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Are we at a point of change?

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Thrupenny Bit:
There's been several threads recently about 2.5 row / 12 basses, Mory's etc, usually looking for advice as to the best layout.
This has led to some very interesting points beyond the nuts and bolts of 'which button where ' broadly discussing our repertoire currently being played and has led me to thinking about things.

One comment really hit the mark, in as much as English music is very much 'key led'.
We are tied firmly to the 2 row 8 bass DG melodeon with its' relative minor key. If a tune doesn't fit we have choices of either transposing it to make it fit onto the box or simply pass it by and go for another tune. There are tons of tunes, so that's a valid alternative!

As the essence of these threads were about 2.5r/12b boxes and best layouts I was wondering if we are starting to see more of a divergence to accommodate new tunes being thrown up by delving into old manuscripts.
Venturing into old manuscripts and digging up new tunes seems to be becoming a more regular occurrence.
My own journey has accidentally led me into the Buttrey Manuscript and becoming aware of other manuscripts available on the Village Music Project website.
The emergence of Leveret over the last few years seems to embody this seemingly new prominence of delving into our old English manuscripts, throwing up tunes that haven't been commonly played before, sometimes in 'non DG' keys.
Combine it with threads into 'what layout for a 2.5r12b' and therefore needing the ability to play in more keys, I wonder if we are starting to see a divergence of repertoire and the melodeons designed to accommodate more keys.
Or am I over thinking this?
Discuss  (:)
now needing more tea  ;)


Winston Smith:
I imagine that Mr Fleming (among others) might be along any minute to say "I told you so!" And not without some justification, either.

I wonder if among the postings you refer to you include a recent one of mine, which included:
" my point was that your choice of instrument (eg melodeon) or tuning, not only affects how well you play the music, but over time may also change the nature of the music that gets played and thus affect the tradition. If, for example, there are tunes in English traditional music that can't be played on a DG box they will likely not get played, or will get transposed, and I suppose transposing is not always an improvement."
Gratifying if so, as I think I'm generally regarded here as a bit irritating, with my enthusiasm for semi-tone boxes being seen as an implicit criticism of other tunings. Certainly I think that an instrument with a limited range is likely to constrict the tradition and maybe tend towards eliminating from it some interesting tunes.

Modified to add: Winston, you're a genius! Or I'm very predictable...

Winston Smith:
Both, obviously, haha!

As a DG player I also think that the DG box has been a blessing and a curse in English music.  It has widened the interest and given a relatively easy entry point for new players, but at the same time it has had an effect on repertoire and particular on keys.  In addition it’s become so popular that it has had a dominating effect on the soundscape.  I’m fortunate to live in a part of England where DG players are in a minority, so session’s that I enjoy frequently include tunes in Bb F C A E Gm Dm F#m and a few others as well as D and G.  It’s wonderful to have such variety and it also encourages me to push the boundaries of my playing, and more often,  to enjoy listening to a lot of great music.


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