MJGray Posted August 8, 2021 Share Posted August 8, 2021 Another thread has revealed unexpectedly (to me, anyway) strong feelings about the many different extant tablature systems for the Anglo concertina. There's clearly some space here for an interesting conversation. I'm branching off this thread as a place for folks to talk about what tablature system(s) they like, and perhaps more importantly, why. Perhaps we can come together and share the positives of the different tools available for learning this goofy little instrument, and maybe we'll all learn something new! I'll start, with a perennial offbeat favorite of mine: Merrill's Harmonic Method for the German Concertina (1846), which is a very early example of a tablature system designed for an instrument which had only been invented a decade or so before. In this system, the keys are numbered 1 - 5 for the upper row (the C row) and and 6 - 10 for the lower row (the G row) for each hand, with lower numbers corresponding to the lower notes in each row. A downward-pointing > indicates notes played on the press. So far, nothing too exotic, but what I genuinely like about the tablature in this book is that it is the only system I am aware of that presents harmonic arrangements in which all of the notes are shown. Sometimes on the same staff, as in this simple arrangement of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (where it gets pretty cluttered): But for most of the tunes in the book, on upper and lower staves indicating the left and right hands, respectively. Note that the numbers are only put next to notes that have changed from the previous note or measure: I find this remarkably clear, it makes an easy-to-see connection between the notes in standard notation and their fingerings, and it's the only tablature system I've run across that I can come close to "sight-reading", although it's not that close. (I'm not that good a musician, really. I have fun, though!) The downsides, of course, are that no one else has used this system in the last 175 years, it takes up a lot of space on the page, and it would have to be modified to represent arrangements for a 30- (or more!)-key Anglo. It also can't be represented easily in digital / pure text format, which I know is important for many people. If you use tablature, what system do you use, and what do you like most about it? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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