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It seems that most of the cheaper mass produced concertinas are made in Italy, China or eastern Germany. I wonder if concertina playing has filtered into the local traditions and, if so, are there any distinct local styles?

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I don't know of any offhand. The Anglo International CD has players from the British Isles and North America, South Africa and Spain, but none from Italy, China or Germany. This is probably significant.

 

Chris

Chris, that was really funny. Just trying to imagine Chinese music on a concertina has me fully awake and laughing, even though I haven't finished my latte this morning.

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Barbara, As I am a rank beginner you could be forgiven for thinking that some of the music I play was Chinese! Seriously though, I think I am right in saying that the earliest free reed instruments come from that part of the world and I believe that harmonicas are popular in the far east - so perhaps the tones of a concertina melding with a bamboo flute may not be quite so far fetched as first appears.

Enjoy your latte.

Brian

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Barbara, As I am a rank beginner you could be forgiven for thinking that some of the music I play was Chinese! Seriously though, I think I am right in saying that the earliest free reed instruments come from that part of the world and I believe that harmonicas are popular in the far east - so perhaps the tones of a concertina melding with a bamboo flute may not be quite so far fetched as first appears.

Enjoy your latte.

Brian

Well, I learn something new every day. Has anybody ever heard Chinese music on a concertina?! Now I am mystified! Still have a couple sips left of my latte. Have a nice day, Brian!

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Has anybody ever heard Chinese music on a concertina?!

 

I've never heard concertina per se, but accordion for sure. During my time at Boston University (87'-89') we had a number of singers from China who had come to the U.S. to study with my teacher. Most had been professionals touring for their government. The quasi-popular post Red Guard music they sang as opposed to traditional Chinese music they also sang relied heavily on the accordion.

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See http://www.accordions.com/index/his/his_cn.shtml for someone's essay on the Chinese accordion scene...

 

Daniel

 

Has anybody ever heard Chinese music on a concertina?!

 

I've never heard concertina per se, but accordion for sure. During my time at Boston University (87'-89') we had a number of singers from China who had come to the U.S. to study with my teacher. Most had been professionals touring for their government. The quasi-popular post Red Guard music they sang as opposed to traditional Chinese music they also sang relied heavily on the accordion.

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>See >http://www.accordions.com/index/his/his_cn.shtml >for someone's essay on the Chinese accordion scene...

 

I went through the essay.

While it totally proves the capacity of the accordion (and one reed per voice classical accordion), which in it's turn proves that concertina can be just as appropriate for Chinese music, this article sounds as though commissioned by the Chinese propaganda office.

And it's incorrect too.

Firstly it claimes that Chinese were influenced by Russian professional accordionists, but doesn't specify what kind of accordions they were playing.

There were virtually no Piano Accordions in the USSR until after the WWII, and I haven't yet seen Chromatic Button Accordion, played by a Chinese.

Secondly the timeline has large gap between 1960s and 1980s (times of the "Cultural Revolution". Thirdly the statistics provide the number of accoridonists per province and focus on the total quantities. But pass over the fact that number of accordions per person in China is very very small, so actually accordion in China is rather rare instrument.

Take a look at these statistics, for example:"14 standard colleges, 9 conservatories, 6 art colleges, 6 universities, 4 art schools" - for the country of over 1 Billion people?

Didn't like that article, sorry.

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Take a look at these statistics, for example:"14 standard colleges, 9 conservatories, 6 art colleges, 6 universities, 4 art schools" - for the country of over 1 Billion people?
What about the US? I'd be very surprised if we had even half comparable that.
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I don't know of any offhand. The Anglo International CD has players from the British Isles and North America, South Africa and Spain, but none from Italy, China or Germany. This is probably significant.

The significance may simply be that we didn't get around to making the necessary contacts in these cultures. Our coverage even in the countries that are represented is pretty spotty. Is one player in Spain really representative of the entire country? I met two anglo players at an Irish session in San Sebastian.

 

I know that the Bielefeld concertina weekends have classes in "German style" concertina (I don't think they call them "anglos" in that class). There are quite a few players of both "foreign" and "native" styles in Germany.

 

I recall that at one point there was a debate on C.net about whether there was an indigenous concertina culture in Italy, or whether it was a Hollywood invention. Not long ago I had a discussion with an Italian who described to me local concertina players where he grew up (somewhere in the north), and yes, he knew the difference between concertinas and accordions.

 

As for other countries, I know that one fine Swedish player didn't get around to recording his good stuff in time to submit it, and even from America I know that there are several excellent players of various styles who weren't included, for whatever reason.

 

It does seem unlikely to me that either the Germans or the Italians would have developed significant concertina-building industries if there weren't significant local demand for the instruments. Do people really think their entire production was for export to English-speaking countries?

 

China might be a different story, since I understand that concertina production there is entirely a result of foreign makers and distributors wanting cheaper production facilities. But I expect that now that they're being made in China, some of them are finding their way into local hands, and a "tradition" will gradually arise.

 

As for accordions and Chinese music, my limited experience is that some Chinese music uses non-Western scales, but some does use the Western scales for which the accordion, piano, and concertina would be just fine. Accordions are quite popular in Bulgarian music, just not for those tunes which use quarter-tones.

 

I think our discovery of concertinas is "other" cultures has a long way to go, and I'm looking forward to hearing more and more as time goes by.

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It does seem unlikely to me that either the Germans or the Italians would have developed significant concertina-building industries if there weren't significant local demand for the instruments. Do people really think their entire production was for export to English-speaking countries?

I only ever met one Italian concertina player. He was a member of a band booked at a Welsh folk festival, and he played a very unusual square English made specially for him by Bastari. It had two reeds on each note so that he could make enough noise to compete on equal terms with the other band members, very much like a re-invention of the accordiaphone. He told me he himself had never met another Italian concertina player.

 

Chris

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I must agree with Jim as far as players from other countries , who were not included on Anglo International.To give justice to every different style and Country would have meant a much larger collection than I could ever have found and would the general public have bought a total World collection of many CDs ,I doubt it.I regret not including Australian in particular and of course many other Worldwide players have come to my attention since completing the project.This was predictable from the start and will be for English and Duet Internationals.

All that can be done is to lay down a foundation and from that point it can be improved upon. Every player on Anglo International has a different style and with an average of three tracks per person ,it does give them a chance to show off their capabilities.I am sure if each player had been restricted to say one track each it would not be half so interesting or entertaining as a listen.

Al

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>What about the US? I'd be very surprised if we had even half comparable that.

 

But nobody claims that accordion/concertina is very popular in the US.

The article makes a point that accordion fit the Chinese music, at leas the pseudo-Chinese, maoistic music, but goes along the path of praising the cultural development of the nation under the leadership of the Communist Party.

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It seems that most of the cheaper mass produced concertinas are made in Italy, China or eastern Germany. I wonder if concertina playing has filtered into the local traditions and, if so, are there any distinct local styles?
Of course there are concertina traditions in Germany whose roots predate traditions of the "Anglo."post-1638-1142443532_thumb.jpg
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Of course there is a german traditon. Established in the working class there a have been a lot of concertina clubs and societies. Heart of the movement was Ruhrgebiet. In the golden 20 only in Leipzig 50 concertina clubs existed and there have been about 130 in Berlin. A lot of unemployed workers joined these groups. Time for rehearsel and cheap instruments.

1911 a national organisation was founded with a own newspaper with 16.000 members in nearly 500 groups (Bandoneon & Concertina).

They had there own way of notation Wäscheklammersystem it was called. All this and a lot more you can find in Christoph Wagner "Das Akkordeon oder die Erfindung der populären Musik" (There must have been early Jimi Hendrix Players, waving their instrument over the head)

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Klaus--

 

For those of us who don't have easy access to that book, can you tell us what types of concertina these folks were playing? And did the tradition survive the Nazi era and the war?

 

Daniel

 

Of course there is a german traditon. Established in the working class there a have been a lot of concertina clubs and societies. Heart of the movement was Ruhrgebiet. In the golden 20 only in Leipzig 50 concertina clubs existed and there have been about 130 in Berlin. A lot of unemployed workers joined these groups. Time for rehearsel and cheap instruments.

1911 a national organisation was founded with a own newspaper with 16.000 members in nearly 500 groups (Bandoneon & Concertina).

They had there own way of notation Wäscheklammersystem it was called. All this and a lot more you can find in Christoph Wagner "Das Akkordeon oder die Erfindung der populären Musik" (There must have been early Jimi Hendrix Players, waving their instrument over the head)

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