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Most common anglo tuning?


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And a few updates for that article sit on the large undone-pile here...one thing I'd revise, my impression now is that G/D only became common in the modern revival era. More odd key tunings turn up all the time, including many different ones in the piccolo range. :blink:

 

Ken

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C/G - the Irish call it a D tuning.

But isn't there a topic on all available anglo tunings?

Would it be awfully controversial of me if I said that by similar logic, one might consider a C/G instrument to be an "F tuning"? Why? Because on a C/G, the low F is the lowest note you have a full diatonic scale from, and you also have the leading note below (E). if you want to make full use of bass runs and a good range of chords, the key of F is the way to go! ;)

 

Sorry if I've just opened a can of worms, but I needed to get that into the open :)

 

Adrian

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Nobody here has talked about why. I speculate it may be because C/G was reasonably easily available and worked at least OK in the common session keys. Whistles probably ended up in D for the same reason seems to me.

 

OH! And you're in St. Paul. Do you play out? Where?

Edited by cboody
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As I understand it (and I admit I've never played fiddle) the violin sits most comfortably with the sharp keys, G, D, A, E.

 

Add to that that the G/D melodeon breeds like wildfire and has no natural predators, and we have a ready explanation for G and D being common session keys.

 

Those who play Anglo "Irish style" tend to play across the rows in the higher of the two keys (so in C/G they often play in G) and those who play "English style" tend to play in the lower key (G on a G/D). So the proliferation of those keys makes sense.

 

My own concertinas are B flat/F (because it was available at the right time) and G/D (because I play for and with the Morris).

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More odd key tunings turn up all the time, including many different ones in the piccolo range. :blink:

 

Ken

Ken,

 

My first 30b anglo was a "viceroy" from Saxony (Germany). The original tuning is E/B. I guess that it is about 100 years old. I have seen more of them (made for export to england and usa) and they are often tuned in E/B.

 

As for the most commonly used tuning overhere - in the Netherlands - it is mostly C/G because because of availability..... Sometimes I see a GD concertina. I have an F/C - not to fit a tradition, I wanted to have one for singing in the key of F.

 

Mostly people do not buy an extra concerina because they want an additional tuning. It often works the other way around. Tunes are transcribed to fit the instrument...

 

The melodeon players in the Netherlands have another tradition - other kind of music - Dutch boxers often play C/F melodeons, sometimes G/C.

 

For anglo concertinas - I think that the C/G (30b) fits in the folk tradition as it has major scales for F, C, G, D, and playing chords in A and E can be done.

 

Marien

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Nobody here has talked about why. I speculate it may be because C/G was reasonably easily available and worked at least OK in the common session keys.

"Why" is an interesting question, and I don't think that it's an easy one to answer. I believe that C/G became the most common key well over 100 years ago. I think I've read somewhere that C/G was the most common tuning for vintage English-made Anglos, followed by Bb/F, then Ab/Eb. I think that C/G did become the standard later (for Bastari etc.) because that's what people were used to - but I don't know why Jones, Lachenal, Crabb etc. chose to make it the most common key in the first place. Were they following the practice of the German makers, who came first for this sort of concertina? Did they make the decision on their own, for reasons of their own? I know that G/D was a very rare tuning back in those days, though it has become popular more recently, especially for English-style Anglo players. I've also heard that many Ab/Eb concertinas were made for the Salvation Army because their songs were in those keys - and quite a few of those concertinas were converted to G/D as the Salvation Army moved away from the concertina and demand for G/D's rose in a much later period.

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Nobody here has talked about why. I speculate it may be because C/G was reasonably easily available and worked at least OK in the common session keys.

"Why" is an interesting question, and I don't think that it's an easy one to answer.

 

I don't know why either but I was thinking about the size. The 6 inch size makes it quite easy to construct a reed pan for a C/G or a Bb/F concertina. Lower pitches like a GD or FC have some big low reeds - that did not fit in the standard size concertina of 6 inches, would need a bigger instrument.

But maybe it is nonsense to use this as a possible reason as most concertinas were 20b those days (when they started to standardise CG as the tuning)...

 

Another thought is that in many instruments (such as english concertina, piano) the C scale is regarded to be the basic scale - the `white keys`, and makers may have followed that principle.

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(because I play for and with the Morris).

Huh? :blink:

What's the difference between playing for the Morris and playing with the Morris?

I wonder which one I do. :huh:

Playing "for" the Morris is being the musician who plays while the set dances. Playing "with" meant playing music in the pub with the Morris men afterwards.

Oh, then I guess I do both. I don't know anybody who does the latter without also doing the former.

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