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Tune Of The Month, May 2013: Parson's Farewell


Jim Besser
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My contribution here on Wakker W-W1. Played in dm as found in Barlow edited The Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master (1651-ca.1728).

 

Very fine playing! And whereas I don't play a Duet myself I'd nevertheless rate this as very nicely taking advantage from the capabilities of just the Duet.

 

And nice idea arranging the various contributions to date in a set... :)

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Great idea putting the Sound Cloud versions into a set. A real pleasure to listen to them one after the other. It's so nice when one can learn and admire at the same time. Thank you -- and for your fabulous version, Squeeze Cat.

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Thanks for the kind comments.

 

I consider myself to have 'just started' with the Wicki/Hayden, having started out with the Anglo. In many ways I find the flexibility of the Wicki/Hayden (and I would suppose the same would be true for other duet systems) to be a real challenge. I found that on the Anglo my choices for making a suitable arrangement tended to be limited to what 'played well' on the instrument. (Of course, this is true with all idiomatic writing!) Or, maybe another way of saying this is that I found my arranging for the Anglo to be largely shaped by the instrument. E.g., chord spelling (root or inversion) and or voicing, in particular.

 

Of course, there are still limitations for a 46 key Wicki/Hayden (compass!), but issues like chord spelling and bellows direction aren't a major obstacle. Now, I find the big challenge for making an arrangement to be about texture (chords here, or maybe this section with separate lines?). With the Anglo, I found it easy to feel "this sounds like Anglo," and make my choices with that in mind. I can't say I have a similar confidence with the Wicki/Hayden at this point....

 

In any case, it is great to hear what everyone has done with the tune!

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For me the EC turned out as pretty unique in avoiding the melody/accompaniment split of both Anglo and Duet. Though many pianists might object to this the EC thereby conveys a feeling of likeness to the piano to me (my personal "break-through" having been the insight of not playing just melody on the right and accompaniment on the left).

 

My guess about the various Duet systems is that they provide the maximum possible freedom of accompaniment, and that's what you - SqueezeCat - seem to utilize in quite an effective way. The result is, IMO, independency of sort of two sound sources (whereas I tend to regard the EC as just one continuous instrument like a fiddle, or - as said above - a piano).

 

(BTW, post No. 500!)

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Here is my version.

 

https://soundcloud.com/erbafdavid/parsons-farewell-mini-norman

 

Eventually I chose to record with my miniature 13-button Norman (one row in D).

A very lively and funny instrument, and my loudest one !

But not that easy to play : the main difficulty is air management, especially when playing with chords like here. The bellows is very short and I'm quickly out or air, so sometimes the tune have to be slightly tweaked. For instance, here, in the second part, the "echo" in the low register is a trick to play a push note....

 

As in my april recording, the sound quality is quite bad, with a noticable buzzing. After recording, I found the problem : one cable plugged in my mini mixer which was connected to nothing. I fixed the problem but afterwards I did a few other takes and all of them ended up in a mess. I hope to replace it with a better version one of these days...

Edited by david fabre
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Here is my version.

 

https://soundcloud.com/erbafdavid/parsons-farewell-mini-norman

 

Eventually I chose to record with my miniature 13-button Norman (one row in D).

A very lively and funny instrument, and my loudest one !

But not that easy to play : the main difficulty is air management, especially when playing with chords like here. The bellows is very short and I'm quickly out or air, so sometimes the tune have to be slightly tweaked. For instance, here, in the second part, the "echo" in the low register is a trick to play a push note....

 

As in my april recording, the sound quality is quite bad, with a noticable buzzing. After recording, I found the problem : one cable plugged in my mini mixer which was connected to nothing. I fixed the problem but afterwards I did a few other takes and all of them ended up in a mess. I hope to replace it with a better version one of these days...

 

That's very nice both in terms of the sound of your "Mini Norman" and the liveliness of your playing!

 

And as to replacing the recording... I'm well acquainted with that proposition... :)

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My contribution here on Wakker W-W1. Played in dm as found in Barlow edited The Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master (1651-ca.1728).

Very nice playing, indeed! The thing I didn't like about it is that it made me want an instrument like that even more than I already do!

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The thing I didn't like about it is that it made me want an instrument like that even more than I already do!

The nice thing is that there are now a number of Wicki/Hayden instruments available from a variety of makers.

 

Chris Algar states on his web page:

 

Hayden Duet concertinas may be talked about on the net but they are amazingly rare - only about 50 were ever made so don't raise your hopes on finding one and they wouldn't be cheap - I gather that the Concertina Connection now make them.

While not common place, I wouldn't say they're so rare now.

 

At the top end from the Wakkers are the W-W1 / W-H1 and W-W2 / W-H2. (I have to say I really like my W-W1!) They also do the mid-range hybrid Peacock, which looks like a nice instrument. (The padouk ended custom instrument on this page looks great!) I did start getting to know the Wicki/Hayden system through the Elise, and traded it in when my W-W1 was ready.

 

The Button Box's Beaumont looks like a great hybrid instrument. Haven't had the chance to try one of these out, yet. :(

 

Of course, at the top end there's always Wheatstone... and I understand Dipper also makes Haydens. Unfortunately, I've never had a chance to try out any of these--and these may be the instruments that Algar suggests are "amazingly rare".

 

 

For me, playing with the Elise was a good way to get a feel for what could be done with the system at an entry-level price point. Enjoyed it enough that I put in an order for the W-W1. May have gone for the Peacock, but it wasn't available at the time. That said, I don't regret having pushed out the boat for the W-W1. I'm really enjoying it!

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And nice idea arranging the various contributions to date in a set... :)

The thinking being that it would be nice to hear everyone's contribution in one place. Not sure if this'll work... but below is a go at embedding the set:

 

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/squeezecat/sets/parsons-farewell-concertina[/soundcloud]

 

Edit: hmm... didn't work....

 

Ah, I see now. An admin needs to set up embedding for Sound cloud. The instructions are here: https://blog.soundcloud.com/2009/07/28/soundcloud-player-in-forums-5-step-guide-for-soundcloud-bb-code/

 

Could be useful....

Edited by SqueezeCat
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Finally - I deliver!...

 

http://www.ruediger-asche.de/tidbits/pf_6_30_13.mp3

 

interesting how hard it is to play the bass notes on 2 and 4 if one is not used to it. I believe it fits the piece though. Any opinions (both aye and ney) welcome of course.

 

And yes - I did play both hands simultaneously - no cheating this time, and no cutting, dubbing or manipulating the track either - recorded as played...

 

Thanks for listening in!

Edited by Ruediger R. Asche
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