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Author Topic: B/C - only for Irish ??  (Read 6385 times)

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george garside

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2010, 09:24:32 PM »

no time like the present Jon!

george
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Stiamh

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2010, 10:16:12 PM »

4 fingerings for all 12 major keys, favouring/disadvantaging all keys equally. Ditto for minors, and no wasted notes.

Yes, Jon, please put the layout up. Based on past experience we all love opining about keyboard concepts for not-yet-built boxes and you can be pretty sure we'll give it a good mauling.  (:)
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Owen Woods

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2010, 12:28:27 AM »

Hmmm...it's high time I built the fabled Loomes Chromatic 2 row.

4 fingerings for all 12 major keys, favouring/disadvantaging all keys equally. Ditto for minors, and no wasted notes.  I'll have to stick the layout up here at some point.

Cheers,
J

Please do, it's always good fun (:)
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Andy Simpson

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2010, 01:38:34 AM »

4 fingerings for all 12 major keys, favouring/disadvantaging all keys equally. Ditto for minors, and no wasted notes.  I'll have to stick the layout up here at some point.

Ah yes, you were threatening to give me a diagram of it at Sidmouth.  ;D

Come on then, let's have a look.
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Howard Jones

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2010, 09:47:32 AM »

Going back to the OP, you said you were interested in the B/C because it has the same notes as your C/G anglo.  Forgive me for saying so, but I don't think that's a good reason.

The melodeon is a different instrument, and should be thought of as such.  Playing anglo will give you a head start as there are some similarities, but there are also differences, in particular the relationship between the two rows, which is different from anglo on both B/C and D/G.  The cross-rowing and right-hand chord patterns are therefore different.  You can't take the relationship too far.

I decide between playing a tune on D/G melodeon or anglo based on the different 'feel' each instrument gives.  Of course, for the more chromatic tunes the notes just aren't there on melodeon, which might force a decision in favour of the anglo.  Otherwise, I decide based on what feels best to play, and what sounds best.  Each instrument has its own character, and some tunes are better suited to one or the other.

Whichever system you choose, you have to accept that the melodeon is a limited instrument.  The D/G is limited in the keys it can play, the B/C is chromatic but limited in what chords it can play.  Part of the pleasure (and frustration) is finding ways to work around these limitations.

The deciding factor should be (imo): why do you want to play melodeon?   For me, the inspiration for learning an instrument usually comes from hearing someone play and thinking "I want to make that sound".  Who makes the sound which inspires you?  Find out what they play, and get that, otherwise you'll be disappointed.  You'll struggle to sound like John Kirkpatrick or Andy Cutting on a B/C, and you'll likewise struggle to sound like Sharron Shannon on a D/G.

Rob2Hook

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2010, 10:28:57 AM »

Did I miss something?  Nobody seems to have mentioned that Jimmy Shand started his recording career on a BC, long before he persuaded Hohner to build his "British Chromatic", the BCC# with Stradella bass.  The early recordings have a lovely earthy feel, more ceilidh in contrast to his later White Heather Club style.

Rob.
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george garside

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2010, 01:26:46 PM »

indeed!  - as far as I know Shands early  (1933) recordings were on 2 row  2 voice 36 bass hohnerl organola  & from sometime in '34 onwards  on 3 row 2 voice 60 bass l'organola, untill the shand special (shand morino prototype in effect)   arrived in 1939.

george
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Stiamh

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2010, 01:49:18 PM »

Good advice, Howard. C/G anglo and B/C accolodeon have a C row in common, and all the other notes somewhere else, but as you say I'd think that the relationship between the rows is sufficiently different to make them very dissimilar animals in terms of the brain rewiring required. (Of course there are people who play both very well, for example John Williams of Chicago).

You'll struggle to sound like John Kirkpatrick or Andy Cutting on a B/C, and you'll likewise struggle to sound like Sharron Shannon on a D/G.

On your last point, it's also fair to say that getting a halfstep box is no guarantee that sounding like Sharon Shannon won't be a struggle... likewise for JK and AC with a D/G.   ;)
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Nick Hudis

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2010, 06:14:17 PM »

Quote
If you play in keys with more than one sharp then a G/C is a bad idea.

True up to a point, but Bernard Loffet's G/C+ goes quite nicely in D and A majors. That came as quite a suprise to me when I started experimenting.
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Nick

ceemonster

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2010, 11:45:23 PM »

[I keep reading advice that the B/C is only suitable for Irish music and that players struggle to play other music with it.] if you can give an indication of what other genre(s) you have in mind, i am a b/c player who also plays anglo concertina and unisonoric accordions, and might able to offer two cents, which given my prolixity is oftem, like, fifty cents.... >:E    you say you're not thinking of Morris here ( I've never wanted to play it, either), so....which patches of ground were you thinking of grazing in?

semi-tone boxes like b/c and c#/d are technically speaking, fully chromatic (warning: ONLY on the treble side) and technically speaking can be played in any key. moreover, each semi-tone box has the exact number of keys which sound "push-pull" when played "on the row," and the exact number of keys which sound more "smooth" when played "across the rows" with more one-directional runs.  it's just a matter of, which keys, and they are different for each semi-tone box.

but that's not the only issue.  there's also things like, do you want to play genres that involve lots of chording on the right-hand melody side? push-pull boxes are not optimal for that.  do you want to play genres where the tradition of that genre is to have more bass activity going on than you can get out of the push-pull box?  two-row diatonic accordions are NOT fully chromatic on the bass side, and this can become extremely annoying in certain genres. do you want to play genres in which the phrasing is very fluid and legato, in keys you can't play smoothly on your push-pull box? these are all relevant factors....in addition to irish, i am also deep into tango, paris musette, roumanian, klezmer, balkan, etc. yes, you "can" arrange simplified melodies from these genres on a semi-tone box. however,  these genres are expressed most fully on unisonorics because of the chording you can get on the treble side and the fuller chromatics of the bass side....tango in particular would be pretty hard to do justice to on a two-row push-pull accordion because the heart of it are those syncopated marching bass chords...tango also tends to be heavily chorded on the treble side, though you can arrange it single-note quite nicely....but you still need those bass chords....so...what genres did you have in mind?



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Barry J

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2010, 11:56:29 PM »

I like to play Irish slow airs, shanties and sea songs and the occasional miscellaneous folk song (nothing specific, just whatever takes my fancy, but usually English or French).

I've taken the plunge and ordered a B/C so we will see what can be done.

I'm keen to explore what is possible with this instrument in comparison to the anglo concertina and will find my own method, much as I do with the concertina.

Its great fun to experiment making new sounds and playing with whatever chording or bass is possible.

I'm not interested in playing in sessions, groups, bands, etc. I just enjoy unwinding with a bit of porch playing.

I'm currently experimenting with the songs of Chigley, Camberwick Green and Trumpton  ;D
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ceemonster

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2010, 03:59:44 AM »

[I like to play Irish slow airs, shanties and sea songs and the occasional miscellaneous folk song]

i think most any two-row diatonic button accordion be it semi-tone or quint, would work wonderfully for all of the above.... :||:
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accordion criminal

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2010, 05:28:30 PM »

I like to play Irish slow airs, shanties and sea songs and the occasional miscellaneous folk song (nothing specific, just whatever takes my fancy, but usually English or French).

I've taken the plunge and ordered a B/C so we will see what can be done.

I'm keen to explore what is possible with this instrument in comparison to the anglo concertina and will find my own method, much as I do with the concertina.

Its great fun to experiment making new sounds and playing with whatever chording or bass is possible.

I'm not interested in playing in sessions, groups, bands, etc. I just enjoy unwinding with a bit of porch playing.

I'm currently experimenting with the songs of Chigley, Camberwick Green and Trumpton  ;D

When I first consulted with Michael Usui, the maker of Dancemaster accordions, I told him I like hornpipes, airs, waltzes, and I want to be able to play tunes with lots of accidentals and an occasional chromatic run. I was trying to decide whether to get a C#/D or a B/C. M. encouraged me to get the C#/D because I said I am a self-teacher. Otherwise, because at the time there seemed to be a plethora of tutorial material for B/C, I would have chosen that. If I want to play in D major, G lydian or ionian major, E dorian minor, and B minor, does one box have better left hand options than the other?
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Bill Young

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2010, 05:47:09 PM »


I've taken the plunge and ordered a B/C so we will see what can be done.

After the discussions in this and the other thread, it would be interesting to learn what you've decided to get.  :|||:

Barry J

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2010, 05:51:34 PM »

I got a lot of contradicting advice about makes and tuning, so went for the Morgane B/C in the end.

We'll see if the buttons fall off.

Some of us are destined to make our own mistakes in life, but my purchase was a little more informed than if I'd never found this forum.
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Chris Ryall

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2010, 08:33:52 AM »

I got a lot of contradicting advice about makes and tuning, so went for the Morgane B/C in the end.

It's been  said that the forum here is only held together by Theo's occasional casting vote!  But both systems work, are quite different, and I think we concurred (possibly a Melnet first?) that it goes well beyond the Emerald Isle.

Do enjoy your new box. A revisit to tell us how it worked out would be welcome, or better, stay with this community.  You'll get useful support from the excellent B/C players here, and soon enough develop your own views. Chris
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george garside

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2010, 09:38:54 AM »

enjoy the new box.  best just  think of it as a musical instrument & play any tunes from anywhere  that take your fancy.

george (:)
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Eoin

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2010, 11:59:18 PM »

Ha!  Another Morgane BCer - g'day mate! I've had my Morgane for about 9 months, played on average for 2hrs a day, and not lost a button yet, and, hey! I prefer it to my rather, nay, considerably more expensive box which is kept for special occasions (not likely to get beer spilt on it).  Now plays v fast and has lovely grunting bass.
Unless I'm mistaken, the idea that the DG is much better for bass accompaniment is based (sic) on the Morris situation where you are the band, and hence have to provide a fuller sound.  For us Celts, usually playing in session mode, we have a veritable horde of other instruments around us, many of which are exercising their grey cells to provide intriguing chordal accompaniment (eg. guitar, bouzouki, etc), so the humble box player had best not throw in more that which adds emphasis to the melody. 
If you are playing for your own pleasure, and a lot of us do that frequently under the guise of practice, then you can chuck in whatever you like. In my (limited, v limited) experience, using the bass notes and chords to support the melody, or to act as drones, can be very creative, and, dare I say it, much more so than just pushing out an oompah bass line.  Oh dear, better duck... ;D
Oh, and I also play the GC anglo.  What a clever little instrument that is!  But not really comparable to the BC - the anglo is much easier to play as there are so many more options (oops, more flack).  On the anglo you do have your little limitations, eg that good old F# and C#, but for G!!!  On the BC you can play around with your B and E, but otherwise it can be quite a challenge to make sure there is a finger left to play the next note.  And, of course, once you've got the hang of it (which I certainly haven't yet), those chords are just lurking there on the anglo, but on the BC - well, again, you have to be creative.

Goodness, is that the time!
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Barry J

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Re: B/C - only for Irish ??
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2010, 01:13:53 PM »

G'day.

I don't have the preconceptions of other types of music or folk music roots influencing me, so I just judge it on the day.
It sounds good or it doesn't.

At the end of the day, its more about fun, rather than conforming.

I'm having fun anyway.
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