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Author Topic: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss  (Read 1977 times)

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bellowpin

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2020, 09:21:53 PM »

This seems like a way of approaching the B/C box from the general direction of the one row....without needing a brain transplant to also play an A/D or any other fourth apart box.
      at first there seems to be a gulf between the two system types ,(semitone and fourth apart ) . the connections are there when you look at their one-row roots .  as the fourth apart systems expand to include a row of accidentals,    new connections and parallels appear.
 modern style French music seems to require a G C +accidentals .  what started out as a instrument keyed G, as changed, with  the clever stu
ff being played mainly  C+ accidentals.     C. C# semitone if you see what what I mean.     there is nothing new under the sun!!
    brian
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richard.fleming

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2020, 07:51:35 AM »

way back in the day, Mrs Crowley of Kenmare, Co. Kerry played her Double Ray for me. She played the tune on the B row with C basses.
An acquired taste!

And what exactly is that anecdote telling us? You met someone who didn't know how to play the box properly?
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richard.fleming

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2020, 08:07:40 AM »

Both have two rows, with each row playing in a single key; so both devices can clearly play in at least two keys, DG for a DG device, and BC for a BC device - so this already says a semtone box is more that the original question, e.g. it has a B row - and this can be taken as the main row.


I don't think it is at all helpful to look at the semitone boxes from the peculiar perspective of the DG player.  A B/C box is not used to play in B or C, or almost never. Once you have learned and understood the fingering it becomes a single keyboard, with different fingering patterns for different keys. None of the DG preoccupations like ('helper rows', 'chin end accidentals', 'fourth button start' and so on) have any relevance.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 08:09:17 AM by richard.fleming »
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Mike Hirst

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2020, 08:16:10 AM »

Once you have learned and understood the fingering it becomes a single keyboard, with different fingering patterns for different keys. None of the DG preoccupations like ('helper rows', 'chin end accidentals', 'fourth button start' and so on) have any relevance.

Richard, I could not agree more.

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2020, 09:36:32 AM »

I don't think it is at all helpful to look at the semitone boxes from the peculiar perspective of the DG player.  A B/C box is not used to play in B or C, or almost never. Once you have learned and understood the fingering it becomes a single keyboard, with different fingering patterns for different keys. None of the DG preoccupations like ('helper rows', 'chin end accidentals', 'fourth button start' and so on) have any relevance.
Oh - but we love our peculiar perspectives and preoccupations. They give us something to talk about at parties, in pubs, and in sessions. They justify 90% of the existence of this board, allow joyous and athletic displays like this to thrive and such beautiful, sensuous, occasions like this to suddenly happen.
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Rees

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2020, 10:18:59 AM »

way back in the day, Mrs Crowley of Kenmare, Co. Kerry played her Double Ray for me. She played the tune on the B row with C basses.
An acquired taste!

And what exactly is that anecdote telling us? You met someone who didn't know how to play the box properly?

Well, she was about 80 years old and had been playing all her life. Apart from playing the wrong basses she was quite a good player.
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2020, 10:22:18 AM »

Both have two rows, with each row playing in a single key; so both devices can clearly play in at least two keys, DG for a DG device, and BC for a BC device - so this already says a semtone box is more that the original question, e.g. it has a B row - and this can be taken as the main row.


I don't think it is at all helpful to look at the semitone boxes from the peculiar perspective of the DG player.  A B/C box is not used to play in B or C, or almost never. Once you have learned and understood the fingering it becomes a single keyboard, with different fingering patterns for different keys. None of the DG preoccupations like ('helper rows', 'chin end accidentals', 'fourth button start' and so on) have any relevance.

True in Ireland but not so among musicians from the English tradition.
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Helena Handcart

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2020, 10:41:00 AM »

I don't think it is at all helpful to look at the semitone boxes from the peculiar perspective of the DG player. 

Quite possibly no more relevant or helpful than it is to look at D/G, or other fourth-apart tunings, from the peculiar perspective of the semitone box player but that doesn't seem to stop people from doing so, live and let live perhaps?
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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2020, 11:19:01 AM »

Once you have learned and understood the fingering it becomes a single keyboard, with different fingering patterns for different keys.

This.
They are different instruments. (and I know, because I've played both systems.)
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richard.fleming

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2020, 11:38:37 AM »

quote
True in Ireland but not so among musicians from the English tradition.

Is it possible that in Ireland for many years there was a vital tradition with many accomplished players to listen to on the radio and on the old 78s and some sort of infrastructure of ceilidh bands and recording studios so there was a standard set for people to follow (in terms of the keys to play in) when  they picked up and tried to play the box, even if they had no musical knowledge. I've had an Irish BC player try to explain the BC system to me terms of 'mixing in a few notes from this row if you can't get them on that row', and he was a good player who played in the standard key for whatever tune he was playing.

I wonder if rural players in, say, East Anglia, who picked up the box and learned to knock out tunes on it without much support from a wider musical tradition, had very little understanding of keys and suchlike. So if a box had a C and a B row  row they probably played in C or B, and used that fingering for any melodeon they came across, however it was tuned. And, with a nod to Peadar here, I don't suppose there were many shops in England selling Wyper's tutor books.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 11:47:55 AM by richard.fleming »
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Howard Jones

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2020, 11:45:35 AM »

Perhaps I've misunderstood the OP (I play 4th-apart) but surely his suggestion applies only if you're playing a semitone box in one of its home keys?  Viewed that way, you have the home key plus all the accidentals on a 'helper row'.  However in practice these boxes are usually played in different keys, meaning the whole keyboard has to be regarded as one. Or have I missed something?

The same can be said for 4th-apart boxes, where the two rows offer alternative choices for most of the notes.  I disagree with George when he suggests that this used mainly by continental players, many modern players of English music use cross-rowing extensively and treat the keyboard as a whole, rather than as two one-rows.

Lester

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2020, 11:48:12 AM »

I wonder if rural players in, say, East Anglia, who picked up the box and learned to knock out tunes on it without much support from a wider musical tradition, had very little understanding of keys and suchlike. So if a box had a C and a B row  row they probably played in C or B, and used that fingering for any melodeon they came across, however it was tuned.


Many of the old players from East Anglia did more than 'knock out tunes'. I realise that in your view anything not ITM is substandard but please don't disparage other's traditions.

richard.fleming

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2020, 11:50:50 AM »

'Home key' is another of those DG concepts that are quite irrelevant when talking about semitone boxes. Semitone players don't think in those terms. :M
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richard.fleming

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2020, 11:55:45 AM »


Many of the old players from East Anglia did more than 'knock out tunes'. I realise that in your view anything not ITM is substandard but please don't disparage other's traditions.

Please don't misunderstand me. I used the phrase 'knock out tunes' to describe the early stages of the learning process - you pick up a box and try to knock out a tune on it without much thought at that stage about keys and so on. I had no intention to disparage anyone, so please accept my apologies even if, in terms of my actual motives, I have nothing to apologise about.
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Howard Jones

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2020, 12:02:25 PM »

'Home key' is another of those DG concepts that are quite irrelevant when talking about semitone boxes. Semitone players don't think in those terms. :M

They do, in the sense that they describe their boxes as B/C, C/C#. C#/D, etc, based on the home keys of the rows, but I agree not when it comes to playing.

However that was sort of my point.  The OP's suggestion only makes sense (to me) if looked at from the perspective of home keys, but that is not how these instruments are usually played.  And whilst I don't play a semi-tone box, I assume players think of a key in terms of the notes of the key itself, and not as accidentals to the keys of the rows.

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2020, 12:21:19 PM »

'Home key' is another of those DG concepts that are quite irrelevant when talking about semitone boxes. Semitone players don't think in those terms. :M
Some might.
I play D/C# and consider the D row as the main / home key row , every key played gets played mainly on the D row or with its notes for different keys. Using the other row for a few reversals and accidentals.
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The Oul' Boy

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2020, 12:28:40 PM »

If I'm recalling right from my youth in Tyrone, my dad and visitors who played his melodeon when they came on their ceilidh largely played on the row on his semitone box. None of them were fancy musicians, in fact I suspect they had no training whatsoever, but they certainly enjoyed 'knocking out' tunes on it. My dad doesn't play anymore, due to age and the state of the box (leaky as a sieve), but I might try to persuade him to give it a wee go to see if my memory is right.
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David Summers

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2020, 01:30:00 PM »

Both have two rows, with each row playing in a single key; so both devices can clearly play in at least two keys, DG for a DG device, and BC for a BC device - so this already says a semtone box is more that the original question, e.g. it has a B row - and this can be taken as the main row.


I don't think it is at all helpful to look at the semitone boxes from the peculiar perspective of the DG player.  A B/C box is not used to play in B or C, or almost never. Once you have learned and understood the fingering it becomes a single keyboard, with different fingering patterns for different keys. None of the DG preoccupations like ('helper rows', 'chin end accidentals', 'fourth button start' and so on) have any relevance.
I totally agree with this - for me as a BC player, the concept of helper keys is a tad alien. So I'm not sure what the original question is, e.g. in when a button is called a "helper button" what does this mean?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 04:24:20 PM by David Summers »
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Helena Handcart

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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2020, 01:37:08 PM »

I totally agree with this - for me as a BC player, the concept of helper keys is a tad alien. So I'm not sure what the original question is, e.g. in when a botton is called a "helper button" what does this mean?

Hey, I'm a D/G player and the concept is not on my radar either  :|||: :M
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Re: A Semitone Box Is A 1 Row With A Helper Row: Discuss
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2020, 01:41:00 PM »

As a beginner single row player I think approaching the semitone box as a one row with a helper row is a valid concept.  My original box is a D box with a few accidentals.  The G# and C natural being the most useful for playing in G and A.  I wanted a smaller travel box that I could practice on so I selected a D/C# box.  The accidentals fall in nearly the same place and allow me to transfer my patterns between the two boxes.  At some point I can learn to use the D/C# box as a semitone instrument and take advantage of the chromatic nature of that system.

So from a single row players view point I agree that a semitone box can be viewed as a single row with a helper row, as long as one of the rows is in a key you normally play on a single row. 

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