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Can You Play Concertina Like Accordian

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Ritonmousquetaire, you wrote:

"But beginners might want to achieve what they have in mind, and therefore imagine better-suited instruments - it's not necessarily bad, imho. But it may be a sign that they should have a look at other instruments that will allow them to play what they want."

 

To me, this makes a lot more sense than your thread title "Can you play concertina like accordion?"

A beginner can have one of two differnt starting points: either he comes into contact with a particular instrument and wants to play it like the players he has heard; or he comes into contact with a particular genre of music, and looks for an instrument that will serve him in this.

 

In real life, instruments and musical genres are meshed. The violoncello is almost exclusively meshed with classical music; the Anglo concertina almost exclusively with British and Irish folk music. The violin and accordion, by contrast, are associated with classical music, jazz and the folk musics of many countries.

Looking at it from the other side, classical music is meshed with many instruments - piano, strings, woodwind, brass - but not with the Anglo concertina. Similarly, modern Irish dance music is meshed with uileann pipes, fiddle, flute, whistles, Anglo concertina, tenor banjo, bouzouki, bodhran - and that's about it. No saxes, trumpets or clarinets.

 

It seems to me, Ritonmousquetaire, that you are the type of beginner who has identified the genre of music he's aiming for, and should be looking for an instrument that will serve the purpose. If accordion capability is a criterion for you, why not learn the accordion? Or at least some instrument that is meshed with several different genres, since you don't seem to be the dedicated, folkie, jazzman or classical musician.

 

Or you can do it like I have - learn several different instruments, and use the one that best transports your current musical ideas. There are so many different instruments out there, and each of them has the rich history of experience and inventiveness behind them that Mikefule rightly mentions. No need to re-invent the wheel - just choose the one that suits you and is already tried and tested.

 

Cheers,

John

(It was Accordian who started the thread, not Ritonmousquetaire.)

 

That aside, I like your different perspective on the same issue. Where I said, "This is what the Anglo does or doesn't do, work with it," you said, "This is what you want to play, then find an instrument that will work with it." I agree.

 

Because of my passion for the Anglo, I felt the need both to advocate it and defend it and lost sight of the other side of the discussion.

 

However, I fully appreciate the problem of wanting to play one type of music and wanting to play an instrument that doesn't suit it. I play English/Morris tunes and odds and ends of other mainly folk styles on the Anglo, but when I listen to recorded music it is usually rockabilly and the genres each side of it: country, blues, and rock. Every so often I try my best, but I just can't get that twangy sound on the Anglo!

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Ritonmousquetaire, you wrote:

"But beginners might want to achieve what they have in mind, and therefore imagine better-suited instruments - it's not necessarily bad, imho. But it may be a sign that they should have a look at other instruments that will allow them to play what they want."

 

To me, this makes a lot more sense than your thread title "Can you play concertina like accordion?"

A beginner can have one of two differnt starting points: either he comes into contact with a particular instrument and wants to play it like the players he has heard; or he comes into contact with a particular genre of music, and looks for an instrument that will serve him in this.

 

In real life, instruments and musical genres are meshed. The violoncello is almost exclusively meshed with classical music; the Anglo concertina almost exclusively with British and Irish folk music. The violin and accordion, by contrast, are associated with classical music, jazz and the folk musics of many countries.

Looking at it from the other side, classical music is meshed with many instruments - piano, strings, woodwind, brass - but not with the Anglo concertina. Similarly, modern Irish dance music is meshed with uileann pipes, fiddle, flute, whistles, Anglo concertina, tenor banjo, bouzouki, bodhran - and that's about it. No saxes, trumpets or clarinets.

 

It seems to me, Ritonmousquetaire, that you are the type of beginner who has identified the genre of music he's aiming for, and should be looking for an instrument that will serve the purpose. If accordion capability is a criterion for you, why not learn the accordion? Or at least some instrument that is meshed with several different genres, since you don't seem to be the dedicated, folkie, jazzman or classical musician.

 

Or you can do it like I have - learn several different instruments, and use the one that best transports your current musical ideas. There are so many different instruments out there, and each of them has the rich history of experience and inventiveness behind them that Mikefule rightly mentions. No need to re-invent the wheel - just choose the one that suits you and is already tried and tested.

 

Cheers,

John

(It was Accordian who started the thread, not Ritonmousquetaire.)

 

That aside, I like your different perspective on the same issue. Where I said, "This is what the Anglo does or doesn't do, work with it," you said, "This is what you want to play, then find an instrument that will work with it." I agree.

 

Because of my passion for the Anglo, I felt the need both to advocate it and defend it and lost sight of the other side of the discussion.

 

However, I fully appreciate the problem of wanting to play one type of music and wanting to play an instrument that doesn't suit it. I play English/Morris tunes and odds and ends of other mainly folk styles on the Anglo, but when I listen to recorded music it is usually rockabilly and the genres each side of it: country, blues, and rock. Every so often I try my best, but I just can't get that twangy sound on the Anglo!

 

anglo is such an awesome concertina

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Yeah, I'm not the OP, but am currently reflecting over similar questions (as I did in a few threads recently), so your remarks were insightful John, thanks!

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I knew about JeffLeff's videos but not about Chas Jacobs.

 

Interesting that he doesn’t seem to know how to spell “Hayden."

 

May I point out my own videos on the Hayden system? Sorry, only 46 buttons.

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However, I fully appreciate the problem of wanting to play one type of music and wanting to play an instrument that doesn't suit it. I play English/Morris tunes and odds and ends of other mainly folk styles on the Anglo, but when I listen to recorded music it is usually rockabilly and the genres each side of it: country, blues, and rock. Every so often I try my best, but I just can't get that twangy sound on the Anglo!

Mike,

You're not alone in that! I suppose that's part of the reason why I became a multi-instrumentalist, although I'm actually a singer by training.

 

Schubert Lieder to the piano are wonderful - when you know a good pianist. But the Irish Folk music of my student days in the 1960s called for a different kind of accompaniment, so the old 5-string banjo that was lying around at home came into "play" (following the example of Tommy Makem and Luke Kelly), soon to be followed by the 20-button East German concertina. The latter was a mistake - as a small child, I'd adored the concertina that the Salvation Army Captain played, and wasn't aware that that was a Crane/Triumph duet. Then, for my first folk group, I worked on my father's old Italian mandolin, and for some songs borrowed my mother's old German autoharp. A classic example of the Slippery Slope!

I now have the Crane/Triumph I had really wanted way back, and along the way succumbed to the fashion of singing folk songs to the guitar. And just because I happened to pick one up in a junk shop, I learned the German Waldzither, which has opened up a whole new musical scene for me here in Germany.

 

I've worked up a few of these accompaniment instruments to solo level, so I now have a choice when it comes to which instrument for which song or instrumental. Some songs or tunes I can play on several instruments, but the arrangements are different. And some pieces are definitely concertina, others definitely banjo. For German folk songs, the Waldzither is ususally best; for Irish ballads (or instrumental versions of them) I'll take the banjo or sometimes the guitar (the guitar only as an accompaniment!). The autoharp is excellent for a "quick and dirty" arrangement of almost anything. Sea songs are Anglo material, drawing-room ballads go well on the Crane or the banjo.

 

To get back to the thread, there are horses for courses, and the bigger your stable, the more joy you'll have!

 

And, BTW, I wouldn't want to alter any of my instruments. They're great as they are!

 

Cheers,

John

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I knew about JeffLeff's videos but not about Chas Jacobs.

 

Interesting that he doesn’t seem to know how to spell “Hayden."

 

May I point out my own videos on the Hayden system? Sorry, only 46 buttons.

 

Thanks for the link! I hadn't seen your videos before. I like your arrangements, they really take advantage of the duet's strengths. It seems you made less videos these last years - you should do more, that'd be great!

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It seems you made less videos these last years - you should do more, that'd be great!

 

Thank you. I made most of the videos as part of the “Tune of the Month” program that ran here at concertina.net from 2013 to 2015. I also have a Soundcloud channel from the same period, for the same reason. I started the Youtube channel when Xotis was Tune of the Month. It is a two-part tune and nobody had yet submitted a recording playing both parts simultaneously. As a duet player, I had to take the challenge and I was afraid that if I did it on Soundcloud folks might suspect I had recorded each part individually and mixed them.

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RE your "meshing" list---"modern Irish dance music is meshed with" accordion as well as the instruments you listed. Big-time. That goes for bisonoric and unisonoric accordion music. And here's a little secret. English concertina works as well for traditional irish dance music as all the other air-driven instruments already used in that tradition which do NOT "push-pull" bisonorically----i.e., uilleann pipes, whistle, flute. EC also plays ITM as "authentically" as the "long-bow," more legato strain of irish trad fiddling.

Edited by ceemonster

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And here's a little secret. English concertina works as well for traditional irish dance music as all the other air-driven instruments already used in that tradition ... EC also plays ITM as "authentically" as the "long-bow," more legato strain of irish trad fiddling.

And here's another little secret: Classical string-quartet music sounds great played by a saxophone quartet. But that's not the conventional way of using the saxophone, nor is it the conventional way of performing string quartets, especially those of Haydn or Beethoven, which predate the invention of the sax.

 

There will always be areas in which a musician can gain attention or even provoke admiration by playing music that doesn't normally mesh with his instrument. But on the whole, the conventions relating certain instrument to certain musics are pretty rigid - though they may shift over time. In my father's young days, for example, the guitar was unknown in Irish music, but now it's found a place there.

 

Cheers,

John

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And here's a little secret. English concertina works as well for traditional irish dance music as all the other air-driven instruments already used in that tradition ... EC also plays ITM as "authentically" as the "long-bow," more legato strain of irish trad fiddling.

 

 

There will always be areas in which a musician can gain attention or even provoke admiration by playing music that doesn't normally mesh with his instrument. But on the whole, the conventions relating certain instrument to certain musics are pretty rigid - though they may shift over time. In my father's young days, for example, the guitar was unknown in Irish music, but now it's found a place there.

 

Cheers,

John

 

That o'Carolan, always writing for the Anglo, but never the English or the Duet. ;)

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The specious assumption that people play instruments not originally used in a folk tradition to "gain attention" is quite a lulu, enough said.

To stick to facts as opposed to assumptions of that kind, there are indeed saxophone quartets that play classical string quartet music, and this is true across the classical repertoire as to cross-playing of pieces by instruments other than those for which the piece was originally composed.

 

Not to mention, as with unisonoric piano accordions/chromatic button accordions and bisonoric melodeons, both of which work wonderfully though differently for ITM, bisonoric concertina and unisonoric concertina are the same instrument, aspirated differently, not something we can say of saxophones and string instruments. The fact that EC has not been perceived to be as suited for ITM as piano accordion is a cultural bias and an accident of history, not a limitation of the instrument itself. This perception will be changing sooner than many may suspect.

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The fact that EC has not been perceived to be as suited for ITM as piano accordion is a cultural bias and an accident of history, not a limitation of the instrument itself.

Precisely my point! Glad you agree!

 

Cheers,

John

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That o'Carolan, always writing for the Anglo, but never the English or the Duet. ;)

 

Interesting view! I've always regarded Carolan as a banjo composer, but always for the 5-string, never for the plectrum or tenor banjo. ;)

 

Cheers,

John

  • Haha 1

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That o'Carolan, always writing for the Anglo, but never the English or the Duet. ;)

 

Interesting view! I've always regarded Carolan as a banjo composer, but always for the 5-string, never for the plectrum or tenor banjo. ;)

 

Cheers,

John

 

LOL

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