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Author Topic: Buying advice for a beginner  (Read 6246 times)

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Anahata

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2019, 11:58:54 PM »

Reading it carefully there is more than a hint that the instruments commissioned by Peter Kennedy in 1949 were G/D  (5th apart) not D/G (4th apart). I could be totally wrong on this but to quote the wording from the EFDS journal.

That journal excerpt says nothing explicit about which row was which.
At the time, I doubt the outer/inner convention describing the keys even existed, and even if it did I doubt the author of an EFDS journal would have known.
People still get it wrong now, on this forum...

Those instruments set a precedent for the importation of thousands more D/G Hohner melodeons, all  fourth-apart.
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Peadar

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2019, 01:06:48 AM »

Just for interest look at the link Steve provided....there's a bit more background there than the snippet I quoted.
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richard.fleming

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2019, 09:45:48 AM »

I read somewhere (cannot find the reference) that the early 2 row accordions in Ireland were usually D/G, so your Dad's old accordion may well be
I don't think the reference will be found because it is simply not true. And B/C was dominant long before the 1980s. The prevailing style of B/C playing was developed in the 1950s by Paddy O Brien, and with Joe Burke rising to prominence his style on the B/C box became pretty well dominant. We have mainly Jacky Daly to thank for the return of the C#D. DG never came into it.
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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2019, 10:03:40 AM »

....DG never came into it.
That's my understanding of it too, Richard.

...The prevailing style of B/C playing was developed in the 1950s by Paddy O Brien...
What was the prevailing tuning before that? Was it C/C#?
I'm interested partly because one argument for the popularity of the key of C in East Anglian music was due to the sole availabilty of two-row instruments in C/C# or one-rows in C.
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richard.fleming

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2019, 10:31:59 AM »

I think you are right, Steve,  that C/C# was around, though in fact Paddy O'Brien played a G/G# in the Lough Derg Ceili band until he got his first B/C box in the 1930s. I think the Wyper brothers in Scotland are generally credited with getting the BC system going.
And while respect is due to Peter Kennedy of the revivalist English Folk Dance and Song Society, one has to ask why, when deciding to order a batch of squuezeboxes from Hagström  in Darlington, he did not spare the time to investigate Scotland and Ireland with their very vital traditional music culture, to see how button accordion playing was developing there, before inventing the DG. I'd love to know what Hagström's advice was, and whether he listened to it..
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 11:33:51 AM by richard.fleming »
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Old Paolo Sopranis in C#/D and D/D#

Anahata

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2019, 11:24:32 AM »

Just for interest look at the link Steve provided....there's a bit more background there than the snippet I quoted.

I have done, and I still think they meant D/G. The main post content uses "D/G" several times.
The quote from Brian Hayden says "G/D [sic]" implying that wasn't strictly correct. Brian Hayden is a concertina man, and "G/D" is the correct designation for an Anglo concertina in those keys, so the mistake is understandable.
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Stiamh

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2019, 11:56:51 AM »

One has to ask why, when deciding to order a batch of squuezeboxes from Hagström  in Darlington, he did not spare the time to investigate Scotland and Ireland with their very vital traditional music culture, to see how button accordion playing was developing there, before inventing the DG. I'd love to know what Hagström's advice was, and whether he listened to it.

I think Kennedy was pretty well aware of traditional music practice in both Scotland and Ireland. But if I understand the timeline correctly, he hit on the idea of a D/G before Paddy O'Brien's 1953 (was it?) recordings of Sally Gardens/Yellow Tinker etc. took the Irish-music world by storm.

The other question one might ponder is, what would the situation be today had Kennedy not pursued his idea, or had he listened to discouraging advice from others. Would morris teams up and down England be dancing to tunes in C and F? Or to fiddle and pipe & tabor? Would hundreds of English musicians have tried the B/C and given up, the way some do today?  >:E

But don't forget, they already had the C/C# floating around, and D/D# too, and yet D/G took the English-music world storm, at least gradually. So you have to give Kennedy credit with coming up with what was apparently needed, or filling a gap in the market.
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Theo

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2019, 12:37:10 PM »

The other question one might ponder is, what would the situation be today had Kennedy not pursued his idea, or had he listened to discouraging advice from others.

I like to think that Kennedy missed an opportunity by not choosing AD for English music, still fiddle friendly, and a much more box friendly pitch avoiding the not very usable top end of the high G row.
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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2019, 03:30:46 PM »

I like to think that Kennedy missed an opportunity by not choosing AD for English music, still fiddle friendly, and a much more box friendly pitch avoiding the not very usable top end of the high G row.
But perhaps not so good for English music in the key of G as much of the repertoire is, and was in those days too. Especially in the south of England.
Also, much Welsh music is in the key of G.
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richard.fleming

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2019, 03:52:46 PM »


I think Kennedy was pretty well aware of traditional music practice in both Scotland and Ireland. But if I understand the timeline correctly, he hit on the idea of a D/G before Paddy O'Brien's 1953 (was it?) recordings of Sally Gardens/Yellow Tinker etc. took the Irish-music world by storm

By 1953 Paddy O'Brien had been playing BC for 20 years, I believe. And the Hohner Double Ray Black dot, always in B/C,  had been around for a similar length of time.
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Old Paolo Sopranis in C#/D and D/D#

Peadar

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2019, 08:05:37 PM »

Sometimes you just have to admit that you were wrong...but as we say in Gaelic "ma 's e breug bhuam b'e breug thugam" and  somewhere on the net there is (or was recently) an article stating that the Irish switched from the "old" D/G to the chromatic.

But having found a (University of Limerick) PhD Thesis on the Social History of the Irish Button Accordion I am now totally convinced that the Irish two row  was always a chromatic....which in itself  goes some way to explaining why in Ireland "melodeon" means a one row and only a one row. By the same token I can choose to think of the English two row as a double barrelled melodeon.   
 
http://hdl.handle.net/10344/1616

Enjoy!
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folkloristmark

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2019, 08:20:40 PM »

I have often heard DG reffered to as the old irish key I think its right and pre dates the war and the history over here.
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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2019, 08:34:43 PM »

Quote
I like to think that Kennedy missed an opportunity by not choosing AD for English music, still fiddle friendly, and a much more box friendly pitch avoiding the not very usable top end of the high G row.

I am not convinced that the A/D would have been particularly fiddle friendly. The issue being that the Fiddle strings run up in 5ths G D A E, with the low note G below middle C. The (single octave) diatonic scales of G, D, A on the fiddle are all fingered identically G on the G&D strings, D on D&A and A on and E. I appreciate my standard of musicianship is low but nonetheless these are the basic fingerings of the fiddle and the functional range of cheaper fiddles is pretty much two octaves.

The A/D like the D/G is an inversion of the fiddle pitches...though I suppose that matters less if you have a bass voice in there.
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Steve C.

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2019, 01:08:18 PM »

Theo has identified a great, historical missed opportunity and both myself and my dog agree that A/D would have been a service to mankind personkind.
When I (very occasionally) play in (the quiet far background) of an OT session here in States on the Streb, A/D is very nice.  Plus it blends in nicely with a nice bottom end.
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The Oul' Boy

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2019, 05:19:56 PM »

I was over in Tyrone again this week, and here's a picture of my dad's old 'Waeldmaster', bought in Omagh over 65 years ago for something like £8 if I remember what he told me right (a lot of money that time, especially to small farmers). Now that I actually know a bit more about how melodeons work, it's a semitone apart box, probably BC traditional lay-out (playing Lillibulero on it, the equivalent of the single C natural you need playing in D on the DG box is the 5th button on the inside row, which would be G natural, so I think that's right), no equivalent that I could find to the low E on a DG box on the outside row when playing in G, which made playing various tunes on the row (e.g. Danny Boy) difficult. Anyway, it is still more or less in tune and has a lovely light action with quite small buttons (though it is heavier than my Pokerwork) and a sweet, mellow sound, though shoulder straps are badly missed, and the bellows are as leaky as a sieve. Nice to give it a go though, but I missed being able to cross between the rows to get notes in the same key, and the bass was a mystery.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 07:46:33 PM by The Oul' Boy »
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Warren M
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Peadar

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2019, 11:25:03 PM »

#54 - Thanks for posting the photo, the information and the back story.
Peadar
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richard.fleming

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2019, 07:56:19 AM »

I missed being able to cross between the rows to get notes in the same key

Puzzled by this. BC players play across the rows all the time.
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The Oul' Boy

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2019, 02:24:55 PM »

I missed being able to cross between the rows to get notes in the same key

Puzzled by this. BC players play across the rows all the time.

Of course they do, I'm just referring to the difficulties of being a DG player playing a BC box and having to stick to one row as any row crossing I know doesn't work in the same way.
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Warren M
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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2019, 05:16:53 PM »

The other question one might ponder is, what would the situation be today had Kennedy not pursued his idea, or had he listened to discouraging advice from others.

I like to think that Kennedy missed an opportunity by not choosing AD for English music, still fiddle friendly, and a much more box friendly pitch avoiding the not very usable top end of the high G row.

I think Kennedy knew what he was about. My analysis of 11,000 tunes from historical English sources puts the key of Amaj well down the list, well behind G+D, and even behind C+F. http://www.cpartington.plus.com/Links/A%20Number%20of%20Supporting%20Items/Keys.html

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Re: Buying advice for a beginner
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2019, 06:32:30 PM »

I'm a little surprised the D/G melodeon never took off in the United States, where G and D seem to be the most common keys for American traditional tunes as well. Instead it seems like C/F and G/C are the most commonly found configurations for old Hohners in the US.
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