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Author Topic: Bandonika.  (Read 2412 times)

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911377brian

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Bandonika.
« on: January 12, 2015, 05:11:57 PM »

Received the Meinel & Herold bandonika today, purchased from John Spiers recent clear out. I'm very pleased with its overall condition and have spent most of this afternoon attempting to play it.The air lever on the right is less of a problem than I thought it would be, but bellows control needs some practice. The German players on You Tube make it look easy......It will probably benefit from a seeing to by Microbot of this parish as it is certainly playable but a little muffled compared with my one rows. Perhaps it's meant to be? It weighs in at 8 1/2lb, not a problem as it sits on both thighs. Any tips on playing the brute will be gratefully received. I think we will become chums over time....I'm very glad I bought it. Thanks Squeezy.. New emoticon for happy bandonika players please Mods...... :||: :Ph
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pikey

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 10:56:39 PM »

We could form the Bandonika Brothers  >:E
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911377brian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 08:00:54 AM »

Did'nt know you had one Pikey...any tips? ???
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oggiesnr

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 08:13:32 AM »

On fast tunes move the bellows with the emphasis on your strong arm rather than both equally.  Cross rowing makes a LOT of sense.

Have fun

Steve
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911377brian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2015, 09:21:57 AM »

Thanks Steve, so now I have to venture into the dark world of cross rowing ! As I've never played anything but one row that should be interesting. I suppose that means finding the same note on the top row to keep moving the bellows in the same direction to keep things moving smoothly? Badly worded but the best I can do.....
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 09:42:28 AM »

I read somewhere that tangos (which tend to hang in harmonic tension with a line of dominants of dominants) are played on bandonèon 90% on the pull, presumably closing the bellows as the chords resolve. So yes, cross rowing. A real journey, but worth it.

Start by learning the underlying pull scales, yes they can be dull. After a bit of practice you'll perceive them as invisible lines of music across rhe right end. Then you can pick out whatever note you need from them, as the moment takes you.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 09:45:23 AM by Chris Ryall »
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911377brian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 10:46:18 AM »

I'm much obliged to you all ....the journey begins..... :||: :Ph
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Rob2Hook

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2015, 12:44:48 PM »

The sound and appearance of a bandonika should be similar to a bandonion, but the rest is pure melodeon.  I hope you have big hands as I find the German square boxes just too big for my rather lady like, small hands (though a slightly pudgy lady...).  Having large section bellows, the instrument is never going to be shrill in tone and most, if not all, have a casotto chamber on the left hand resulting in a rather nasal muted tone - but that does stop the basses overpowering the melody.  I suspect that a M&H instrument is not going to have the power and tone of a Alfred Arnold, just as their Club boxes come second to Hohners of the same period, but a fettling may bring surprising results!

Sadly, in our D/G biased UK scene any bandonika is likely to be a solo instrument.  That's a shame as if you can play in the keys others are it would bring a novel tonal variation to any group.

Rob.
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911377brian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2015, 01:26:02 PM »

I thought my hands were quite big Rob, but it's still a stretch for me..it's quite clear from the wear around the bass buttons that most owners over the century or so since it's manufacture have only used the two nearest buttons out of the eight available, handy as they go with the F row. I bet Squeezy used them all! Getting to all the buttons does involve moving the hands around a bit, so getting the straps right seems important..
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oggiesnr

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2015, 04:38:37 PM »

BTW do NOT get tempted to use a neck strap, all it will do is kill your neck!

If you want to play standing up then use two straps and use them as shoulder straps.  I still don't recommend it but it's a better option.

As far as reaching the chord button is concerned.  As the air button is on the right there is nothing to stop you putting your thumb through the strap rather than on the outside and this buys you some extra reach.

The trick with cross rowing a bandonika is to look for what I call "triples" so C/D/E for example.  If you can cross row that middle note then that's two bellows changes you've eliminated.  The long sequences of pull notes that you can get on a bandoneon don't really apply here as a bandonika is a totally different beastie and isn't chromatic in the way a bandoneon is.  Playing triples will let you keep that push/pull element there (and keep in sync with your basses) but reduce wear and tear on your wrists and shoulders.

Steve
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911377brian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2015, 04:47:22 PM »

All the tips I've received have been useful and I've tried them out as they have come in.Stuffing my thumb under the strap on the bass side has proved particularly useful Steve...
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Sebastian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2015, 09:15:09 PM »

I read somewhere that tangos (which tend to hang in harmonic tension with a line of dominants of dominants) are played on bandonèon 90% on the pull, presumably closing the bellows as the chords resolve. So yes, cross rowing. A real journey, but worth it.
:-X
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gettabettabox

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2015, 12:52:24 AM »

if you get to grips with this apparatus and subsequently ''drawn'' in, (may your god have mercy upon your soul,) then it might be interesting to attend a milonga dance. (kind of social tango? ha!) assuming you're in the uk, there are quite a few held, linked often to modern jive events. - no need to dance, just watch. (don't cost a fortune...£10ish)
as with any musical dance genre, it's great to see people moving to it.
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pikey

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2015, 10:18:23 PM »

What Steve said, plus let it play German folk tunes !  :||:
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Still squeezing after all these years.
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911377brian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2015, 08:53:15 AM »

That's interesting Pikey, it seems impossible to play anything quickly on the brute; I'm assuming that German folk tunes would be of a more stately tempo than say the Trumpet Hornpipe.... :||: :Ph
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oggiesnr

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2015, 10:06:14 AM »

That's interesting Pikey, it seems impossible to play anything quickly on the brute; I'm assuming that German folk tunes would be of a more stately tempo than say the Trumpet Hornpipe.... :||: :Ph

It should play at a reasonable speed.  Is the issue how quickly the notes speak or the physical one of bellows control?

Steve
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911377brian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2015, 12:38:51 PM »

I think it's more in the way of bellows control Steve, plus one of the two bellows frames in the middle of the box is leaking badly, along with a few of the bellows gussets. Not a problem as it is all fixable and I always saw it a a bit of a fetling project anyway. I think I'm more curious as to how she should sound when in good order....
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2015, 02:49:43 PM »

Just to say that this interesting instument has stimulated me to buy a bandonèon

I must be MAD ::)
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Sebastian

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2015, 03:20:43 PM »

Just to say that this interesting instument has stimulated me to buy a bandonèon
Yes, me too: Every time I see a downspout I am stimulated to buy an oboe.
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pikey

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Re: Bandonika.
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2015, 06:38:39 PM »

Chris, bandoneons and bandonika are separate beasts. Sadly I have both......

But not an oboe. Pink or any other colour.
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Still squeezing after all these years.
Mostly on hohners , with a couple of Dinos and a smattering of anglos - and now a Jeffries duet
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