Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jody Kruskal

Help Requested - 48 Ec Arrangement

Recommended Posts

I’ve been asked to make a score of the lovely Waltz #2 by Dimitri Shostakovich, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmCnQDUSO4I

arrangement for 48 button English Concertina. This is what I’ve come up with so far.

Because I don’t actually play the English system, I was hoping someone here might give me a hand. Although it looks moderately difficult, and that’s OK, I was hoping that some c.net EC expert might alert me to sections that may be nigh on impossible to play.

Let me know and I’ll simplify accordingly. Thanks for your help.

 

post-557-0-45878800-1512616683_thumb.jpg

Edited by Jody Kruskal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jody, looks appropriate and in fact lovely (albeit probably soundwise not easygoing due to the closeness of the harmony, which I'm sure I wouldn't need to tell you), and I'm not stumbling over anything that should be unplayable when skimming the dots. I'm eager to give it a try (which however has to be postponed as I don't want to break Dagmar's sleep in the middle of the night... 🙃

 

I'll come back to you ASAP, hopefully within 24 hours...

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jody, I have now been able to give the arrangement a try, but have not completely made up my mind as yet. It's lovely, and playable, with one or two difficulties. However, there are two issues IMO: on the one hand transposing the tune to e-minor makes for a nice start but takes it too high from bar 21 to 28 (at least with my instrument, which however may need some new valves for these reeds), plus: the thirds sound very harsh there! the other issue is that some of these bars (21 ff.) might be taking the player to the limit, or beyond. So why not leave it in c-minor, and maybe replace the thirds with octaves? just a first impression, overall I'm impressed and delighted, and I think the (minor) A-section is indeed working on its own, without the rest.

 

I'll come back to the matter later.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I copied (hopefully accurately, but probably not) Jody's score into Musescore and then played it back through a concertina sound font.

 

This dropbox folder contains an .mp3 of the result, plus some Musescore files.

 

Please let me know of any corrections and I will remake the files.

 

Don.

 

09 Dec 2017: I am having problems with the sound fonts that I am using so I have decided to take down my dropbox folder for this tune.

Edited by Don Taylor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Don,

 

That's very kind of you to take the trouble. A few corrections...

 

It's all rather too fast. Try one quarter=130 instead of the 200 you've got.

Mes. 21 the high notes should be E and G. Something wrong here?

Mes. 40 and 42 should have the bass note be low Bs, not the Es you have.

You have not observed the first and 2nd endings but rather play the first ending twice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jody, I have now been able to give the arrangement a try, but have not completely made up my mind as yet. It's lovely, and playable, with one or two difficulties. However, there are two issues IMO: on the one hand transposing the tune to e-minor makes for a nice start but takes it too high from bar 21 to 28 (at least with my instrument, which however may need some new valves for these reeds), plus: the thirds sound very harsh there! the other issue is that some of these bars (21 ff.) might be taking the player to the limit, or beyond. So why not leave it in c-minor, and maybe replace the thirds with octaves? just a first impression, overall I'm impressed and delighted, and I think the (minor) A-section is indeed working on its own, without the rest.

 

I'll come back to the matter later.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Dear Wolf,

 

Thanks for your help. Some thoughts.

 

Here are 4 reasons why the melody goes up at measure 21:

 

Dimitri wrote it that way.

The line ends on an A in mes. 24 making the bass note too close to the melody note for the Pa Pas to fit nicely if I wrote it in the low octave.

The EC in good working order actually does play up there and it would be nice to use that range for variety sake.

Makes a nice contrast with the low section in mes. 28 creating a natural dynamic shift down.

 

Despite this, the proof is in the pudding and if playing high at 21 does not sound good, I'll have to bring it down an octave and figure it out. To help, I've turned those high offending thirds into 6ths, added a bit of the internal line, a little bass run and other tweaks. Here is the score for Waltz #2.3

 

post-557-0-25450200-1512767726_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Jody.

 

When I looked at your score (after listening to the youtube), my first thought was “Why half notes for the bass line, rather than something shorter (quarters, or staccato quarters), as the orchestra clearly plays it.”

 

Listening to Don’s mp3 rendering confirms the impression: having the bass notes overlap with the chord notes that fill out the measures loses crispness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jody, before eagerly going to the revised score I may have to admit that I apparently didn't make myself clear enough. Undoubtedly you have the melody right, including the high octave - but as I found the melody possibly too high at that single point I was musing about transposing the whole thing down by 4 semitones (which would BTW be the original key AFAIK). However, e-minor sounds lovely indeed, as mentioned above, so I'm not very positive here.

 

(notice to self: back to the concertina!)

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The high G is in urgent need of a new valve or two and certainly will sound stronger then, anyway I will give the arrangement a try in c-minor as well at some point later I guess.

 

Apart from that, the revision has actually solved both the sound and the playability issues I'd been mentioning - well done Jody! It is a very nice arrangement indeed, with some difficulties well worth it, but requiring some more practice before recording would make sense. My weekend project (as far as music is concerned), let's see how far I'll be able to take it.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Edited by Wolf Molkentin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Jody.

 

When I looked at your score (after listening to the youtube), my first thought was “Why half notes for the bass line, rather than something shorter (quarters, or staccato quarters), as the orchestra clearly plays it.”

 

Listening to Don’s mp3 rendering confirms the impression: having the bass notes overlap with the chord notes that fill out the measures loses crispness.

Hi David, on this point I disagree - I found the arrangement very conertina-ish insofar (and was loving the first four bars, played accordingly, right from the start). The second quater will get the Wiener-Walzer emphasis (and played slightly before the beat), and still hearing the bass note can well encrease this effect IMO.

 

It will be subject so sensitive bellows technique not to drown everything here...

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit on 09 Dec 2017:

 

I don't think that I am going to able to fix the sound fonts any time soon. Now that Jody has published an mp3 of his latest version of his score I think that I will take down my dropbox folder.

Edited by Don Taylor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Don, and all

 

Here is my latest .3 version of the score posted above, first section of Waltz #2 as an mp3 on dropbox with an organ patch that does a pretty good job of replicating the concertina sound.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/59j7hz62mly9u9g/Waltz%20%232Umpa.3.mp3?dl=0

 

So my question to all you EC experts is... can this be actually played by human fingers? What you are hearing with this link is just midi magic.

 

There is still one note that bugs me and needs fixing.

 

Wolf - Yes, this is a bit high, but my thinking as for the Key... I have put it at Em because the following sections will then be in G and C... should I write them. Em, G and C all seem like likely easy keys for the 48 EC and with their available bass notes should access likely achievable and satisfactory harmonies. and accompaniment options.

Edited by Jody Kruskal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a remark OT that I feel I have to make:

 

Since the video Jody is pointing to appears not to be available in Europe, YT gave me, of all the versions possibly out there ... André Rieu - which happens to make for a horrid experience. I reckon Shostakovich has written the piece in either a cynical attitude or as a grotesque bourgeois. As for the latter, the tasteless Rieu performance and creepy audience are making, if not willingly, for a perfect illustration - like a scene right from hell below.

 

Back to the topic: I appreciate your approach to just reclaim the musical core of the A section, Jody. However, a more folkish way of playing it might then be considered. It's probably beyond the notation anyway. I guess I would keep the diminished chords, but might through in some different harmony towards the (repetitive) end. The rest would be ornamentation...

 

I'll stick to it anyway. Best wishes - Wolf

 

PS: Like this little waltz (like myself, apparently Jody and many others) or not, I'm pretty sure DS would have felt like blowing his brain out facing the idea of just this piece of Walzer-Seligkeit surviving of his catalogue of both deep and ambitious music...

 

(edited to just erase a repeated word; please note that the above has happened to be a one-stroke - as far as the topic is not concerned - rant)

Edited by Wolf Molkentin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my question to all you EC experts is... can this be actually played by human fingers?

 

No time to analyze in detail the arrangement, but a couple of questions that I think are important:

  • Who is supposed to be playing it? Aside from competence, what is their personal style of playing? There are at least a couple of places where all four fingers of a single hand are required to play all the notes written. (There are other buttons between every pair of buttons required at the given moment.) If the player of the English is used to a 3-finger style, they may not be able to adjust to utilizing their fourth finger for those bits.
  • What exact instrument is it to be played on? What is the low-high balance on that instrument? Will those really high notes be distinguishable against the lower chording?

Gotta run. Will check in, later.

Edited by JimLucas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jim,

 

my understanding was that inevitably the player would have to engage four fingers (at least on the right end AFAIR), which means: no question here... :)

 

As to the sound balance, this is why I suggested to leave the piece in its original key (Cmin), which would be no problem at all for any player capable of playing this kind of arrangement anyway, but make a huge difference soundwise. Some bass notes would have to change then, obviously (but I'm sure this could be done).

 

Best wishes - Wolf

 

edited to add PS: and of course a low F would be helpful then... B)

Edited by Wolf Molkentin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jody, the problem with the high "G" not is not that it wouldn't be playable but that there's a huge emphasis right here, and I'm not sure if the treble ECs I have been playing as yet are capable of that, soundwise.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW: The sound font file fails with these high notes because the sample (which is C6 - the highest note available on Phil Taylor's baritone EC from which the samples were taken) has two very strong overtones of C7 and, especially, G7. The G7 overtone actually has a higher amplitude than the played C6 note in the recording!

 

This confuses the playback because it is not sure which note in the sample to choose as the root note, especially when it has to interpolate the sound for notes far north of C6. The single C6 sample is used for all of the notes higher than C6 and it looks like it picks G7, it might also pick C7.

 

Having said all this, I will post any future findings and sound font fixes in a separate topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×