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Priscilla

What Accompanies A Concertina Well?

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I'm learning classical guitar, and flirting with the idea of learning concertina...though it seems exponentially more puzzling than classical guitar. However, be that as it may, my best friend plays concertina, so I really want find an instrument just born to accompany the concertina. At NESI 2008 I listened all weekend, loved the music, and it seemed to me that fiddle accompanies the concertina magnificiently, but perhaps there are other suggestions as well? Perhaps anything and everything. Concertinas don't seem to be snobs, they get along with everyone...how does that poem go? "(Nature) lives and loves in every place, calls nothing she meets with base"...that must go for concertinas too! Always finding friends wherever she goes. Dignified and solemn as well as wild and rambuctious. So, what do you think is the ideal instrument to accompany a concertina? ...another concertina? (of course I suppose it depends *a little bit* on the type of music you want to play, but that aside)

thanks for your inspiring ideas!

Priscilla

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One of my all-time favourite albums is "The Lady and the Unicorn" by John Renbourn (a mixture of renaissance, baroque and folk tunes mostly played on guitar).

 

On one or two tracks, Alf Edwards on English concertina plays along with guitar, fiddle and flute and it sounds great. So all three of those instruments would get my vote!

 

I've also heard Alistair Anderson play EC along with fiddle, viola and cello, which also sounded pretty amazing.

 

How about clarsach too?

Edited by Dave Rogers

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Lets see...what accompanies a concertina well....? Hmmm....

 

I guess I prefer a strong, home-brewed beer, but others, I'm sure, would choose a nice wine or even strong spirits.

 

fjb

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Concertinas don't seem to be snobs, they get along with everyone...how does that poem go? "(Nature) lives and loves in every place, calls nothing she meets with base"...that must go for concertinas too! Always finding friends wherever she goes. Dignified and solemn as well as wild and rambuctious. So, what do you think is the ideal instrument to accompany a concertina? ...another concertina? (of course I suppose it depends *a little bit* on the type of music you want to play, but that aside)

thanks for your inspiring ideas!

Priscilla

 

Last January I did a gig with a friend who plays harp-- it goes very nicely with concertina, particularly for some of the O'Carolan airs. That combination also appears on Sheefra's CD _The Water Kelpie_. Danny Chapman has done some nice stuff with concertina and cello on Scottish tunes, many of which were written for violin and cello.

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Hi

Jody Kruskal's done some really good stuff with Northumbrian pipes and fiddle

Alastair Anderson's done some superb concerts with Martin Simpson on Guitar

concertina and concertina's good

 

 

But a pint of 'Landlord' is also verrry good :D

chris

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Hi

Jody Kruskal's done some really good stuff with Northumbrian pipes and fiddle

Alastair Anderson's done some superb concerts with Martin Simpson on Guitar

concertina and concertina's good

 

 

But a pint of 'Landlord' is also verrry good :D

chris

 

I've played along with Northumbrian pipes at a session a while ago and the two mesh very well, the sounds are both in the same family though and a bit of contrast might be better.

Yesterday we had a hammered dulcimer at the session and that was a good sound. I usually practise with DH who plays fiddle and I think that's the best for duets (but I might be biased :D )

 

BTW This could go in the recordings link, our session visitors bringing a touch of class, were 3/4 of the Rising Sun Band (Paul Walker EC, JohnHarrison fiddle/mandolin and Jenny Coxon HD) - they have some great track samples on their webpage with some lively lancashire tunes (and of course Paul Walker on EC)

 

No Landlord but an acceptable Black Sheep

 

Chris

Edited by spindizzy

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So, what do you think is the ideal instrument to accompany a concertina? ...another concertina? (of course I suppose it depends *a little bit* on the type of music you want to play, but that aside)

thanks for your inspiring ideas!

Priscilla

 

Priscilla,

I play the Anglo concertina, so I'm sometimes the accompanist, sometimes the accompanied!

 

A very nice combination is playing a melody with feeling (not a jig or reel!) on the Anglo with a good, picked, nylon-strung folk guitar.

In our group, we do a few Carolan tunes (notably Planxty Irwin and Sí Bheag, Sí Mhor) with the melody line on the concertina, a counter-melody on the fiddle, and a basso continuo of steel-strung guitar and bowed double bass. Also very nice.

I have also done a couple of home recordings with Anglo concertina and autoharp accompaniment. I can't do them live, because I'm the only person far and wide who plays either concertina or autoharp! If I keep the autoharp part very simple, I can use chords sparingly on the Anglo. Also sounds fine.

 

In the accompaniment role, I often play chords to our fiddler's jigs and hornpipes. Together, we create the impression of an uileann piper who uses the regulators a lot. Dabbing the chords on the off-beats, or holding them over a couple of bars, as pipers do, peps up the rhythm no end!

 

This is all under the general heading of "folk". If you're playing English concertina and are more classically oriented, I'm sure a piano accompaniment would sound great.

 

Cheers,

John

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At our community music sessions, I've been playing duets with a neighbor who plays both clarinet and oboe. We've done everything from classical (Pachelbel, 'Canon in D') and klezmer ('Yoshke Yoshke', 'Tangissimo') to ragtime (Scott Joplin's 'The Entertainer') and folk ('Si Bheag, Si Mhor', 'Swallowtail Jig'). The clarinet's rich, deep tone works especially well with the EC treble playing in the upper registers. Of course, guitar accompaniment is always welcome, too!

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Doors being slammed usually accompanies my playing...but I wouldn't say well. ;)

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I know what doesn't work very well with concertina...dobro. :blink: A ceiling fan going above yer head on the bluegrass favorite Down Yonder adds to the hideous humiliation. What was I thinking? Ah, Jack Daniels shots with Budwiser shorties and an early, early morning jam session...wasn't thinking :ph34r: .

Edited by Mark Evans

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So that was Alf Edwards on The Lady and the Unicorn... thanks for that bit- I'd often wondered.

EC or AC?

 

As for the real topic, I like a chromatic harmonica with concertina: the voices like each other.

 

And Mark, isn't it time you consideder the merits of homebrewing? Bud, for all love!

Remember: Buy a man a sixpack, he drinks for a day; teach a man to brew he drinks for a lifetime.

Edited by Robert Booth

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And Mark, isn't it time you consideder the merits of homebrewing? Bud, for all love!

 

And don't think I'm not ashamed! 3:00 in the a.m. and that's what we were down to. JD and Bud...I paid for that choice and then some. It has been a few years and I've mended my ways.

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Buy a man a sixpack, he drinks for a day; teach a man to brew he drinks for a lifetime.

Never had the patience to brew, but it hasn't stopped me from drinking for a lifetime. :D

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Yes, well, it is a team sport, innit?

Which often leads to song and whatever ragged assemblage of instruments which happen by. Hobson's choice ain't always so bad, but just let's call it innovation to make it sound better. ;)

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At NESI 2008 I listened all weekend, loved the music, and it seemed to me that fiddle accompanies the concertina magnificiently,

I do agree that concertina and fiddle go particularly well with each other ... but ... the fiddle has to be played exactly in tune or else you hear an awful dissonance. You don't hear this if the fiddle is being accompanied by, say, a melodeon. I suspect there is a similarity in the timbres of the two instruments that is responsible for both the beauty and the beast.

 

As to how I know this, well Anne has been learning the fidle the last few years and recently the incidence of dissonance has been markely decreasing, and beauty is correspondingly on the increase when we play together.

 

Chris

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I really like the Anglo together with irish pipes and they are amongst my favourite CDs . I like to play along to records by Johnny Doran and Paddy Keenan and Tommy Mc Carthy as pipers aren't too thick on the ground at sessions round here in Sheffield at the moment. Kitty Hayes and Peter Laban sound nice together. The Anglo goes nicely with Northumbrian pipes too.

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At an English session I went to recently, I heard someone playing a tune (Sommarvals) on the English concertina, accompanied by another musician playing the melody on the mandolin. It was a tune that no one else knew, so no other musicians joined in. The sounds produced by the two instruments on reeds and strings, suited the tune perfectly and to my hearing, was a lovely combination. I expect the type of tune, the skill of the musicans and their timing also had something do do with it. I also like the combination of the EC and the harp, as found on a couple of tracks on English International.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Drinkwater

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