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Makinge More Than A Melody.


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In a recent General discussion thread brightfield posted a link to his performance of The North Wind brightfield - North Wind Like brightfield I to have only been playing a few weeks and have added this lovely tune to my list of practice peices.

 

I love the simple purity of a single melody line when played on the concertina but coming from a piano playing background I alsp feel the need to fill it out in some way.

 

I was wondering what an experienced player would do with a simple tune like this.

Would they just play the tune as written or embelish it in some way

 

Would any of the more experiences playerd care to give us newbies a few suggestions?

 

I should probably add that I play an English, maybe embelishment on an Anglo would be different

 

Ian

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My first instinct would be to add sort of a walking baseline that followed the downbeat of each measure. I suppose that could be a root note of the measure, played down or up an octave, or even some 1-5 chord kind of thing. For example, if the measure started with a D, maybe I'd throw in an A or F(#?)to go along with it. Having played piano, I'm assuming you understand chord formation. I think it's pretty open, and whatever you think sounds good, go with.

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Part of the answer to your question will depend upon what kind of instrument you are playing. If it's an English, you will likely look for drones and runs of parallel thirds. On an Anglo or a Duet, an "oop-pah" chordal accompaniment will emphasize what is essentially a dance nature of the tune. Also, on a Duet, you might have the opportunity to take advantage of aspects of this tune that invite interesting counterpoint:

 

Some measures (assuming a 2/2 time signature) are stuffed with eighth notes (quavers) while some contain longer notes (quarters, or crochets). In fact, much of the tune involves alternation of these two motifs. See if you can come up with a counter line that has slower notes where the tune runs in fast notes and vice-versa. You might even be able to use bits of the tune against itself for this purpose. For instance, take the first measure (the first 7 notes), take them down a 5th, and play them against the 2nd measure. See where that gets you.

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Part of the answer to your question will depend upon what kind of instrument you are playing. If it's an English,...

He said it was.

 

...you will likely look for drones and runs of parallel thirds. On an Anglo or a Duet, an "oop-pah" chordal accompaniment will emphasize what is essentially a dance nature of the tune.

Ah, the dreaded stereotypes! :o

 

Also, on a Duet, you might have the opportunity to take advantage of aspects of this tune that invite interesting counterpoint: ... For instance, take the first measure (the first 7 notes), take them down a 5th, and play them against the 2nd measure.

David, the little fugue you give as an example is neat, and it's also quite playable -- as written -- on both English and anglo... in fact on both C/G and G/D anglo.

 

I will admit, though, that the stereotypical harmonies you mention for each type of concertina are stereotypical for a reason... most people find that they generally require less thought and practice than more "independent" harmonies.

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If coming from a piano background you might be interested in Regondi' s New Method and some new compositions that use polyphonic playing on the English Concertina. Not just chords but two melodies going at the same time. And a combination of chords and melodies. It then sounds as if there are two instruments playing. So it is possible to do a lot more as Jim Lucas said before.

Pauline

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In a recent General discussion thread brightfield posted a link to his performance of The North Wind brightfield - North Wind  Like brightfield I to have only been playing a few weeks and have added this lovely tune to my list of practice peices.

 

I love the simple purity of a single melody line when played on the concertina but coming from a piano playing background I alsp feel the need to fill it out in some way.

 

I was wondering what an experienced player would do with a simple tune like this.

Would they just play the tune as written or embelish it in some way

 

 

Thank you for taking notice of my contribution Ian. I've not been here for a few days and am just picking up the threads. I think ornamentation is the key isn't it. What is really interesting is to hear how other instrumentalists tackle a tune - I find particular inspiration from a couple of albums of Northumbrian pipers who seem to take ornamentation to the nth degree.

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Thank you for taking notice of my contribution Ian. I've not been here for a few days and am just picking up the threads. I think ornamentation is the key isn't it. What is really interesting is to hear how other instrumentalists tackle a tune - I find particular inspiration from a couple of albums of Northumbrian pipers who seem to take ornamentation to the nth degree.

 

How about trying to vary? Sometimes adding ornamentation and sometimes for example playing in thirds or sixths or fifths. This can be varied even within a tune and will make it very interesting. And maybe try other possibilities.

Pauline

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I think ornamentation is the key isn't it.  What is really interesting is to hear how other instrumentalists tackle a tune - I find particular inspiration from a couple of albums of Northumbrian pipers who seem to take ornamentation to the nth degree.

What I notice about the Northumbrian -- not just the pipers, but the tunes, no matter what instrument plays them -- is not so much the ornamentation, but the variation. I.e., they're still fond of the of the "tune/theme with variations" format that was more generally popular in former centuries, in both folk and classical musics. I, too, am fond of that form.

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Thank you for taking notice of my contribution Ian.  I've not been here for a few days and am just picking up the threads.  I think ornamentation is the key isn't it.  What is really interesting is to hear how other instrumentalists tackle a tune - I find particular inspiration from a couple of albums of Northumbrian pipers who seem to take ornamentation to the nth degree.

 

How about trying to vary? Sometimes adding ornamentation and sometimes for example playing in thirds or sixths or fifths. This can be varied even within a tune and will make it very interesting. And maybe try other possibilities.

Pauline

Yes, I was playing yesterday evening and it came to me, that the whole point of the 'tina is in fact the melodic emphasis of the instrument. I think chords are secondary and optional. One thing I would say, is that if you listen or study classical players of other instruments, the thing that marks the great ones apart is TONE. I spent many years studing classical guitar and the reason Segovia was so great, is that nobody achieved a sound quite like him. Maybe it was due to the particular chemistry or shape of his fingernails, but the fact is that if you listen to his recordings, sometimes the instrument seems to sing in a way unlike anyone else, often moving into a state of pure sound which is almost un-guitarlike in its intensity.

 

My goal as a player of English concertina is to play as expressively as I possbibly can, with the best tone possible. This means that every phrase, every note has to be thought about and played "consciously" rather than carelessly.

 

I think as we play, we need to listen carefully to each phrase and see that there is a shape and form to them, and that the 'tina is actually capable of responding to exactly what we have in mind as we play, by means of bellows pressure, staccoto or legato fingering on the buttons, slight lengthening or shortening of notes etc.

 

One thing for sure, although our instrument is not currently fashionable or popular, it can stand equally with any other instrument in its potential for making excellent music.

Edited by brightfield
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