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Question On Flats/sharps


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I've just recently bought a 20-key anglo concertina, mainly cause they've always looked like fun and have such a terrific sound. Anyway, I'm just starting to learn how to play and a song I really wanna do has a B-flat and a C-sharp in it. I don't think I'm able to play those two notes though. Is that true??

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Guest Mick Diles
I've just recently bought a 20-key anglo concertina, mainly cause they've always looked like fun and have such a terrific sound. Anyway, I'm just starting to learn how to play and a song I really wanna do has a B-flat and a C-sharp in it. I don't think I'm able to play those two notes though. Is that true??

Hello bbhsopbass87

 

You will probably have a 20 button C/G concertina In that case you have all th naturals and an F-sharp.

Have fun :)

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I've just recently bought a 20-key anglo concertina, mainly cause they've always looked like fun and have such a terrific sound. Anyway, I'm just starting to learn how to play and a song I really wanna do has a B-flat and a C-sharp in it. I don't think I'm able to play those two notes though. Is that true??

Hi, and welcome to the Forum.

 

I'm presuming that your 20 key is a C/G, in which case the keyboard is likely to be:

 

http://www.concertina.com/anglo/index.htm

 

Great for playing in C & G, and the related minor keys, but a bit limiting in other, perhaps more interesting, keys. A 30 key instrument gives you all the "accidentals" which enable you to play in other keys; probably not what you want to hear having just bought a 20 key instrument. Your best option (it's a compromise) is to play the more interesting tunes, and just miss out the notes which you don't have.

 

Anyway, many tunes, especially those from the various traditional sources, do fit onto a 20 key instrument. That's the good news. I hope you find many topics to interest you on this Forum, and help with your development.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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There is no key the tune could be transposed to that fits on a 20-button C/G. I'm assuming, since it has a Bb and a C#, that the tune is originally in D minor. Playing it in G minor turns the C# into an F# (which you have) but the Bb becomes an Eb (which you don't). Playing it in A minor turns the Bb into an F (which you have) but the C# becomes a G# (which you don't).

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I've just recently bought a 20-key anglo concertina, mainly cause they've always looked like fun and have such a terrific sound. Anyway, I'm just starting to learn how to play and a song I really wanna do has a B-flat and a C-sharp in it. I don't think I'm able to play those two notes though. Is that true??

Yes, that's true.

(Assuming you have a standard 20-button in C/G, which your question suggests is the case.)

 

And most likely, transposing to another key won't help, because you won't be able to get all the intervals in the song's melody. Your instrument, like a standard harmonica or tin whistle, is built to produce only the notes of one or two diatonic scales, and your song is apparently more chromatic. Unlike the harmonica, "bending" notes isn't a viable option. Unlike the whistle, you can't cover half a hole to get the in-between notes.

 

So enjoy your concertina for what you can do with it, but if that particular song is a priority for you, you'll need a different instrument to play it on.

By the way, what song is it?

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A god source of tunes that will fit is older pipe tunes. For example those in the first and second Northumbrian Pipers tunebooks. Great tunes that exploit the very similar melodic limitations of an un-keyed pipe chanter.

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I've just recently bought a 20-key anglo concertina, mainly cause they've always looked like fun and have such a terrific sound. Anyway, I'm just starting to learn how to play and a song I really wanna do has a B-flat and a C-sharp in it. I don't think I'm able to play those two notes though. Is that true??

Yes, that's true.

(Assuming you have a standard 20-button in C/G, which your question suggests is the case.)

 

And most likely, transposing to another key won't help, because you won't be able to get all the intervals in the song's melody. Your instrument, like a standard harmonica or tin whistle, is built to produce only the notes of one or two diatonic scales, and your song is apparently more chromatic. Unlike the harmonica, "bending" notes isn't a viable option. Unlike the whistle, you can't cover half a hole to get the in-between notes.

 

So enjoy your concertina for what you can do with it, but if that particular song is a priority for you, you'll need a different instrument to play it on.

By the way, what song is it?

 

 

I'm in a Disney singing group, where we sing Disneyland attractions' songs. So naturally it would be Pirates of the Carribbean. I appreciate the responses I've received and it looks like I'm going to have to invest in the 30 key, to have the accidentals I need.

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By the way, what song is it?

I'm in a Disney singing group, where we sing Disneyland attractions' songs. So naturally it would be Pirates of the Carribbean. I appreciate the responses I've received and it looks like I'm going to have to invest in the 30 key, to have the accidentals I need.

Or seize one from a concertina-playing shanty singer on one of the ships you overhaul. :ph34r: :D

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If you are a pirate, make sure its a Crrrraaaaaaaaaab (in B Flaaaaaaaaaat).

Or, if you haven't got enough pieces of eight for one of those, maybe a Lachenaaaaarrrrrghl.

Thought I'd clicked on the "Irish Times Article" by mistake. :blink:

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