Friday, August 10, 2012

A very rare treat!

Today, I randomly discovered a YouTube video that has put an indelible smile on my face: footage of Marcel Messervier and friends.  Wonderful.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  And a question: is Marcel ever going to age?

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Big" boxes still distinctively "melodeonistic"

Surveying the internet content on diatonic accordions, I have encountered the frequent refrain that 3 row button accordions give the player extra versatility -- at a price. Due to the greater ease with which they play chromatic passages, and because of the availability of notes in both bellows directions, they sacrifice the "charm" of the simpler one- and two-row diatonic boxes.  The unsuspecting player, so the argument goes, will find his playing "smoothed out" and will soon gravitate toward music that should never have been played on a melodeon.

And then there is the reality.  Many of these boxes aren't all that "big."  The distinctive effect of rapid bellows changes is still available.  The bisonoric basses add harmonic interest.  And even the biggest of these expanded-range boxes are still centered on "home" keys and related minor keys in a way that, like a one-row accordion, gives different weight to each note.

If you don't believe it, ask Cyril Roche. (Video from YouTube.)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A waltz for beginning one-row players

Here is the third installment of tunes for beginning one-row players.  As with the other beginner's tunes, I learned La Valse du Coq from Denis Pepin's out-of-print video.  I have played a highly ornamented version of this tune, and for this recording, it was actually a struggle to tone down the ornamentation because it had so thoroughly worked its way into my muscle memory.  I play the tune through with no repeats -- you could double the length of each section.  First time through with no bass/chords, second time through with basic bass/chords as well as some ornamentation.  MM reeds only (strictly for clarity) on a Melodie in D.

And a direct link to the MP3 here.

And a Melodeon Minute from last year in which I posted a recording of this waltz linked to another.

The first tune for one-row learners is here. And the second one is here.  Cheers!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Flash and glitz, and a very simple accordion!

This video should be interesting to anyone interested in the limits of simple diatonic boxes.  Do not try this at home!  Note the hat: without the hat, none of this would have been possible! Video from YouTube:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Evolution of a tune...

In an earlier post, I gave a sneak preview of a tune I had composed.  The tune has since been refined somewhat.  As a side note: originally, the A part was in waltz time and the B part was in 4/4! Hoping to make it more widely accessible to melodeon players, who can never have too many waltzes, I revised the B part into 3/4. (The earlier post is the first revision -- perhaps someday I'll post the split-time signature version, which has a very different feel!)

Played on the C/F rows of a G/C/F Castagnari Jacky with the bandoneon voicing selected (LM) and the thirds turned off on the left-hand chords.  Here is "Nikolas Builds," copyright 2012.

And a direct link for those who wish to download the MP3.