Chiff and Fipple Forums

Scottish Buttonbox
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Author:  buttonbox [ Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Scottish Buttonbox

I was sent this article about a fellow attempting to revive Scottish buttonbox. While I'm a regular session player on my C#/D, I'll admit that I was pretty sure that the Scottish tradition had cornered the piano accordion. Of course, that opinion was based on the fact that I've never stumbled across Scottish buttonbox music whereas piano accordion music seems to prevail: Phil Cunningham, et al.

SO, as someone who often strays from the Irish tradition to pick up Finnish and Swedish waltzes (what do you expect from someone living in Minnesota?), I would like to learn more about Scottish buttonbox music starting with some of the more obvious questions:

1. What key or keys?
2. 2 rows or more or less?
3. What tunes would be typical Scottish box tunes?
4. Are there any extant recorded examples?

I know that there's probably one moderator reading this right now and cringing because he knows what I want to start trotting out at the local . . .

Author:  StevieJ [ Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

The most identifiably Scottish type of button box is a Jimmy Shand-style BCC# with piano accordion basses. I think they are still reasonably popular, and other than that I gather B/C is the next choice.

But all this is hearsay. A few Scottish squeezers hang out on the forums, you could ask there.

Jimmy Shand certainly made _lots_ of recordings.

Author:  The Sporting Pitchfork [ Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:36 am ]
Post subject: 

1-row melodions were VERY common in Scottish trad. music in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. There is, at the moment, an explosion of interest in using 2-row button accordions for Scottish music, mostly due to the efforts of Fergie MacDonald, Irish-born Leo McCann, and young up and coming box player Martin Hunter. (not sure what key is most common... I think Martin Hunter uses a standard B/C box).

As many Scottish tunes have their origins in the piping tradition, tunes in the keys of A mixolydian, B minor, and D are quite common.

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