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Chris Drinkwater

Tango On An Alto-Aeola Concertina

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I don't know if this video has been posted on here before but I don't remember seeing it. I love this tune and his playing of it and wanted to share it. He is playing a converted tenor-treble Aeola English convertina that goes down 5 notes lower than normal but the fingering is the same as a standard treble.

 

 

Chris

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Amazing coincidence - or something else? :huh:

 

In fact it is a real pleasure to listen to this kind of stuff from Conzertino (as I did on the last weekend)!

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I suppose this is a concertina player playing for concertina minded folk, but as far as Tango goes, I think the performance can be greatly improved by adding the accent, or snap, that Tango music is famous for. The entirely legato sound of this performance lacks the tango rhythm, retaining only its melody, and thus, falls short in that way. I don't think Tango dancers would like to dance to it. It doesn't feel like a Tango.

All this is a bit surprising to me because the concertina is such a light and mobile instrument, which should allow at least some of the sharp accents present in Tango dynamics. When Tango is played on the bandoneon, the traditional Tango instrument, the musician achieves many of the accents in volume by ramming the instrument down onto the thigh. I can't see why such effect cannot also be achieved with the concertina. As a caution, I do mention that there may be some limitations how dynamic concertina reed response can be, at least when comparing it to that of a bandoneon. They might choke. Bandoneon reed valves are purposely curved away from the tongue, I think, in order to allow such extreme dynamics.

 

Best regards,

Tom

www.bluesbox.biz

Edited by ttonon

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As a caution, I do mention that there may be some limitations how dynamic concertina reed response can be, at least when comparing it to that of a bandoneon. They might choke. Bandoneon reed valves are purposely curved away from the tongue, I think, in order to allow such extreme dynamics.

 

Perhaps he would play it by now more in a way like the one you suggest (on his quite suitable metal-ended Aeola). I have notified the player, maybe he'll join the discussion...

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Ok, here we go;-) It is a bad recording on a not so good instrument ( a late Wheatstone ). It is harder to play in the tenor-range, because the reeds speak slower. I only recorded this video to show the instrument to an American customer, who consequently bought the box.

 

I play quite a bit of tango, but I dowbt very much that an English concertina can reach up to a good bandoneon ( of which I had a few ). And I do a better job on one of my own Aeolas;-)

 

The special features of the bandoneon are the double-reeds tuned in octave and the muted left-hand side - and of cource it is diatonic.

 

With a bit of luck I will put up some new stuff in the nearer future...

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The special features of the bandoneon are the double-reeds tuned in octave and the muted left-hand side - and of cource it is diatonic.

 

I am puzzled by this statement. The standard Rheinische-lage Argentinian bandoneon is completely chromatic. The notes are in really weird places, but they are all there.

 

ocd

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The special features of the bandoneon are the double-reeds tuned in octave and the muted left-hand side - and of cource it is diatonic.

 

I am puzzled by this statement. The standard Rheinische-lage Argentinian bandoneon is completely chromatic. The notes are in really weird places, but they are all there.

 

In referring to squeezeboxes, the word "diatonic" has acquired a second meaning, quite different from it's original musical meaning. In this case it means "different notes on push and pull".

 

Once upon a time I (and others) tried to stop this "corruption", but I think most of us have learned to accept that this has simply become an additional -- though "specialist" -- meaning of the word.

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Once upon a time I (and others) tried to stop this "corruption", but I think most of us have learned to accept that this has simply become an additional -- though "specialist" -- meaning of the word.

 

So, he meant "bi-sonoric"?! Thanks for the explanation.

 

ocd

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Once upon a time I (and others) tried to stop this "corruption"

 

:lol: :ph34r:

 

(which is actually my very first "without words" posting here...)

 

Compliments across the Baltic!

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That is an interesting one. Would a 20 key anglo be a diatonic instrument, a 45 key anglo however a chromatic one?

 

The same happened with the bandoneon. It developed out of the definitely diatonic konzertina by adding more and more notes.

 

Both have all notes available on push and pull, but are more or less based on two diatonic rows of two keys.

 

I think Jim explained it well!

 

In Europe ( Germany, France, Spain etc. ) we commonly use the term diatonic for bi-sonoric, especially for these borderline-instruments.

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That is an interesting one.

 

Yes, it is. I should start by saying (i.e. repeating) that I prefer to limit the use of the term "diatonic" to the layout of any given instrument (be it with keyboard or for instance a recorder) regardless of it being uni- or bisonoric.

 

On this view "diatonic" obviously gets a wider range of application than "bi-sonoric". Recorders are diatonic as long as the scales of C-maj, D-dor., A-min, G-mix a.s.f. (maybe via transposing to other keys such as Bb-Maj) come quite easily, whereas the accidentals lie somewhat abroad. Pianos a.s.f. are diatonic because the "white keys" constitute the 7 modes (as mentioned before) in there basic position (C-maj. a.s.f.).

 

Therefore IMO the (uni-sonoric, as all of you know) EC is a diatonic instrument, because its basic structure is build upon the same scales (even coloured in white on a Lachenal tutor model).

 

I would like to emphasise that this is, again IMO, not at all ivory tower talking. The strength of the EC system is based on this diatonic core with accicentals at hand just where you might need them.

 

For that reason the EC could be namend "diatonic" by the same token as the Anglo, but possibly with a more natural allocation of the accidentals, a.k.a. "black keys".

 

The difference between Chemnitzer, Bandoneon a.s.f. on one hand and the EC (Aeola or whatever) on the other hand obviously includes, as Conzertino mentioned, double reeds vs. single reeds as well as bi-sonoric vs. uni-sonoric. Regarding the strange allocation of any "stranger" note on the Bandoneon's keyboard I would assign the term "chromatic" rather to the Bandoneon than to the EC.

 

Phew....!

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This is getting a bit out of hand. The definition of the word diatonic doesn't change as far as musical theory is concerned but it would appear that some people like to bend the rules to try and make them fit an instrument to which the name doesn't apply. A truly diatonic instrument like the 20 key anglo contains only the notes of the named keys along the row and is absolutely fixed within the home keys, a thirty key instrument offers a great deal more scope but is only versatile across a limited range of keys at best.

 

To claim that the pianoforte is a diatonic instrument based on the scales available on the white keys alone is quite simply absurd. I find it intriguing that EC and Æola are named as if they are different instruments. Standard concertinas (if there are any such things) 'traditionally' had six sides, Lachenal Edeophones have twelve sides and Wheatstone Æolas have eight sides. Wheatstone English, anglo and MacCann system duet concertinas were available as top of the range Æolas as well a six sided boxes.

 

So if the EC and the pianoforte are not chromatic instruments would you care to name something that is? (careful now :P )

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So if the EC and the pianoforte are not chromatic instruments would you care to name something that is? (careful now :P )

 

The Maccann Duet? :ph34r:

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I've just about given up on using the words "chromatic" and "diatonic" to apply to instruments of any sort, and am becoming careful to apply the terms only to scales. I can say that the harmonica has a diatonic scale through the upper octaves, and that the piano has a diatonic scale on the white keys, and that my "Super Chromonica" has all the notes of a chromatic scale.

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To claim that the pianoforte is a diatonic instrument based on the scales available on the white keys alone is quite simply absurd.

 

Pete - on a serious note, I don't argue against chromatic avaibility of notes, of course. I just want(ed) to highlight the basis structure of instruments that offer all the seven modes at., let's say, first hand and than allow proceeding with the accicentals one by one.

 

The downside of this is, if you're playing mainly on your own, to stick to the "simpler" keys - but the upside is well worth noting however: You (or at least: I myself) get and keep a good unterstanding of basic harmonic relationship and structure this way.

 

So you don't get me right assuming that I'm after a controversy on word meaning a.s.f. - it's just my obsession with piano and EC which leads me to those provoking statements (with tongue firmly in cheek, if you like).

 

Regards - Wolf

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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Pete - on a serious note, I don't argue against chromatic avaibility of notes, of course. I just want(ed) to highlight the basis structure of instruments that offer all the seven modes at., let's say, first hand and than allow proceeding with the accicentals one by one.

 

The downside of this is, if you're playing mainly on your own, to stick to the "simpler" keys - but the upside is well worth noting however: You (or at least: I myself) get and keep a good unterstanding of basic harmonic relationship and structure this way.

 

So you don't get me right assuming that I'm after a controversy on word meaning a.s.f. - it's just my obsession with piano and EC which leads me to those provoking statements (with tongue firmly in cheek, if you like).

 

Oh well that's improved it worse as we say in Yorkshire.

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Oh well that's improved it worse as we say in Yorkshire.

 

That's what I like to have for breakfast... :D

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