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 Post subject: Concertina question
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:59 pm 
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Are a concertina and a button accordian the same thing?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:27 pm 
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In a way, yes!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:09 am 
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are noel hill and jacky daly the same person?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:16 am 
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And in a way, no! They're both in the accordion family, and both have buttons instead of piano-type keys. You could call a concertina a form of button accordion, but all button accordions are not concertinas. Here's what usually meant by the terms:

Concertina:
<img width=200 height=157 src="http://www.jimlaabs.com/accordians/Stagi/W-15-MS%20thumb.jpg">

Button Accordion:
<img width=250 height=277 src="http://www.jimlaabs.com/accordians/new/excalibur/button-12/4small.jpg">


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:16 am 
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There was a recent thread in which we went through defining characteristics of the difference. I'd post a URL if I could remember which. You'll notice that on the concertina the buttons are on the side of the bellows facing eachother, ie inwards. On an accordeon, they face the audience. The concertina, or at least typical concertinas, do not have dedicated chord buttons; every button plays melody although you can play chords by pressing several buttons at one.

A typical, although not defining difference, is that the concertina sounds one reed per button pushed or pulled while accordeons sound two or more. This gives the characteristic difference in sound. A good concertina has a dry, rasping, even barking sound; an accordeon has a chorus effect. An accordeon will sound dryish if the reeds are tuned the same but will sound very chorusy if, as happens with wet tunings, one reed is tuned a few cents sharp and the other a few cents flat.

Listen to John Williams (ex-Solas) who plays both. I believe he uses swing tuning on accordeon which is intermediate between wet and dry. Those who play both would not tend to favour a very dry tuning for accordeon becasue they would be able to get dryness when tehy want it using concertina.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:59 am 
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Whoa Nelly, no!

Concertinas are not members of the accordion family, nor are they a kind of button accordion (again, they are not a kind of accordion.)

They are all free-reed instruments, a family including mouth-blown harmonicas and melodicas (also not accordions). To echo Wombat:

  • On an accordion, melody buttons are only found on one end (the right-hand side), and the right hand plays melody while the left hand works the bellows. On a concertina, melody buttons are on both ends.
  • On an accordion, the left-hand side usually has buttons for playing entire chords, probably the source of the name "accordion."
  • Accordions typically sound more than one reed per note, and often have switches to turn banks of reeds on and off
  • An accordion sounds like swarms of angry bees, whereas a concertina sounds like a goose playing an oboe while being stepped on.


Caj


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:08 am 
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BoneQuint wrote:
Button Accordion:
<img width=250 height=277 src="http://www.jimlaabs.com/accordians/new/excalibur/button-12/4small.jpg">


Over here this would be called a melodeon. A button accordion would need to be fully chromatic to get the name.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:35 am 
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Thank you.

I do not remember this being talked about recently. I must have been practicing. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:55 am 
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I thought this was a windup. Concertina is a much smaller and more agile instrument. The reeds in a concertina are more like mouth harmonica reeds than accordion reeds. The buttons are organized in a different (quasi-random) way. Concertina was once a mass-produced parlor instrument, but these days there are basically expensive antiques, expensive handmade ones and cheap Chinese accordions that are shaped like concertinas but have accordion reeds in them.

Check out http://www.concertina.net

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 9:27 am 
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It's hard to tell sometimes...

Image

This is a one-voice (one reed per note) button accordion/melodeon with the reeds mounted directly on the sound board which makes it sound very much like a concertina (thus the name...).

-Brett


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 9:42 am 
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Cute!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 11:09 am 
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The recent thread on the differences between concertinas and accordions is at http://chiffboard.mati.ca/viewtopic.php?t=16951, where I wrote:

Quote:
... the number of reeds per note is not the defining difference [between concertinas and accordions]. Bandoneons, which are closely associated with tango music, have multiple reeds per note; so do "chemnitzer" concertinas, which are found especially in the upper Midwest U.S. and are favored for polkas. Both bandoneons and chemnitzers are concertinas. See http://www.klezmusic.com/sbx-info/sbx-bando.html for more on these types of concertinas.

And there are some button accordions that have only a single reed per note. Sharon Shannon has been known to play one, a Castagnari Lilly.

What distinguishes concertinas from accordions? (1) Absence of prearranged chords; and, (2) buttons that travel in the same direction as the bellows (on accordions the buttons travel perpendicularly to the bellows).


Both (1) and (2) are true for all concertinas, to my knowledge. Except for "free bass" accordions, which lack prearranged chords, (1) and (2) are never true for accordions. So these two rules are all you need to determine whether an instrument is a concertina or an accordion.

All bets are off in the weird world of eBay, however, where small button accordions are routinely labeled concertinas, and vice-versa ... usually because the seller hasn't the foggiest idea of what he/she is selling.

--C#/D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:29 pm 
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Caj wrote:
Concertinas are not members of the accordion family, nor are they a kind of button accordion (again, they are not a kind of accordion.)

http://www.miriamwebster.com/cgi-bin/di ... concertina

Quote:
Concertina 1: a musical instrument of the accordion family

I've heard them called accordion enough that I bowed to common usage. I'll never let it happen again. In your presence, at least... :)

[edited to add link to dictionary definition]


Last edited by BoneQuint on Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:19 am 
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Caj wrote:
[size=18]a concertina sounds like a goose playing an oboe while being stepped on.


Now stop that! You've got me really craving a concertina.

(Anyone here play English concertina? I don't have a problem with harmonicas, but when I tried an Anglo concertina, it confused the heck out of me.)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:47 am 
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csharpd wrote:

Both (1) and (2) are true for all concertinas, to my knowledge.



http://www.hmtrad.com/catalog/winds/sbx/sbx-org.html

I believe Colin Dipper also once made a concertina like this.

Caj


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