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Geoff, do you tune button boxes? ;) I toyed with the idea of 1/4 meantone for a C#/D rig but after corresponding with Paul Groff on the subject decided it was a step too far into the unknown. But 1/5 comma meantone might work better...

 

OTOH one of the advantages of having a 2- or 3-voice button box that is not totally dry-tuned is that even a very light tremolo takes most of the harshness out of major thirds. On tina there is no escape... except uneven temperament.

 

Er.... Zizi,

 

me tune accordion( spoken in a rich north Lancashire accent)!! What, may I ask ,might that do to my standing in the piping community?

No ,seriously you would be better to take your box to an accordion expert but I could give you a set of figures for 1/5th Comma and there is also 1/6th comma ( even less radical in comparison to ET) but I have never tried it.

I assume you are talking about a box just for ITM and playing in G/D/A Maj - D/E/A/B Minor ( more?). Use the Basses much? Play with any specific weirdos (I mean instrumentally)?

I use a tuning on the Vielle (Hurdy Gurdy) which is very close to the one I am trying to achieve on the pipes. But the H/gurdy has a complete, and used, Chromatic keyboard. So, therefore, I have values for all 12 semitones, but I will think about the usefullness of this system for a C#/D box. It is hardly a 'temperament' ,almost perfect and it will do the D/E/F#/A chord and other unlikely tasks, but with the H/Gurdy one can shift the individual note tuning very quickly when needed, say to play with other instruments in ET.

 

Hmm the idea of a slightly 'wet' tuned double/triple voiced concertina.......I wonder.... must have been tried before.

 

Oh, and for Shaunw... I managed B major and it is still OK, just. But C# and F#..... no, ET for that or ear plugs.

 

A friend arrives tomorrow.. he has an ET English so maybe I will see if his C# and F# major keys/chords sound any better to me.

Monday morning approaches.. well it does here!

Geoff.

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Geoff, do you tune button boxes? ;) I toyed with the idea of 1/4 meantone for a C#/D rig but after corresponding with Paul Groff on the subject decided it was a step too far into the unknown. But 1/5 comma meantone might work better...

 

OTOH one of the advantages of having a 2- or 3-voice button box that is not totally dry-tuned is that even a very light tremolo takes most of the harshness out of major thirds. On tina there is no escape... except uneven temperament.

 

 

I think most of the advantage of these alternate temperments is to sweeten the chords in selected keys. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you generally do not make chords with the right hand on a C#/D rig. For that reason plus the reason you already mentioned about the tremolo softening things, I don't think this meantone tuning would be much of an advantage for you.

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Good point Michael. I do use chords on the r/h, though, even if they are mostly very short ones for the purposes of adding woomph to melody, with slightly longer ones at tune endings. But as a former fiddle player I'm always hankering after the sweeter sound of natural thirds, not to mention those in between "supernatural" Fs and Cs and the slightly flat B naturals so characteristic of the sound of the older Irish fiddle players. Sorry for the non-concertina digression: now back to your normal programming. :)

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Good point Michael. I do use chords on the r/h, though, even if they are mostly very short ones for the purposes of adding woomph to melody, with slightly longer ones at tune endings. But as a former fiddle player I'm always hankering after the sweeter sound of natural thirds, not to mention those in between "supernatural" Fs and Cs and the slightly flat B naturals so characteristic of the sound of the older Irish fiddle players. Sorry for the non-concertina digression: now back to your normal programming. :)

 

Hey guys, any chance of audio example? I'd really love to hear those "sweetened" chords against "unsweetened" ones.

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The Anglo is the most restricted instrument

Yes, but not all that restricted. An anglo with 30 or more buttons is fully chromatic, although I would agree that some keys are pretty unfriendly to play in.

 

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

Again, that's only partly true. Many of the notes are duplicated so you actually have a choice whether to play them on the pull or the push

 

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

be wrong)

I'm sorry, but that's just wrong. The anglo is just as capable of playing these as an EC, although I accept that some keys are more difficult.

 

and you can't usually play chords on it.

??? This will come as a surprise to John Kirkpatrick, Brian Peters, Jody Kruskal and hundreds of other players who routinely play chords. It is true that you can't play every chord in every key, but the anglo is very suited to chordal playing, perhaps more so than the English. Certainly in the circles I move in, I'm far more likely to hear chords played on an anglo than on an EC.

 

Whilst I would not deny that the anglo has some restrictions, and it is certainly at its best in its home keys and closely related keys, I do feel you are portraying it as being more limited than is actually the case. And it certainly has some strengths, which while possible to emulate on other systems are perhaps more difficult on these.

 

The truth is that all three systems have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which to play is a difficult one. It is partly determined by the type of music you wish to play, but also on whether you read music or prefer to play by ear, and how comfortable you are with the different fingering systems (which you can only discover by trying them). In my own case, it was simply a question of availability - the first concertina I bought turned out to be an anglo.

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Good point Michael. I do use chords on the r/h, though, even if they are mostly very short ones for the purposes of adding woomph to melody, with slightly longer ones at tune endings. But as a former fiddle player I'm always hankering after the sweeter sound of natural thirds, not to mention those in between "supernatural" Fs and Cs and the slightly flat B naturals so characteristic of the sound of the older Irish fiddle players. Sorry for the non-concertina digression: now back to your normal programming. smile.gif

 

Hey guys, any chance of audio example? I'd really love to hear those "sweetened" chords against "unsweetened" ones.

 

There's a clip of a concertina in meantone on Bob Tedrow's site. Sounds particularly nice when he gets into chords in the latter part of the clip.

I think he's playing something he uses quite often for demo, so the same thing may be in ET elsewhere on his site.

http://hmi.homewood.net/meantone/

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A fine and spirited defence of the Anglo, hjcjones!

 

 

One can see potential similar discussions in many musical fields,

 

Why play -

Appalchian Dulcimer when one could play guitar

Whistle when one could play recorder

Melodeon when one could play Chromatic Button Accordion

 

In each case, whatever the advantages one may have on paper, players of the other may have to say, "you have to play it to find out why..." or "if you have to ask, I can't tell you!"

 

Hence for newcomers, "what music do you want to play" or "who will you play with" or "tradition!" are as important as looking at fingering charts and thinking about multiple key signatures!

Edited by TomB-R
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OTOH one of the advantages of having a 2- or 3-voice button box that is not totally dry-tuned is that even a very light tremolo takes most of the harshness out of major thirds. On tina there is no escape... except uneven temperament.

Hmm the idea of a slightly 'wet' tuned double/triple voiced concertina.......I wonder.... must have been tried before.

 

 

I am actually seriously looking into this to get a very loud EC for Morris. These guys might be able to make it if they can fit an EC keyboard into their existing design. It would look somewhat like this.

 

They mentioned one problem with very dryly tuned double-voice boxes: if the reeds are tuned too close together, sympathetic resonance takes over and they synchronize into unison, unless (if I get this correctly) the two banks of reeds are physically separated, e.g. using a cassotto (I think). Which might be difficult in the limited space of a concertina.

 

There was also the Lachenal Accordeophone, but I can't remember how wet it was tuned.

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There's a clip of a concertina in meantone on Bob Tedrow's site.

 

 

Heard that many times. What I'm missing is all the other examples from people who claim they play it. Not to put anybody down, but if you are saying you have some tuning and chords sound this way, isn't it better to upload the playing? Bob Tedrow can't stand for everybody.

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There was also the Lachenal Accordeophone, but I can't remember how wet it was tuned.

I also don't remember... or even whether the tuning was wet or dry.

But Chris Timson could tell us.

(He was last "active" on more than a week ago, so I guess he should be checking these pages again fairly soon.)

Jonathan, have you considered octave tuned? :)

(Unfortunately, it seems the photo links have been removed from that thread.)

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Jonathan, have you considered octave tuned?

 

Yes, I did consider it. Marc Untersee did a quick reed swap on one of his melodeons so that I could make a direct comparison between octave tuned and double-voiced in unison in the same instrument. Octave tuned was more like carpet slippers, compared with the steel toecaps of the double-voiced. So I'll be going for that.

 

Now that I've announced it I'd better get a move on. Next step is to make 1:1 mockup ends to establish optimal button positions and sizes. Possibly slightly wider apart and larger than a standard EC. Also to find out what range I might hope to get.

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The Anglo is the most restricted instrument

Yes, but not all that restricted. An anglo with 30 or more buttons is fully chromatic, although I would agree that some keys are pretty unfriendly to play in.

 

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

Again, that's only partly true. Many of the notes are duplicated so you actually have a choice whether to play them on the pull or the push

 

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

be wrong)

I'm sorry, but that's just wrong. The anglo is just as capable of playing these as an EC, although I accept that some keys are more difficult.

 

and you can't usually play chords on it.

??? This will come as a surprise to John Kirkpatrick, Brian Peters, Jody Kruskal and hundreds of other players who routinely play chords. It is true that you can't play every chord in every key, but the anglo is very suited to chordal playing, perhaps more so than the English. Certainly in the circles I move in, I'm far more likely to hear chords played on an anglo than on an EC.

 

Whilst I would not deny that the anglo has some restrictions, and it is certainly at its best in its home keys and closely related keys, I do feel you are portraying it as being more limited than is actually the case. And it certainly has some strengths, which while possible to emulate on other systems are perhaps more difficult on these.

 

The truth is that all three systems have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which to play is a difficult one. It is partly determined by the type of music you wish to play, but also on whether you read music or prefer to play by ear, and how comfortable you are with the different fingering systems (which you can only discover by trying them). In my own case, it was simply a question of availability - the first concertina I bought turned out to be an anglo.

 

When people say you can't play chords on an anglo what they mean is that you can't play any arbitrary chord on it at any time.

The fact that you can play some chords really doesn't matter. You can play some chords on a violin but that doesn't make the

violin suitable for playing chords. Nor can you play in any arbitrary key on an anglo nor can you use any arbitrary phrasing.

When I meet someone who can play a violin concerto on any anglo complete with all the phrasing marks in the original score

then I will accept that an anglo is as versatile as an EC. Please try to be fair to the original questioner. He just wants

to know which concertina would be bests for playing both JAZZ STANDARDS and ITM. Forget your own preferences or which

instrument you play. Do you play a wide range of jazz standards on your Anglo? Have you ever heard of anybody who does?

You are not really trying to help the questioner, you are just misleading him. To play jazz standards you need to be able to

play every chord in every key and you have already admitted that that isn't possible.

 

The questioner didn't ask which concertina is 'best' or which has the easiest fingering and if you don't have the money then

you can't try all the different types to find out. If everyone insists on trying to persuade him to buy what they have, then

he is going to make an expensive mistake.

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The questioner didn't ask which concertina is 'best' or which has the easiest fingering and if you don't have the money then

you can't try all the different types to find out. If everyone insists on trying to persuade him to buy what they have, then

he is going to make an expensive mistake.

 

Well, why don't we all try to answer the short version of hyp's question (as the first person to respond did):

 

So. The questions in short: Is the 30key Anglo fully Chromatic and is the english concertina suited for ITM?

 

Here's my attempt:

 

1. Yes, but not really

2. Yes, but not really

 

;)

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Shaunw, Let me say straight away that I accept that my comments may not be all that helpful to the OP, however your comments about the anglo did not appear to be limited to jazz and ITM but appeared to be generalisations, and I was responding to those.

 

When people say you can't play chords on an anglo what they mean is that you can't play any arbitrary chord on it at any time. The fact that you can play some chords really doesn't matter.

I think that's a very narrow definition. You could say the same about a melodeon or accordion, since they can only play the pre-set chords built into them. The simple fact is that the anglo is widely played with full chordal accompaniment, so to say "you can't usually play chords on it" is plainly wrong.

 

Nor can you play in any arbitrary key on an anglo nor can you use any arbitrary phrasing.

When I meet someone who can play a violin concerto on any anglo complete with all the phrasing marks in the original score

then I will accept that an anglo is as versatile as an EC.

I repeat, an anglo with 30 or more buttons is fully chromatic across much of its range. It may be more difficult to play in some keys, but it's not impossible.

 

As for phrasing, I assume you make this claim because of changes of bellows direction. However, it is often possible to play phrases without changing direction. There might be some phrases which cannot be played legato, but to say that completely rules the instrument out is again too narrow a view, imo. One instrument cannot completely imitate the playing of another, so arrangements for a different instrument must inevitably take account of this. Even on EC, legato playing does not completely reproduce the effect of violin bowing.

 

For these reasons I can see no reason why a violin concerto could not be played on an anglo.

 

It's a piano piece, rather than violin, but try listening to John Kirkpatrick's arrangement for anglo of Johann Matheson's Gigue - it's on Anglo International and Jump at the Sun. I think you'd be surprised at what's possible. Unfortunately I've not been able to find a version of it to listen to online.

 

Do you play a wide range of jazz standards on your Anglo? Have you ever heard of anybody who does?

Harry Scurfield. Fred Kilroy. Both are also noted for playing chordally outside the "usual" keys of the anglo.

 

If I gave the impression that I was saying the anglo would be the best choice for the OP, then that was not my intention. I simply wanted to correct the misleadingly (imo) narrow view of the anglo which you were putting forward. Nevertheless, if he wants to play ITM the anglo would certainly be suitable, and jazz standards are also possible, especially if he is prepared to transpose them to more friendly keys. So it shouldn't be completely ruled out as an option.

Edited by hjcjones
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Shaun, the initial poster also stated he might want to go to ITM summer schools, so your answer also have to take that into account. With the anglo probably better for ITM (until you prove me otherwise, and not only with words) and the english probably better for 'full access' to jazz, the answer isn't as clear as you seem intent on making us believe. A tradeoff will be required by Hyp, no matter what he chooses, and it's for him to decide based on different views in this thread. I also feel your views are based a lot on theory Shaun, and theory doesn't always represent reality.

 

What I'd be curious to know from someone who actually plays ITM on anglo AND english... doesn't the fact that the buttons are more spread out on the english make it a bit harder to play at speed and avoid unwanted button changes? You don't have to cover mush space on the anglo, and often the same button can be used to play two different notes in a row.

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What I'd be curious to know from someone who actually plays ITM on anglo AND english... doesn't the fact that the buttons are more spread out on the english make it a bit harder to play at speed and avoid unwanted button changes?

No.

And in fact, the buttons themselves are not more spread out.

The buttons one uses for a particular tune or phrase may cover more area, but rather than making it "harder" to play at speed, I personally find that it often makes it easier.

 

Not picking on you, Azalin. A great many things have been said in this thread by various individuals which are contrary to fact my personal experience. I expect to respond at length (more groans than applause, I suspect B)), but it will take a large chunk of my time, and I have some other tasks I truly need to finish first (now comes the applause ;)).

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Not picking on you, Azalin. A great many things have been said in this thread by various individuals which are contrary to fact my personal experience. I expect to respond at length (more groans than applause, I suspect B)), but it will take a large chunk of my time, and I have some other tasks I truly need to finish first (now comes the applause ;)).

 

Ah but I was just honnestly asking, and thanks for the answer. The thing is, the fact that some people will comment on what system is best to use without actually playing the darn thing is irritating. My main points about anglo and ITM that I'm pretty convinced about is the fact that playing ITM on anglo will probably be easier when it comes to summer camps and swaping instruments with other ITM players, etc... so anglo being more convenient for ITM is something I am convinced about. The opinion that "you can't play good ITM on english as easily as anglo" is just an opinion of mine, the same way I'd say there are no aliens out there, but I was clear about this I think.

 

I'm looking forward to hear about your personal experience, Jim.

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My main points about anglo and ITM that I'm pretty convinced about is the fact that playing ITM on anglo will probably be easier when it comes to summer camps and swaping instruments with other ITM players, etc... so anglo being more convenient for ITM is something I am convinced about.

No disagreement there. The greater convenience -- as in access to instruction and other players "in the same boat" -- is indeed a fact of the current dominance of anglos among concertinas playing Irish.

 

...just an opinion of mine, the same way I'd say there are no aliens out there....

So you don't believe in us aliens, either?

(As an American living in Denmark, I'm a legal "alien", though still of terrestrial origin. Then again, some of my friends and neighbors aren't convinced of the latter.
:D
)

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