an occasional contributor here:

http://www.concertina-academy.com/

 

Thanks

Leo :)

Edited by Leo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, we're on page two now. Thank you for all the replies. I just wanted to say, that as someone already said, the ITM was the reason I got interested in concertina playing. I just want to be able to at least try to play jazz because I know, that if I get good enough, that I would probably try playing jazz standards and improvisation. I was only looking for the possibility in playing all the notes needed. I am aware, that the pushing and pulling of the bellow might result in bad emphasis (i.e. emphazising down beats). I don't know how great this effect is. Also I don'tknow how much harder it is to play i.e. a c# major scale on an anglo or english concertina. If both were similar in difficulty I probably would decide on an anglo, because of ITM. If it is nearly impossible to play a c#maj scale on an anglo it would probably be the other way round.

 

Hyp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I forgot to mention a Duet , which woud be great for jazz and chromaticity but I don't think I've yet heard a convincing duet rendition of ITM .

 

I still think your best compromise would be EC if you want to play c# scales!

 

Ali Anderson and Simon Thoumire would fit into any top Irish session if they wanted to play 'Irish' music. Many of their tunes could share the same roots but he emphasis might be a bit different. The Irish contributed a great deal to British music well before the 'English Music' revival of the 70s and 'British' tunes flourished both sides of the Irish Sea even in the rural areas.

Edited by michael sam wild

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've probably already done so Hyp but the charts here

 

http://www.concertin...er_layouts.html

 

give an idea of what C# maj would be like to play on a C/G Anglo!

 

Likewise English and Duet layout charts should help make it reasonably clear which way you'd want to go if playing in "remote" keys is important.

Edited by TomB-R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're main and first interest is Irish traditional music, go with the Anglo. If you're main interest is playing jazz and other types of music, go with the English or Duet.

 

Of course, it's possible to play ITM on an English concertina. But why would you invest in one instrument with the goal to emulate another one? Why not go with the second one in the first place? At any Irish concertina workshop (particularly in Ireland), you'd be the odd one out with an English and you'd be pretty much left to your own devices on particular technical issues.

 

And although it is possible to play Irish traditional music on an English concertina, in most cases it still will sound like an English concertina - just compare the aforementioned Simone Thoumire's playing with that of well known players of the Anglo concertina such as Noel Hill, Edel Fox, Kate McNamara, Micheal O Raghallaigh, etc. A lot of the differences comes from the pulse and bounce, which is so important for ITM. Also, the Anglo concertina in ITM has its own set of ornamentation, which makes the Anglo playing very characteristic. If it's the Anglo concertina that attracted you to Irish traditional music, go with an Anglo.

 

It will take you a while to familiarize yourself with the instrument anyways. Why not give the Anglo a good solid try to start with if you're seriously interested in playing Irish music?

 

I am aware, that the pushing and pulling of the bellow might result in bad emphasis (i.e. emphasizing down beats).

You should be able to emphasize or "de-emphasize" whatever individual note you want on either Anglo or English. A necessary change of bellows direction on the Anglo doesn't always coincide with a down beat but can occur at any place in the tune. It's the tune (or your interpretation thereof) that tells you which notes to emphasize and which not, not the instrument.

 

As for jazz: You might not find all keys that accommodating on the Anglo, but a lot probably depends on individual tunes/melody lines. What might seem as limitations at first, however, might well turn into your own jazz style. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on C# major scales; after all, you can always transpose tunes! And if you later find the Anglo completely incompatible with your jazz ambitions, you can look into English or Duet concertinas as an additional instrument, for I am sure you won't be willing to part with your Anglo ever. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also I don'tknow how much harder it is to play i.e. a c# major scale on an anglo or english concertina. If both were similar in difficulty I probably would decide on an anglo, because of ITM. If it is nearly impossible to play a c#maj scale on an anglo it would probably be the other way round.

If this is really the key issue for you, you don't want an Anglo. A C/G Anglo (by far the most common tuning) plays fairly easily in C, G, D and F major. A major can be ok too, depending on the specifics of the tune you're playing, and Bb might not be bad once you get used to it. But if you try for keys with more accidentals than that it gets very difficult. I don't play English myself but English players who I know seem to have a much easier time in keys with many accidentals than I do on an Anglo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...I don't think you'll get that 'Irish Traditional Music' concertina sound and feel

 

Hello Mike,

 

Well, most of the people think this. And some people think like me, that is:

 

 

- It is very possible to play the English Concertina with the same feeling as the Anglo. Even when playing Irish Traditional Music.

 

 

The thing is that most of English Concertina players don't use the bellows to get that bouncing feeling that the Anglos get.

I fully agree. Unlike Anglo players, they are not forced to change bellows direction to get certain notes, so they only do it when they need air.

 

Which doesn't mean that it cannot be done, it is perfectly possible to do it. I will say even more, with an English Concertina it is possible to do it even more than with an Anglo, because there is no restriction in the movements of the bellows.

Also true. All it needs is awareness of the possibilities. In particular, when you are playing a note and using the bellows for emphasis, the direction of the bellows is irrelevant.

And the bellows direction of the previous note, i.e. whether you just changed direction or not, is even more irrelevant.

 

Jonathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- It is very possible to play the English Concertina with the same feeling as the Anglo. Even when playing Irish Traditional Music.

 

If it's the bouncing natural for push/pull, it's only relevant for amateurs. For a future professional it's passing gimmick. Noel and Nial both use alternate fingering to overcome natural bounce. In fact, they use Anglo in EC way, alternating from left to right.

I heard exactly the same thing in a workshop with Aogán Lynch (BTW, I play ITM on the EC). Not only that: he suggested what to do if you don't have the desired alternative fingering when you have only a 30-key, not a 38-key like himself:

 

In such cases, he thought it better to search for an alternative NOTE, rather than break the flow of the music (especially in reels) by a bellows change.

 

However, EC's ergonomics don't allow for aggressive push/pull.

 

You may be right, but for me personally, that is not important, since there is nothing to stop me using aggressive push/push or pull/pull instead.

 

Jonathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully agree. Unlike Anglo players, they are not forced to change bellows direction to get certain notes, so they only do it when they need air.

 

Not only for that reason. A direction change is also used to match the phrasing within a melody, to prevent running out of air in the middle of a phrase.

 

regards

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last weekend I went to a birthday party in a garden. There were two young women there

and both of them played concertina. One had a top of the range Lachenal English concertina.

The other one had a beautiful Crane Duet. Both of them could play ITM on these instruments,

even fast tunes were no problem.

 

The Anglo is the most restricted instrument and I think traditional players use it simply

because it is a tradition. It is said to be easier for people who don't read music to

learn. An Anglo is like a blues harmonica, different note on push and pull (blow and suck)

so you can't play Beethoven symphonies or violin pieces or jazz on it (the phrasing would

be wrong) and you can't usually play chords on it.

 

The English is potentially the fastest and more versatile as a solo instrument because it

can play in any key and the notes of the scale are played by alternating between both hands.

It is suitable for playing any type of music and can play both melody and chords.

 

The duet concertinas are the most versatile because you can play two melodies at the same

time, one with the left hand and a different one with the right hand (good for counterpoint).

A duet is like a small piano (with a much smaller range than the piano).

 

Of course you can't bend notes on a concertina but then you can't bend notes on a jazz

piano either.

 

The things to remember are that anything that can be played on an Anglo can be played

on an English and there are many things that can be played on an English that you

could never play on an Anglo.

 

Anything that can be played on an Anglo or an English can be played on a Duet and there

and many things that can be played on a duet that could never, ever be played on an

Anglo or an English.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very logical ShaunW, but of course, this is about music.......

 

Logic doesn't deal with the response "so what, I like playing Anglo" or "I like the greater physical involvement of push-pulling as part of the music."

 

(Something to do with direct involvement of more muscles in the actual music production, bearing in mind that throwing yourself about "expressively" is generally frowned up in traditional music! Is playing a bowed or wind instrument more satisfying than a keyboard for that sort of reason?)

 

To my mind some of the appeal of the Anglo is tradition, some of it is about transcending its limitations, of which part is the "Rubik's Cube" ingenuity aspect of dealing with those limitations. One note per button is just so dull!!!!!

 

Presumably these things are part of why I enjoy playing an (even more limited) 20 button (with some augmentations!)

 

You can tell melodeon/diatonic button accordion players that they "ought" to be playing Continental Chromatic because it is so logical, but they'll say some version of, "that's not the point....."

Edited by TomB-R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

However, EC's ergonomics don't allow for aggressive push/pull.

 

You may be right, but for me personally, that is not important, since there is nothing to stop me using aggressive push/push or pull/pull instead.

 

Jonathan

 

 

 

There is no aggressive anything on the EC. In the matter of fact, there is no anything aggressive on concertina to begin (and end) with. Regondi noticed it and in his tutor mentioned that if one wants to accent the note, it's adviceable to use octaves, not the bellows pressure. It has to do with reed changing pitch withh pressure. Of course, for "hey-la-la" folk music after few beers it doesn't matter.

 

 

A diatonic two row is easy to play folk music on. It's small, light and loud - all you need for merry time. Continental system is zig-zaggy, difficult to master, tends to be heavy. Good for anything except folk. Depends on what we are going to do with it. Probably it's why guitar is so popular. By far the most versatile instrument.

Edited by m3838

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last weekend I went to a birthday party in a garden. There were two young women there

and both of them played concertina. One had a top of the range Lachenal English concertina.

The other one had a beautiful Crane Duet. Both of them could play ITM on these instruments,

even fast tunes were no problem.

 

Well, this is a personnal opinion of course. It's not because you can play a sequential bunch of notes at great speed that it's ITM. But people who are not immersed in irish music usually don't realise this. I guess it can be applied to any other genres.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This claim crops up at regular intervals.

 

Of course, it's possible to play ITM on an English concertina. But why would you invest in one instrument with the goal to emulate another one? Why not go with the second one in the first place? At any Irish concertina workshop (particularly in Ireland), you'd be the odd one out with an English and you'd be pretty much left to your own devices on particular technical issues.

 

And although it is possible to play Irish traditional music on an English concertina, in most cases it still will sound like an English concertina - just compare the aforementioned Simone Thoumire's playing with that of well known players of the Anglo concertina such as Noel Hill, Edel Fox, Kate McNamara, Micheal O Raghallaigh, etc. A lot of the differences comes from the pulse and bounce, which is so important for ITM. Also, the Anglo concertina in ITM has its own set of ornamentation, which makes the Anglo playing very characteristic. If it's the Anglo concertina that attracted you to Irish traditional music, go with an Anglo.

Sorry, but what gives you the idea that the EC has to be indistinguishable from the Anglo when playing ITM?

 

I am aware, that the pushing and pulling of the bellow might result in bad emphasis (i.e. emphasizing down beats).

You should be able to emphasize or "de-emphasize" whatever individual note you want on either Anglo or English. A necessary change of bellows direction on the Anglo doesn't always coincide with a down beat but can occur at any place in the tune. It's the tune (or your interpretation thereof) that tells you which notes to emphasize and which not, not the instrument.

So how does the oh-so-important-for-ITM Anglo "pulse and bounce" fit into this last paragraph? Or did you just contradict yourself?

 

Jonathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very logical ShaunW, but of course, this is about music.......

 

Logic doesn't deal with the response "so what, I like playing Anglo" or "I like the greater physical involvement of push-pulling as part of the music."

 

(Something to do with direct involvement of more muscles in the actual music production, bearing in mind that throwing yourself about "expressively" is generally frowned up in traditional music! Is playing a bowed or wind instrument more satisfying than a keyboard for that sort of reason?)

 

To my mind some of the appeal of the Anglo is tradition, some of it is about transcending its limitations, of which part is the "Rubik's Cube" ingenuity aspect of dealing with those limitations. One note per button is just so dull!!!!!

 

Presumably these things are part of why I enjoy playing an (even more limited) 20 button (with some augmentations!)

 

You can tell melodeon/diatonic button accordion players that they "ought" to be playing Continental Chromatic because it is so logical, but they'll say some version of, "that's not the point....."

 

 

Well thank you for your reply, however I was just trying to help the questioner who maybe wants to play

more than just ITM. I am sure the two young women I listened to last weekend who both play sessions of

ITM using their EC or Duet concertinas would be insulted by your suggestion that their way of playing

ITM is not just as valid as yours. I am not trying to tell anyone what they should play, I am just

trying to explain the difference between the instruments.

 

Irish music is played on a wide variety of instruments which all have a different sound but none of

them are superior to another. The Anglo concertina is just a 19th century German invention, a way of

making a cheap reed folk instrument.

 

The fact is that anything that can be played on an Anglo can be played on an EC even including the

same bellows movement. This doesn't mean that an EC is superior to an Anglo but it is more

versatile (the word I used).

 

You need to remember that ITM is much, much older than the Anglo concertina and that the Anglo

concertina is not a traditional Irish instrument unless you have a very short view of tradition. It

is just an instrument used by many modern players of ITM who also use the German melodion (played

by some members of my own family) and the German accordion.

 

Thank you for saying that my post was logical, I am in fact a logician (yes we do exist) who loves

the concertina and music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although you quoted my post in full ShaunW I assume you are addressing various points from the preceding discussion as you talk about a bunch of things I didn't say.

 

I think it is relevant to point out that affection for the Anglo is not necessarily logical as this could influence someone who is trying to make a decision "on paper" as it were.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well thank you for your reply, however I was just trying to help the questioner who maybe wants to play

more than just ITM. I am sure the two young women I listened to last weekend who both play sessions of

ITM using their EC or Duet concertinas would be insulted by your suggestion that their way of playing

ITM is not just as valid as yours. I am not trying to tell anyone what they should play, I am just

trying to explain the difference between the instruments.

 

Yes, you meant to reply to me about this, not Tom. I'm sorry to say so, but when you start going around saying that it's totally possible to play 'x' type of music on 'y' instrument, I would expect you to know 'x' type of music very well, and be a good player of 'x' music yourself, or at least long time listener, before making such a bold statement, that's all. As for myself, I don't go around talking about stuff I don't know, that's why I keep my stuff only about ITM, which I can say I know decently well, but you certainly won't "hear" me comment about english music or other styles.

Edited by Azalin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well thank you for your reply, however I was just trying to help the questioner who maybe wants to play

more than just ITM. I am sure the two young women I listened to last weekend who both play sessions of

ITM using their EC or Duet concertinas would be insulted by your suggestion that their way of playing

ITM is not just as valid as yours. I am not trying to tell anyone what they should play, I am just

trying to explain the difference between the instruments.

 

Yes, you meant to reply to me about this, not Tom. I'm sorry to say so, but when you start going around saying that it's totally possible to play 'x' type of music on 'y' instrument, I would expect you to know 'x' type of music very well, and be a good player of 'x' music yourself, or at least long time listener, before making such a bold statement, that's all. As for myself, I don't go around talking about stuff I don't know, that's why I keep my stuff only about ITM, which I can say I know decently well, but you certainly won't "hear" me comment about english music or other styles.

 

Are you claiming that shaunw is not competent to make that statement? If so, on what basis?

 

I have been playing and listening to ITM for 35 years, and playing ITM on the EC for over 15 years, and on that basis I can say that in actual fact, he is basically correct. I can't speak for duets, but neither the English concertina nor ITM have any characteristics which make them unsuitable for each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×