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Author Topic: Semantics  (Read 1293 times)

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GPS

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2017, 08:01:52 PM »


AKA-harmonica over here but that's another thread (:)


Of course, button accordions are frequently referred to as "harmonikas" in mainland Europe. In practice, I usually refer to my instrument simply as a "box"; but then in some circles "box" means "guitar".......

Graham
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brianread

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2017, 10:13:08 PM »

Do you mean a "harp", Brian. That's what they seem to be called hereabouts, but I don't know why. (Sorry about any thread drift.)

I guess I do - but I've never used that word (I played one from about 10 years onwards).
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AirTime

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2017, 10:37:35 PM »

I will generally describe my boxes as "button accordions", or "diatonic button accordions". Sometimes, with an interested (or unlucky) listener, leading to a lengthy explanation of the history of the various kinds of accordions. "Squeezebox" also seems an acceptable, colloquial description. 

The reality is, I don't want to be seen as an "accordion" player, which makes people inevitably picture a piano accordion, which I feel is an instrument very different in spirit from a diatonic button accordion. "Melodeon" means nothing to people in NA & would just confuse them. Regardless, most people I meet in NA assume that I will be playing some kind of polka music. I assume this is not the case in the UK.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 03:18:03 AM by AirTime »
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triskel

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2017, 02:08:51 AM »


AKA-harmonica over here but that's another thread (:)

Of course, button accordions are frequently referred to as "harmonikas" in mainland Europe.

In German (and some other languages) both accordions and mouth organs are varieties of Harmonika, so you've the Handharmonika (hand harmonica) = accordion, melodeon and concertina, and the Mundharmonika (mouth harmonica) = mouth organ/harmonica/"harp".
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boxcall

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2017, 02:29:11 AM »

My barber who is Italian calls an accordion a Fisarmonica and harmonica is a Armonica, so I guess the Fis must = hand--armonica.
not that much different from the german really.
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Jesse Smith

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2017, 04:33:53 AM »

The reality is, I don't want to be seen as an "accordion" player, which makes people inevitably picture a piano accordion, which I feel is an instrument very different in spirit from a diatonic button accordion. "Melodeon" means nothing to people in NA & would just confuse them. Regardless, most people I meet in NA assume that I will be playing some kind of polka music. I assume this is not the case in the UK.
Yes, it's very much the same here in Buffalo. We have a long tradition here (mostly a thing of the past now but still very much present in people's minds) of Polish polka bands, real "Roll Out the Barrel" kind of stuff. I'm sure that's the first thing that comes to mind around here when people hear "accordion".
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Re: Semantics
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2017, 08:45:19 AM »

My barber who is Italian calls an accordion a Fisarmonica and harmonica is a Armonica, so I guess the Fis must = hand--armonica.
not that much different from the german really.
Not too good on Italian, but I guess the prefix 'fis' is related to 'fisico' = 'physical'; in other words a fisharmonica is one which requires physical action i.e. moving the bellows.
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Rees

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2017, 09:34:18 AM »

Correct Italian spelling of fisarmonica/armonica is fisarmoniche/armoniche. Pronounced fisarmonica/armonica not fisarmoneesh/armoneesh.

I often hear VA reeds, Voci Armoniche pronounced Voci Armoneesh (which I suppose it would be in French) :)
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Stiamh

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2017, 11:39:03 AM »

Correct Italian spelling of fisarmonica/armonica is fisarmoniche/armoniche

let me fix that for you: correct Italian spelling of the plural of fisarmonica/armonica is fisarmoniche/armoniche.

i.e. una fisarmonica, due fisarmoniche.

The "h" in the plural form is needed to keep the "c" hard before an "e" (which it naturally is when followed by an "a").

Sebastian

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2017, 12:13:52 PM »

My barber who is Italian calls an accordion a Fisarmonica and harmonica is a Armonica, so I guess the Fis must = hand--armonica.
not that much different from the german really.
Not too good on Italian, but I guess the prefix 'fis' is related to 'fisico' = 'physical'; in other words a fisharmonica is one which requires physical action i.e. moving the bellows.
Fisarmonica is the italian form of the german Physharmonika, an early (and now obsolete) name for a pump organ/melodeon.

The word Harmonika was than mainly used for the Glass harmonica. Because the sounds in a pump organ are generated by a bellows and not by glass cups, Anton Haeckel choose the name "bellows-harmonica" to differenciate his bellows-driven instrument from the normal [glass] harmonica. Bellows is φῦσα (physa) in Greek ('physein' is 'to blow'). If you combine this with "harmonica" you get -- according to Greek contraction rules -- "phys-harmonica".
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 12:22:31 PM by Sebastian »
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Rees

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2017, 01:09:32 PM »

Correct Italian spelling of fisarmonica/armonica is fisarmoniche/armoniche

let me fix that for you: correct Italian spelling of the plural of fisarmonica/armonica is fisarmoniche/armoniche.

i.e. una fisarmonica, due fisarmoniche.

The "h" in the plural form is needed to keep the "c" hard before an "e" (which it naturally is when followed by an "a").

Oops! Thanks Stephen.
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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boxcall

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2017, 01:26:09 PM »

My barber who is Italian calls an accordion a Fisarmonica and harmonica is a Armonica, so I guess the Fis must = hand--armonica.
not that much different from the german really.
Not too good on Italian, but I guess the prefix 'fis' is related to 'fisico' = 'physical'; in other words a fisharmonica is one which requires physical action i.e. moving the bellows.
Fisarmonica is the italian form of the german Physharmonika, an early (and now obsolete) name for a pump organ/melodeon.

The word Harmonika was than mainly used for the Glass harmonica. Because the sounds in a pump organ are generated by a bellows and not by glass cups, Anton Haeckel choose the name "bellows-harmonica" to differenciate his bellows-driven instrument from the normal [glass] harmonica. Bellows is φῦσα (physa) in Greek ('physein' is 'to blow'). If you combine this with "harmonica" you get -- according to Greek contraction rules -- "phys-harmonica".
Interesting, thanks.
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RogerT

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2017, 04:53:27 PM »

Have to confess to avoiding use of the word melodeon unless I'm talking to someone who actually owns one or is obviously clued up as to what it is (...and on my website). It avoids the inevitable question 'what's a melodeon' and my answer 'an accordion with buttons'. To PA players or novices I call them button accordions, so it is clear what they are. Also I have a mixture of 4th apart and semitone boxes on my shelves, and I think of the semitone box as an accordion anyway. But that is just me and I may very well be misguided (:)

Sebastian

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Re: Semantics
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2017, 12:29:15 AM »

'physein' is 'to blow'.
Sorry, my mistake: 'physan' φυσᾶν should be the correct infinitive form. :|bl
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