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Is music in the family?


SIMON GABRIELOW
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Sometimes a musical or creative ability of any kind can emerge from nowhere; from the go as it were.  But often there is usually already a past family member whom also cultivated  the skills that can be recalled.

In my own case [ visual arts aside] my Father [Jozef Gabrielow]- whose life was blighted by the war and tragedy,  always recalled having a big accordion when he was in Europe [before escaping to Britain in war time].. He later on bought a Hohner button accordion [ in 1984] which he played for years in a very loud, and lively way; he never really got to reading music but played by ear a selection of partly made up tunes, and others based upon known melodies. I still have that accordion now in its own specially made box which I get out occasionally to keep it going the best I can. He also recorded an audio tape that goes on so long the tape runs out before he finished playing!

My father used to tell me [ back in Poland] of his uncle playing a Dulcimer and fiddle. 

On my mother's  very British side of family, there were people in Marines, and army who were musicians, and my great grandmother [ who never knew in life] played piano; a great aunt also, and grandmother, my grandfather played mouth organ!  ..although my own mother [Betty] always recounted amusingly that she was once sent for piano lessons, but instead sat in town eating ice cream [piano just wasn't for her]!

I wondered - how many others on this site also had creative family members in past; or even now?

Attached is photo of my father Jozef playing his accordion in 1999.

dad accordion playing 1999 croppedsmallerfile.jpg

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My father died in 1979 and played guitar (folk and classical), piano and accordion. I still have (and play) the guitar in the picture. I also have his 2 accordions, which I have never played. When I was a teenager, we played chamber music with me on the cello, dad playing piano, and invited others playing violin, clarinet, etc. I have a brother and a sister who studied violin and flute, respectively, but neither still plays. I still play the cello, and didn’t start with the concertina until years after he died.

Alan_Guitar.pdf?raw=1

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I’m a first generation concertina/squeezebox player, but I get music from both sides. My Dad plays guitar, my mother piano, my uncle the violin, and my grandfather the bassoon. Some of my earliest memories involve sitting in his den while he practiced his part for Peter & the Wolf

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Gypsea , adding to your mention of bassoon, I find the bassoon a fascinating instrument; capable of quite a lot of expression in its sound, more than most realise. Funny really it's also a reedy voice like sound, although grumbling in its tone ( to me at least).. maybe the reedy sound inspired you without realising later on to go for free Reed instrument.

When you think it would be a great combination; playing music  concertina together with bassoon!

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12 hours ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

…maybe the reedy sound inspired you without realising later on to go for free Reed instrument

 
That’s an interesting thought, there may be something to it! My first instrument was actually the clarinet, as it was the closest thing to a bassoon that they’d let me play in elementary school, haha. 20 years later and we’re back to the reeds. Funny to think of it as a familial trait and consider the nature/nurture aspect of it, whether it’s the positive experiences like these that fuel our affinity or if there is actually something in us that makes certain people more naturally skilled or drawn towards music 

Edited by gypsea
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Yes, there often seems to be a theme followed through in creativity, in choices made, as to instruments chosen, to express yourself through, sometimes almost drifted into gradually, or otherwise by direct choice, consciously as it were. In my own case I bought my first concertina in attempt to accompany my father on his accordion, and until then never really thought about them that much! But there again, made right choice, for me, and looking back there is tradition of free reed instruments, in Europe, particularly where he originated, and so maybe I got a little of that in me from that branch of the family!

I thought, in your case, of the connection to instruments using reeds of one sort or another, was interesting to note. And what an interesting combination in timbre is sound quality they are when considered, alone or together!

 

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Music in family... 

Kind of "yes and no."

I never met my father's relatives who were performers, but some 2nd cousins or something were singers and did shows at Ceaser's Palace with Sammy Davis Junior. Some other (departed) distant relative was a piano player for Frank Sinatra. So that info kind of impressed me and made me feel hopeful that I had a teeny bit of talent. 

 

But I did know my mother's aunt, my great aunt Tati (Finnish), and she played the organ for a Lutheran church. When I found out she could play Cat Stevens ('Morning Has Broken' is a hymn, it turns out!), she was big-time COOL!

 

My parents were not extremely musical but they made music a big deal via the (Baptist, not Lutheran, for me) church. I learned a lot through church, simply by being surrounded by music. 

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My Grandfather died (on my Dad's  side) really early when my Dad was still a young lad, but he remembered that his Dad had a dance  band that practiced up the stairs of his house in East London.

My Grandfather played clarinet Saxophone and drums and I played Swanee Whistle in his little Dance band group at about the age of seven. I still have that whistle.

My Mother and Father both played piano in our house in Clapham London.

I played Violin at Junior School, Sung in the School choir and played Third Trumpet in a Glen Miller type band in my early twenties.

I took up the concertina after following the Broadwood Morris Men for about a year when it was suggested that I join. Not wishing to dance I fell in love with the concertina and purchased a cheap Hohner CG. I later joined a number of bands one being "Rosbif" playing Traditional French Dance Music and one of our band members played bassoon.

Al 

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Great memories being recalled by us all on this site.

In York, near where I still live, they used to have a lot of Morris's dancers perform in city now an again; and in front of York minster!

I used to love watching people watching the Morris's men, as they looked bemused at what was supposed to be going on; something very amusing about it, and in many ways seemingly British eccentric

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