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English V Anglo


chrisbird
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This sums it up perfectly. EC playing largely suffers from the same thing as Piano accordion in dance music. You have to work at separating the notes clearly otherwise it just sounds mushy and will lift no-one's foot off the floor.

 

No you don't.

 

You have to separate the notes but it is no particular effort, more a way of looking at things. English players may be more inclined to start from a written tune and they are sometimes written out to look more uniform than they are played. You need to know what a hornpipe for instance should sound like but it is not particularly hard to play properly on English concertina.

 

Roger is correct. When learning woodwinds, the very first thing one learns is to "tongue" the reed--which is to say, control the duration of the note. On strings, the technique is called damping. On concertinas and accordians, one may either not push a button, or not work the bellows, or both. Whatever the technique for a given instrument, it is about time--the most basic element in music. With good time, one may execute dancable music on any and all instruments. Without it, there is nothing.

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This sums it up perfectly. EC playing largely suffers from the same thing as Piano accordion in dance music. You have to work at separating the notes clearly otherwise it just sounds mushy and will lift no-one's foot off the flo

or.

 

It doesn't sum up anything, as 30 button AC often is played in a "mooshy" style. A good PA player is not affected by the above "logic". When necessary, they are playing stacatto, or legato. Nobody said Irish must be played stacatto, or dance music must be choppy. Smooth Waltz is dance music, and choppy tango too. Tango is played on bandoneons without bellows directions change.

 

 

The constant negativity of your comments gets tiresome. Try throwing in something positive once in a while just for variety.

 

Here's something positive :D

I'm in college, where a bunch of goons get free scholarships, grant money and federal funds. On the rest of tuition they are given loans, that they will never pay back, considering their lack of effort and pattern of attendance. I am not eligible for anything, have to pay the whole amount out of pocket, and am the only one at school that does it. So it looks like I've been working 20 years, putting 12 hours a day, for this colleges to collect funds, and now, when I need help, I'm been priced out of education.

Hope you enjoyed the positive element above.

On the more fun note, I don't think my reply was negative. I consider it very positive that 30 button Anglo can be played in a smooth "English Concertina" fashion, and that good PA player may sound smooth or choppy at will. I also think it's very positive, that Waltz is smooth, and Tango crisp.

And even when trying hard, I fail to see negativity in the fact that Bandoneons are played with smooth bellows action.

I also find it very positive that AC and EC can be employed together, playing any type of music that benefits from the sound of single reed without harmonics.

What I really feel tiresome of is relentless treading water with topics like this one.

Of course you can play anything on anything, who is insane enough to deny it? The question is the skill. That's all.

After all, most common instrument in all genres is human voice, and it's been pretty consistent throughout the regions and times.

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"I'm been priced out of education.

Hope you enjoyed the positive element above."

icon6.gificon6.gificon6.gificon6.gificon6.gif

 

 

"...30 button Anglo can be played in a smooth "English Concertina" fashion...

 

Maybe. But I've never heard it played so. Have you? By whom?

And why would anybody want to?

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""...30 button Anglo can be played in a smooth "English Concertina" fashion...

 

Maybe. But I've never heard it played so. Have you? By whom?

And why would anybody want to?

 

Grey Larsen The Green Line

 

http://www.concertina.net/clips/cd_larsen_green_07.mp3

 

Very smooth, lyrical even. The longer held notes are beautifully "feathered" out at the end. Taste, class, gentile sparkel and no need to play like an English. He plays like the excellent musician and artist he is.

 

A relaxed tempo suggesting a reflective mood is a welcome interpertation to my ears. Most often at sessions it gets trotted out a break neck speed (not that I mind at the moment we're dunkenly crashing through the thing).

 

His early recordings on English were a great inspiration to me.

Edited by Mark Evans
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Here's something positive :D

I'm in college, where a bunch of goons get free...(resources).

 

m3838-

 

The academic establishment is like any other institution rife with contradiction. It is not the best place for a person unable to reconcile paradox and, unfortunately, is likely to worsen your cynicism.

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The music being referred to by Alistair Anderson,was not waltzes,or tangos,but jigs reels hornpipes rants,and other country dance music,country dance music ,needs to be rhythmical,and have some bounce.

Alistairs words are spot on.

I realize it, but all that you listed are just concrete examples of some styles of Music. All music is music. Some need to be bouncy, some slow and smooth, but most combine both and some more. PAs and bandoneons have been around just as long as Anglos and ECs, and have been known for universal capabilities, favored by high level professionals around the Globe. My point is that AC played across the rows is no different from EC, and Alistair's point is mute. It's muted further by incredibly bouncy performances by Bandoneonists, Russian Bayan players, and legions of others. Vice versa, smooth soulful compositions are not a rarity among musicians, employing bouncy in it's nature Piano. It's all in head, not in instrument, mostly.

Perhaps Alistair was addressing beginners, or his words are simply taken out of context. AC is easier to make bouncy, the less skill you have. The better you get, the less help you need from the springs and bolts, the less dependancy you have from bellows reversals. But that's beside the point, actually. The point is you play instrument you have, in the style you feel like, and if you have talent, all around you will start jumping if you want them.

It's always adviceable to preface a wisdom sharing with: "For my level", or " with my instrument", or "in our circles". It's also adviceabe to remember, that jigs, reels and hornpipes have been around at least 10 times longer, than bounciest of the Anglos.

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"I'm been priced out of education.

Hope you enjoyed the positive element above."

icon6.gificon6.gificon6.gificon6.gificon6.gif

 

 

"...30 button Anglo can be played in a smooth "English Concertina" fashion...

 

Maybe. But I've never heard it played so. Have you? By whom?

And why would anybody want to?

 

Yea, I thought you'll like the positive.

Well, pretty much everybody who plays Irish on 30 Button Anglo, plays in cross rows, otherwise they will have difficulties to play in The Key. Berthram Levy taught to play like that, John Williams demonstrates this technique.

Unless you want to learn several instruments, each for different types of music.

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English musicians who play English music on an Anglo are, to my ears, wonderful players.

They play up and down on the rows, in C/G -- or in D/G if that is their concertina of choice.

The music is full of life and has great lift and vitality to it. The chording they do is wonderful.

I know that if I lived in England I'd forgive them everything and play English dance music.

David,

Thank you so much for that. What a lovely thing to say. It is much appreciated, especially coming from someone such as yourself in Ireland.

 

I am English, born and bred. When I first started playing and listening to traditional music of any sort, back in the late 1970s, going to folk clubs and sessions meant nearly always Irish, Scottish or American music. It took me several years to realise that there was a vast, almost hidden, tradition of English music. It seemed as if we were ashamed of it somehow. It was the preserve of morris musicians who tended to be (and still are :( ) regarded by the general public as rather quaint or worse. Otherwise English music was something that had become fossilised, collected and stored away by Cecil Sharp and others, or squirreled away into formal classical music by composers such as Vaughan Williams.

 

But gradually I began to be aware of the dance music of my heritage and culture, thanks to the tireless work of John Kirkpatrick and a few others, and also playing alongside Barry Callaghan in the same dance team. Now, fortunately, the tide has turned and there are some great English bands and solo performers who, if not quite household names, are not far off.

 

I love and admire Irish music, and of course I have had plenty of opportunity for playing it, or at least trying to imitate it. But - it's 'not in my blood' and a second-rate imitation is all it will ever be. On the other hand, the traditional English polkas, marches, quicksteps, jigs, hornpipes and triple-time hornpipes somehow speak to my condition (to borrow a Quaker phrase) and when I play them I feel, as you say 'full of life' with the 'great lift and vitality' that English dance music has. I know that not everyone will agree with me, but it works for me, because it is in my blood.

 

Apologies for this rather lengthy and somewhat off-topic reply, but I could not let David's nice post go unacknowledged.

Thank you, David.

 

Steve

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I agree with Steve, it's a nice comment from David who I had the pleasure to meet at the Bradfield weekend, a great player on Anglo and flute .

Like Steve I love our traditional music but don't make too much distinction, I grew up in Manchester in an Irish family who came over after the famine

Growing up, Irish music was a part of our lives but so also were tunes at school, in the Scouts, socialist groups and camps, climbing groups and dances and sessions all over the UK when we went away rambling and climbing at weekends. Then came the folk revival, folk rock and morris etc

 

This means that when I eventually got a C/G Anglo, after mouth organ and melodeon for many years I tended to play up and down the rows, the Chris Droney way as described by Frank Edgely. I found just as I did with D/G melodeon that crossing the rows allowed smoother playing for certain tunes and I also found Mick Bramich's book and John William's DVD very helpful in this. Listening to source musicians gave me a respect for all styles and I now have a hybrid that suits me when it comes to a lot of 'British' hornpipes, jigs and reels particularly from the North but also allows me to give it the bounce of polkas and morris tunes. I'm also using chords a lot more after workshops with Jody Kruskal, Roger Digby etc

 

I was struck by an article by Paul Roberts on English traditional fiddlers in which he describes fast hornpipe playing for step dancing as single note, rather than double stopping and drones on other types of tunes. The speed and ornamentation of a lot of Irish tunes also encourages single note melody but I note more and more people are drawing on the influence of pipes and fiddlers to insert partial chords and drones etc

There are so many possibilities on Anglo that I think we can respect regional styles and if we decide to join in, and are able, we should at least try to fit in with local style and conventions. Otherwise we can go to another session

 

I note in Ireland nowadays there is much more appreciation of regional styles than there was a while back and I feel quite an affinity with tunes from say Sliabh Luachra or Connemara

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When learning woodwinds, the very first thing one learns is to "tongue" the reed--which is to say, control the duration of the note .... Without it, there is nothing.

 

Not sure if that is a good analogy. Try playing ITM and 'tongueing' constantly like a classical player on whistle and flute. It's just awful .. far too much definition. Slurring is important in Irish music and widely employed but what is also equally important is definition of partic. notes. It's the use of both together that creates the idiom. Reversing the bellows, cutting or tapping the note, change in volume etc. all lift notes.

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When learning woodwinds, the very first thing one learns is to "tongue" the reed--which is to say, control the duration of the note .... Without it, there is nothing.

 

Not sure if that is a good analogy. Try playing ITM and 'tongueing' constantly like a classical player on whistle and flute. It's just awful .. far too much definition. Slurring is important in Irish music and widely employed but what is also equally important is definition of partic. notes. It's the use of both together that creates the idiom. Reversing the bellows, cutting or tapping the note, change in volume etc. all lift notes.

 

It's not an analogy -- I used this example only to point out that every instrument requires technique to control TIME (the jist of my statement which you omitted from my quote :blink: ) , the most essential element in music...especially, of course, dance music. Of course there are other techniques as well, as you mention.

Edited by catty
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I think that this discussion is a waste of time; you may as well be comparing an Anglo to a fiddle or flute. The Anglo and the English are completely different instruments. They may both be concertinas but that is their only similarity. It is the exact same for Piano accordion and button. It is impossible to justify using Anglo or English for Irish music as it depends on the person playing the instrument. If the English concertina was the norm for Irish musicians to start on then I’m sure that we would have some amazing Irish music players on the English concertina.

 

As for some of the comments here from m3838, some are not very wise and show a complete ignorance and lack of respect for Irish Traditional Music and its Musicians. How in god’s name can you compare musicians of different genres?? As for "bouncy" playing, this can be achieved on any instrument and is all down to the musician and their interpretation of the tune plus their ability on the chosen instrument.

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What I see here is someone with great talent who doesnt really try to play irish style and would not want to anyway.

 

And what, for you as a Canadian, is "Irish style"?

 

Cheers,

John

 

 

I could not answer that, I don't have the word for it, but as a canadian who goes to Ireland and New York relatively often, there's a mix of musicians I've met and really like listening to: Mary McNamara, Edel Fox, Tim Collins, Mike Raffery, Brian McNamara, Eoghan O'Sullivan, Mary Bergin, Catherine McEvoy, Mick O'Brien, Michael Rooney & June McCormak (when on concertina and flute), Geraldine McNamara, Eamoon and Geraldine Cotter, etc. My big weakness is that I don't listen enough to the older musicians, but I'm slowly trying to change that.

 

Even though I can't nearly play like them, I think I can recognize a good irish phrasing style.

 

I thought that might be the answer. You only name some contemporary players. That's not a definition of a "style" that one could gauge one's own or someone else's playing by. I don't know if they're all Anglo players, but if they are, they'r no gauge of how to play flute, fiddle or EC.

 

Good phrasing is not irish, it's just what really musical people do.

 

This does all seem rather pointless. Why don't you ITM lot just honestly say that the rules state that no ECs or bul-bul-tarangs are allowed in you genre (like they're not allowed in string quartets), and let the rest of us get creative with our traditional material!

 

:angry:

 

John

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Why don't you ITM lot just honestly say that the rules state that no ECs or bul-bul-tarangs are allowed in you genre . . . and let the rest of us get creative with our traditional material!

 

:angry:

 

John

 

Where's the fun in that?! :huh:

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As for some of the comments here from m3838, some are not very wise and show a complete ignorance and lack of respect for Irish Traditional Music and its Musicians. How in god’s name can you compare musicians of different genres?? As for "bouncy" playing, this can be achieved on any instrument and is all down to the musician and their interpretation of the tune plus their ability on the chosen instrument.

You pulled it all together.

You state agreement with one of my major point, yet I'm the unwise. From your reply I take it you have complete savviness and respect for Irish Traditional Music and it's Musicians. Lucky them to have such an aficionado.

In God's name we can compare musicians of every genres, because a Mountain has only one pinnacle, but many sides. So musicians of many genres climb the slopes to reach the top and can be compared objectively by the altitude, but not by the routs and methods of climbing.

I was simply stating un-eagerness to attribute some titles to musicians, whose musicianship (accentuation, universality, education, phrasing, depth of nuancing, complexity of harmony, elegance of application) is not that of professionally trained "classical" or "serious" musicians.

I was corrected in the useage of the English term, is there anything unclear left?

As for "bounciness" you again in full agreement with me.

It seems like you mistook my arguments with someone else's. :blink:

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As for some of the comments here from m3838, some are not very wise and show a complete ignorance and lack of respect for Irish Traditional Music and its Musicians. How in god’s name can you compare musicians of different genres??

 

In God's name we can compare musicians of every genres, because a Mountain has only one pinnacle, but many sides. So musicians of many genres climb the slopes to reach the top and can be compared objectively by the altitude, but not by the routs and methods of climbing.

I was simply stating un-eagerness to attribute some titles to musicians, whose musicianship (accentuation, universality, education, phrasing, depth of nuancing, complexity of harmony, elegance of application) is not that of professionally trained "classical" or "serious" musicians.

 

The top quote is all that applied to you, you are correct in some of your comments but you are off the wall again with your last. If you knew anything about Irish Traditional Music you would understand that it comes from within the musician, yes anybody can play it but only some can master it. You cannot learn to be a good Irish musician you have to have it in you. To even suggest that Irish Musicians who spend their lives playing are not "serious" musicians only validates my point.

I know a lot of classically trained musicians with full grades who have tried to cross over to Irish music and failed because they lack music! Everything seems so analysed and robotic and really does not work for Irish music. If "accentuation, universality, education, phrasing, depth of nuance, complexity of harmony, elegance of application" were that of what you consider a "serious" musician then we would really have a problem in Irish Traditional Music. You cannot learn from a book to be a good Irish musician, you need to immerse yourself in the tradition where you can develop your own style and not just play a tune the exact same as everyone else plays it.

So as I stated before, you cannot compare Genres! You may aswell be trying to compare Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. And in case you haven’t noticed, there are many mountains.

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Hi, Skinsegan,

I just edited your last posting to remove the words "Irish" and "traditional". Here's how it reads then:

Modified posting:

If you knew anything about (***) Music you would understand that it comes from within the musician, yes anybody can play it but only some can master it. You cannot learn to be a good (***) musician you have to have it in you. To even suggest that (***) Musicians who spend their lives playing (one genre) are not "serious" musicians only validates my point.

I know a lot of (genre) trained musicians with full grades who have tried to cross over to (other genre) music and failed because they lack music! Everything seems so analysed and robotic and really does not work for (other genre) music. If "accentuation, universality, education, phrasing, depth of nuance, complexity of harmony, elegance of application" were that of what you consider a "serious" musician then we would really have a problem in (***) Music. You cannot learn from a book to be a good (***) musician, you need to immerse yourself in the tradition where you can develop your own style and not just play a tune the exact same as everyone else plays it.

 

Put that way, it rings true for any genre of music. It really contradicts your summing-up:

 

So as I stated before, you cannot compare Genres! You may aswell be trying to compare Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

Don't quite get the analogy of Phelps and Bolt. They're both exceptional athletes, dedicated to winning and probably doped to the gills, and have a lot more in common with each other than with normal people, like us musicians.

 

Cheers,

John

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