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Author Topic: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949  (Read 19144 times)

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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 #140 on: January 13, 2018, 07:24:13 PM »


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.
...
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.

Whilst I take your point about a three row anglo I did specify two row as when I started playing those were what were commonly around at affordable prices (I still have the Lachenal I learnt on, cost me a tenner).  I also remember my first G/D (also a tenner) which was one of those East German painted jobbies that arrived in the early seventies. 
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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 #141 on: January 14, 2018, 08:18:54 AM »

Oddly enough I’ve only just come across this thread, I think I was in Tasmania at the time.
  When I had the honour to play Bob Cann’s Hohner in a pub “The Ring o Bells” in St Issey Cornwall in the 70’s it certainly didn’t have a gleighton.
  Incidentally, I managed to break a reed....he was very nice about it.  :'(
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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 #142 on: January 14, 2018, 10:52:05 AM »

when DG boxes started to become popular I think most people played more or less entirely 'on the row'  exept for going over to the D row for low E.  This was great  for dance and session music as there was rumpy pumpy bass for both rows  unlike the BC  which only had rumpy pumpy bass if playing in C ( unless you had one of the relatively rare 12 stradella bass double rays)

So life on a DG was simple  and if you could get a tune out of a mouthie you could get one out of a DG box.

But then  the  fashion for playing 'cross row'  on the DG crept in   which not only made a simple but great  box far more complicated  but eventually led to the need for an extra dollop of buttons on a half row - which made it even more complicated!

But people forgot that the humble BC  or C#D was far easier and logical to play in  a range of keys  than the new fangled DG+ boxes

just a thought!

george ;)
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Winston Smith

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #143 on: January 14, 2018, 11:01:25 AM »

I think I really need to get hold of a playable semi-tone box, Mr Garside's posts always leave me curious!
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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 #144 on: January 14, 2018, 01:42:32 PM »

You’re absolutely right George, in fact I still play “rumpy pumpy” bass. I still reckon it’s a dance instrument .
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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 #145 on: January 14, 2018, 02:13:57 PM »

Again George, I think this might also come back to where we are now and reflective of the English music revival since the early '70's.
Then tutors for melodeon were unheard of ( well I didn't know of any!) so people learnt by themselves, trial and error. Tune books were uncommon. My mid- late '78 ish entry with concertina into English music and I was advised to get an EFDSS series of books and Kerrs Merrie Melodies and that was that.
Now the whole scene has matured, tune books easily available, tutors accessible at festivals and even into your own home and computer via Skype.

My point being, people are no longer struggling to *just* play tunes.
They want to play better, investigate the dusty corners of the boxes and tunes from manuscripts being available now online.
I think cross rowing and playing more than the rumpty bass is all part of the desire to go further and investigate what can be done on a melodeon.
Some videos appearing recently on here recently go from  a Scandanavian tune described as an accidental workout, and playing Stevie Wonder tunes. People are becoming more adventurous in their playing!
Q
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I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Rob2Hook

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #146 on: January 14, 2018, 04:23:43 PM »

Indeed, things have changed and continue to change.  Of course with change comes both advancement and misadventure.  I'm of the school of thought that dance music, whilst it may be tastefully decorated and arranged, is most importantly simple and rhythmic.  My legs and lungs aren't up to the challenge anymore, but thinking back there were a number of bands who managed to achieve fusion of differing popular styles into their music - prime examples being The Committee Band and Whapweasel.  I won't name those I was less than impressed with, but even at major festivals one was sometimes presented with a band that tried so hard to be different that they exceeded the bounds of what would be acceptable in concert yet whilst they were being engaged as a dance band their music was frankly undanceable!  More complex boxes do sometimes tempt their players to excess but in a band context it seems best that the band leader should not be the one likely to go overboard.

For myself I prefer a two row D/G, preferably three voice, for dance.  It suits the mix with other band instruments and the lower voice adds a little lower timbre missing from most melody instruments.  At home I often play a Club which of course is C/F and has seven accidentals/reversals, though limited bass options.  It could be that my choice is made easier by the fact that I am not confident of playing the more complex repertoire in public!

Rob.
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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 #147 on: January 14, 2018, 04:45:58 PM »

Thanks Rob, I'm relieved I'm not alone in thinking there's been change.
To my mind it's a classic situation. Now there is a massive base of music and musicians to fall back on, then there's scope to experiment.
As ever some experiments will work and others not, but at least overall the movement is going forward and not stagnating, which must be a good thing.
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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

triskel

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #148 on: January 14, 2018, 08:55:52 PM »

Whilst I take your point about a three row anglo I did specify two row ...

Which is why my paragraph on that topic started with "Otherwise ...", but it's not impossible to get away with playing a C/G Anglo in D-manqué - you just have to fudge the missing C#, like 10-key melodeon players do to play in other keys...  ;)

Quote
... two row ... when I started playing those were what were commonly around at affordable prices. (I still have the Lachenal I learnt on, cost me a tenner).

Two rows were always more common, but I was lucky enough to find a metal-ended 36-key Lachenal for my first Anglo and it cost me £17 ,, !0s - but that was the price of a new Hohner 114 then, and expensive-enough for a student at the time.  :(

Quote
I also remember my first G/D (also a tenner) which was one of those East German painted jobbies that arrived in the early seventies. 

My earliest recollection is of smaller, single-reeded red ones, in C/G that cost 5 guineas, and larger, double-reeded yellow ones, in D/G that cost 8 guineas. But German concertinas in G/D had been around for a century or more by then (only no D/G accordions to go with them :-\), whilst I was talking about English-made Anglo concertinas in G/D being "virtually non-existant until the 1970s".
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Ivor Hyde

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Re: The rise of D/G, since 1949
« Reply #149 on: January 28, 2018, 05:19:54 PM »

Sadly I haven't seen Ivor for a few years now.  I do recall his mentioning that he once converted a Club for Bob Cann.  Later of course the Pixie Band approached him to repeat the feat, but he was not inclined to go through the process again so it was agreed he should re-reed the box with Italian reeds.  Presumably the scale length didn't suit the reed blocks as he said it was a bit of a disaster!

I'd love to see him again and tell him how much I've enjoyed the boxes he's fixed for me.

Rob.

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Hugh Taylor

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #150 on: February 19, 2018, 04:38:04 PM »

I haven't read all the posts on this topic, but I thought I would share this with you. When transcribing the Matthew Betham tune book dated around 1815 for the Village Music Project, I assessed the keys of the tunes and came up with this list -
G major (47)
D major (44)
C major (4)
A minor (3)
E minor (3)
A dorian (2)
G mixolydian (1)
D mixolydian (1)
That means that 86% of the tunes were in D or G.
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Winston Smith

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Re: The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949
« Reply #151 on: February 19, 2018, 04:57:24 PM »

Are tunes in D and G difficult to play on a C/C# box?
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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 #152 on: February 19, 2018, 05:06:52 PM »

Are tunes in D and G difficult to play on a C/C# box?

Certainly harder than on a D/G
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