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Author Topic: Hello from the Netherlands  (Read 870 times)

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PukkaJ

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Hello from the Netherlands
« on: August 13, 2019, 12:46:08 PM »

Hi, I've been lurking for some time here and just thought it'd be nice to say hello.

I'm a 49 yr old former professional guitarist and teacher (classical and jazz) who is utterly and completely burned out on guitar. I've sold all my instruments and paraphernalia in a final decision to break with my guitaristic past (though I kept one acoustic) when I came across the melodeon a couple of months ago.

My wife (a clarinetist) wanted to rent a piano accordion and take some lessons, as she loves to try new instruments every now and then. I came along to the shop and there were some melodeons on the shelves as well. I had never seen these instruments nor was I aware of their existence!
The shop owner picked one off the shelf for me and once she explained to me how the single action /bi-sonoric thing worked I could quickly and rather intuitively play some simple tunes. I instantly fell in love with this quirky little box and as my wife rented her PA, I went home with a rented Hohner pokerwork. This was in May this year and the smile hasn't left my face since!

Fast forward, I now own a Serenellini Gold LMM GC and a Saltarelle Bouebe CF that I bought used. I play them every day and I haven't had this much fun with any instrument in literally decades! Playing the melodeon gave me back what I unfortunately lost along the way: true joy in making music!

I don't take lessons as I find I'm quite able to reflect upon myself and also currently don't want the obligation, but I bought book 2 and 3 by Yann Dour to give me some direction.
I like French and Breton music, but also enjoy English and Scottish tunes (and even some Irish ones  (:))

That said, I enjoy this friendly forum very much and, though I don't feel like recording myself (yet), I also like the Tune Of the Month series. There's so much to learn!
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 01:29:01 PM »

Welcome to the melodeon world Pukkaj.
Glad you've found the way to re-kindle your love of music by playing melodeon.
Good news!
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Gary Chapin

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 01:36:02 PM »

Welcome! I also came to melodeon after burning out on another instrument (flute and woodwinds). Melodeon improved my quality of life!
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Stockaryd

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 03:18:36 PM »

Welcome!
 My experience of melodeon is the same.
   But don't forget the Scandinavian tunes. Or all the old folk songs.  And have fun!

 (and check this    https://www.ggms.nl/sjoukjedebruin.html    )
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Eshed

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 04:57:54 PM »

Welcome!
I also played guitar before jumping head first into the box, thankfully before getting burnt out.
The intuitive nature is enchanting.

This was in May this year and the smile hasn't left my face since!
I do recommend recording yourself even if you don't share it. At the very least you'd see if your melodeon face is truly a smile  >:E
Seriously though, it lets you analyse your playing and find places to improve and as a bonus it's nice to take a snapshot you can look back on a year etc. from now and pat yourself on the back for how much you've improved.
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I'm playing all the wrong notes but not necessarily in the wrong order.

PukkaJ

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 05:21:31 PM »

Hi Esched,

You are right and I have always encouraged my own students to do so, but for now having fun is more important to me than analysing etc, which is what caused me to almost fall out of love with making music in the first place. If anything, I have to unlearn analyzing and learn to play just for the heck of it  (:)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 08:30:44 PM by PukkaJ »
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 05:23:34 PM »

12 years ago I schlepped off to Whitby with two guitars, a 6 string and a 12 string. This year I'm heading for Whitby with 2 melodeons, a D/G and a G/C.  I still play guitar occasionally, and have one within easy reach, but I prefer, and enjoy my amateur melodeon playing.

Sir John
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 05:26:28 PM »

If you have re-energised yourself with the box then I'd continue riding the wave of enjoyment.
You can always get serious later .... if you want to ....  :|||:
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

2rightfeet

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 11:02:53 AM »

I am slightly surprised that you managed not to know that melodeons existed. I have the impression there are quite a few melodeon-based festivals in the Netherlands - see the news page on https://www.harmonicahoek.nl/ 
But I guess that the level of interest and exposure varies a lot from one part of the country to another.
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PukkaJ

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2019, 12:15:41 PM »

I am slightly surprised that you managed not to know that melodeons existed. I have the impression there are quite a few melodeon-based festivals in the Netherlands - see the news page on https://www.harmonicahoek.nl/ 
But I guess that the level of interest and exposure varies a lot from one part of the country to another.

Well...it is not an instrument you can study on any conservatorium or regular music school, save for a few private ones. I suppose the same goes for a lot of other non-mainstream instruments as well, say Singing Saw or Theremin, so if you're not into folk in any way you're just not very likely to come across the melodeon. Add to that the fact that traditional music in itself is pretty marginal here in NL. Sure, there are a lot of people who like it and attend festivals and the like, but there is not much exposure in the mainstream media. Dutch traditional music is not part of our current cultural identity in the way that Irish music is in Ireland (even the Folk festivals in NL lean heavily on ITM).

There are some melodeon festivals all right (I've even attended one), but it's also not like the attendance is in the hundreds. Mainly older people too. The melodeon is supposedly a very popular instrument in the corner of the Netherlands where I live, but even here it does not have much exposure. Most who do know the instrument are older people who tend to associate it with sea chanties...

It's a marginal, perhaps even somewhat anachronistic, instrument but that's ok though...I'm not in it for the money  (:)

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Mark Leue

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 01:02:44 PM »

I think the melodeon could easily have gone that way in England but for the Morris revival and the influence of lively traditional music in the rest of Britain. It's dance in general that drives traditional music.
Here in the US it's pretty much unknown outside of Tex Mex or Cajun circles, unless you count Anglophiles, and we are not exactly a large bunch. Even our folk dance scenes have very few melodeons outside Morris.
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Ken McAlack

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 07:13:47 PM »

Welcome Pukka! I live in the US.  I'm relatively new here myself but I have already learned a lot from asking a few questions and reading older posts.
Just started delving into G/C tuning. There are many members here with great youtube videos in many different tunings.

There is another member here from the Netherlands. Janneke Slagter, who plays a G/C and an A/D melodeon.
She has many very interesting offerings on youtube under the name "melodeon".
This is a sample, if I am allowed to attach it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8T9LiRwoMo

Hope that you are enjoying playing this great instrument!

Ken






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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2019, 12:31:40 AM »

... Janneke Slagter, who plays a G/C and an A/D melodeon.
She has many very interesting offerings on youtube under the name "melodeon".
This is a sample, if I am allowed to attach it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8T9LiRwoMo

That is gorgeous. Thank you Janneke and thank you, Ken, for highlighting it.
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Greg Smith
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Winston Smith

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2019, 11:05:34 AM »

Lovely playing indeed! Thanks.
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PukkaJ

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2019, 11:08:37 AM »

Very nice, thank you!
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Ken McAlack

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2019, 04:02:34 PM »

Here are a couple more of Janneke's videos. I love the filming as much as the playing. Not to mention her playing tunes of my favorite composer. 8-)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz61YFOvIEA&list=PLr9ay4D0kFvawnXKZmJXPjgfFs0AzIJVA&index=4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t1iPdD1xHU&list=PLr9ay4D0kFvawnXKZmJXPjgfFs0AzIJVA&index=3

Enjoy,
Ken
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catty

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2019, 06:59:46 PM »

Like you Pukka, I spent the first 35 years with classical, flamenco and every other style of guitar.  I wore out my thumbs and had to switch.  For performance efficacy I took up fiddling and accordians; I used to haul an amp and I was tired of that!

I love playing boxes - they're just so squeezy fun.  :||:
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Peadar

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Re: Hello from the Netherlands
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2019, 12:46:03 AM »

Welcome to Melnet Pukka.....Like you I didn't know what a melodeon is until a few months ago. I live in a part of Scotland where piano accordions are common, but melodeons are never seen in public. However that may be about to change....
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