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If I came to a session with a cajun accordion I would be...
welcomed as a fellow player 60%  60%  [ 3 ]
looked at oddly but mostly left alone 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
thrown out on my ear 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 5
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:15 pm 
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My birthday is approaching and I would like to buy a new accordion (I play my grampa's old g/c from the 50's). I like the uber-traditional one rows, but they all seem to be cajun style which a lot of people say can only be used for cajun music. I tried one out and they sound fine to me. Any opinions or words of wisdom on this? How accepted are they at sessions?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:47 pm 
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As far I know, I've never seen a Cajun-tuned accordion at a session.

Non-Cajun-tuned one rows are pretty common in Quebecois and Newfoundland music. I'm sure O'Brien's in St. John's can set you up with one. On the high end, I know Frank Maher's new D is a fancy custom-made number from a maker in Quebec...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:56 am 
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Cajun boxes use just intonation and not equal temperament, is that correct? If so, there might be some clashing with other instruments.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:54 am 
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"Cajun boxes use just intonation and not equal temperament, is that correct? If so, there might be some clashing with other instruments."

You have the same condition with Irish 2-row accordions and uilleann pipes.

I think the Cajun boxes have a nicer sound and play mine in old time and Irish sessions.

If you want a Cajun box tuned to equal temperament, just ask the builder to do so.

See all the postings on the Cajun accordion forum about the same subject:

http://pub21.bravenet.com/forum/1722942123/


.... Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:54 am 
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"Cajun boxes use just intonation and not equal temperament, is that correct? If so, there might be some clashing with other instruments."

You have the same condition with Irish 2-row accordions and uilleann pipes.

I think the Cajun boxes have a nicer sound and play mine in old time and Irish sessions.

If you want a Cajun box tuned to equal temperament, just ask the builder to do so.

See all the postings on the Cajun accordion forum about the same subject:

http://pub21.bravenet.com/forum/1722942123/


.... Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:03 am 
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Well then, if not the intonation, what exactly makes a Cajun accordion Cajun? If "Cajun" just means a single-row LMMH box, there's no reason at all why it wouldn't be at home in Irish music, as long as it's not in some bizarre key.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:36 pm 
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I find the tuning used by different instruments very interesting. I'm no expert on these issues
so these are my opinions-understandings:

Just tuning vs equal temperament: I think it has a lot to do with how you have trained your ear.
A classical musician may croak at just intonation. However most of the music that I have played has been
on just intonation instruments: highland pipes, uilleann pipes, 5-string banjo, Cajun accordion: instruments that
are tuned to themselves.

There may be some clash between a Cajun accordion and an Irish 2-row accordion on some notes. How pleasant or unpleasant it may be, will be more dependent on the ear of those listening. It may be that big of a deal in many tunes. The next time you hear a Irish accordion playing with the uilleann pipes, listen for these clashes. I remember a video (Shore to Shore?)of Michael Cooney(pipes) and Joe Burke(accordion) playing at McGurks Pub. I'll have to listen to it again to see if I can detect any discords.

The Cajun according "tuning" came about similar to tuning the uilleann pipes. The the people of Louisiana built their accordions and tuned them to play in tune with itself. No electronic tuners at that time, so the 3rds and 5ths are a little flat(15 cents- my understanding). The 5-string banjo tuned in the key of G, the B string is tuned a little flat, otherwise it sounds out of tune, at least to me and many other people.

The Cajun accordion(key of C) has only two buttons on the left hand. These buttons play C on the push and
G on the pull(a note and a chord). These left hand buttons give a lot of beat to the music. But what happens when the accordion is
playing(right hand side) and the tune goes to notes of the F chord. You do get some intonation clash but the left hand notes become more rhythmic. I have seen some uilleann pipers play beats on the regulators using the A chord notes and the tune be in the key of G. It seems to work out as the regs are used for more rhythm and not intonation.

Sorry this is so long.... Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:43 pm 
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Thanks for the information! This is exactly what I had thought but didn't want to risk spending my money and having a 'shun-able' instrument I would have to play outside of the pub while the session is on. My pockets are now lighter but I will soon have a sweet accordion!
Go raibh mile maith ag gach duine a chur freagra orm!
Dónall


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:06 pm 
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Here's some threads from the Cajun accordion forum about playing Irish muisc. seems that the D accordion wins out and equal temperatured is moslty preferred. Also some mentions of the accordions from Quebec.
All good reading before you buy.

http://pub21.bravenet.com/forum/show.php



.... Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:15 pm 
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Sorry about that link in my last post. try this link to get you on thew Cajun forum talking about Quebec accodions


http://pub21.bravenet.com/forum/1722942 ... ch/769808/

on Irish


http://pub21.bravenet.com/forum/1722942123/fetch/760445

Hope this works.... Ed


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 Post subject: "Cajun" accordions
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:58 pm 
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by definition a "CAJUN" accordion is an accordion made by a Cajun

Splitting hairs:

one row bisnoric 10 button 2 bass 4 reed 4 stop just tuned accordeons were invented built and played long before Cajuns got ahold of them...
when the Cajuns started making them they became by the fact that the Cajuns made them "Cajun" accordeons

Granted the one row 4 reed usually is the basis for these but
3 reed 9 button units have been made by Cajuns so I would assert these are also "Cajun" acordions

This is much like "AMISH" furniture... the Amish made furniture is Amish all eslse that looks like it is simply furniture...

Again I would grant there is a "look" to Amish furniture.. but since they borrowed designs from many sources there is de facto no " Amish " designed furniture

I am a furniture maker but I cannot buld Amish furniture becasue I am nott Amish.. if I were to build in their workmanlike style and mode it would be county furniture

This is unlike the Shakers who designed most of their furniture and therefore had a style ( taking into consideration most of what they "designed" could be found in Sweden more than a 100 years eralier but I digress)

If an Italian makes a "cajun" accordion I would say it is a 1 roww 4 reed 4 stop bisonoric diatonic accordeon "just" tuned

I have heard "CAJUN" accordons in an Irish session and they sould a bit out of place if not outright clashing

However I have heard them in Old Time jams and they sound great

I like both TET and just tuning

Also I lien Cajun playing to Galax Claw hammer banjo and Irish and Quebce styles more like melodic...

neither better just different and enjoyable

So there you have my dissertation on picking the flyspecs out of the pepper


No German accordeon manufacturing ... no "Cajun" accordions...


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 Post subject: Cajun accordions
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:16 am 
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I know that I am coming into this discussion a little late but I have a few ideas that came to mind!

Ok, I am going back to your original post that you want a new accordion, you like one rows but all you can find is "cajun" accordions. They sound fine but will they be accepted at the session?

I went through the other posts but I didn't see anything about this. Forgive me if this is just a repeat of someone elses post.

Cajun accordions are usually in the key of C and Irish accordions are in the key of D. If you want to play at the session get a one row in D!
occasionally you can find a Honer in the key of D. Michael at Dancemaster accordions sells them also for a good price with handmade reeds. I have also seen old ones on e-bay in the key of D but who knows how much work they may need.

My other suggestion is to get a two row accordion in the key of C#D and play on the D row. It is still the old push and draw style but gives you some duplicate notes on the C# row and helps you play in G and the occasional (accidental) that you wouldn't have on a D row!

Obviously, if you get a one row in D make sure it is in equal temperment.

Just buy one from Michael at Dancemaster. He is C#D and 1 row melodeon enthusiast who plays traditional Irish dance tunes hence the name "dancemaster"!

I play a C#D but I also like to dabble in BC fingering (you can do that too on a C#D but you will be playing in unusual keys like E F#min A (good key) and others!

Also, listen to Jackie Daily with Patrick Street play his C#D...WOW!

Also, Dave Munnelly is an excellent C#D player. You can go on amazon and listen to samples of his music!

Good luck and hope you have a great birthday!

Nate

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