JackJ Posted August 18, 2022 Share Posted August 18, 2022 I'm an ITM concertina player who is considering giving the button accordion a try. But unlike Concertina where C/G is clearly the default tuning for ITM, Irish button boxes come in two common flavors: B/C and C#/D. There's plenty that's been written about the stylistic difference and relative merits of each of these tunings, but after researching it, I'm no closer to deciding which one I want to try. "Both" is not the option I want to pursue! So I'm asking my fellow concertina enthusiasts their thoughts on the subject, hoping someone here has gone down this path before me. Here's what I know so far. The most succinct description of the practical difference between B/C and C#/D boxes I've heard is that the former requires more use of the buttons and the second more use of the bellows. Or, as it's put on McNeela's Buyer's Guide, "The quick and simplified answer is that on a traditional B/C button accordion you’ll move your fingers more, but the bellows less. On a C#/D accordion you’ll move your fingers less, but the bellows more." Of course this difference leads to a different feel, and even different phrasing, to the music. Common wisdom seems to lean toward B/C as favored, since it's been used by more players historically and almost all instructional material assumes this tuning. But the one box player semi-local to me that I know of prefers C#/D, and there seems to be a trend where C#/D is in ascendance. I'm not too worried about tutors and such. The other advice is to listen to players of each type to see if you prefer the sound of one tuning over the other. Maybe I'm just easy to please, but when played well, they both sound fantastic to me. As a C/G Anglo concertina player, I'm not intimidated by constant bellows direction changes. I'm also not one who thinks "along the rows" when it comes to playing concertina, so the shared "C" row of a B/C box and C/G concertina isn't a big factor for me. I'm in no rush, and I'm looking for a reasonably good deal on a high quality used instrument. Though C#/D instruments do seem harder to come by, I don't mind waiting for the right one to pop up. Hoping some of you have experience and insights on this question that you're willing to share with me. Thanks!! Jack Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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