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Mike, "burden" has several meanings, it can mean a theme, a recurring idea (and perhaps from this, the chorus of a song) as well as meaning a drone - which might also be considered a recurring theme. It could also mean the bass accompaniment, although this use is 'archaic'

Just to get this rumbling along a bit more and move it beyond the Cheshire salt mines....the very much non-archaic use of bourdon is of course what the French today use for the long bass pipes on an organ


That said, and before Howard comes thundering back, much doubt is cast on the various potential origins of the word at this url which comes down very much on the origin being Celtic and gaelic (perhaps for our players of Irish music.... Irish (gaelic)) :)




And the Celts were spread high and low up to 250,000 years ago even


If you take a line from coastal southern Europe it tends to run North past the coasts of Celtic populations in Spain/French Pyrenees (Basques), Brittany Cornwall, Isle of Man, Wales, Ireland, Scotland. And of course lots of these areas are known for their bagpipes (with drunks drones!)


Get ready for this at 22 seconds 128 foot pipe bourdon


and at 31 or so secs

(this hymn is a common instance of plain chant being led by the organ (which reflects a little Mike's point elsewhere - that 'modern plain chant' is often accompanied by organ




Edited by Kautilya
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This is my own personal opinion, so don't everybody start getting hostile. I think drones on a concertina are not a good idea, especially on an anglo. A drone is supposed to be a steady background sound of a note which is compatible with the key in which the music is being played. (think bagpipe) On an anglo, at least, it sounds like a series of hiccoughs, not a steady, unobtrusive background sound, unless played sparingly, and with little or no change in bellows direction. If it is played sparingly, or intermitently, I wouldn't call it a drone. Then there's the issue of balance, which is where the Enlish system also applies. Drones are usually low of the melody line in pitch, and can overwhelm the melody in volume. It may be possible for very skilled players to use a drone, throughout a tune, or set of tunes, but I have rarely heard it done effectively.


so, you're saying that drones are best unmanned? hahaha! hoh boy.

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I have a D2 drone on my G/Ds. I can use it either as the bottom note if I want to play in a very low octave, or as a straight drone.


The latter is usually "hey, this tune is in D, but I don't know it, let me give it a little bit of a bottom end while everyone else plays".

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