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Concertinas and other instruments - which are the dream partners?


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Wunks’ post suggests an idea I’ve never tried (or even thought of) despite playing both of these instruments for decades: One hand on one end of a duet concertina (the other end between your knees for bellows work) and one hand on a 3-hole tabor pipe.

 

I’m not going to try it now. I may never try it. :ph34r:

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With "Rosbif " I had the pleasure of playing alongside French Bagpipes ,Oboe, Cello, Viola and Hurdy gurdy. 

Later with Will Fly (Mike Ainscough) a superb guitarist

I currently play at sessions alongside Rob Neal who plays numerous instruments including Duet and English Concertinas, but my favourite is Cello and when he joins in some of my tunes and adds the depth of sound ,it is a joy to play alongside.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting topic to discuss!

 

We weren’t sure if a piano accordion and 20 button anglo would work but we’re pleasantly surprised how the anglo was a distinct timbre that stood out well.  I also didn’t expect that the concertina would do so well at also playing the accompanying role - one of my favourite bits in a piece I play with an accordionist friend is where it is just a moving slow melody on the accordion accompanied by sustained chords with some lovely dissonances on the anglo. Which reminds me, we should record it :) 

 

In the meantime here’s something I’ve done on the two instruments - the trick I’ve found is to be more sparing with the piano accordion to give more textures and light and shade and more only going full on for effect! 
 

 

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On 10/11/2022 at 1:01 AM, Jim Besser said:

Playing with one of my favorite partners in musical crime.  We did many Morris gigs together - Anglo concertina and nyckleharpa.

Sagan and Besser.jpg

Great picture! Wish I could hear it!

 

One of the musicians in our side plays this instrument too and I’ve had a jam with him - yes it does work well!

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On 10/7/2022 at 4:01 PM, Anglo-Irishman said:

Well, considering that the concertina is a very British-Isles thing, this is not really surprising. The ubiquitousness of drumkits in many music genres - jazz, pop, rock, Latin, what have you - tends to obscure the fact that, in a specifically British context, drums are traditionally associated with war and death. Take the Scottish pipes and drums: that's pure military music, aimed at raising the adrenalin level in the troops. And the Irish Lambeg drum is similar in effect. The concertina is more at home in the domestic drawing-room or the convivial pub, where hatred, bloodshed and drums would be foreign bodies!

But, some might object: What about the bodhrán, which is played in convivial pubs along with concertinas and other peaceful instruments like fiddles and flutes? Traditionally, the bodhrán, which came into use in Irish traditional music in the 1960s, as I remember, was a cult instrument, played by small boys ("Wren Boys") in folk ritual processions. So it was never a "weapon" of war!

 

I quite agree! In my group, we always did our Carolan arrangements with that combination. A guitar and a bowed double bass provided the accompaniment (AKA basso continuo).

 

Interestingly enough, I played my trusty, 1990s-vintage, metal-ended Stagi Anglo in those days. When I bought a Lachenal Crane, and had learnt the concertina part of Planxty Irwin, I tried it out at a rehearsal. The unanimous decision of the bandmates was, "Take your old concertina - it blends better!"

 

Cheers,

John

Ooh I find this really interesting and it will explain a reaction I had to a bit of pipe and taboring, which had a long tradition in England of course. 
 

A friend said she really liked the tune on the pipe but the taboring made it sound military - now it’s entirely possible that my taboring was unsubtle and unsuited to the tune (I suspect so! The tune was one Id come up with on the pipe and the taboring was an afterthought instead of being incorporated from the start as it should be.  It was a mellow gentle tune that was out of kilter with the taboring).

 

That said, it’s been played for dance and the taboring was to support the stepping in the dancing.  With a good sensitive taborer I’m sure that no one would think of this sort of music sounding military in this context.  

Edited by Kathryn Wheeler
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1 hour ago, Kathryn Wheeler said:

Ooh I find this really interesting and it will explain a reaction I had to a bit of pipe and taboring, which had a long tradition in England of course. 
 

A friend said she really liked the tune on the pipe but the taboring made it sound military - now it’s entirely possible that my taboring was unsubtle and unsuited to the tune (I suspect so! The tune was one Id come up with on the pipe and the taboring was an afterthought instead of being incorporated from the start as it should be.  It was a mellow gentle tune that was out of kilter with the taboring).

 

That said, it’s been played for dance and the taboring was to support the stepping in the dancing.  With a good sensitive taborer I’m sure that no one would think of this sort of music sounding military in this context.  

 

The dichotomy between fife and drum (military) and pipe and tabor (dance) is a long established one. In Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” Act 2, Scene 3, Benedick says, talking about Claudio:

 

Quote

I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe.

 

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It does not seem too unusual with accordion alongside concertina as many years ago I attempted to accompany my Father on his button accordion( which I still have).. or at least I attempted to; as he cleverly turned tunes into a waltz, or polka quite often! Even if they were not meant to be!😁

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On 10/11/2022 at 8:39 AM, SteveS said:

I think the combination of cello and concertina work well.

Here is a recording of Gill Redmond (cello) and me (EC, shrutibox) playing for dancing.

Years ago, a friend briefly lent me a CD of English concertina and cello duets. I cannot recall the names of the artists, but it was a lovely sound.

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