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Author Topic: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949  (Read 13076 times)

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george garside

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #120 on: December 31, 2017, 02:50:13 PM »

that and the BCC#  , the third row making it far easier to play  .  you also have in effect a BC aand a CC# which adds up to 5 scales for 12 keys

george
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #121 on: December 31, 2017, 02:55:37 PM »

I've just been listening to John Kirkpatrick playing several Shropshire tunes on his BCC#.
It always reminds me that the beast is really huge, the box, not John ( though he's not diminutive!)
Surely they must require some physical effort to play?
It must be one extreme to the other going from that to a one row!

Also, listening to his lovely left hand accompniament it is a great mixture of chord and bass with the plus of bass runs everywhere, but it sounds different. It never sounds as crisp as a melodeon, much fuller round sound, or is it my perception?
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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george garside

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #122 on: December 31, 2017, 03:15:00 PM »

the way John plays the BCC# is quite unique  and quite brilliant as well!.  He uses much more energetic bellows movement which seems to fit well with his style. Most BCC# players use minimal bellows opening  and there are loads of youtube vids of such playing  .  Jimmy Shand was particularly noted for his economic use of the bellwos.   

personally as a knackered 75 year old I find the 96 bass gaelic (played seated) requires  less effort that my 3 voice DG 8 bass serenellini.  This is probably because the mush greater cubic capacity of the bellows  provided the necessary wind over the reeds  with far less movement than on a smaller box  and therefore much less  effort with the left arm.  As I have said John has his own unique way of playing which works very well for him.

george
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Anahata

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #123 on: December 31, 2017, 03:39:14 PM »

I've been told that the Shand Merino, despite being a good bit bigger than the Gaelic IV, is actually easier to play because it is so well made. Everything perfectly balanced, and very responsive reeds.

I suspect John K's box is highly performance-tuned too.

I switched from Gaelic IV to Hohner Pokerwork because I could get just as much sound from a much lighter box, and by then I'd found out that it wasn't all that useful to be able to play in lots of keys. I missed the fully chromatic bass, though.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #124 on: December 31, 2017, 03:41:48 PM »

I'm aware of the larger the box the greater the bellows capacity and the frequent comment about them being easier to play. I'm amazed that you find your BCC# less effort than a 2 row 8 bass !
I can understand it, after once trying a 3 row 18(? ) bass Handry whilst it's owner was building his Pariselle. I sneaked into another room with it and did find it surprisingly easy to play, but as you say, with much less energetic bellows movement.

Still, as ever John seems to break the 'normal' rules with great effect!
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Thrupenny Bit

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george garside

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #125 on: December 31, 2017, 03:57:12 PM »

For 'english' ceilidhs/ barn dances I use the  3 voice 2 row mostly as everybody seems perfectly happy with tunes in D or G  and the much lighter  weight  means less strain on the shoulders.  So in some ways its a balancing trick between effort of bellowing - v - overall weight on the shoulders ,even when seated. In other words the simple Dg does the job very well and the  veriety of keys and much more harmonic bass of the big box are simply not required.

But for sheer pleasure of playing  its my gaelic everytime  it being ,to me , a poor mans Shand Morino.  Much as I would love a 40 button SM I cannot justify ( to her indoors)  forking out the going rate for a good one  which is  around 3 or 4 times as much as a good gaelic.

 george

 
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #126 on: December 31, 2017, 04:57:19 PM »

You and Anahata touch on something else there - the keys of DG!
When I played English Concertina, I had access to all the keys, being chromatic, but lacked the accompniament of a bass end. That in a nutshell is why I switched. I wanted to 'thicken up' the sound with a bass end and rarely played in other keys but D and G as that's where my music lies. If I did play outside those keys at a session then it became a solo....
As you say George, the DG melodeon is the tool I need for the job!
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

aegelstane

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #127 on: December 31, 2017, 05:06:39 PM »

Saw Brandon M'Phee in action in Shrewsbury in November.Fantastic! Look him up on utube
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george garside

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #128 on: December 31, 2017, 05:27:10 PM »

I bought my present gaelic off Brandon and its very good indeed!

george
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oggiesnr

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #129 on: January 12, 2018, 01:20:43 PM »

At a slight tangent. 

D/G is the most common melodeon and lots of tunes for whatever reason fall into those keys.  Why then is the most common two row anglo G/C?
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triskel

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #130 on: January 12, 2018, 02:30:58 PM »

D/G is the most common melodeon and lots of tunes for whatever reason fall into those keys.  Why then is the most common two row anglo G/C?

Firstly, for clarification, Anglos aren't in G/C, they're in C/G (low C/high G), it's melodeons that are in G/C (low G/high C), and they sound very good together in G (an octave apart).

Otherwise, if you play a 3- or 4-row C/G Anglo "across the rows" (like they were designed for, instead of simply "on the straight row") the third key of the instrument (needing only one note from the outside/accidentals row = C#) is that of D.

Secondly, as I wrote, English music used to be played on C melodeons (which were much the easiest to get) - as was still traditional in East Anglia into recent times. The first 2-row D/G boxes didn't appear (in England) until 1955 (and there were only 20 of them made then!), but D/G was still only becoming popular in the late '60s/early'70s (when I first took an interest in playing such things) and Bells were still selling C/C# boxes as "the norm" even then.

But a lot of tunes were written down from the playing of fiddlers, or tabor pipe players, so they're notated in the usual D and G keys of their insuments, whilst if they'd been collected from cornet players they'd be written out in Bb and Eb, and so on - but that doesn't mean they have to be played in those keys...

Thirdly, for that matter G/D Anglos were virtually non-existant until the 1970s, when a number of tuners (myself included) started to convert old Salvation Army Ab/Eb ones (to go with the brass instruments) into G/D to go with these "new fangled" D/G melodeons.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:47:12 PM by triskel »
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Theo

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #131 on: January 12, 2018, 04:33:39 PM »

D/G is the most common melodeon and lots of tunes for whatever reason fall into those keys.  Why then is the most common two row anglo G/C?

And further -  I see plenty of signs that the rise of the DG melodeon has resulted in many tunes being transposed to those keys.  When I visit sessions further south where DG boxes are the most common session instruments D and G and related minors are almost the only keys I hear.  Here in NE England where fiddles are the most common session instrument a much wider range of keys are played.   On a typical session I will hear several of D G A E Am Em Bm Bb F Gm Dm F#m C.  It makes for a much more varied evening and it is really very enjoyable to *not* play every tune but instead to listen and enjoy what others are playing.

I've recently acquired a very nice lightweight CF box so I now take that along and am starting to learn some of the Gm and Dm tunes that the fiddle payers love and which are hard work on a DG box, even with extra accidentals.  I'm encouraged by the recent interest in BbEb boxes and hope it will be a start towards opening up a wider range of keys in session playing generally.
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Rob2Hook

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #132 on: January 13, 2018, 12:06:23 AM »

That's the problem for a small box player (the box, that is - although I'm not of great stature either).  If you want to enjoy playing in a wider variety of keys during one evening, you end up lugging several boxes into the pub.  That's OK, but I find it much more difficult to lug them out again after a few bevvies!

I once turned up with D/G, C/F and Bb/Eb, but as you say here in the south nobody was interested in letting me play anything but the D/G - so I played a tune in C on it just to confuse them...

Rob.
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Lester

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #133 on: January 13, 2018, 09:00:21 AM »

That's the problem for a small box player (the box, that is - although I'm not of great stature either).  If you want to enjoy playing in a wider variety of keys during one evening, you end up lugging several boxes into the pub.  That's OK, but I find it much more difficult to lug them out again after a few bevvies!

I once turned up with D/G, C/F and Bb/Eb, but as you say here in the south nobody was interested in letting me play anything but the D/G - so I played a tune in C on it just to confuse them...

Rob.

I take my current D/G box plus a small case with a C/F and a Bb/Eb Liliput, lightweight and covers most bases.

george garside

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #134 on: January 13, 2018, 10:41:11 AM »

for ease of carrying for Englishish  sessions  a 2 row DG plus a handful or pocketful of mouthies  does the trick .  For anybody that has not come from  a mouthie   background  in simple terms 'if you can play it on the row on a dg or whatever box you can play it on a mouthie - and compared with boxes they ae cheap as chips.  I  have them in Bb.Eb,F,C, (g,d,)  A and E.  anad they all fit in a little camera bag.

george

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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #135 on: January 13, 2018, 11:16:34 AM »

To pick up Theo's point about possibly seeing the start of different keys appearing in sessions:
I wonder if, as Triskel says, that with the rise ( re-birth?) of English music in the early '70's we are now becoming more mature.
More precisely, the music has matured and we can start to step outside the narrow road and explore, safe in the knowledge we have a good solid base of music to come back to that is now self propelling and won't fizzle out now?
Just musing.....
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

george garside

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #136 on: January 13, 2018, 11:32:33 AM »

on one of the rare occasions I took a big 3 row to a session in DGland  I accidentally  played  'home on the range' in Ab instead  of G to   disgruntled comments such as 'what bloody key is that'

george ;)
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triskel

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #137 on: January 13, 2018, 12:08:27 PM »

on one of the rare occasions I took a big 3 row to a session in DG-land  I accidentally  played  'home on the range' in Ab instead  of G to   disgruntled comments such as 'what bloody key is that'

That'd be where the D/D#, instead of the C#/D, would come in handy... ;)

Mind you, I've a 3515 in G/C, and another in G#/C# (they made them in some unusual keys in the 1930s! :o), that I have wicked thoughts of turning into a G/G# and a C/C#. >:E
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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #138 on: January 13, 2018, 12:56:11 PM »

Ooh! You ARE awful.  8)
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triskel

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