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Author Topic: E/F  (Read 449 times)

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Mike Hirst

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E/F
« on: March 20, 2019, 06:46:29 PM »

This has been niggling me for some time now...

Several years back a semitone box was sold through this site. IIRC possibly Eric Martin, two maybe three stops, spoon bass, growl box. I've been searching for the original sale, but can't find it. I'd be interested to find out who bought this and maybe have a conversation.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 06:58:16 PM by Mike Hirst »
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pgroff

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Re: E/F
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 02:01:27 PM »

I'm very interested in this system too Mike, will be following your thread

I think Lars Hansen tuned up a Hohner to this tuning, and Martin Connolly mentioned he wanted to build a Kincora in E/F.

It would be the box to use "to play in C#D style based around F as a home pitch, instead of D.," 

So for Irish music it would go well with whistles and flutes pitched in F as the "6 finger note."  Usually that would be understood as "playing up in pitch by a minor third," i.e. 3 semitones.

I hear from Martin that there is a trend in Ireland of some box players using a DD# box, but using "BC fingering" to play with F as a home pitch, inspired by the late Finbarr Dwyer.

Back to the E/F system, it would also be nice for playing some tunes that are commonly played in G, but a step lower ( "C pitch").

Around the turn of the nineteenth century, some Italian 3-row boxes had melody rows tuned to   CFE or variants of that system, with the basic pattern of the rows in intervals comparable to the GCB mixte accordions.  I've now studied CFE accordions from San Giovanni in Croce (Cremona), from Stradella, and from Castelfidardo. Most have a stradella bass system, but some have diatonic basses. I think all the CFE instruments that I've seen so far date before 1914, or at least have the steel reeds on brass frames that were more common in that time period among top quality instruments. The CFE system for melody rows would be related to EF if you conceptualize both of them in terms of a home row in F and an E row for the accidentals.

PG
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 02:09:34 PM by pgroff »
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Stiamh

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Re: E/F
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2019, 02:36:15 PM »

I hear from Martin that there is a trend in Ireland of some box players using a DD# box, but using "BC fingering" to play with F as a home pitch, inspired by the late Finbarr Dwyer.

Slight diversion, but quite a few tunes recorded by Tony MacMahon turn out to be in keys that can only be explained by the same combination of system and fingering.

Slightly more on topic, but of no help to Mike in his search, this from Steve Chambers...

Quote from: Stephen Chambers
I cannot emphasise enough the perceived "Irish pitch problem", and how the "modern" B/C style offered a real solution to it. In the early 1950's there were still big problems playing with accordions, and many key systems being tried. Reg Hall has told me of seeing an accordion, in the window of a South London shop at the time, with a sign reading (something like) "At last, the solution to the Irish key problem : E/E#"...

... from his famous concertina.net forum thread on the history of half-step boxes in Irish music.
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Mike Hirst

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Re: E/F
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2019, 04:36:15 PM »

I'm very interested in this system too Mike, will be following your thread

I think Lars Hansen tuned up a Hohner to this tuning, and Martin Connolly mentioned he wanted to build a Kincora in E/F.

It would be the box to use "to play in C#D style based around F as a home pitch, instead of D.," 

So for Irish music it would go well with whistles and flutes pitched in F as the "6 finger note."  Usually that would be understood as "playing up in pitch by a minor third," i.e. 3 semitones.

I hear from Martin that there is a trend in Ireland of some box players using a DD# box, but using "BC fingering" to play with F as a home pitch, inspired by the late Finbarr Dwyer.

Back to the E/F system, it would also be nice for playing some tunes that are commonly played in G, but a step lower ( "C pitch").

Around the turn of the nineteenth century, some Italian 3-row boxes had melody rows tuned to   CFE or variants of that system, with the basic pattern of the rows in intervals comparable to the GCB mixte accordions.  I've now studied CFE accordions from San Giovanni in Croce (Cremona), from Stradella, and from Castelfidardo. Most have a stradella bass system, but some have diatonic basses. I think all the CFE instruments that I've seen so far date before 1914, or at least have the steel reeds on brass frames that were more common in that time period among top quality instruments. The CFE system for melody rows would be related to EF if you conceptualize both of them in terms of a home row in F and an E row for the accidentals.

PG

These are all useful references. The instrument I was asking after was my first experience of this system. It is useful to know that there are other examples. My own exploration of semitone systems has taken me down many different paths. I now own instruments in G/G#, B/C, C#/D, G/C/B and D/D#. I have reached a point now where I can play any system in any key, with reasonable fluidity. All systems offer advantages over others and all are equally flawed. My own preference is with D/D#. I have a Hohner Primatona, with wide (Scottish) musette that I use for ceilidh work and a similar instrument with a closer tuning for songs and sessions.

When I started working with semitone systems I was looking for something that would allow me chromatic possibilities, with good harmonic range. The actuality is that I'm finding that I can play the melodies and harmonies that I want using the right hand only. I'd be happy with a simple two spoon bass, or maybe a three button majore minore setup.

E/F feels like it could be something that I could work with. B/C fingering would give me G, C, and Am; C#/D fingering would give me F, Bb and Gm; and D/D# fingering would give me B, E, A and Bm. That's a good spread for a two row instrument.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 06:25:26 PM by Mike Hirst »
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