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Ec Bellows Use And Reinforcement?

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All good points.

I'd just add that I'm not dismissing anyone's style and hahbits but trying analize it from the point of view of my personal experiences of tennis elbow treatment (6 months) and recent violin accident, when I didn't applied proper technique and overplayed my arm so badly I had to abandon the violin for good. That year and a half of my lessons let me to fall in love with the instrument and now I'm barred from it because of my own stupidity.

So analizing the problems with the EC, small, portable and convenient, I came to certain conclusions, much to my surprise.

1. fanning bellows

2. necessity of some sort of handle

3. single note preference to chordal

The last one is the result of much listening and is a total reversal of my earlier point of view.

But enough about me.

I would disagree with the statement that bandoneon players shy from learning the push layout. It's not true. They do play on the push as well. No, it's the ease, with which the bellows fall apart by themselves, that helps with the expressiveness by taking the strain off the arms, and often it's the difference between music and noise. Accordion players do the same, accents on the draw.

Which is useful for EC players.

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To me the last point seems to be a mere petitio principii, as it implies a playing technique where bellows would "fall apart", which then would of course have to happen on the draw.


BTW, it never occurred to me that while playing the PA I would have to rely on the weight of the (left) end.


And as with the EC, if I myself would have to observe a preference for the "draw" direction at all (I'll have to check on that later), it would (of course) relate to my personal approach and style, and therefore rather the enhanced latitude if bellows movement (or whatever reason; with the weight issue appearing least intuitive to me).

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[The EC] seems to be perfect for that:hands are independantly mirrored in just the right places, just where you want them to be, octave-wise.

I guess this is an apt notion of what the EC's about when harmonizing. As I can't judge on the Duet(s) from own experience as a player I have to rely on some (!) recordings provided by fellow concertinists, and some remarks on "Duet style" (linking it with a certain "piano style", which I personally would object to).


Based upon this, the Duet (which might be considered as combining "the best of both worlds", i.e. EC and Anglo) might lead the player to just add a chord below the melody (just like applying some "triangles" with the EC). My point is, that your observation as quoted above is a perfect starting point for explaining as to why the EC might rather encourage the use of two notes/buttons on either side, in the higher and in the lower register, which will result in a spreaded harmony (with significantly passing sixths) and an overall "interwoven" quality of the music, as I use to call it.


My own "arrangement" of "Let It Be" (which however came rather naturally from the beginning, making then room for some bass runs or counterpoint) may serve as an appropriate example for this approach (it's all in the intro already). Ask me why I'm so happy with the English system - I'll might choose this tune for a demonstration. While this may be perfectly playable with any Duet as well, it's the EC that positively paved the way for me.


Best wishes - Wolf

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
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Fellas, excellent discussion, I just want to respond to few points. M3838 you are right about your earlier observation about the contemporary accordion scene being alive and well, I immediately thought of Mexicans definitely doing it without any nostalgic, or "old timey", revivalist sentiment. However I can't think of another similar example (would appreciate you pointing me in the direction of further examples). About preference for the draw: I usd tohave that, until being introduced to EC. I did attribute it to the bandoneon's "wanting" to open, as you let its ends drop, assisted by its own weight. That effect is clearly there in bandoneon, perhaps not so much in accordions, due to a different way of holding those. In general, any squeeze box's first move is to open up from its closed position, that's the way it starts to play. Maybe it also contributes to that preference. However, small, light and unisonoric EC totally cured me from this bias. As far as duet combining the best of both worlds (AC&EC) - I guess the handle, separate hands - that comes from anglo to an extent. To an extent, because the idea of "separate hands" layout is found in every keyed instrument, from piano to sax. Anglos most defining feature is it's bisonoric nature, and that didn't survive in the duet concept. I still see it more like a separate hand English, rather than AC/EC combo. As such, my temptation to explore it is significantly reduced, though if I ever come across one, you can bet that I will have a go at it due to natural curiosity about all "free reed" instruments.

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Hmm. First, Germany comes to mind when I hear the word "accordion", then of course France and Switzerland, and last, but not least, Russian hemisphere, with Osetia, Georgia and of course, Azerbyjan. Azerbyjany accordion scene is super-puper alive and well.

There is no way to argue the styles that people are used to. There are physics, and there are the ways to override them. To me - if you spend effort to go against the nature, I can't say more than I already said, it's time for me to keep on practicing and showing you my progress, if the latter will occure at all.

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... separate hands - that comes from anglo to an extent. To an extent, because the idea of "separate hands" layout is found in every keyed instrument, from piano to sax.

Piano, OK. But the mention of the sax surprises me here. My knowledge of woodwind is limited to tin whistle and recorder, and on them you certainly can't play a melody with one hand and a counter-melody with the other. Like on woodwind, it takes both hands to play a scale on the EC. At least the EC is capable of multiple notes (if the player is!) And of course, there are some scales on the Anglo that you need both hands to play ...




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John, I meant that even on a sax or tin whistle the note layout is logically layed out in consecutive fashion, from top to bottom, next note/next finger. True, one hand doesnt cover all the notes, and only one note at a time is how it works. I only used it as an example to illustrate the point of that familiar "consecutive" (as opposed to the EC's alternating hands/sides) note layout.

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M3838, thanks for the accordion music pointers, I will check those in the backwards order, starting from Azerbaijanis. From my limited knowledge of musical cultures that you mentioned, somehow I find it easier to believe that there's more accordion-driven current pop music in Azerbaijan or Osetia, than in France or Germany.I may be totally wrong in this assumption.

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Thank you for these supperb examples! Wow, the first one is such virtuosic performance, from every point of view. The second is further proof of it (accordion sound) being a vital part of contemporary tradition. Bunch of young guys partying to their own contemporary folk sound, driven by free reeds, without any sentimental revivalist vibe to it. Beautiful culture and people. (I personally like to party with girls in attendance, but totally get this man-bonding thing as a cool element of culture). The Russian example is somewhat similar to the situation in the West, where one form of accordion or another is at times included in the band, can even get a solo, but it's not a main driver of a band or pop style, just like a violin isn't (Dave Matthews Band comes to mind as an exeption to the rule).However, through your link I found tons of examples of Free reed-driven Russian contemporary folk. Indeed, accordion is alive and well in Russian contemporary folk scene.

Edited by harpomatic
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It is alive.

You are incorrect about the pop scene. That pop star was looking hard for an accordion player, and when he finally found the right one, immediately he got at least 3 mega hits.

Another group comes to mind, Fyodor Chistjakov with his button accordion, "Group Zero". Mega star. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc1bHG3wDZ8

But you got it right about the lack of any shyness. Hmm, especially among the russian rock scene. You'd with they had some.

Edited by m3838
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