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Guest Martin Gibson
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a question of taste,providing that ornamentation does not interfere with rhythym or upset tempo.

 

I'd go further, much further, and assert that ornamentation should only ever be used when it serves the rhythm. And ideally it should be executed in such a way that the listener just hears good playing. You should only be made aware of the ornaments as discrete parts of the music if you are listening with the intention to analyse the performance.

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Guest Martin Gibson

Phrasing that is dictated by the melody, can be achieved on many instruments, Whistle, Fiddle, Flute to name a few.

The 20, 26, 30key Anglo Concertina cannot achieve this, because phrasing is dictated and imposed by bellows direction.

I agree that to a limited extent this can be overcome by cross rowing etc.

Suppose a player wishes to play a slow air,the players ability to play a sequence of notes in a flowing legato manner,can be impaired by the in out nature of the Anglo, this is an example of phrasing being dictated by the nature of the instrument not by the melody.

The 40 KEY Anglo Concertina can achieve this more satisfactorily, but it is still at a disadvantage compared to a violin.

On a violin phrasing is dictated by the bow,and where the player chooses to reverse bow direction, but it is not imposed by the instrument,it is imposed by the player.

Edited by Martin Gibson
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Phrasing that is dictated by the melody, can be achieved on many instruments, Whistle, Fiddle, Flute to name a few.

The 20, 26, 30key Anglo Concertina cannot achieve this, because phrasing is dictated and imposed by bellows direction.

[...]

On a violin phrasing is dictated by the bow,and where the player chooses to reverse bow direction, but it is not imposed by the instrument,it is imposed by the player.

 

There seems to exist a misunderstanding in regards to phrasing.

Fiddlers can play phrases that consist of more than one bow stroke; concertina players can play phrases that consist of more than one bellows direction.

 

Wikipedia:

A phrase in music is a theoretical concept, the describes consecutive melodic notes that belong together, and form a coherent unit. A musical work is typically made up of a melody that consists of numerous consecutive phrases.

 

Musical phrasing on the otherhand, is the creative manner of performing music, so as to make the phrases clearly recognizable and interesting to the listener. It relates to a creative manner of performing, where the phrases are shaped in time to bring out the greatest musical effect and expression, in order to touch the listener.

 

A musical phrase (Greek: φράση — sentence, expression, see also strophe) is a unit of musical meter that has a complete musical sense of its own,[1] built from figures, motifs, and cells and combining to form melodies, periods and larger sections;[2] or the length in which a singer or instrumentalist can play in one breath. [And 1 breath does not equal 1 bow stroke or a string of notes in the same bellows direction! And singers sometimes have to breathe in the middle of a longer phrase. So even the breath is not the non plus ultra when it comes to a definition of phrase.]

[...]

 

In common practice phrases are often four bars or measures long[8] culminating in a more or less definite cadence.[9] A phrase will end with a weaker or stronger cadence, depending on whether it is an antecedent phrase or a consequent phrase.

[...]

 

Musical phrasing

 

Phrasing refers to an expressive shaping of music, and relates to the shaping of notes in time. Phrasing relates to the manner of playing the individual notes of a particular group of consecutive notes; and the way they are weighted and shaped relative to one another. It does not refer to the idealized note values/durations as represented in sheetmusic; but to the multitude of deviations that the performer needs to make from sheetmusic, if a performance is to be expressive, in a particular style and culturally aware. An example may be an acceleration of a group of notes, but there are many more. This shaping of notes is creatively performed by the musician with the aim of expressing (feelings), and can be distinguished by the listener - not only factually, but in music, as emotional expression.

 

[...]

 

The act of shaping a phrase during performance is called musical phrasing and considered an art.

 

A player with a decent command of his/her instrument can shape phrases at his/her will, no matter what the instrument. Changes in bellows or bow directions, stressed notes, legato and staccato notes, short pauses - they all are means to shape phrases. Changes in bow/bellows direction can be used to signal the beginning or end of a phrase, but do not necessarily do so whenever they occur. Otherwise, Irish music played on an Anglo would mainly consist of 1, 2 and 3 note phrases! And what about the banjo? Only one-note "phrases"? Yikes! :o

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Guest Martin Gibson

Phrasing that is dictated by the melody, can be achieved on many instruments, Whistle, Fiddle, Flute to name a few.

The 20, 26, 30key Anglo Concertina cannot achieve this, because phrasing is dictated and imposed by bellows direction.

[...]

On a violin phrasing is dictated by the bow,and where the player chooses to reverse bow direction, but it is not imposed by the instrument,it is imposed by the player.

 

There seems to exist a misunderstanding in regards to phrasing.

Fiddlers can play phrases that consist of more than one bow stroke; concertina players can play phrases that consist of more than one bellows direction.

 

Wikipedia:

A phrase in music is a theoretical concept, the describes consecutive melodic notes that belong together, and form a coherent unit. A musical work is typically made up of a melody that consists of numerous consecutive phrases.

 

Musical phrasing on the otherhand, is the creative manner of performing music, so as to make the phrases clearly recognizable and interesting to the listener. It relates to a creative manner of performing, where the phrases are shaped in time to bring out the greatest musical effect and expression, in order to touch the listener.

 

A musical phrase (Greek: φράση — sentence, expression, see also strophe) is a unit of musical meter that has a complete musical sense of its own,[1] built from figures, motifs, and cells and combining to form melodies, periods and larger sections;[2] or the length in which a singer or instrumentalist can play in one breath. [And 1 breath does not equal 1 bow stroke or a string of notes in the same bellows direction! And singers sometimes have to breathe in the middle of a longer phrase. So even the breath is not the non plus ultra when it comes to a definition of phrase.]

[...]

 

In common practice phrases are often four bars or measures long[8] culminating in a more or less definite cadence.[9] A phrase will end with a weaker or stronger cadence, depending on whether it is an antecedent phrase or a consequent phrase.

[...]

 

Musical phrasing

 

Phrasing refers to an expressive shaping of music, and relates to the shaping of notes in time. Phrasing relates to the manner of playing the individual notes of a particular group of consecutive notes; and the way they are weighted and shaped relative to one another. It does not refer to the idealized note values/durations as represented in sheetmusic; but to the multitude of deviations that the performer needs to make from sheetmusic, if a performance is to be expressive, in a particular style and culturally aware. An example may be an acceleration of a group of notes, but there are many more. This shaping of notes is creatively performed by the musician with the aim of expressing (feelings), and can be distinguished by the listener - not only factually, but in music, as emotional expression.

 

[...]

 

The act of shaping a phrase during performance is called musical phrasing and considered an art.

 

A player with a decent command of his/her instrument can shape phrases at his/her will, no matter what the instrument. Changes in bellows or bow directions, stressed notes, legato and staccato notes, short pauses - they all are means to shape phrases. Changes in bow/bellows direction can be used to signal the beginning or end of a phrase, but do not necessarily do so whenever they occur. Otherwise, Irish music played on an Anglo would mainly consist of 1, 2 and 3 note phrases! And what about the banjo? Only one-note "phrases"? Yikes! :o

no, not so , the Anglo Concertina and all bi-sonic accordeons, to some extent impose a mechanical rhythm on the musical interpretation of the phrase, they do this by imposing a jerk through a bellows reversal, on many occasions this cannot be avoided by the player, some players like the instrument because of this.

The violin has no such restriction, the musician can interpret a musical phrase by bowing it in many different ways,none of which are imposed by the instrument,the result of this are the many different regional fiddle styles, it is the bowing that differentiates Donegal style from the East Clare or Sligo style

Yes, The Banjo is a limited instrument, it is limited by the options of the pick, the plectrum cannot achieve everything that the Bow achieves, the Bowed Psaltery is another instrument that has rhythm imposed upon it and has its limitations as regards legato playing.

Unisonic concertinas do not have the same problem, the rhythm is always imposed by the player,the Unisonic player can reverse their bellows wherever they wish to IF they wish to.

However the bellows reversals and hence IMPOSED musical interpretation, vary very much between the C#D the BC DG CC# and the 30key Anglo,which all add to the interest as regards folk/traditional music.

Classical music is a completely different kettle of fish, the conductors and composers musical interpretations have to be obeyed,this must be more of a problem for bi-sonic concetina's and accordeons.

Edited by Martin Gibson
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then maybe the odd "cut" can be included for emphasis.

 

 

Could you tell me what a "cut" is? I have only been playing the English concertina for two months. I have the Butler, Carlin, Anderson, and Miles books. Anderson and Miles talk about ornamentation, but I did not see a "cut" mentioned in any of the books.

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no, not so , the Anglo Concertina and all bi-sonic accordeons, to some extent impose a mechanical rhythm on the musical interpretation of the phrase, they do this by imposing a jerk through a bellows reversal, on many occasions this cannot be avoided by the player, some players like the instrument because of this.

 

[bold face mine]

 

Phrasing and rhythm are two completely different things. I can understand the view of the concertina having some sort of "inherent" rhythm, but this is still something that a good musician needs to be able to control.

 

With the good concertina players, there is hardly any visible movement when they very smoothly change the direction of the bellows; some don't seem to move the bellows at all. Therefore, there is no jerk in their playing, no stressed note/change in the air pressure superimposed by a change in bellows direction. Good Anglo playing is smooth, with stresses on exactly those notes the player wants them to be. The player is master of the instrument, not the other way round.

 

If the Anglo really had a mechanical rhythm beyond the control of the player, any tune played on an Anglo would be characterized by a constantly varying stress dictated not by the tune but the change of bellows direction. That kind of music would sound pretty awful. Listen to players like Edel Fox, Mícheál O Raghallaigh and so many others and you can hear how much they are in control of the instrument. They play and phrase their tunes exactly the way they want and emphasize exactly the notes they want - with a steady pulse that is not depending on bellows changes but on bellows control. I definitely can't hear any limitation in their musical expression due to bellows changes or any kind of superimposed rhythm and there's definitely nothing mechanical about it.

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Rather than compare various instruments and their respective strengthsand /or limitations , it is useful to consider singing and lilting /diddling as that and the whistle wre probably early danc accompaniments.

Phrasing and Ornamentation are put in because the tune would be pretty boring without it and it aids flow, like a tongued recorder can be prett tedious.. Imagine a reel as an endless array of 8 x1/8th notes .

 

 

Personally i like to listen to players who have grown up playing for dancing, the purpose of most of what the tunes as we play them now were for. A soloplayer for dancing would need enough volume, dynamic phrasing and lift mainly

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Personally i like to listen to players who have grown up playing for dancing, the purpose of most of what the tunes as we play them now were for.

 

That's an argument that's made a lot, on the internet, and while it's essentially true it's probably worth remembering what Garrett Barry, 19th century piper, said to that: 'I play for the soul, not for the feet'.

 

Barry's music informed much of Willie Clancy's, also a piper but by all accounts handy enough on the concertina. Not one whose playing was was much associated with the sets, but one worth listening to we can agree, I think.

 

 

I realised earlier the phrasing argument with 'Martin Gibson' contained a bit of a deja vu. I have seen elements of that one a few times, both in the argument made and in the idiosyncratic use of interpunction. I have seen it when the poster was wearing his true identity as well as a few of his many false ones. It's best left at that.

Edited by Peter Laban
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then maybe the odd "cut" can be included for emphasis.

 

 

Could you tell me what a "cut" is? I have only been playing the English concertina for two months. I have the Butler, Carlin, Anderson, and Miles books. Anderson and Miles talk about ornamentation, but I did not see a "cut" mentioned in any of the books.

 

 

A "cut" is a simple word for either an "Appogiatura" or an "Acciccatura". These are Italian terms for tiny notes that are played just before or at the same time as a normal length note. One type takes a tiny amount of time from the accented note and thus is the one played before this accented note and the other type is sometimes described as a "crushed-in" note. The Crushed-in note is started at the same time as the note to be accented and then imediately stopped and thus takes no time from the main note. Which of these two Italian words refers to each type of "cut" I do not remember but you can find proper definitions elsewhere.

I think that in Irish Trad. Concertina playing it is more the Crushed-in note that is used, I could be wrong. So to describe how one might use such a thing;

 

take a note that you wish to accent (grace , ornament or decorate, pick your own terminology) , at the moment of commencing to play that note

play also another note, typically a third or fourth above the note to be accented. The little grace note is then immediately stopped leaving the main note playing for its needed length. This gives our main note a little rhythmic kick. Players usually pick a note two or more notes above the one to be accented to use as a "cut".

 

I do hope this explains clearly. You can hear many recorded examples of this , one player who did this very clearly was Tommy McCarthy.

 

Best regards and I am more than willing to try and help with any other questions that you might pose,

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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