Melodeon.net Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new melodeon.net forum

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Keys that can be used ?  (Read 4555 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Chiff

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10
  • P A X
    • My Story
Keys that can be used ?
« on: November 09, 2008, 09:23:32 PM »

Hi,

On a A/D 2 Rower what other Keys can be used other than the A & D ?   Is "G" possible ?  etc.  Are there any minor Keys that can be played ?

Thanks

Chiff.
Logged
Melodeons (A/D)  &  Irish Tin Whistles Rock.

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4826
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 09:44:12 PM »

Hi,

On a A/D 2 Rower what other Keys can be used other than the A & D ?   Is "G" possible ?  etc.  Are there any minor Keys that can be played ?

Thanks

Chiff.

one of the skills needed to play the melodeon is the noble art of faking!  The key of G is possible on the D row provided the tune hasn't got a C natural or if you can disguise the lack of a C natural by some cunning means which has a lot to do with where in the tune the  missing C occurs. 

 
D scale      d e f# g a b c# d
G scale               g  a b x   d   e f#   g

it is possible but fairly unlikely that the 2 buttons nearest the chin provide 4 acidentals amongst which may be a C natural. If this is so you can theoretically play in G but will only have a C natural for one octave & it will not be easy to reach whilst playing a tune.
 
 related minors are also  possible.

However  I strongly recommend that you learn to play to a reasonable standard  'on the row' in D & A before  adventuring onto other keys.

george
Logged
author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

Stiamh

  • Old grey C#/D pest
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2937
    • Packie Manus Byrne
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 04:03:41 PM »

I don't know what type of music you are aiming to play, Chiff, but the scales used in a lot of traditional music from Britain and Ireland makes the melodeon appear much more flexible with regard to keys than you might think.

Take the case of Irish trad. and a one-row melodeon in D. You would expect that the only keys you would be able to tackle would be D major and B minor. In fact, because many tunes are either modal or have gapped scales (missing notes), you can play a great number of Irish tunes in "A major" and "A minor", "E minor", and even tunes in "G major" that have no C-natural in them (and there are many). This without resorting to the cunning creativity that George mentions, or having to stretch your fingers for awkwardly placed accidentals.

I put quotes around the keys I mention because although people may refer informally to these tunes as being in these keys, they are actually either not major or minor but modal (dorian, mixolydian, etc.) or have gapped scales (pentatonic or hexatonic tunes).

George's advice to learn to play "on the row" first is good. I would add that at a fairly early stage it would be good to tackle some of these alternative keys on one row at an early stage. For example, on the D row, don't just learn tunes in D but some in E minor (E dorian) or A major (A mixolydian) tunes on the D row. This is because you have to develop different reflexes - pushing where you expect to pull if the D scale is your only reference.

BTW someone asked the same question as you with regard to a D/G box a while back HERE. The difference in your case is that you can easily play any tune that has either two sharps or three sharps. Shout if you need more clarification about this.
Logged
« L'enfer, c'est le doigté des autres »

www.rogermillington.com

Chiff

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10
  • P A X
    • My Story
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 05:39:29 PM »

Hi,

Just by the way I do play mainly Irish Trad. Tunes already on Tin Whistle and Low Whistle.

What I am asking here is for an actual list of "Keys" that one can play on a A/D ?

D, A, G   etc. for future reference and how does one use the other keys.

Thanks heaps,

Chiff.
Logged
Melodeons (A/D)  &  Irish Tin Whistles Rock.

Stiamh

  • Old grey C#/D pest
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2937
    • Packie Manus Byrne
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 06:38:50 PM »

OK, here's spelling it out for you, with a cut and paste and transpose from the other thread I linked to:
 
On a standard A/D box, you can play in any key with either two or three sharps.

Keys (all very commonly used in Irish music) having two sharps:
D major
B minor
E dorian
A mixolydian

Keys with three sharps
A major (reasonably common in Irish music)
F# minor (rare in Irish music)
B dorian (practically never used in Irish music)
E mixolydian (rare although you do get odd modulations in some tunes)

In practical terms what this means is that you can play any piece of music that has two or three sharps on the key signature line (provided that it doesn't have any accidental sharps or flats in it).

If you don't read music, scrap that and read this: What this means in practical terms is that you can play a good percentage of keys used in Irish music except that you are scuppered when it comes to any of the following...

Keys with one sharp
G major (exceedingly common in Irish music)*
E minor (true minor - occasionally found in Irish music)
A dorian (very common in Irish music)
D mixolydian (very common in Irish music)

... unless you have a C-natural button (possible) and you can make effective use of it (unlikely ;) ).

* although you can manage the type of gapped tunes I mentioned in my first reply

You are also totally scuppered for the following keys used quite commonly in Irish music:

G dorian ("G minor)
D dorian ("D minor")
A minor (true minor)
F

You ask how to play "other" keys - presumably the ones you have available? Same way as you play any of them - by pressing the right buttons and pushing or pulling as needed.  ;)

How to figure all this out? You could 1) study a bit music theory and learn your keyboard layout thoroughly or 2) take lessons or 3) just start playing tunes and fill in the gaps in your knowledge as you go along. The last path (3) is what nearly all of us do, I'd guess.

Cheers
Steve

This won't be what you want to hear, but for playing Irish music a D/G melodeon would be more useful to you and a C#/D even more so. (Others will tell you B/C as well.)
Logged
« L'enfer, c'est le doigté des autres »

www.rogermillington.com

Québécois

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1164
  • Accordez-vous donc, c'est si beau, l'accordéon!
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 07:15:13 PM »

This won't be what you want to hear, but for playing Irish music a D/G melodeon would be more useful to you <snip>

Especially a D/G with accidentals which offers all twelve notes :)

I do have a C-natural button on the "D" Row.

Then the only note you miss is a Bb...


« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 07:26:48 PM by qubcois »
Logged
Hohner Morgane D/G, pre-Erica Hohner in C/F, HA112 in C,
riced-up de-branded Ariette, Hohner Erica A/D

Chiff

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10
  • P A X
    • My Story
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 07:28:23 PM »

I do have a C-natural & Bb button on the "D" Row.

The C is a Push and the Bb is a Pull and both of these are the very first button
on the inside row on mine.

Chiff
Logged
Melodeons (A/D)  &  Irish Tin Whistles Rock.

Québécois

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1164
  • Accordez-vous donc, c'est si beau, l'accordéon!
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 09:34:59 PM »

Then you have all the notes and (in theory) can play the treble side in "any key" :)

Up to you to practice scales in all keys and modes... But seriously, I think most players will use a A/D melodeon to play tunes in those keys and their relative minors (B- and F#-), in preference to any other key.
Logged
Hohner Morgane D/G, pre-Erica Hohner in C/F, HA112 in C,
riced-up de-branded Ariette, Hohner Erica A/D

labradornl

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 29
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 10:43:58 PM »

I have a few question about keys and am hoping someone might be able to help me.

The tune I'm trying to play is written in common time with Am being the first chord.  So do you say it is in the Key of C or Key of Am.


Also, the tune has two accidental F#'s.  So, if I play it on the G row instead, what key is it in then....still C or Am or G and if I play along with someone who is playing the tune on the C row, would they sound all right together?

I don't have any music theory background as you can see, hence the questions.

Thanks for any help.




Logged
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."  Berthold Auerbach

labradornl

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 29
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 12:40:14 AM »

Thank you for the information, JB.  The reason I ask about the keys is that once a week, I play with two guitarists who want to know what key a particular tune is in and all I can tell them is that it's played on the G row, C row, etc.

The tune I'm speaking of is Blue River Waltz by Jay Ungar.  It begins with an Am chord and ends with a G chord but is written in the C signature.
Before I received the sheet music, I was playing along on the G row (by ear).  So that's what confused me about the key.

Logged
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."  Berthold Auerbach

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4826
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2011, 09:04:36 AM »

.  The reason I ask about the keys is that once a week, I play with two guitarists who want to know what key a particular tune is in   

the simplest answer to such guitarists is  "this one" & then get on with it - most guitarists will soon fall in line!

george ;)
Logged
author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

Rees

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3995
  • Windjammer
    • Wesson Accordions
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 09:29:07 PM »

On an A/D box it's easy to play the blues in E major or C sharp minor.
Logged
Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
Gungrog, Welshpool, Wales, UK
www.melodeons.com

Anahata

  • This mind intentionally left blank
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4946
  • Oakwood D/G, C/F Club, 1-rows in C,D,G
    • Treewind Music
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 10:40:13 PM »

For my money this is definitely in G.

Yup. (nice tune, a refreshing change from the one that's been done to death, from the same composer )

Tell the guitarist it's in G but starts with an A minor chord, because that is slightly unexpected for a tune in G, and you should be off to a flying start.

Rule 1: The key note of a tune is the one it ends on.
Rule 2: By the time you find an exception to rule 1 (they exist), you'll have got the hang of keys anyway and you'll just know.
Logged
I'm a melodeon player. What's your excuse?
Music recording and web hosting: www.treewind.co.uk
Mary Humphreys and Anahata: www.maryanahata.co.uk
Ceilidh bands: www.fourhandband.co.uk www.barleycoteband.co.uk

Andy in Vermont

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 948
  • Mélodie
    • Melodeon Minutes (blog)
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 04:00:19 PM »

I'll just add to what Steve Jones wrote --- in the Ceol Rince collection there are literally hundreds of tunes in G major and related modes WITH NO C NATURAL.  You should be able to handle any of these on your A/D box.
So have fun playing them!

Edited after Theo's post below!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 06:16:42 PM by Andy in Vermont »
Logged

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11301
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 04:14:09 PM »

hundreds of tunes in G major and related modes WITH NO C SHARP.  You should be able to handle any of these on your A/D box.

Andy did you mean tunes with no C natural?  Plenty of C#s available on an A/D box in both directions! ::)
Logged
Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

Proprietor of The Box Place for melodeon and concertina sales and service.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for stock updates.

Flanna

  • Prêtresse
  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 116
  • Groupe electro folk aux sorcières "Flanna O'Tara"
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2011, 06:15:30 PM »

...
Rule 1: The key note of a tune is the one it ends on.
Rule 2: By the time you find an exception to rule 1 (they exist), you'll have got the hang of keys anyway and you'll just know.


An exception to Rule 1 (see quote) that I often use, especially in double jigs: Stop playing immediately before the last note. Just leave it hanging in the air. Doesn't change the key but makes the tune more mysterious  :P
Logged
Yvus Pyrénées D/G ~ Wheatstone English Concertina ~ S-Wave Midi Concertina ~ Roland FR3B ~ Axis 64 ~ Roland Synthesizers

Anahata

  • This mind intentionally left blank
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4946
  • Oakwood D/G, C/F Club, 1-rows in C,D,G
    • Treewind Music
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2011, 08:31:25 PM »

An exception to Rule 1 (see quote) that I often use, especially in double jigs: Stop playing immediately before the last note. Just leave it hanging in the air. Doesn't change the key but makes the tune more mysterious  :P

Perhaps I should amend rule 1 to "the note you expect it to end on" and that covers just about everything.
Logged
I'm a melodeon player. What's your excuse?
Music recording and web hosting: www.treewind.co.uk
Mary Humphreys and Anahata: www.maryanahata.co.uk
Ceilidh bands: www.fourhandband.co.uk www.barleycoteband.co.uk

Flanna

  • Prêtresse
  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 116
  • Groupe electro folk aux sorcières "Flanna O'Tara"
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2011, 08:58:00 PM »

Touché  :P
Logged
Yvus Pyrénées D/G ~ Wheatstone English Concertina ~ S-Wave Midi Concertina ~ Roland FR3B ~ Axis 64 ~ Roland Synthesizers

Andy in Vermont

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 948
  • Mélodie
    • Melodeon Minutes (blog)
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2011, 06:15:41 PM »

hundreds of tunes in G major and related modes WITH NO C SHARP.  You should be able to handle any of these on your A/D box.

Andy did you mean tunes with no C natural?  Plenty of C#s available on an A/D box in both directions! ::)

Oops! Yes, that's what I meant to say!

I guess I should add that I have played through many of these "G" tunes (with no C natural) on a D one-row, and some of them "lie" better on the D row than others, as far as bellows reversals, but an A/D box should allow more opportunities to play a phrase without changing bellows directions.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 06:18:39 PM by Andy in Vermont »
Logged

labradornl

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 29
Re: Keys that can be used ?
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2011, 06:41:28 PM »

For my money this is definitely in G.

Yup. (nice tune, a refreshing change from the one that's been done to death, from the same composer )

Tell the guitarist it's in G but starts with an A minor chord, because that is slightly unexpected for a tune in G, and you should be off to a flying start.

Rule 1: The key note of a tune is the one it ends on.
Rule 2: By the time you find an exception to rule 1 (they exist), you'll have got the hang of keys anyway and you'll just know.


Thanks for the information, Anahata.
Logged
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."  Berthold Auerbach
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 


Melodeon.net - (c) Theo Gibb; Clive Williams 2010. The access and use of this website and forum featuring these terms and conditions constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.