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McDouglas

Arranging Music for the EC

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I was not quite sure what to call this topic but I'd like to have some conversation about developing arrangements on the English concertina.

 

For now some initial thoughts.  I'll try to post an audio clip later today that will illustrate some of what I'm aiming for.

 

1. There may be nothing more beautiful than an unadorned melody expressively played.  I've recently bought a vintage EC from Greg Jowaisas and I just love the sound of an old tune on this EC.

 

2.  An arrangement in music may be similar to flower arranging in that you've got some flowers that are prominent for size and color but you also use other complementary elements (I'm not an expert but I've observed the use of other flower materials that add greens and grey hues for contrast).  It seems to me intros and interludes and bridges help frame the melody - and work best if they are integrated with the melody, in other words, they are linked in some way to a melodic motif, something that's organic to the melody itself.

 

3. Should the melody itself be altered or can it morph into something else?  Perhaps.  If one may allow the melody to develop naturally and to be transformed through time, then fine.  But there is a long tradition of "recapitulation" or a return to the primary theme in Western classical music.  Why? I don't know exactly but there is a certain sort of delight for the listener who realizes, Oh nice, I recognize that part from earlier.  

 

4. Some simple forms from classically-informed music:

    a. Sonata form: theme - development - recapitulation - coda

    b. Ternary: ABA

    c.  Palindrome or Arch:  ABCDCDBA

    d. Rondo: ABACADA

 

5.  I understand this may step outside the bounds of traditional folk music which has its own conventions, but I'm just thinking about how one might consider arranging these wonderful melodies.  I'm not exactly advocating for classical arrangements but rather arrangements that honor the folk tradition while being enriched by more development of tune and structure.

 

 

 

 

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