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Best Concertina For A Pianist


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I am looking for my first concertina, and I am wondering which type I should get. What concertina could be learned most easily by a piano player? Does the duet play the same when drawn and compressed? And does it have higher notes on the right and lower on the left? If that's true, it sounds like that would be the easiest, right? I want to play fast scales, so can the Duet concertina do that?

 

Thanks!

 

Daniel

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I came to concertinas from stringed instruments ( not ignoring the fact that pianos have strings ) I've played english, duet and Anglo , though not bandoeon. I made my choice by the kind of music I liked to play and which instrument did the best job of it. My wife started with piano and had no trouble with the Anglo even though it is possibly the least like the piano in the way it works. You may find your brain handles one type better than another. ( I never warmed up to the English, though I really liked the duet.). But if you are clever enough to do two seemingly unrelated things with your hands and read two or more lines of music at a time, you are clever enough to master any of the concertinas with the same diligent effort you applied to the piano. What kind of music you like or want to play should be your starting point. Practice is what makes things easy.

Dana

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Hi Daniel,

 

being a devoted English player with a strong pianistic background myself I would advise you to give this great system a second thought. Whatever the pros and cons of the systems may be (see the existing threads - including some posts from my side as well - as mentioned), regarding fluently playing scales and runs, the English will be worth considering.

 

How ever your choice may turn out, best wishes for your concertina journey - Wolf

Edited by blue eyed sailor
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If you're a pianist and have been for some time you may find the English system counter-intuitive; I certainly do. The whole alternating-hands thing feels completely alien to me, but as Wolf shows, that doesn't necessarily hold true for everyone. Duet and anglo suited me, duet in particular as it allows an overlap between the hands, as long as the instrument has enough buttons.

 

The best advice is to get your hands on some instruments, if you can.

 

What sort of repertoire are you thinking of playing?

Edited by StuartEstell
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Perhaps it is inappropriate to attempt to compare any of the Concertina systems too closely to the piano. The practicalities involved in operating a concertina bear very little relationship to those of the piano. It is a law unto itself and a totally different challenge. Therein lies so much of the fun.

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Thank you very much for your replies. They have really helped!

 

What sort of repertoire are you thinking of playing?

 

I would like to play french music that is kind of jazzy. The particular music that I want to play comes from Disney's Ratatouille soundtrack. I am not sure wether they used an accordion or a concertina, but I like the look of the concertina better. The music is mostly melodic, and it doesn't use harmony or chords all that much. So, now that I think about it, the English might suit me better.

 

I am fifteen years old, and my resources are limited. In my search for a good, inexpensive instrument, I have come across Concertina Connection. The Jackie looks like my favorite, so far. Are there any other choices that would fit my criteria better?

 

-Daniel

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The Jackie is a good choice for a first EC.

 

Assuming that you are in the US and that you are going to buy a new box, then it would be worth your while contacting the Button Box.

 

First, they will rent you a concertina with your rental payments going towards a purchase. You could try other concertina systems during the rental period to confirm that an EC is what you want.

 

Second, if you buy a Jackie from the Button Box then you can later trade it in against one of their mid-range ECs, or the Concertina Connection will accept it as a trade in against their Rose EC. In both cases I believe that your full purchase price will be given on a trade in. If you buy direct from the Concertina Connection then you can still trade against a Rose, but not against a Morse concertina from the Button Box.

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If you like "French music that is kind of jazzy," and is mostly melodic, with little chordal or bass counterpoint, EC could be wonderful. I actually think accordion-reeded concertinas sound better for that music than "concertina-reeded" ones. I was by no means concert-class, but my early musical background is piano, and love EC for melodic music, had no trouble getting the bilateral switching-of-hands aspect. I learned Anglo concertina to a very decent standard, but have been playing EC of late precisely because of how fluid and expressive it is for "notey" melody music.

 

For the type of music you mention, I'd also urge and endorse taking a good look at chromatic button accordion ("CBA"). This is the accordion the French play all that gorgeous jazzy stuff on. (They use bisonorics for the rural folk-dance music, but CBA for the jazzy Paris musette stuff). Since "looks" matter to you, they look really cool, and there is nothing you can't do with them. Having said that, I play both CBA and EC and am finding myself very happy in that place....On ebay right now there are two Hohner Nova 60A CBAs, and I see that one is at a very nice price.....Excellent starter CBA model with very responsive, fast reeds for the price. Not trying to talk you out of EC adventures by any means, just sayin'....CBA is super too for "French music that is kind of jazzy."

Edited by ceemonster
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Thank you very much for your replies. They have really helped!

 

What sort of repertoire are you thinking of playing?

 

I would like to play french music that is kind of jazzy. The particular music that I want to play comes from Disney's Ratatouille soundtrack. I am not sure wether they used an accordion or a concertina, but I like the look of the concertina better.

That particular music you like from Ratatouille, Daniel, is played on a piano accordion by Frank Marocco.

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yep. i believe dan newton of "cafe accordion orchestra" also plays this type of music on PA. unisonoric accordions, weapons of choice for jazzy/musette-y french stuff. actually, some of the prime composers of french musette/swing were CBA virtuosos, gus viseur, joe privat among them. but it sounds wonderful on unisonoric concertinas as well...

Edited by ceemonster
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If you want to play fast stuff, I would recommend the English system – you simply have two hands for one melody! I play musette walzes and fast Bach stuff on the ES.

 

If you want to play melody plus chords or two melodies in harmony, you should pick a duet-system!

 

Good players can do both on both systems – but it is a long way…

 

Both British and German companies made concertinas with piano-layout. They never really caught on – so they are quite rare. It is basically a piano-duet!

 

I happen so have one for sale:

 

post-7162-0-96977800-1427187876_thumb.jpg

 

It is an old picture. By now she got new bellows and has been restored.

Edited by conzertino
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Although I would like to get a CBA, It is still out of my price range.

 

First, they will rent you a concertina with your rental payments going towards a purchase. You could try other concertina systems during the rental period to confirm that an EC is what you want.

Second, if you buy a Jackie from the Button Box then you can later trade it in against one of their mid-range ECs, or the Concertina Connection will accept it as a trade in against their Rose EC. In both cases I believe that your full purchase price will be given on a trade in. If you buy direct from the Concertina Connection then you can still trade against a Rose, but not against a Morse concertina from the Button Box.

 

I would like to try out the rental period. I didn't even know that was a possibility.

 

It's been fun getting all of your replies. I have learned a lot!

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Both British and German companies made concertinas with piano-layout. They never really caught on – so they are quite rare. It is basically a piano-duet!

 

I happen so have one for sale:

 

It is an old picture. By now she got new bellows and has been restored.

 

Is this currently on Ebay? If not, do have a recent picture, and what is your asking price?

 

Thanks,

Daniel

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That particular music you like from Ratatouille, Daniel, is played on a piano accordion by Frank Marocco.

 

 

yep. i believe dan newton of "cafe accordion orchestra" also plays this type of music on PA. unisonoric accordions, weapons of choice for jazzy/musette-y french stuff. actually, some of the prime composers of french musette/swing were CBA virtuosos, gus viseur, joe privat among them. but it sounds wonderful on unisonoric concertinas as well...

 

Thanks for sharing this, I have looked up some of the musicians, and I really like their music!

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Daniel, where are you based? Another good idea would be to go to a concertina-meeting. Coming weekend there will be 45 concertina-players of all systems and all kind of styles gathereing at my place in Germany. There will be instruments to try and to buy.

 

You could also meet a few friends from concertina.net;-)

 

http://www.concertinas.de/meeting.htm

 

You will find similar meetings in England, the US and Sweden ( where else?? )...

Edited by conzertino
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Both British and German companies made concertinas with piano-layout. They never really caught on – so they are quite rare. It is basically a piano-duet!

 

I happen so have one for sale:

 

It is an old picture. By now she got new bellows and has been restored.

 

Is this currently on Ebay? If not, do have a recent picture, and what is your asking price?

 

Thanks,

Daniel

Daniel

 

These piano-like duets did not catch on for a reason. Since you know the piano keyboard you can probably make up a paper version of the layout and see if you can play anything interesting on it.

 

Sorry Robert, but are these not more of a collectable rather than a useful instrument?

 

Don

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