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m3838

Pitch Bending

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I looked at this link after several years of keeping it on the back of my head:

http://www.bluesbox.biz

 

Nice development.

Two questions:

1.I really liked the sound of one reed on those mp3s. Very full, round and with lots of character. Is it possible to achieve such sound (not to duplicate, but with equal character, and fullness) in small concertina body? Does the size of a cabinet matter here?

Even the top performing artists on EC, playing with Piano and other instruments, presenting classical music, don't have such powerful and round sound, that holds it's own. Esp. the high reeds, which have distinctive metallic tembre to them.

Is it PA's double chambers, that mellow the sound so significantly?

2. If bending idea will catch up, does it mean that even a 10 button Anglo will be fully chromatic and able of full swing harmony?

EC will need only two rows in C. All the accidentals can be available by bending.

Who is interested in such an instrument?

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It's hard to tell how much of the sound comes from the instrument, how much comes from the microphones and the room it was recorded in, and how much comes from processing, equalization, etc.

 

Some of the subtle bending is nice. Much of it seems to me gimmicky, like "see what I can do!" At other times, it sounds like the accordion is broken. I'm sure it's partly my ears not being used to such a thing, as well as needing some trial and error time for the players to decide what the effect is best suited for. I'd love to play with it in a concertina.

 

If bending idea will catch up, does it mean that even a 10 button Anglo will be fully chromatic and able of full swing harmony? EC will need only two rows in C. All the accidentals can be available by bending.

I assume you're kidding? That's like saying a guitar should only have frets on the notes in the C scale, the other notes can be filled in by bending. Impossible to do accurately or quicky, and very likely to sound like a seasick goose.

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That's like saying a guitar should only have frets on the notes in the C scale, the other notes can be filled in by bending. Impossible to do accurately or quicky, and very likely to sound like a seasick goose.

 

The goose one is good.

A guitar is not.

I heard that guy, who invented bending, playing blues on his 10 button box. I liked the bending much better. I agree, the PA guy didn't use bending to it's full.

EC with only C scale is probably a stretch, but a10 button AC may have potential.

 

Bending precisely to get to the accidentals is doable and widely used on harmonica, so why not on keyboard instrument? And if it's doable, who needs extra reeds to tune, fit and pay for? (and carry around)

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Bending precisely to get to the accidentals is doable and widely used on harmonica,...

It's how to get almost all the notes on a slide trombone. ;)

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You know, I have seen that bending accordion thing before a couple of years back I think. Whenever I see things like this, I see someone who really wants to invent new instruments, not play the instruments they have. Don't get me wrong, there is a place in the world for inventing new instruments, but the question we should be thinking is does the accordion and concertina really need bending? Much of what makes an instrument distinctive is how players deal with its limitations. I am pretty sure a Piano can't bend notes, but I don't hear many people complaining about that.

 

--

Bill

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'bill_mchale'

does the accordion and concertina really need bending? Much of what makes an instrument distinctive is how players deal with its limitations. I am pretty sure a Piano can't bend notes, but I don't hear many people complaining about that.

 

Yes, accordion does need bending. A piano is a percussive instrument, it has natural waning of a sound, which is very nice and delicate. For accordion or concertina to achieve such delicacy in sound - takes years of being aware and working on your sound extortion, not unlike violin. I've heard more players (me including) just blasting away, than those, whose sound is measured. Bending will add alot to the expressiveness, and will cut down that on/off even honk of a fixed pitch reed.

 

Think of a saxophone, clarinet. Take away bending and you'll kill these instruments on the spot. Or think of not easily bending chromatic harmonica. Compared to 10 hole "diatonic" it's marginal, and it doesn't sound as good, to my taste. Even when notes are not bent intentionally, they still bend naturally, responding to player's breath, and sound very expressively in unpredictable sort of way.

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does the accordion and concertina really need bending? Much of what makes an instrument distinctive is how players deal with its limitations. I am pretty sure a Piano can't bend notes, but I don't hear many people complaining about that.

 

Yes, accordion does need bending. A piano is a percussive instrument, it has natural waning of a sound, which is very nice and delicate. For accordion or concertina to achieve such delicacy in sound - takes years of being aware and working on your sound extortion, not unlike violin. I've heard more players (me including) just blasting away, than those, whose sound is measured. Bending will add alot to the expressiveness, and will cut down that on/off even honk of a fixed pitch reed.

 

I am not sure the fact that it takes years of work to achieve the "delicacy in sound" is really all that good of an argument. I am sure that it would take quite of while to master bending as well if it became popular. In any instrument there is always a fairly steep curve that seperates the average player from the truely dedicated one who really takes the time to master the instrument. As concertina players we are more aware of the limitations of our own instruments, but that doesn't mean that those limitations are any better or worse than those of other instruments. I am sure alot of piano players would like to be able to hold a note like an accordion or concertina can.. but you deal with it.

 

Think of a saxophone, clarinet. Take away bending and you'll kill these instruments on the spot. Or think of not easily bending chromatic harmonica. Compared to 10 hole "diatonic" it's marginal, and it doesn't sound as good, to my taste. Even when notes are not bent intentionally, they still bend naturally, responding to player's breath, and sound very expressively in unpredictable sort of way.

 

The thing is the concertina is not a saxophone, clarinet or even a harmonica. Yes they are very expressive instruments, but concertinas can do things those instruments can't as well. Should the Saxaphone be redesigned to allow it to play chords?

 

The thing is that the Accordion/concertina family of instruments has been very successful. If they are not hugely popular with the most visible forms of American Music, they have been very popular in many different areas of world music.

 

--

Bill

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I actually agree with Bill on many points.

 

I just disagree that bending is a gimmick.

It's very valuable development.

Accordion/concertina are very new instruments. Accordions in particular have gone through much of the refining. Old instruments are no match for new ones, nor sound wise, neither the speed of action or feel of the keyboard, or qualtiy of reeds.

The technique has developed very substantially.

Piano sound, for exampe, goes from "Good" to "Better" almost from the onset.

Accordion/concertina sound goes through "Ugly", "Less ugly" phazes before it gets to "Good". Unless we approach concertina or accordion with very low expectations: It's cute, it's polka time.

So new developments should be welcomed, not rejected on the basis of tradition, or anything else, that serves the purpose.

A comparison can be made between harpsichords and a piano. It is quite possible that some people were objecting to the piano on the basis that harpsichords are good as they are, just adapt to limitations, and use them to the benefit...

But the piano beat it with the ability to change the volume. The sound of early pianos was matched to the sound of harpsichords, people were used to it, liked it and wanted it. They just didn't know any better. Now such pianos are considered junk. A guy here in San Francisco has one, inlayed and all that, and can't sell it.

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Keep in mind that harp players only bend a few of the available notes, and only where the effect is necessary.

 

Most of us would have loved to have had those notes truely and officially in place when we learned to play; woulda been a lot cleaner and easier. The effect is, like vibrato on a squeezebox, pretty cool when used sparingly, and a bit annoying when overdone; a little goes a long way.

 

"Chromatic" Harmonicas are the result of wanting to fill in those diatonic gaps presented by the basic ten-hole harp.

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Additional thought: The bend is more than just the breath of the player; there is an almost indescribable thing you do with your jaw, tongue and lips to create a certain shape in the mouth that elicits the flattening of the note. Any "bare-knuckle" squeezebox just doesn't do that. Just how does this bending accordion do its' bending?

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Sure this is bending, but to my taste it is overdone. Sounds to me more like a drunken player!

 

Which means it's a real blues then.

Overdone or not, it's interesting. New dimention in playing and he is not professional player and have been with this kind of keyboard for only a few days.

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Sure this is bending, but to my taste it is overdone. Sounds to me more like a drunken player!

Which means it's a real blues then.

This is a very interesting generalisation Michael. So no matter what you play (from ITM to Beethoven on a tin whistle or cello), if you drink enough, you will end up playing the blues :lol:

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This is a very interesting generalisation Michael. So no matter what you play (from ITM to Beethoven on a tin whistle or cello), if you drink enough, you will end up playing the blues :lol:

 

 

Hm.

But the music does sound much better, when you ... um.... Hmm.

On the other hand, I read about some blues notables, and mostly about pre-blues musicians (my preference. I can't stand modern blues) and some of them were pretty despicable.

Drunkards, women chasers, no good money wasters. No wonder they played the way they did. It's a wonder this music picked up. May be our decline started then.

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Drunkards, women chasers, no good money wasters. No wonder they played the way they did. It's a wonder this music picked up. May be our decline started then.

 

An ancient theme Michael. I'm sure a similar phrase is written on a clay tablet from the city of Urd. <_<

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Drunkards, women chasers, no good money wasters. No wonder they played the way they did. It's a wonder this music picked up. May be our decline started then.

 

An ancient theme Michael. I'm sure a similar phrase is written on a clay tablet from the city of Urd. <_<

 

City of Urd?

I bet it's in California.

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An ancient theme Michael. I'm sure a similar phrase is written on a clay tablet from the city of Urd. <_<

Actually, it was carved into the otherwise impressively flat stomach of a statue of a muscular athlete standing in the city of Urd.

 

For that reason it's usually referred to as "the abs-Urd inscription". :ph34r: :D

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