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English V Anglo


chrisbird
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Firstly I did not knock your playing, just stating what I can hear from your upload.

 

I didn't mean you did, I mean you can. It's OK.

Secondly the point you were supposed to prove was the fact that classical is more complex and technical than ITM.

We weren't talking about each other, I never meant to show my playing as example. Complexity of classical music has been proven by now. By other participants. When you say, "complexity", you mean upload of playing tricks of players. Same load exists in the posession of any classical player. It's not just the dots, as we have agreed lately. In Classical there are simply more dots to apply the tricks to, then in ITM, and just to get to the tricks takes longer. That's all.

 

And finally I dont have the low octave at my disposal to attempt the piece.

It's because you take what you hear literally. I play it 5 tones lower than written, because my instrument in Tenor in F, transposing concertina.

Your task in case of attempting such music, is to figure out the lowest and highest note, and transpose the music, so it falls under your fingers the most conveniently. Ot simply read as written and figure out the fingering. The one thing that makes me smirk is the non-stop talk about triplets, rolls, cranes and what not. As though if you master them, you'll become a master player of ITM. NO! It's all about intonation, showing off the melody, the rhythm - everything that is as crucial to any player in any style. First you must to master the basics, so the song flows well, then you may not even need the plaster flowers.

And it seems to me that the only thing dividing ITM from "art" is the bag of tricks, something of doubtful value to me.

Edited by m3838
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The one thing that makes me smirk is the non-stop talk about triplets, rolls, cranes and what not. As though if you master them, you'll become a master player of ITM. NO! It's all about intonation, showing off the melody, the rhythm - everything that is as crucial to any player in any style.

And it seems to me that the only thing dividing ITM from "art" is the bag of tricks, something of doubtful value to me.

 

You really don’t get ITM and that is the problem.

 

No point in continuing a discussion with you Misha.

 

All the Best.

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With the fiddle it’s pretty much one finger for one note.

Lol -- while not a perfect analogy, that's like saying: to reach the moon, you pretty much point a rocket toward space. There may be basically one finger per note, but there are infinite notes on a fretless instrument, and countless ways to affect that note. Generally speaking, with fiddle it takes long study to reliably produce a given note, but with concertina one presses the appropriate button to produce that note, each time.

 

I'm sure David or Cocus can speak for himself on this but I think you are misrepresenting his point. Which was simply ... that fingering a tune is intuitively easier on the fiddle - it is easier to associate a particular finger movement with a note of a given pitch. This is essential to make good music and partic. to play by ear and adapt on the fly to what others are playing. Ditto for same reason on whistle and flute.

 

Whereas obviously on concertina (anglo, anyway) different finger movements are required for the same note. Different sequences of buttons are available to make the same phrase - this variability is more difficult to hardwire in the brain.

 

I agree about the mechanical nature of the concertina and the ease of producing a note of a given pitch. The 'simplest' instruments like fiddle and flute are harder in terms of good tone and pitch.

Edited by tombilly
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No time to read this entire very-long thread, so I'm not going to worry about whether I'm repeating something someone else has already said.

 

Apologies for the repetition, Ken. I did find various discussions, but nothing I felt that was wholly specific. Then again, given what subjective thing it is that I'm asking, it's probably unrealistic of me to have found an 'absolute' answer.

I think the earlier discussions make it quite clear that there is no "absolute" answer... not for which is easier to learn, nor for which has more ultimate potential, not even when you limit the focus to a particular style of music (e.g., Irish, or "ITM"). The differences of opinion even among those who believe there is one absolute answer show clearly that there's not.

 

Seems to me that what you were really asking was that we would tell you all those other threads were wrong.

 

Never mind, though. The question always stimulates an interesting discussion, especially since it always seems to wander from the original question. :)

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There is no consensus on things like "harder to learn" as it is completely individual.
I guess that is probably true when the instruments are similar, such as the Anglo and Concertina.

So the "Anglo" is not a "Concertina"? An interesting perspective. :D

 

Seriously, though, I think the anglo and the English are far more different from each other than the guitar and the banjo or mandolin.

 

But I bet piano is harder to learn than a penny whistle :-)

Not for someone with asthma, I would think.

 

But I bet piano is harder to learn than a penny whistle :-)

I realise that you are joking but actually it is not. It is easier (for some people at least) to hack out a simple melody with one hand on piano than whistle. The trouble is that this is so easy you are expected to do something different with the other hand.

On the other hand (pun acknowledged), I have known a couple of individuals who could play harmony with themselves using two whistles simultaneously, one with each hand. And not just on slow tunes, but on jigs and reels at dance tempo. I've tried that myself, several times, but have never gotten far enough to feel it was worth the effort of pursuing to a successful conclusion.

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No time to read this entire very-long thread
you might have to change your name from "catty" to "Billy Goat Gruff". ;) :D[/indent]

 

Well, at least you read the important stuff.. :lol:

Edited by catty
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  • 2 weeks later...
one of the main problems I have encountered when listening to other EC players,on you tube,is lack of emphasis in irish dance tunes,[my playing isnt perfect either].

this includes some esteemed players,who are clearly not listening to their sound.,it seems particularly a problem on reels.

I enjoyed Dannys ROSLINE CASTLE,but not jennys picking cockles[it was technically competent but lacking in emphasis[imo]],

 

Your comment reminded me that I've not been happy with that version of Jenny Picking Cockles for a long time. In particular there's a couple of places in the tune where the fingering makes it tricky to keep the backbeat going. I recorded it again a couple of days ago - listen here if you like. My opinion is that the new version is much better, but it's still not quite what I'm aiming for. I'm certainly not aiming for an "Anglo concertina" sound though, whatever that is. Feel free to comment. I find it hard to listen and hear what's being played, and not the sound I was aiming for when I was playing!

 

I am seriously,considering two options,learning the anglo [but still playing the english],or copying bellows movement of irish anglo players[not reversing every note,but on some notes].

 

I don't think trying to emulate the Anglo bellows changes on the English really makes sense. A large part of a good Anglo-player's skill must consist of stopping the "natural" rhythm that would come from those bellows changes interfering with the natural rhythm of the melody, just as an English player needs to prevent keyboard quirks (e.g. adjacent notes on same or opposite sides) dictating the phrasing too. When you're good enough it doesn't feel or sound like you're working "against" the instrument any more - but listen to a beginner and you'll see how the quirks of the instrument do tend to dictate the phrasing, and phrasing that comes from the mechanics of the instrument (whatever it is) is frequently not particularly musical.

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I don't think trying to emulate the Anglo bellows changes on the English really makes sense. [...] phrasing that comes from the mechanics of the instrument (whatever it is) is frequently not particularly musical.

I agree in a way, and disagree in a way. Many times an instrument's weakness can be made into a strength. This is the case I think with Anglo bellows changes in a good player. Yes, the changes don't dictate the phrasing, that would be unmusical as you say. But the changes can be used to emphasize the rhythm when you want to. I've heard it recommended many times to accordion or duet concertina players to change directions only at the end of a phrase. But if you never change directions in the middle of a phrase, and never change several times in the course of a few measures as an Anglo player has to, you'll never learn to use this technique. And it is very effective at adding lift and drive.

 

I also think it's useful to "over-practice" something so that it is an easy technique to use when you want to later. That is, practice changing directions as often as an Anglo sometimes, so that if the music ever calls for it, you can do it easily, and a single bellows change in the middle of a phrase to add emphasis is very straightforward. It's like practicing an entire tune very staccato, even if that doesn't sound good, so that if you ever do want to spontaneously play a passage staccato, you can. Or practicing cutting every note possible in a tune so that you'll have maximum flexibility playing a cut when you're actually performing or playing with others.

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It just hit me reading Boney's post: I'm in need of a good definition for the term "lift." Does it refer to something that happens during the whole phrase? Or is it like the term "luft-pause", a punctuation mark within a phrase?

 

Seems to me a musical line is like language, and punctuation within can employ whatever tools one has at one's disposal. Bellows direction seems in the case of EC and Duet a tool that can be used at the players discretion. On a break-neck reel with a bellows change on a EC will not be noticed and may actually accentuate rhythmic articulation....however a bellows change in something like Danny's rendition of the Wounded Hussar mid-phrase could be a real cock-up underlining the suttle differences of tone between the same note reeds.

Edited by Mark Evans
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Surely 'lift' is just another term for 'life'. Dance music without lift is flat, even and boring. Add lift or life or emphasis to get the real deal..?

 

I think you make a beginning of a definition...bravo. But were you to have to discribe that term oft used as a corner stone of AC ITM playing technique to a folk musician from another musical tradition, should it not be a bit more specific? In the end you might just have to pick up your instrument and show them with what is given here.

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I don't think trying to emulate the Anglo bellows changes on the English really makes sense. [...] phrasing that comes from the mechanics of the instrument (whatever it is) is frequently not particularly musical.

I agree in a way, and disagree in a way. Many times an instrument's weakness can be made into a strength. This is the case I think with Anglo bellows changes in a good player. Yes, the changes don't dictate the phrasing, that would be unmusical as you say. But the changes can be used to emphasize the rhythm when you want to. I've heard it recommended many times to accordion or duet concertina players to change directions only at the end of a phrase. But if you never change directions in the middle of a phrase, and never change several times in the course of a few measures as an Anglo player has to, you'll never learn to use this technique. And it is very effective at adding lift and drive.

 

You have to work the bellows! Bellows changes is just one way to do it. Build pressure at certain moments, and small, short pushes on the draw or on the pull will all add to give life or lift to the music you make. It's all about dynamics as well. I've seen/heard too many EC players pulling their bellows in and out without working their bellows.

You want more life - tap your buttons instead of pushing them (but of course not all the time). Put some vibrato on a certain note (quite nice in dance music too - but use with moderation). Still not happy with the result: put your concertina on your knee and tap your feet at appropriate rythm. Then there is ornamentation. I cut my notes quite often (to start with). Remainder you have to work out for yourself......

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You have to work the bellows! Bellows changes is just one way to do it. Build pressure at certain moments, and small, short pushes on the draw or on the pull will all add to give life or lift to the music you make. It's all about dynamics as well. I've seen/heard too many EC players pulling their bellows in and out without working their bellows.

You want more life - tap your buttons instead of pushing them (but of course not all the time). Put some vibrato on a certain note (quite nice in dance music too - but use with moderation). Still not happy with the result: put your concertina on your knee and tap your feet at appropriate rythm. Then there is ornamentation. I cut my notes quite often (to start with). Remainder you have to work out for yourself......

 

Sage advice.

 

Only one thing I find in your statement troubling....Vibrato. :( I've listened and tried to embrace it, but as yet not even Noel Hill has produced a vibrato that does anything but make me cringe (that's saying a lot as I adore his playing). The pipe and whistle produced vibrato is outlandish and there in it's salvation. One doesn't even consider it something naturally produced. It's funky and cool. But a concertina with such clarion notes sounds somehow sad and lost when it is attempted, particularly in a lament. I'm aware this is a minority view. :ph34r:

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