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Author Topic: Visiting Ireland  (Read 1159 times)

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Daniel Langeac

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Visiting Ireland
« on: November 02, 2018, 07:40:09 AM »

Hi all, this my first post here. I am French, I live in Grenoble and have been a compulsive 2 rows GC player for about 3 years now.
I am retired, so I have plenty of time and would really love to come over to Ireland to visit AND learn and play Irish tunes.
Scotland would be great too.
What would you recommend ? A week long music school or equivalent would be a great starting point I believe ?
Also do I need to get another box than a GC to have a chance to play with other musicians ?
Anyway thanks a lot for your posts in this forum, I enjoy their reading.
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JohnS

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 09:56:55 AM »

Hi Daniel, that sounds like a great idea, enjoy your visit!

Most Irish box players play semitone boxes, B/C or C#/D.  Any course or workshop that you attend will be based on then expectation that you would be playing one of these.  That would involve a lot of re-learning, although as a G/C player you are probably experienced with playing across the rows, so that would give you a bit of a start.

If you wanted to continue to use your G/C then your biggest issue would be that a lot of Irish music is in two sharps, D major or E dorian.  If you also had a one-row in D or a C#/D box played along the D row then you would be able to play all the tunes.  However, your style would be quite different.
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Rees

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2018, 01:15:00 PM »

Willie Clancy Week in Miltown Malbay, County Clare is the place to go in July. Sign up for the classes and you will be well rewarded.
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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Stiamh

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2018, 03:04:09 PM »

If you wanted to continue to use your G/C then your biggest issue would be that a lot of Irish music is in two sharps, D major or E dorian.  If you also had a one-row in D or a C#/D box played along the D row then you would be able to play all the tunes.  However, your style would be quite different.

The easiest transition would be to a D/G box. With a D/G you'd be able to play maybe 85% of the repertoire (many, many tunes have only 1 sharp!) and you would understand the cross-rowing possibilities.

B/C would be a very difficult transition, C#/D possibly a little less difficult, but only if you are used to playing up and down a single row.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2018, 03:24:26 PM »

With a D/G you'd be able to play maybe 85% of the repertoire...
Just out of interest, why would the other 15% not be playable on a D/G? Is it because of the keys of the 15% would be un-playable, or is it that the correct style would not be possible?
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Stiamh

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2018, 03:45:33 PM »

With a D/G you'd be able to play maybe 85% of the repertoire...
Just out of interest, why would the other 15% not be playable on a D/G? Is it because of the keys of the 15% would be un-playable, or is it that the correct style would not be possible?

15% is a figure I just plucked out of the air, but I was thinking of missing notes. Not just the obvious accidentals like F-nat and G# in both octaves (and the less obvious accidentals like Bb and Eb), but e.g. low G and low C natural that seem to be missing on standard layouts. Actually if you don't have those low notes that would compromise another chunk of tunes.

Style is another consideration and perhaps a less important one from Daniel's point of view. There are a few things you can do on a semitone box that you can't on a fourth-apart, but only a few, and they are not essential really. You can certainly play great Irish music on a D/G, though you will be missing a few notes and a few tricks (and I would consider the missing notes a greater handicap).

Edit: just to point out - basically - a D/G box can play the same tunes as a standard tin whistle or keyless flute, so that shows that much of the repertoire is covered. ("Basically" meaning ignoring a couple of low notes on a D/G and the possibilities for playing accidentals by half-holing on a whistle.)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 03:48:42 PM by Stiamh »
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Daniel Langeac

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2018, 04:03:42 PM »

Thanks a lot for the replies. I think I will try a D/G which is the closest option to what I am used so far.
Just wondering if a 3 row G/C/accidentals would be an option as well ?
Anyway I am excited to think of next year in July at County Clare. Will keep you posted.

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Rees

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2018, 05:11:21 PM »

Just wondering if a 3 row G/C/accidentals would be an option as well ?

Sorry, not really an option - you will have all the right notes in all the wrong places  ;D

In other words, you will be able to play the tunes but the style will be out the window ..........
It might work if you think of it as a modified B/C

Whenever I go to Ireland I take the one-row in D. Check out Bobby Gardiner, Emma Corbett, Johnny Connolly, etc. to see what can be done on that simple instrument which is now regaining popularity across the land.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 07:04:40 PM by Rees »
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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Gromit

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 06:14:38 PM »

Willie Clancy Week in Miltown Malbay, County Clare is one of many festivals with Summer Schools & Work Shops.


http://www.irishmusicmagazine.com/links/festivals-summer-schools-work-shops-gatherings/
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Katie Howson

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2018, 07:30:43 PM »

Even this listing from Irish Music magazine only touches the tip of the iceberg. There are festivals every weekend, some concentrate on a local style, some are focused on singing or fiddle playing. Depends when you want to go and what style of Irish music you want to have a go at initially.

The only thing I would say about the Willie Clancy Week is that the average age of the students is probably about 10, so be prepared to be the oldest in the class! Classes there run Monday - Saturday 10am to 1pm and are graded according to your ability. Johnny Og Connolly usually takes the melodeon (one-row) classes which in my experience (and Rees's) is a very small class - we were both there for the last year Johnny Connolly senior took the class, in 2015. There are a number of other classes, with tutors using B/C or C#/D systems. You are allocated to one according to your ability, you don't get to choose the tutor.

I currently have a nice C#D for sale, should you be interested! Another possibility, instrument-wise might be a D/G two-and-a-half row which gives you a couple more accidentals plus the low notes. I have a nice one of those too, but that's not for sale!
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Pat.

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Re: Visiting Ireland
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2018, 07:46:48 AM »

What Rees said is absolutely correct, A D/G box might play the right notes give or take but it will never sound traditional unless you REALLY know what you are doing.  C#/D would be your bet as you are already halfway there playing up and down the rows and jumping out to get around the CORNERS ,,ALL THE BEST ,Pat.
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