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Is C/G Anglo Concertina similar to B/C melodeon in the way the same buttons are used for the majority of Irish music?

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So with B/C melodeon the same buttons are generally used for 95% of Irish music, is it the same with concertina as well? I know the concertina has a few notes that are the same but with different buttons, but do Irish players usually stick to certain buttons more than others or does it depend on the tune? Could someone tell me which buttons are mostly used, I assume its the ones in the D and G scales?


Also does the concertina have patterns like the melodeon does, like the way the b/c has three on the pull and three in a triangle shape on the push and that's basically all the buttons you need? This video shows what I am talking about.


Hopefully this jumble of words makes sense.

Edited by Snowbeast
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Yes and no, as with everything in Irish music. The main difference from B/C accordion is that on the concertina you have a number of duplicate/overlapping notes.


There are definitely patterns that are common, and there are certain "rules" that if you follow early on will feel counter-intuitive, but later on will make sense. Some of this is to avoid chopping (adjacent notes on the same finger/different buttons) or to facilitate certain ornamentation choices. 


In general you will have a preferred way to play a phrase or scale, but when it comes to chopping you will have an option B or C to approach the same phrase. As my playing progressed through the years, I found myself re-learning tunes to improve phrasing and flow with different button choices. A lot of these choices are simply stylistic - one player might prefer option A which is smoother sounding, and another might prefer option B which has more bounce or allows for different ornamentation. That's what I love about the instrument, it keeps me thinking. 

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3 hours ago, Chris Ghent said:

In the end all buttons from high d down will be in play. 

Couldn't be more true. 


A great exercise is going through the scales but for each note, play every location of that note. Really gets you familiar with the various options. Concertina is an instrument of "possibilities"

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There is a system, developed by Paddy Murphy and refined and popularized by Noel Hill, that is popular among at least some players of Irish tunes on the C/G Anglo.  There's a description of it at https://concertutor.wordpress.com/simple-and-more-advanced-cross-rowing/playing-across-the-rows-a-la-noel-hill/ and another description at https://thesession.org/discussions/16611 . 


There's also a good discussion of the pros and cons of that approach here:

Edited by Daniel Hersh
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