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english concertina sea shanties ?


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Hi everyone ! I'm getting my first english concertina soon and I'm interested in learning some sea shanties. I've seen some books with sea shanties for anglo concertina. Are there any materials out there for english ? I think I'd do better with english as its unisonoric.

 

Thanks for your help !

 

Amber

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On 9/13/2022 at 9:12 PM, amberlayli said:

Hi everyone ! I'm getting my first english concertina soon and I'm interested in learning some sea shanties. I've seen some books with sea shanties for anglo concertina. Are there any materials out there for english ? I think I'd do better with english as its unisonoric.

 

Thanks for your help !

 

Amber

Look around the second-hand shops or auction sites, there are often old song books written for community singing accompanied by piano, maybe not as good as bespoke concertina composition but the melodies are still there of course.

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There used to be book called English concertina by a Richard Carlin .. which had selection of tunes in it, and  history of instrument, along with useful diagrams.. which may help you. I do not know where you will find it now.. but as per usual advice is to look "on line".. and get it that way . It used to come with a free record too!

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5 hours ago, d.elliott said:

You don't need a dedicated English Concertina book for Shantys, You can play anything in any key as you find your way around the instrument. 

If the OP is particularly interested in shanties, they could track down a copy of 'Sea Shanties' by Stan Hugill. The copy I'm looking at just now is published by Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1977, 0 214 20329 8. Like all Hugill's books, it's very chatty - lots of information, plus nice clear scores (and lyrics), simple melody line only. I don't know offhand if it's still in print, or whether a search for a 2nd-hand copy will be necessary...

 

The OP can also find free English concertina tutorials here (Alistair Anderson) and here (Frank Butler).

 

Oh, aye, there's also a set of notes on arranging music for the English here (Frank Butler).

 

Oh, aye, again, there's a record/CD Concertina Workshop to accompany Alistair Anderson's tutorial. I have all the tracks, but I don't have the record, so I must have downloaded them from somewhere - Alistair Anderson's own web site maybe?A great listen in their own right!

Edited by lachenal74693
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Another book recommendation:  "Sailor Songs" by Gary Coover, of this parish, has the melody line, suggested chords and lyrics to 88 well-known shanties and sea songs.  It is not Anglo-specific and he often lists a recording where he learned the song which you may then be able to listen to on Youtube.  I like the Stan Hugill book already mentioned but Gary's book is more focussed, cheaper and much easier to find.  Plus Gary lives right here on concertina.net and he is very helpful with inquiries. 

 

Sailor Songs is available from Amazon, Gary also has another book of shanty type songs called "Pirate Songs".  I have not seen this one, but note that there are two versions and if you are playing EC then I do not think that you want the version that says it is for concertina as that is Anglo concertina specific. 

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Richard is 100% right. It is strange, but so well established now, that concertinas are associated with sea shanties. I knew the late Stan Hugill slightly, in Britain. When he sang he was really LOUD. He learned some of his shanties before the mast, as an old time sailor. If the shanty is a work song, at sea, on deck, the sailors have to be able to hear it above the howling winds, flapping sales, roaring seas. The shanty is a work-song, not a relaxing entertainment. So our beloved concertina does not suffice (!). And no one would be playing a concertina while others worked.

 

But the romantic association of concertina and sailing ships is very satisfying for song accompaniment on shore, so why not? Providing we do not confuse history with artistry .  Robert

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2 hours ago, Richard Mellish said:

...sea shanties in their natural environment...

To which you can add that many of them aren't - shanties, that is. I think that 'battle' has been well and truly lost.

 

Having spent a certain amount of time on large-ish yachts, pulling sails up and down in 'orrible weather at 2-o-clock in the morning, the last thing on my mind was singing bloody shanties! Those old-time sailors must have been incredibly tough...

Edited by lachenal74693
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  I blame Walt Disney to some extent for the popular sailor/concertina connection.

  I know I may have been affected (infected?😁) to a small extent by the leading man sort of playing one in one of the Jules Vern remakes Disney did in the '50s.

  I think the word 'shanty' has come to apply to most sea music, much as the term 'classic' now applies to most automobiles more than a few years old. The language seems to morph and I suppose it always has.

  The instrument (any flavor, duet, anglo or english) seems to suit the sea music genre, it depends on the player not the instrument to interpret it.

  Its all good.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/14/2022 at 6:16 PM, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

I found this copy of book I mentioned earlier online just now.. ( English concertina)..  on eBay.. so give it a go is my advice.

 

 

IMG_20220914_231351.jpg

Interesting little factoid… the concertina pictured is actually mine now…

kind of cool to own the concertina owned by the man that wrote the book..

 

A3086F09-9A34-4DB0-BF40-669D5F9492D4.jpeg

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Hello, thanks for that interesting fact; to see you have that actual instrument. I do not have that book myself anymore; But it is still in libraries, and book shops,  here and there. Looks very nice instrument.. I believe Mr. Carlin ( on that book cover; author)..is still with us ( previous owner)? Only guessing.

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