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Is concertina only for folk English or Irish music?


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When I look at people playing concertinas on youtube,  I only listen to Irish and English folk music. That's all? So if I buy and learn concertina I will be limited to this ? What if I want to play, just as an example, the Godfather theme, or Libertango by Astot Piazzolla, or some songs from  the Amelie movie? No chances? Is the accordion the only solution?

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Certainly not; I can say straight away.. The instrument is as valid as any other instrument, of orchestra ; just as much as flute, violin, guitar, or other instruments.. It is not limited as it were to playing only  in the wonderful  folk tradition at all.  It's up to the musician to make their own choice on the matter.  

I am myself a bit of an outsider in the way I play; many in my own collection, which I have transcribed by hand over several decades now covers -  Purcell, Telemann, Handel, and many pieces not usually associated with free reed; but they all sound quite good on it, and  my concertina.

The instrument is just that - a means for you to play or express your needs at that moment as desired, just as would a guitarist, for example, or someone maybe on a clarinet.  It is you, the musician who decides what to play on it.

Be adventurous [ I have myself many times] -  and try out play what you want; you will find concertina suites a much wider variety of sound; more than you ever imagined.  [ it's like a miniature reed organ on a box in reality]

 

Actually in 20th century there was a great tradition for classical music in concertina... so have a go, and see what you can achieve; but overall enjoy the process of playing! Let everyone know how you get on; I can try and help if you want.

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40 minutes ago, gerardo1000 said:

When I look at people playing concertinas on youtube,  I only listen to Irish and English folk music. That's all? So if I buy and learn concertina I will be limited to this ? What if I want to play, just as an example, the Godfather theme, or Libertango by Astot Piazzolla, or some songs from  the Amelie movie? No chances? Is the accordion the only solution?

 

First of all, the blanket term "concertina" encompasses very different instruments, with very different capabilities. While you could attempt waltzes from Amelie or Libertango on an English or an Anglo, the arrangements will be limited. But on a large enough duet, those will sound similar to renditions on small accordions. So if you are more into music outside of folk tradition, you may want to focus on duets.

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It is hard to not pigeon hole something based on what appears to be a lot of evidence to the contrary.

 

the Anglo is absolutely a standard in Irish music. So the majority of what you see there will be Irish music.

 

the English.. being a ton less popular overall. You will find a lot less you tube offerings. And you may find the majority being trad English.

 

but again, this does not mean they should be relegated to “olde tyme” sea Shanti and Irish tunes. 
For example the English is an excellent replacement for anything a violin can do. And very versatile.

 

as an aside.. I am sure if you you tube banjo. You will see a massive amount of country. And then tenor banjo in Irish music. But… now pull up Bela Flek. And tell me the banjo can not do Jazz or blow your mind in different ways..

 

in the end it is the player. Not the instrument. It can be what ever you make it.

 

 

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Over the years I've been to a few concertina weekends in England and was always amazed to see that the Irish\English folk music contingent were in the minority.

           Others on this forum can expand/contradict etc that view.

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On 4/10/2022 at 11:23 PM, gerardo1000 said:

...I only listen to Irish and English folk music. That's all? So if I buy and learn concertina I will be limited to this ? What if I want to play, just as an example, the Godfather theme, or Libertango by Astot Piazzolla, or some songs from  the Amelie movie? No chances? Is the accordion the only solution?

'I only listen to Irish and English folk music'. In that case, that's all you'll hear. Try searching for other genres of music...

 

Try SoundCloud as well...

 

'That's all?' No, if you buy a concertina, you'll be limited only by your own ingenuity and imagination...

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Please Google "Geoff Lakeman, concertina" and see what I do on a Crane  duet, a fully-=chromatic instrument, on various Youtube and Facebook sites.In theory I could play any piece of classical music ( but I am not a " reader.")However, in a typical gig or session I might play Scott Joplin ragtime, Cole Porter or Hoagy Carmichael, English or Irish tunes, Randy Newman, Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers,thd Louvin Brothers, Richard Thompson,Tin Pan Alley jazz from there twenties and thirties, and self-composed songs.As someone else has already written - what limits the repertoire is the player, not the instrument.

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Also, I would urge you to listen to the International Concertina Association's (ICA) worldwide  concert, broadcast recently  and still available on line. I am proud to say I was included.It had more than 50 of the world's leading players with an astonishing  mixture of genres and styles...South African Boer music, South American tango-style stuff, every kind of trad' Irish ,English and Scottish music, Americana  of every kind.......

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