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Author Topic: OK, G/C is beyond me...  (Read 3127 times)

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RickC.

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2018, 01:50:49 PM »

So I got frustrated, picked up what I'm used to- a C#/D Mengascini, and worked out what you see here in less than a half hour.  It's in the wrong key (Bm here) on the wrong box- and there is no way to match the basses that Bernard played, but you can come close.

I'm curious as to others' experience with being accustomed to learning by ear and just working out the tunes on an Irish box and then trying to learn from tabs and/or trying to play that system   I can't do it, I flat just cannot.

https://youtu.be/Hba7hcwlcBc



Hi Rick,

There is really no right or wrong key in Breton music, and really no wrong instrument : use whatever key you like or are most comfortable with, and it'll go all right.

As for your video, it's very good. As a matter of fact, you play this tune as well as I ever heard it around here (and, actually I live right in the Bas-Léon area). Indeed you could introduce a bit of variations here and there, and the C#/D somewhat limits the basses you can have, but the main point is that you got the style and musical phrasing just right (and, I might add, closer to Breton style than Irish music players usually achieve, even in top-players bands like Lunasa and such).

So, kudos to you !

Thanks very much, Y- just this morning I was given the actual name of this tune on Facebook and found a YouTube video of this being sung by a group at a festival.  One huge disadvantage I have (and most of us would have who are not exposed to The Real Thing) is not having the words to the tunes (the ones that actually are songs, anyway) help us with the phrasing.  And the phrasing is very different from Irish tunes- not quite as punchy on accordion as say, Morris tunes, but a bit more lift in some places with stacatto notes here and there- and with no context other than just listening to the tune (over and over and over and over), that is one of the biggest challenges for me.  So taking the music at face value, without knowing the dances that go with them or what place they have in the culture (I would not want to spend a lot of time working on a tune only to find it is the Breton equivalent of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"), it can be a bit of a minefield.

Since I know already my accordion "vocabulary" is Irish, I'm doing my best to not "Irish up" the tunes.  So being an Alabama boy living in Texas, I figure the best I can do is listen to those who play the music well, and see how close I can come to it.  I don't see that as being derivative, I see that as Learning.  With this tune, I just got lucky that the basses on this box mostly worked out well enough- that is not the case for most other Breton tunes I have worked on, so Plan C is in the works...


Rick

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Mengascini C#/D, Hohner Trichord II, Hohner Erica C#/D reworked by Martin Quinn, Mengascini B/C, Castagnari Lilly C#/D

Gary Chapin

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2018, 02:43:34 PM »


As someone famous once said, 'the tune won't mind'.

Nicely played

Yes, nicely played! I find that Breton tunes are more open to individualistic approach then others. It is a very forgiving genre, not hidebound at all. I learned this when I discovered the playing of Patrick Lefebvre, who plays both CBA and diatonic boxes -- he has a very distinct approach that is still rock solid for dancers, and he's on Spotify. I wrote about him on my blog a few years ago (I think it was my second post).

https://accordeonaire.com/2011/03/11/tribute-accordeon-gavotte/

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RickC.

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2018, 02:56:32 PM »

Many thanks for the kind words, Gary- and for the links- I'll dig into this when work is done later today!
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-Y-

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2018, 03:34:42 PM »

https://accordeonaire.com/2011/03/11/tribute-accordeon-gavotte/

Slightly off-topic (but not too much, seeing Breton music is involved), but there are some minor inaccuracies in the introduction page you linked at the bottom of the article (for instance some bands are erroneously stated to sing kan ha diskan, which is a very specific sub-genre of call-and-response singing), plus the bands cited as examples are a bit outdated (but relevant from a historical point of view nevertheless). If anyone ever needs references more representative of the current state of Breton music, don't hesitate to ask.
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

Gary Chapin

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2018, 04:07:23 PM »

I would love such references, thanks!
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RickC.

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2018, 07:48:28 PM »

Gary, I had a chance to look at the blog for a few minutes at lunch (got sidetracked by the videos, will get to the other this evening)- loved the videos of your band!

It does appear the interview links are broken...

I'm attempting to attach a short example of the kind of thing that drove me nuts- granted, this is not a complex tune but having to use different bellows directions and different buttons to play the exact notes I just played made me want to throw things. 




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Dick Rees

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2018, 08:34:42 PM »

... having to use different bellows directions and different buttons to play the exact notes I just played made me want to throw things.

Well, they are the same notes on paper and may even be the same pitch (you'd have to ask someone who tunes and voices instruments), but they have different identities pertaining to their relation to the chord and the temperament of their row.  The E note (push) on the C row is the third or mi of the chord used while the E note (draw) on the G row is the fifth or sol of the backing chord.  For instance:

You mention that you have two A notes (pull) across the rows and two G notes (push) across the rows.
If you "warble" back and forth between them you'll notice a slight tonal difference resulting from the temperament of each individual row.  This can be used as an effect not unlike wind players who utilize two different fingerings for the "same" note for dynamic expression.  The choice of which to use can depend as much on which button gives the better sound for the phrase as much as which fingering pattern works better.

So, yes, they are the same...when considered apart from the comp, but they are NOT the same when taken in the context of the shifting chords.  I find it strange that, on the one hand (sic), you want to learn a style and method of playing comprising full chordal backing while at the same time refusing to accept the simple reality of the traditional system in use.  Perhaps this could be termed "row rage".

OTOH, if you want everything in the same place all the time, there's always the piano accordion.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 09:15:44 PM by Dick Rees »
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RickC.

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2018, 09:16:15 PM »

It must come from decades of playing another system where your fingers and ears are trained to going back to where you just made those same sounds:  20+ years of learning Irish reels by ear.  Totally different way of learning, which is what this discussion is about.

What I'm interested in hearing are people's experiences changing from one to another.  In the end, what I'm concerned about is how the music sounds, not in bowing at the altar of a particular system. 

So... how do -you- play this tune in the clip I posted?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 09:18:29 PM by RickC. »
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Gary Chapin

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2018, 01:55:05 AM »

Thanks! And thanks for pointing out the bad links. I recently switched from Blogger to WordPress, so I am still sorting those things out.

Gary, I had a chance to look at the blog for a few minutes at lunch (got sidetracked by the videos, will get to the other this evening)- loved the videos of your band!

It does appear the interview links are broken...

I'm attempting to attach a short example of the kind of thing that drove me nuts- granted, this is not a complex tune but having to use different bellows directions and different buttons to play the exact notes I just played made me want to throw things.
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-Y-

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2018, 08:33:45 AM »

What I'm interested in hearing are people's experiences changing from one to another.  In the end, what I'm concerned about is how the music sounds, not in bowing at the altar of a particular system. 

I've the reverse experience, that is going from the fourth-apart system to the semitone box (C#/D). While I did not go very far in the realm of C#/D, I guess it's easier this way than what you're trying to achieve. Also, after fiddling with several systems, I make the same observation: the system isn't very relevant, only the music (also, some players do a great job, see for instance those reels https://youtu.be/02iZfs9SpBo, played on a G/C/# system, the only relevant output is the music).
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

RickC.

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Re: OK, G/C is beyond me...
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2018, 01:47:56 PM »

Now that is some impressive playing on three of the "big" tunes!  Interesting that he (I assume that's a "he") starts off with the very tune I mentioned earlier.  Kudos to whoever this is.  I don't even play Maudabawn Chapel on box- I reach for the banjo if it comes up in a session since I had already learned it there before taking up accordion in 1996-  and I think Reavey felt like he was not doing his job if he didn't use all 4 strings in a tune...

 But this illustrates your point perfectly, and thank you.
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