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Jewish Leprechaun

Difference between the playing styles of English and Anglo concertinas

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Unfortunately a drawback of the Crane is it's lack of compactness, leading to larger size and smaller range.

 

My 48 button Crane is almost the same size as a treble EC and has a 3 1/2 octave range from the C below middle C to the F 2 octaves above middle C, more like my somewhat larger baritone EC. It is quite compact and has a useful range. I don't see the disadvantage you are talking about.

 

I don't get this point either. The EC, to be consistent in its system, has the enharmonics (D#/Eb, etc.) doubled, whereas the Crane only has them once. So, logically, with the same number of buttons (and reeds, and therefore size), the Crane will have the greater range.

 

As an EC player I'd say that the disadvantage of a Crane is the need for independent action of right and left hands (I don't tend to think of left hand as for chords and right for melody). Another disadvantage is their comparative rarity.

 

And as an AC player, I'd say that the duet's independence of the hands from one another is a distinct advantage over the EC, just as the indepenence from bellows direction is an advantage over the AC.

 

The comparative rarity of the Crane doesn't bother me. I've got one :rolleyes:

 

Cheers,

John

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Duet's idea is to have independent left/right parts to be played. Compact and small 3/5 octave Crane has only 1.5 octave on the left and some 2.5 octaves on the right. So either it's played like EC, then independent action of two hands IS disadvantage, or it has to be played with two hands - two parts in mind, then it has to be bigger to compare with smaller EC in range.

Duplicated accidentals in EC can be compared with overlapping part of Duet. Duet's duplication is bigger.

I compared Crane and MacCann, and MacCann is more compact. Due to 6 buttons per "row" and shorter columns. Compactness is not related to the size of cabinet. Concertina is small instrument. Compactness of the keyboard is main issue. One can only have Crane as big, as top buttons can be reached. I think 3 octaves per side is the tops for Crane. It makes an instrument of overall 4-4/5 octaves range. And it's huge!

I had this idea, to get smallish Crane and use it for melody only. It didn't work for many reasons, but I liked Crane's layout.

EC has the easiest fingering in relation to reading music. Next comes Anglo (for me). Duet didn't work at all with it's bass/treble cleffs, overlapping middle part, left-right balance, cost. With all it's weirdness, Anglo is easy to figure out, and the chords on the left command the choice of buttons and rows on the right. And it gives automatic phrasing - that's helpful.

For me.

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While we're on instrument functionality, the EC is easiest to play if you're left handed, since it has no hand bias.

 

Important for a lefty; I play other instruments upside-down and that isn't possible on an Anglo.

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Anglo ... gives automatic phrasing - that's helpful.

 

Errr what?! It no more gives you automatic phrasing than having your cat walk on your computer keyboard gives you automatic spelling...

 

:)

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I play other instruments upside-down and that isn't possible on an Anglo.

You'd better not tell that to my old friend the Irish button-accordion player Paddy Hayes - he was All-Ireland concertina champion, about 1986, doing just that. I know, I was there!

 

(Actually, the concertina belonged to his friend, and fellow box player, Raymond Roland - Paddy only borrowed it, and played it upside-down because it made more sense to him that way, as an accordion player... :huh: )

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Anglo ... gives automatic phrasing - that's helpful.

 

Errr what?! It no more gives you automatic phrasing than having your cat walk on your computer keyboard gives you automatic spelling...

 

:)

 

no, i agree with m3838's statement. most people play within a set system, which precludes a given fingering for each possible situation, which thus includes a bellows direction. the happenstance of bellows direction with each fingering allows for said "automatic" phrasing.

 

there are different ways of accomplishing this, of course. but the fact is that many if not most players have a default fingering they refer to in certain situations, which precludes a bellows directions. in the row players, for example, have an in-and-out characteristic to their playing, which unifies a lot of concertina playing. across the row style playing can have more varied-sounding phrases, which are more complex and interesting.

 

the automaticity comes into play in that players do not usually change things up "for the hell of it." that is to say, if you are going to play the notes ...D|AGA B..... most players will always play the AGA the same way*, maintaining consistency with his or her self in such a situation. on an EC or DC, you will have to choose whether or not you change bellows directions and where; an anglo player will almost always change bellows direction the same way in such a situation. though, of course... each anglo player may have a different "automatic" phrasing for that situation, i have not found an anglo player yet that doesnt have heuristical solutions that they default to for fingering patterns. some players do have more complicated ones, or are not explicitly aware of what their tendencies will be, but give me a tune book's worth of a player's fingering, and i can bet you there are patterns which are automatically generated by ways he or she have solved fingering problems.

 

you do not have to default to these patterns, but i find that most players do most of the time. i myself do sometimes change the fingering of some notes "just for the hell of it" (independent of a chord) to mimick some phrasing ideal. in the bucks of oranmore there are parts where i finger the same sequence of notes differently on each repeat** to reflect how matt malloy changes the phrases. i know john williams is an advocate for teaching multiple fingering solutions, but i am not sure of in his playing if he varies his fingering during repeats of phrases in the same tune, or just prefers to learn all solutions and pick the best one.

 

 

 

 

*provided they are using the same B and D in a similar sequence of notes

**in the fifth part of the tune, the sequence of notes AdFd occurs 6 times. i finger it one of two ways: 1.) A third finger, both d's on push. 2.) A first finger, first d on pull, second d on the push. i do not make this decision based on fingering, as the situation each set of notes occurs is the same--all 6 times, the A is proceeded and followed by d. i used to do #1 for the beginning of the phrase, and when the entire phrase repeats. the other 4 times i did #2. now i vary it up, and do things like "2, 1, 1; 1, 2, 1." this is an example of NOT using an automatic fingering, which is actually unintuitive on the anglo concertina. again, keep in mind that every player has different automatic fingernig.

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Anglo ... gives automatic phrasing - that's helpful.

 

Errr what?! It no more gives you automatic phrasing than having your cat walk on your computer keyboard gives you automatic spelling...

 

:)

 

no, i agree with m3838's statement. most people play within a set system, which precludes a given fingering for each possible situation, which thus includes a bellows direction. the happenstance of bellows direction with each fingering allows for said "automatic" phrasing.

 

there are different ways of accomplishing this, of course. but the fact is that many if not most players have a default fingering they refer to in certain situations, which precludes a bellows directions. in the row players, for example, have an in-and-out characteristic to their playing, which unifies a lot of concertina playing. across the row style playing can have more varied-sounding phrases, which are more complex and interesting.

 

the automaticity comes into play in that players do not usually change things up "for the hell of it." that is to say, if you are going to play the notes ...D|AGA B..... most players will always play the AGA the same way*, maintaining consistency with his or her self in such a situation. on an EC or DC, you will have to choose whether or not you change bellows directions and where; an anglo player will almost always change bellows direction the same way in such a situation. though, of course... each anglo player may have a different "automatic" phrasing for that situation, i have not found an anglo player yet that doesnt have heuristical solutions that they default to for fingering patterns. some players do have more complicated ones, or are not explicitly aware of what their tendencies will be, but give me a tune book's worth of a player's fingering, and i can bet you there are patterns which are automatically generated by ways he or she have solved fingering problems.

 

you do not have to default to these patterns, but i find that most players do most of the time. i myself do sometimes change the fingering of some notes "just for the hell of it" (independent of a chord) to mimick some phrasing ideal. in the bucks of oranmore there are parts where i finger the same sequence of notes differently on each repeat** to reflect how matt malloy changes the phrases. i know john williams is an advocate for teaching multiple fingering solutions, but i am not sure of in his playing if he varies his fingering during repeats of phrases in the same tune, or just prefers to learn all solutions and pick the best one.

 

 

 

 

*provided they are using the same B and D in a similar sequence of notes

**in the fifth part of the tune, the sequence of notes AdFd occurs 6 times. i finger it one of two ways: 1.) A third finger, both d's on push. 2.) A first finger, first d on pull, second d on the push. i do not make this decision based on fingering, as the situation each set of notes occurs is the same--all 6 times, the A is proceeded and followed by d. i used to do #1 for the beginning of the phrase, and when the entire phrase repeats. the other 4 times i did #2. now i vary it up, and do things like "2, 1, 1; 1, 2, 1." this is an example of NOT using an automatic fingering, which is actually unintuitive on the anglo concertina. again, keep in mind that every player has different automatic fingernig.

 

 

... and what does that have to do with phrasing? In particular with "automatic phrasing"?

Phrases are not delimited by bellows changes. Phrasing does not depend on specific fingering, either, but is an independent means of expressing your musical interpretation of a melody. You should be able to phrase the same melody played with exactly the same fingering and bellows changes in many different ways. Or use identical phrasing with different fingering and bellows direction. Otherwise, we Anglo players would be the slave of our instrument, not its master. That doesn't mean that you can't use fingering/bellows changes to support your phrasing, but these are not its defining features. And it's definitely not automatic.

 

"Automatic rhythm" I might have less problems to accept (particularly when compared to the EC), but also with restrictions.

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Yeah, if the anglo has automatic phrasing, then, I heard lot of broken anglos before, including mine :-)

 

I'll give ya the automatic tuning, unless your instrument is out of tune...

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no, i agree with m3838's statement. most people play within a set system, which precludes a given fingering for each possible situation, which thus includes a bellows direction. the happenstance of bellows direction with each fingering allows for said "automatic" phrasing.

 

 

... and what does that have to do with phrasing?

 

Let's clarify three things here:

1. Automatic fingering based on bellows change and so forth does influence the style.

2. I agree that it has little to do with artistic interpretation per se, however, in-out of the bellows is one of the most powerful phrasing instrument we have. It includes two variables:

a. In-out itself, no need to blabber about it and

b. Necessity of in-out influences dynamics of even phrases fingered in one direction. Our brain gets ready for bellows change and either we may slow down, or do a powerful punch right before the change/ or whatever else. It seems to be out of our control, yet gives music a feel.

3. When someone like Danny Chapman enters discussion, we need to switch gears. Our usual definitions, like "good job", "wonderful playing", "expressive dynamics" - have to be toned down quite a bit. To Danny I answer: "Danny, you are right, there is NO automatic phrasing in Anglo". But to lesser players like myself I will whisper: "Yes there is".

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no, i agree with m3838's statement. most people play within a set system, which precludes a given fingering for each possible situation, which thus includes a bellows direction. the happenstance of bellows direction with each fingering allows for said "automatic" phrasing.

 

 

... and what does that have to do with phrasing?

 

Let's clarify three things here:

1. Automatic fingering based on bellows change and so forth does influence the style.

2. I agree that it has little to do with artistic interpretation per se, however, in-out of the bellows is one of the most powerful phrasing instrument we have. It includes two variables:

a. In-out itself, no need to blabber about it and

b. Necessity of in-out influences dynamics of even phrases fingered in one direction. Our brain gets ready for bellows change and either we may slow down, or do a powerful punch right before the change/ or whatever else. It seems to be out of our control, yet gives music a feel.

3. When someone like Danny Chapman enters discussion, we need to switch gears. Our usual definitions, like "good job", "wonderful playing", "expressive dynamics" - have to be toned down quite a bit. To Danny I answer: "Danny, you are right, there is NO automatic phrasing in Anglo". But to lesser players like myself I will whisper: "Yes there is".

 

Now that's the Misha whose postes I love to read. Danny does necessitate a change of gear...and then we still have no chance we'll ever appear in his rear view mirror. ;)

Edited by Mark Evans

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I think most players of any instrument which has different options for notes will have default fingering patterns. It doesn't just apply to Anglo but in my personal experience it also applies to melodeon, guitar and hammered dulcimer. Even recorder - 99% of the time I will use the standard fingering for a note but just occasionally an alternative fingering might be called for.

 

The reason is that these are usually the easiest fingerings, so why not use them? Unless there is a specific reason to choose an alternative, or you deliberately decide to for the hell of it, of course you will default to the easiest fingering - which just helps to build up muscle memory so it becomes even easier.

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