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Discussions => Other Free Reed Instruments => Topic started by: Fungusface on March 19, 2011, 10:53:43 AM

Title: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Fungusface on March 19, 2011, 10:53:43 AM
The programes on TV by Phil Cunningham was quite interesting although was mostly concerned with type of music played, it started off great and interesting seeing how all bits are built, But what I never heard or seen was why Melodeons were made, why buttons were used instead of piano keys and vice versa, the melodeon wasnt even mentioned neither was the Concertina, it should have been named "Life of the Piano Accordion", because otherwise thats all it was about and a great emphasis on Italy and  of course thats where Phils accordions are made. will he pop over to Australia and show us Stormy Hyde make melodeons or USA and pop down to Louisana and explain about Cajun melodeons. I think not.......In fact someone told me Phil can only play a piano accordion.
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: jonm on March 19, 2011, 11:21:17 AM
.......Phil can only play a piano accordion.

 ;D
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: HallelujahAl on March 19, 2011, 01:22:21 PM
Quote
In fact someone told me Phil can only play a piano accordion.
Well, we don't really know what Phil Cunningham 'can't' play (I can't play the melodeon, but that doesn't stop me trying!) - however what is general knowledge is that Phil is an outstanding performer on the accordion, it's also a matter of record that Phil claims the only reason he's in folk music is because of the great Jimmy Shand, and it's also common knowledge that his great pal and friend is Fergie MacDonald another brilliant button box player. The programme's obvious bias towards PA's may perhaps be explained by the overwhelming numbers of PAs played in Scotland compared to the miniscule numbers of button boxes. But it's not all over yet...so plenty more time to enjoy complaining!
AL
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: NeilA on March 19, 2011, 01:59:26 PM
The latest episode covered button box players from the Celtic and Basque traditions. As it is meant to be a 'popular' documentary series, it's unlikely it will go into too much detail. I think Phil is quite happy to let the music speak and involve other instruments as I think he's involved in the series as much for his own enjoyment as for everyone else's. There's a funny moment the morning after he's been to a Fest Noz in Brittany - worth keeping an eye out for.
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Sandy Flett on March 19, 2011, 05:56:37 PM
In the second programme I am not sure I saw anyone else playing piano accordion apart from Phil - all the boxes seemed to be diatonics.
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Sandy Flett on March 19, 2011, 06:01:53 PM
.... it's also a matter of record that Phil claims the only reason he's in folk music is because of the great Jimmy Shand .............
AL

Phil may have said in the past that he was influenced by Jimmy Shand, but in the second TV programme Phil said that Donal Lunny and Planxty were the reason he got into folk music. And indeed, Phil's style with Silly Wizard always seemed to me more Irish influenced, and certainly a long way from the strict tempo style of Shand and the hundreds of other "traditional" Scottish Dance Bands (SDB) that can be heard on BBC Scotland's Take The Floor. After Silly Wizard he started playing in a more recognisably Scottish style, even swopping his 4 reed sound for the almost standard 3 voice musette, but still with a wonderful folky feel to it that is just missing from the "traditional" SDBs - but then I have never heard of Phil playing for dancing.
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: HallelujahAl on March 19, 2011, 06:31:31 PM
Quote
After Silly Wizard he started playing in a more recognisably Scottish style, even swopping his 4 reed sound for the almost standard 3 voice musette, but still with a wonderful folky feel to it that is just missing from the "traditional" SDBs - but then I have never heard of Phil playing for dancing.
Agreed, I think Phil's playing is like silk to the ears!
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Fungusface on March 19, 2011, 10:38:39 PM
I  agree about Phil being a great player ,but I find after being brought up on it day and night and Beltona records and my parents both being Jimmy Shand mad, and my mothers relatives being in Dunfermline Accordion band and in Orange Accordion bands,I find the piano accordion is just a noise that relates straight away to one man..what was it that Jimmy Shand had compared to other greats from Scotland, Jimmy was like Beatles he just appeared at right time. and its easier to play a piano accordion at home than a set of bagpipes.I think the fiddle is more popular in Scotland in Folk scene.

I know many wont agree but, Phil is looking worse for wear with beer soon wont be enough space at front for a concertina never mind an accordion,,

"give up the beer Phil and live another 20 years", worst thing you can do to a Scotsman  nail his boots to floor and put on a Jimmy Shand record.
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on March 20, 2011, 12:35:29 AM
I  agree about Phil being a great player ,but I find after being brought up on it day and night and Beltona records and my parents both being Jimmy Shand mad, and my mothers relatives being in Dunfermline Accordion band and in Orange Accordion bands,I find the piano accordion is just a noise that relates straight away to one man..what was it that Jimmy Shand had compared to other greats from Scotland, Jimmy was like Beatles he just appeared at right time. and its easier to play a piano accordion at home than a set of bagpipes.I think the fiddle is more popular in Scotland in Folk scene.

I know many wont agree but, Phil is looking worse for wear with beer soon wont be enough space at front for a concertina never mind an accordion,,

"give up the beer Phil and live another 20 years", worst thing you can do to a Scotsman  nail his boots to floor and put on a Jimmy Shand record.

Jimmy Shand didn't play a piano accordion... well, not unless it was a secret vice that I haven't heard of  >:E
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: HallelujahAl on March 20, 2011, 07:39:33 AM
Quote
Jimmy Shand didn't play a piano accordion... well, not unless it was a secret vice that I haven't heard of
LOL!
 ;D
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: george garside on March 20, 2011, 12:55:01 PM
 
Jimmy Shand didn't play a piano accordion... well, not unless it was a secret vice that I haven't heard of  >:E
[/quote]

Jimmy Shand was refered to  as "King of the Melodeon Men"  the Shand morino which is arguably the ultimate  development of the 'melodeon'  family being in essence    a one row in C with 2 rows of accidentals and certainly not a piano accordion . The range of music he played went well beyond the bounderies of Scottish Country Dancing & included  a goodly amount of continental stuff.  He also recorded  several airs on a hohner erica (tuned CC# )which are  well worth a listen to for the superb phrasing . 

george
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: savantuk on March 23, 2011, 03:18:45 PM
Here's a good tune played on a Shand..... by the master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hAtxZXNrA
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Dally on March 23, 2011, 08:33:43 PM
In the late '70s I was a student at the University of Edinburgh for too short a time.  There I heard the original box player with Silly Wizard, Freeland Barbour, almost every weekend.  The Occaisionals are, for me at least, the ultimate Ceilidh band going these days, especially with the current line up.  http://www.theoccasionals.com/videos/

Harriet Bartlett should get her fair share of praise while we're at it.  She sounds very much influenced by Phil.  She has a very pretty dog.
Check out this video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V__LjtXgnPI 

BTW, Phil's just well nourished and not half starved like he was in his youth.  That's my own excuse anyway.  :|glug
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: HallelujahAl on March 23, 2011, 09:25:23 PM
Just finished watching the prog where Phil does Russia etc - the bayan playing of one guy reduced Phil to tears, it was an extremely moving piece of music!
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Bill Young on March 23, 2011, 11:47:08 PM
 

BTW, Phil's just well nourished and not half starved like he was in his youth.  That's my own excuse anyway.  :|glug

Phil was filmed recently with his shirt cuffs projecting way below his jacket sleeves. He said this was not to make him look like Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; that's just what happens when he buys shirts to fit his neck.
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: HallelujahAl on March 24, 2011, 07:54:34 AM
Quote
that's just what happens when he buys shirts to fit his neck
A problem I'm all too familiar with  ;D
Title: Re: World of Piano Accordions
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on March 24, 2011, 10:16:26 PM
I just watched episode 3 tonight and realised I was wearing the same shirt ...


edit.

^ as phil Cunningham that is.