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Author Topic: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?  (Read 1553 times)

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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2017, 12:40:56 AM »

Thanks everyone for the nice comments about the Twelfth Night music!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TwOK7fSs-As
Yes - I liked this. It's partly what I had in mind - melodeons and accordions in an ensemble group.

Quote
And there’s more:
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCiso2S4sdmoLo8XpwhatOEg
Also good, and I enjoyed it, but the music is firmly rooted in the local traditional style, even though it is a composed, 'made-up' piece. I guess there will always be a blurry boundary between the traditional style music and compositions which take the music further, with less reliance on dance/folk style music.

PS just followed the "and there's more:..." link - well, there's nothing subtle there, but I wouldn't call that classical or chamber music, just typical Steirische harmonika Oom-pah band music. Perhaps Grape Ape meant this one (on the same page)
Yes, that new link in the 'PS' is really very good, and definitely "a very fine demonstration of well trained musicians putting lots of very detailed dynamics and phrasing into a piece of classical music in just the right way, and not in the way that folk music is typically played. Just what this thread was about!"

(1) ...If I were writing something to include the melodeon, I'd think first about blends of sounds - something like: do I want the melodeon to blend with a bassoon, clarinet or contrast with something like a string section sound.
I'd also consider whether I wanted the genre to replicate the trad setting of the melodeon or add a new sonority to 'classical' ensemble music...
(2)...So, maybe the route should be something out of genre. Minimalism! If I were to write a piece of minimalist music for melodeon ensemble would anyone be interested in playing it sometime?
(1) Yes - that's the sort of approach I had in mind.
(2) Yes please! Definitely up for that.  (:)

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Jack Campin

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2017, 12:57:51 AM »

One thing you can do with a melodeon that not all instruments can pull off: dead accurate bespoke tunings.

A lot of composers have used non-ET tunings of various kinds on other instruments - Pauline Oliveros used a just intonation PA, Lou Harrison wrote a piano concerto in meantone, Douglas Leedy's "The Leaves be Green" uses another meantone piano, Kevin Volans's "Mbira" uses a harpsichord in heptatonic equitonic tuning.  And there are things like clarinets using the Bohlen-Pierce scale, 19-tone ET recorders, quartertone flutes and traditional gamelan scales.  The Cajun melodeon is already JI-tuned.

Going this route would lead to something utterly unlike Western European folk, but might lead somewhere unprecedented and wonderful.
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melodeon

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2017, 01:31:40 AM »

Seems to me that an LM or an MM   2 reed box with G/C acc , C/F acc, D/G acc   or C#/D G   could be a contender.

I have been heading the direction of an "orchestral"  bisonoric/diatonic accordeon for years. An instrument that is not genre specific and chromatic but not a CBA or other derivative.


Why is there no melodeon equivalent of the English Concertina able to be played in all and any keys ?   

Some of the 1/2 step players have demonstrated remarkable music .. Mairtin O'Connor, Luke Daniels, Dermot Byrne to name a few.
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Grape Ape

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 03:19:15 AM »

The second link I posted has several examples but you have to scroll down.

How's this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mw1d7AMXmw0

There is also a rendition of "joy to the world" where I swear I hear trumpets that don't appear to be there!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 03:22:05 AM by Grape Ape »
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Grape Ape

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2017, 03:30:28 AM »

And although this page https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCehELjzR5Gw3Nt5JvQrpNXA features mostly solos and duets, and the music was obviously not written for the melodeon as much of it predates the melodeon,* I think it demonstrates that it can be done.  Too many videos to post links- just scroll through to the ones you think fit the bill.

*come to think of it, were not many of the folk songs now considered to be standard melodeon repretoire originally written for other instruments?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 03:38:17 AM by Grape Ape »
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Anahata

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2017, 07:52:05 AM »

(2)Minimalism! If I were to write a piece of minimalist music for melodeon ensemble would anyone be interested in playing it sometime?
(2) Yes please! Definitely up for that.  (:)

I missed that when first posted. Count me in!
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2017, 07:54:51 AM »

And although this page https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCehELjzR5Gw3Nt5JvQrpNXA features mostly solos and duets, and the music was obviously not written for the melodeon as much of it predates the melodeon...
I wrote a review of Tony's book when it was first published. It's (the review) on this forum somewhere. I didn't realise he'd made videos of the book's contents.
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heartshaped1

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2017, 08:14:23 AM »

This is an interesting thread.

One of the things I have enjoyed most this year is taking part in the 'folk big band' run by Paul James at Blowzabella day for a similar reason, because we played parts and variations more like an orchestra rather than a session when many of us might all be playing the tune. I'll be trying it out again this weekend at Les Panards Dansarts.

Having said that one of the main reasons I chose melodeon and abandoned my former instrument was because I loved the way it was its own accompaniment rather than it just playing the one note. Still, I guess historically that has never held the piano back orchestrally!

Thinking about it, there's so much variation in those boxes currently available some might lend themselves more to the task than others? A Lilly cuts through like a piccolo to my ears for example.

Anyway as a very lapsed county orchestra player I'd be up for the challenge p&t!

Vicky.
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playandteach

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2017, 12:16:43 PM »

Well, the piano isn't really an orchestral instrument in my book - more often a solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment in concerto situations. Of course there are exceptions, such as Saint Saens Organ symphony, but it doesn't really fit in for normal orchestral use. So I understand what you mean by the self sufficient use.
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2017, 05:29:48 PM »

Quote
It's not wet all the time. If you watch the lead player (the girl on the left of the conductor) especially, she's switching registrations all over the place.

Can you point to a section that you don't think is wet?  She was certainly changing voices, but I'm afraid I didn't pick up any 'dry' sections.  I only ask this because it seems to me that probably to many classical musicians, the idea of playing out of tune on purpose would seem anathema, yet the traditional quite harsh tuning of the boxes being played here doesn't sit well with a more classical approach, I felt.  However, the excellent intonation potential of the button accordion (whatever RH design), coupled with the excellent responsiveness which makes it such a fine instrument for dance music, should make playing classical music within its range, given a sufficiently expanded Rh and LH layout.  I know there were high hopes for the concertina a century ago, though for some reason they never materialised.

We folkies are perhaps not used to the discipline of orchestral playing, with its sweetness of tone, dynamic feel, intonation, and harmonics, but our instrument is I believe a powerful one in all those respects.
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TomBom

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2017, 08:43:44 PM »

The second link I posted has several examples but you have to scroll down.

How's this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mw1d7AMXmw0

There is also a rendition of "joy to the world" where I swear I hear trumpets that don't appear to be there!
Oh, there is a guest musician playing cornet.
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playandteach

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2017, 11:19:46 PM »

All of these are fantastic examples of virtuosic playing. Really impressive, but not for me (even the one row) orchestral or chamber music. It is 'classical' music as a vehicle for demonstrating great musicianship and instrumental skill, but as a solo instrument. Glad to have heard them, and a little depressed at how high the bar is set.
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Grape Ape

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2017, 11:50:50 PM »

Darnit Tom- I thought something even more impressive was taking place: making a melodeon sound like a trumpett!

P&T- it is easy enough to imagine an entire orchestra behind those players- I think the point is that it CAN be done, not necessarily that it IS being done (besides apparently in Germany where I get the impression that insofar as accordions are concerned, ANYTHING goes).

Personally, I agree with the post that basically said one of the best things about accordions is that you don’t NEED anyone else.
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Grape Ape

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2017, 11:53:29 PM »

Three-row: https://youtu.be/xjJlrmYbjpE

Single-row: https://youtu.be/ONVjDpcouXc

CBA: https://youtu.be/EFNNPZsO7-Q

I freaking LOVE that first video.  Saw it before, but forgot about it.  That guy is just plain awesome, though his love of reverb is evident....

And at the risk of verging off topic, what about this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tbresUG-2Jo

Holy Moly he can play!

(P&T, don’t ever be ‘dis’ but only ‘en’ couraged by what others can do- yes perhaps you and I will never play like this guy- BUT- at least we can die trying- afterall, we will probably (barring some magical and unforseen  event) die anyway someday, though hopefully not soon and definitely for our ideas instead of some worthless accident or act of nature or man!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 04:11:33 AM by Grape Ape »
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playandteach

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2017, 01:57:42 PM »


P&T- it is easy enough to imagine an entire orchestra behind those players- I
That's the point! The orchestra would be behind those players. In other words they would be with an orchestra, but not in it.
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Bruce Triggs

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2017, 12:33:05 AM »

I've always liked the Belgian diatonic players. I don't know enough about their music education/support system to know how they do it, but they've turned out some amazingly creative players.

Here's Anne Niepold doing a series of pieces (or parts of pieces) with a string group. I imagine if you gave gifted melodeon players the resources to hire orchestras you'd see more work like this. (Most of Niepold's stuff is with smaller folk/jazz combos.)


https://youtu.be/z3PCynkpszA
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2017, 08:55:19 AM »

Here's Anne Niepold doing a series of pieces (or parts of pieces) with a string group. I imagine if you gave gifted melodeon players the resources to hire orchestras you'd see more work like this. (Most of Niepold's stuff is with smaller folk/jazz combos.)

https://youtu.be/z3PCynkpszA
Very good indeed. Lovely playing and on-stage theatre-like presence. These are just the sort of examples I was meaning in my original post. Thanks for sharing.
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baz parkes

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Re: Melodeon as an orchestral or chamber music instrument?
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2017, 12:39:18 PM »

As an illustration of what could well be possible, here is a short excerpt of some original incidental music for a performance of 'Twelfth Night' written and performed by my son Simon (piano) and myself (English concertina). It's definitely not traditional.
Twelfth Night: Opening Music.

"If music be the food of love...."

Splendid... :|glug

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