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alf edwards concertina accompaniments

The Sandman 29 Aug 12 - 04:37 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Aug 12 - 04:56 AM
Owen Woodson 29 Aug 12 - 08:11 AM
Charley Noble 29 Aug 12 - 08:32 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Aug 12 - 09:15 AM
Brian Peters 29 Aug 12 - 09:32 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Aug 12 - 09:42 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 12 - 09:42 AM
The Sandman 29 Aug 12 - 09:47 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Aug 12 - 10:10 AM
Dave Hanson 29 Aug 12 - 11:32 AM
Charley Noble 29 Aug 12 - 12:30 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,bigJ 29 Aug 12 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 29 Aug 12 - 05:32 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM
Bob Bolton 29 Aug 12 - 09:49 PM
The Sandman 29 Aug 12 - 10:25 PM
Ross Campbell 29 Aug 12 - 11:49 PM
Bob Bolton 30 Aug 12 - 12:09 AM
Dave Hanson 30 Aug 12 - 03:14 AM
Owen Woodson 30 Aug 12 - 05:20 AM
The Sandman 30 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM
Ross Campbell 30 Aug 12 - 08:40 AM
The Sandman 30 Aug 12 - 10:24 AM
The Sandman 30 Aug 12 - 12:14 PM
Charley Noble 30 Aug 12 - 12:28 PM
Howard Jones 30 Aug 12 - 03:08 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Aug 12 - 06:44 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 07:20 AM
Alan Day 31 Aug 12 - 09:08 AM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Ed 31 Aug 12 - 09:57 AM
GUEST 31 Aug 12 - 11:06 AM
Alan Day 31 Aug 12 - 11:10 AM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 11:21 AM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 11:26 AM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 11:29 AM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 12:24 PM
Will Fly 31 Aug 12 - 02:04 PM
Will Fly 31 Aug 12 - 02:08 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 04:04 PM
Will Fly 31 Aug 12 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Lighter 31 Aug 12 - 04:52 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 12 - 04:55 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 12 - 04:57 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 07:02 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 12 - 07:06 PM
Dave Hanson 01 Sep 12 - 03:24 AM
johncharles 01 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Sep 12 - 05:56 AM
johncharles 01 Sep 12 - 06:19 AM
The Sandman 01 Sep 12 - 06:33 AM
The Sandman 01 Sep 12 - 06:37 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Sep 12 - 06:52 AM
The Sandman 01 Sep 12 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Sep 12 - 09:52 AM
The Sandman 01 Sep 12 - 03:22 PM
The Sandman 02 Sep 12 - 06:57 AM
Will Fly 02 Sep 12 - 07:43 AM
Charley Noble 02 Sep 12 - 10:37 AM
The Sandman 02 Sep 12 - 12:43 PM
Brian Peters 02 Sep 12 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Lighter 02 Sep 12 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 02 Sep 12 - 06:06 PM
Brian Peters 03 Sep 12 - 04:41 AM
The Sandman 03 Sep 12 - 05:09 AM
The Sandman 03 Sep 12 - 08:21 AM
Charley Noble 03 Sep 12 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,donald 27 Feb 15 - 04:37 AM
The Sandman 27 Feb 15 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,donald 28 Feb 15 - 08:38 AM
The Sandman 28 Feb 15 - 12:03 PM
Brian Peters 01 Mar 15 - 01:09 PM
The Sandman 02 Mar 15 - 05:27 AM
The Sandman 02 Mar 15 - 05:33 AM
The Sandman 02 Mar 15 - 06:17 AM
The Sandman 02 Mar 15 - 07:03 AM
Stanron 02 Mar 15 - 12:06 PM
The Sandman 02 Mar 15 - 12:45 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Mar 15 - 01:07 PM
Brian Peters 02 Mar 15 - 01:07 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 15 - 01:29 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Mar 15 - 02:16 PM
Stanron 02 Mar 15 - 04:49 PM
The Sandman 02 Mar 15 - 05:00 PM
Stanron 02 Mar 15 - 05:54 PM
The Sandman 03 Mar 15 - 09:00 AM
The Sandman 03 Mar 15 - 09:17 AM
Brian Peters 03 Mar 15 - 11:17 AM
The Sandman 03 Mar 15 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Terry Murphy 10 Apr 17 - 05:35 PM
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Subject: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 04:37 AM

I am interested in peoples opinions.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 04:56 AM

Straightforward and adequate, but not generally particularly enhancing of the song, imo. He was, I believe, not a folk musician, but just a professional session-man, who could not play by ear but always needed the music on a stand; and would play for ballroom dancing or any other occasion which offered. He happened to be a friend of Bert Lloyd, who invited him to accompany as Bert liked the particular timbre of free-reed rather than fretted instruments as accompaniment; which was how Alf came on to the folk scene, of which he was never a prominent member otherwise. I am not sure if he worked for any other folk musicians; he played on Topic's Iron Muse collection, I think, but of course Bert produced that.

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 08:11 AM

Edwards accompanied Ewan MacColl, as well as Bert, on the Topic LP, English & Scottish Folk Ballads. He also provided the backing on the Prestige (?) MacColl/Lloyd LP A Sailor's Garland, and was a regular fixture on the radio ballads.

I daresay that he also backed MacColl on early Folkways and other American releases, but I have no information immediately to hand.

He also accompaned Frank Harte on the second of the two LPs which he made for Topic (Through Dublin City), and I think on the first one as well (Dublin Street Songs).

He appeared on the Topic LP, The Iron Muse, as a member of the Celebrated Working Man's Band, and as accompanist to Bert, Bob Davenport, and several other members of the cast.

I personally never enjoyed his playing and feel that he never got to grips with the problems of accompanying folksong. I'm sure there were great feelings of relief expressed when Peggy added the concertina to her range of instruments.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 08:32 AM

I always enjoyed Edwards' concertina accompaniment on sea songs for the Blow Boys Blow, recording. It was the first time I had heard such accompaniment.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:15 AM

A slight drift, but perhaps relevant ~~ I remember Bob Thomson, the friend with whom I visted Harry Cox, who was a primary authority on Broadside versions of Child Ballads, [on which he did a Cambridge PhD as a mature student; the first ever I think, accepted to do so without any first degree at all ~ I was one of his sponsors], once saying that he didn't think the concertina was an instrument particularly associated with the sea & sailors' songs, but he thought the connection was no older than Bert's use of Alf's accompts for his records. I did point out to him, however, a reference to sailors "dancing to the wheezy music of the concertina" on the last page of Somerset Maugham's The Moon And Sixpence [1919], which he accepted as evidence to the contrary. I mention this as showing how influential was Bert's use of Alf as accompanist, followed by those others mentioned above by Owen, in associating the instrument with the nautical and maritime tradition.

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:32 AM

To modern ears some of Edwards' accompaniments sound a bit stiff, but I still think they are good for their time, presumably representing a deliberate attempt by Lloyd and Co. to avoid the American associations of the guitar. Some of them are quite inventive; I'd heard that he played from sheet music, but who wrote his arrangements? Were they his own?

Michael, the concertina world has been mired in controversy over many years, regarding the use by sailors of the instrument. Dan Worrall, from Texas, has done a lot of research on the topic (much of it discussed on www.concertina.net) and found plenty of historical and photographic evidence that concertinas weren't not uncommon on board ships in the late 19th and early 20th century. I doubt if there's much evidence of them having been used for song accompaniment, though.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:42 AM

Indeed, Brian? The Maugham ref above was indeed to dancing. But it is the sort of smallish portable instrument to fit into a seaman's dunnage; even smaller than the fiddle which much authenticated; tho again, whether for dancing, or for forbitter accompaniment as Robin Dransfield shown doing in The Bounty? - where he sang The Water Is Wide, not a song with particular maritime connections, and on board a Royal Navy ship rather than a merchantman, where singing would probably not have been allowed, as distinct from the rhythm for hauling &c provided by the ship's fiddler.... Have never found that scene convincing.

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:42 AM

The Dan Worrall article to which I assume Brian is referring:

Concertinas at Sea: A History of a Nautical Icon


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:47 AM

i believe fiddles were used for hornpipe competitions, to get sailors in competitive mood in the royal navy before battle,Iunderstand and this may not be correct that there could be some considerable time elapse before battle started, i am not sure where i read this so it may not be correct
was there not also a fiddle player on the bounty


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 10:10 AM

Many thanks, Guest. Fascinating. Note though, Brian, that Worrall clearly states, right at the start;

"The concertina was also frequently used to accompany singing. Such singing was most typically done during evening slack time, and involved both nautical songs as well as any popular songs of the day".

You seem to have missed that bit, and much other 'evidence' passim --

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 11:32 AM

Owen Woodson, according to Dave Arthur in ' Bert ' it was Alf Edwards who taught Peggy Seeger to play concertina, so he can't have been that bad.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 12:30 PM

Cicely Fox Smith, who collected traditional sea shanties as well as composing nautical poems, also composed a poem about sailors dancing to the accompaniment of "a leaky old creaky concertina"; she published her poem in Ships & Folks, 1920, p. 52 and Bob Zentz recently set the poem to music. Whether she was influenced by Somerset Maugham's The Moon And Sixpence [1919] is an open question.

Here's the entire poem:

Casey's Concertina

There are lights a-flashing in the harbour
From the ships at anchor where they ride,
And a dry wind going through the palm-trees
And the long-low murmur of the tide …
And there's noise and laughter in the foc's'le,
And the bare feet beating out the tune
To the sound of Casey's concertina
Underneath the great gold moon –
Creaky old leaky concertina
Underneath the great gold moon.

There's a milky glimmer on the water,
And the lonely glitter of the stars,
And a light breeze blowing up the roadstead,
And a voice a-sighing in the spars,
A-sighing, crying in the backstays,
And the furled sails sleeping overhead,
And the sound of Casey's concertina,
Singing of a time that's fled –
Leaky old creaky concertina
Singing of a dream that's dead.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM

"I'd heard that he played from sheet music, but who wrote his arrangements? Were they his own?"...
.,,.
I have always taken it, Brian, that Bert or Ewan(or Peggy?) or whoever would write out the melody line for him. IIRC he generally just played one line of the melody: few chords or harmonies; which may be what Owen meant above by "feel that he never got to grips with the problems of accompanying folksong", and what made you find them "a bit stiff".

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 05:15 PM

I seem to remember Bert saying once, in those dear dim days almost beyond recall, that he had come across the name of Alf Edwards as a concertina player in a BBC list of professional musicians available for work and had contacted him as a result.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 05:32 PM

" I remember Bob Thomson, the friend with whom I visted Harry Cox, who was a primary authority on Broadside versions of Child Ballads, [on which he did a Cambridge PhD as a mature student;"

I have a distinct memory of you talking to Bob Thomson and Mike Herring at Peterborough Folk Club, MtheGM. I think that this was around 1969 - 70ish. I don't think that you and I ever had a conversation though.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM

I actually met Bob, thru Roy Palmer, in 1970, Shim - it was 15 Nov of that year, I find from checking the Harry Cox records, that we paid our first visit to Harry and collected The Poacher's Fate attribd as collectors to him & me on the Topic collection; so it would probably have been a bit [but not much] later than that. I certainly paid several visits to Peterboro Folk Club, indeed. Were you part of the organisation there? What name would I have known you under? PM me if you like ~~ or if you can't as a Guest, you can email me at mgmyer-at-keme-dot-co-dot-uk

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:49 PM

G'day Good Soldier Schweik/ MtheGM /Owen/ Charlie/ Brian/ Dave & sundry GUESTS ...

I think that this issue of the place of the concertina in "folk music" as well as specifically "sailors' music" - forebitters or chanties ... got off track way back when the 'folk revival' musicians bought the line coming from the "Concertina Revival" of much the same time ... and their claim that Wheatstone's "English System" was the only real concertina ... and all those vulgar German boxes were just cheap attempts to fool the public into buying something less than "God's intended instrument.

By this time ... and very importantly for the Concertina Revival, the Salvation Army was only seen to play either 'English system' or their 'Triumph system' ... equally chromatic - but easier to chase harmonies ... without staring at 'the dots' ...

Recent research ... not nearly so possible before the recent availability - on the web - of 19th century newspaper and magazine articles in scanned - and OCRed form has allowed researchers to read what actually happened ... instead of academics and bandmasters pushing their own line. The wonderful recent posting in these areas was the original Salvationist concertina manuals ... all for "Anglo" ... admittedly in Bb / Eb ... and the clear evidence that the Booth Family ladies played concert versions of Salvationist hymns ... to great acclaim ... on good quality English-made Jeffries Anglo-system concers!

The evidence of the 19th century papers and magazines does show a strong 'snobbish' disdain for the popular public playing of the 'Anglos' ... but that was automatic in the social structure of the day.

We only have to listen to what Brian Peters can extract from the Anglo-chromatic concertinas to realise that all those little boxes (of all systems) were God's gift to the travelling, rambling, working musician on land or sea. Alf Edwards was a product of an earlier era when prejudice and class structure dictated attitudes that have spent too long being regarded as 'writ in stone'!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 10:25 PM

sorry ,but alf did play chords too,
as someone who can speak with some authority on english concertina song accompaniment, visit dick miles you tubemusic and you will hear a lot of english concertina song accompaniment., plus I have wriiten a tutor with 20 examples of my accompaniments.
in my formative years i heard a lot of alf edwards and bert lloyd.
alfs song accompaniment was certainly a lot simpler than mine, but he certainly used chords, not just single line melodies.
it is my opinion, that Peggy Seeger is a talented all round instrumentalist, who had some lessons from alf but developed her own style, much of that style was developed by herself and through her instrumental talents with other instruments.
louisa killen[ I am fairly sure if my memory serves me right had lessons from alf], but does not to my ears sound like alf either


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 11:49 PM

Bob Bolton, one of my concertinas which you will certainly have heard is a G/D Salvation Army Lachenal Anglo, possibly originally in Ab/Eb.
(Not sure about the Bb/Eb in your post above, normal combination would be Bb/F). It is a high-quality instrument, regrettably the bellows is coming to the end of its natural life and something will have to be done soon about replacing it. (Dave Elliott advised at his Whitby workshop that they have gone beyond patch-up repairs).

I always found Alf Edwards' accompaniments a bit "thin", likewise for many other English players. In contrast, my late friend Joe Maley (who played professionally as "Jack Easy" on music hall and variety stages to the end of his life) could provide a rich harmonic accompaniment to any voice, any key on his visits to Fleetwood Folk Club in the late seventies. In his company I met a couple of Anglo players of similar age who could equal, in smoothness and musicality, Joe's playing on the English concertina. I regret I never got their names. They all learned to play in concertina bands in the twenties and thirties, and had a classical style far different from most players on the folk scene now.

It's very easy to overpower a singing voice with the concertina, but used sensitively it's possible, as Dick suggests, to do a lot more than single-line melodies or harmonies.

Ross


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 12:09 AM

G'day Ross (... and Good Soldier Schweik),

I wasn't trying to "knock" Alf Edwards. I was just canvassing the wide range of different assumptions among a very wide range of different players within different genres. Over the last 40, or so years ... basically since I came back to Sydney - pretty near 43 years back - I've seen and heard a lot of differing viewpoints generated around innocent litle hexagonal ( ... & octagonal ... sometimes duodecagonal ... and, at one point decagonal - as well as farthest back square!) boxes.

They have all fought for spaces in the spectrum from Stage Virtuoso and Orchestral ... all the way down to trying to grade up what you learned on a mouth organ - to get a tune out of the box you just blew your pay on.

Far too much has been driven by viewponts that only this box ... that system ... the "only" acceptable body of music ... this place & not that one to play ... what? ... is acceptable / proper / musical .. even "folk" ... ?

I'm fascinated by what such small / handy / accessible instruments can keep giving to music - that can still belong to people.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 03:14 AM

At the time Alf was the only concertina player playing professionally, again from Dave Arthurs book on A L Lloyd, Dave Swarbrick felt that Alf was never given enough credit for his playing.

He did help to kick start the concertina in folk music, by the way he played many other instruments as well.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 05:20 AM

Dave Hanson. "it was Alf Edwards who taught Peggy Seeger to play concertina, so he can't have been that bad".

I didn't say he was bad, far from it. A highly talented musician in fact. For me his playing was just too angular and unsubtle for accompanying folksong.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM

well as someone who has studied concertina accompaniment in depth, I will add some further comments.
Alf never accompanied his own singing as I do, he rarely used single line harmonies, which is something that is easier to do when accompanying others, [this is not meant as a criticism , but just a statement of fact] although i do it to accompany my own singing on occasions, here is an example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEKVeI_VD3E. n
Alf was not steeped in traditional music, he was a trombonist who played as a session man, but he must be given credit for bringing the concertina to our attention., and inspiring many of us.
I feel that many concertina players would benefit from listening to Swarbricks fiddle accompaniments, whose linear accompaniments are in my opinion outstanding


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 08:40 AM

"At the time Alf was the only concertina player playing professionally" - I wouldn't be too sure about that.

I mentioned Joe Maley (Jack Easy) above, there is more info in the "Concertina Man" thread on this site, some of it reproduced here, with further material from others :-
http://www.raretunes.org/performers/jack-easy/
I'm not sure what years Joe's professional career spanned, but he and Liz only retired to Fleetwood in the early seventies, by that time he could have been playing concertina for fifty years, much of that time earning his living from his playing. A stroke then robbed him of several years' mobility, but he recovered enough to re-establish his former standard of playing, and to play locally from 1977 at Fleetwood Folk Club and at Fylde Folk Festival, and even further afield to music hall events in the North-West.

Ross


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 10:24 AM

percy honri was another,maybe also john nixon.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 12:14 PM

soory honri died in 1953, Gordon Cutty was playingduring that period so was frank butler


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 12:28 PM

As a novice Anglo concertina player I find this thread very interesting.

Thanks!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 03:08 PM

Bob Bolton: "I think that this issue of the place of the concertina in "folk music" as well as specifically "sailors' music" - forebitters or chanties ... got off track way back when the 'folk revival' musicians bought the line coming from the "Concertina Revival" of much the same time ... and their claim that Wheatstone's "English System" was the only real concertina ... and all those vulgar German boxes were just cheap attempts to fool the public into buying something less than "God's intended instrument."

I was under the impression that the concertina revival was largely driven by the folk revival and the demand for instruments from folk musicians. By the time I became involved in the late 60s the folk revival certainly had not bought into the idea that the only proper concertina was the English. This led to a bit of a conflict between the International Concertina Association, playing mostly EC and sometimes duet from music and folk players, who often played other systems by ear. The ICA seemed to view folkies with suspicion, and the folkies felt that the ICA was neither very welcoming nor very relevant to them.

On the subject of concertinas at sea, Stan Hugill said that the contrary to the popular image the concertina was not a common sailor's instrument - too vulnerable to knocks and moisture, and likely to roll around at sea. However Dan Worrall's research seems to contradict this, and by the time Stan went to sea in the 1920s the concertina was already in decline, which perhaps explains why he didn't see many.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 06:44 PM

I think cheap anglos would have been boxes at sea during the 19th century. Stan was definitely right about the moisture factor. Nigel Chippindale knackered various squeeze boxes playing on the Brid pleasure boats before Jim Eldon took over with his fiddle.

I'm very interested in the assertion that Alf Edwards was somehow responsible for associating the sound of the English concertina with the sea. In my own subconscious the most evocative musical sound that is played as background music in films of the sea is the English or duet concertina sound. I think this has influenced my anglo accompaniments on sea songs. MacColl used it to great effect on Singing the Fishing which again one presumes was Alf Edwards playing. I quite like what he does. It certainly conjures up the lonely endless seascape to me.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 07:20 AM

frank butler told me that he[frank] had played on tv as a seesion concertinist radio and mainly waterways programmes or programmes about canals, which do have a connection with things nautical.
here is an example of using concertina to accompany a sea song, the difference btween my playing and alfs, is that alf generally played the same accompaniment throughout the song ,it was rare[from my recolection for him to alternate between chordal playing and melody playing , although he did sometimes repeat the last 2 bars of a melody between verses.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1PaQaNH9NI


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Alan Day
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 09:08 AM

During my work on "English International" I spent many hours listening to most of Alf Edwards work.I was lucky enough to have access to most of the early recordings of his playing, which I thought was more representative of his abilities as an English Concertina player.
All the recordings of his playing was to a high professional standard, but his accompaniment for singing was very basic compared with what he was capable of.If you listen to the very high standard achieved by Iris Bishop on her Duet Concertina there is no comparison,but what Alf did (mainly single note at a time) was effective for what was required.
I chose Mitzi (recorded 1951)and Russian Rag as examples of what he could do.These both came from the Stephen Chambers collection.
I strongly recommend that you purchase this three CD collection as examples of styles and music for the English Concertina with recordings back to about 1935.
Al


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 09:45 AM

al,
THIS THREAD is about english concertina accompaniments, not duet accompaniments, or your compilation cd.
Brian Peters has an anglo instrumental cd which is excellent, I too have a concertina compilation cd, Boxing clever, which features anglo duet and english and such players as john kirkpatrick, tim laycock harry scurfield., but neither of us have thought it relevant to this discussion
and so we have not mentioned it
this thread is about english concertina acompaniment and alf edwards accompaniments in particular .


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 09:57 AM

Jeez, you're a miserable sod, Dick.

Ignore him, Alan. I found your post interesting and informative.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:06 AM

I owned a bad pressing of an Alf Edwards LP on US label Prestige International titled "Alf Edwards English Concertina" Some nice pieces on it were, as memory serves: Epping Forest, Soldier's Joy, Lodging's in the Cold, Cold Ground. The liner notes described Alf's family as descended from Spanish Jews, who later became circus musicians.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Alan Day
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:10 AM

Did you actually read what I posted Dick ?
I wrote about the subject posted and expressed my opinion which is what this Mudcat site is about.
Thank you Ed for your polite reply,much appreciated.
Al


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:21 AM

and you guest ed, are extremely rude.
this thread is about alf edwards english concertina accompaniments, the point is that alans post is that it is a promotion of his cd, it is not informative about alfs accompaniments and in my opinion is inaccurate.
his post tells us very little about alfs concertina accompaniments,furthermore what al says is not entirely accurate, alf used chords a lot as here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuiFuptkEoQ
Ihave listened to a lot of alfs accompaniments and this is typical, a chordal style during songs and a bit of melody beteen verses occasionally, he did not use single melody much during singing


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:26 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iELIDMyzytI&list=AL94UKMTqg-9AtHEREIS ANOTHER, chordal work during the singing.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:29 AM

the acompaniment to all for me grog is not basic, as someone who plays the english, which al does not, whatalf is doing requires a high degree of competence.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 12:24 PM

and another with chordal accompaniment., with single note between verse, but listen to his chords,the inversions,to say his playing is basic, as 2 people have done neither of the who play the english is ill informed.
al, your coometns are inaccurate and an attemopt to promote your cd, which does not have alf accompanying himself on the concertina.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzkkwpq7Ehk&list=AL94UKMTqg-9A_ZOaZG8VRa7HJpdWs3ycX&index=1&feature=plpp_video


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 02:04 PM

Dick - why, for fuck's sake, don't you read posts properly? Here's what Alan writes about the topic: During my work on "English International" I spent many hours listening to most of Alf Edwards work.I was lucky enough to have access to most of the early recordings of his playing, which I thought was more representative of his abilities as an English Concertina player.

Followed by you: THIS THREAD is about english concertina accompaniments, not duet accompaniments, or your compilation cd.

Have you no common sense whatsoever? Can't you read? Why be such a bloody curmodgeon?


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 02:08 PM

And, of course, "curmodgeon" should actually be "curmudgeon"... and if the cap fits, wear it!


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 04:04 PM

will fly, als post
Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Alan Day - PM
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 09:08 AM

During my work on "English International" I spent many hours listening to most of Alf Edwards work.I was lucky enough to have access to most of the early recordings of his playing, which I thought was more representative of his abilities as an English Concertina player.
All the recordings of his playing was to a high professional standard, but his accompaniment for singing was very basic compared with what he was capable of.If you listen to the very high standard achieved by Iris Bishop on her Duet Concertina there is no comparison,but what Alf did (mainly single note at a time) was effective for what was required.
I chose Mitzi (recorded 1951)and Russian Rag as examples of what he could do.These both came from the Stephen Chambers collection.
I strongly recommend that you purchase this three CD collection as examples of styles and music for the English Concertina with recordings back to about 1935."
1. alf did not play single note at a time.
2. the thred is not about alfs playing on english international, on english international, alf did not accompany songs, alans post is an attempt to promote english international, which has nothing to do with alfs song accompaniment.
3.Ihave provided 3 examples of alfs song accompaniment, he does not use single not melody his platying is not basic.
4 .this thread is about alf edwards song accompaniment , not english international.
5. kindly stop swearing, I have read his post properly.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 04:18 PM

I have read his post properly.

No you haven't. That's quite obvious from your subsequent replies.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 04:52 PM

The first English folksong LPs I heard were Lloyd & MacColl's sea song albums acc. by Edwards.

I'd never heard the concertina before except in the usual movie snippets (and I can't even identify those except, of course, in Moby Dick).

Maybe because it was in the distant past, before the revival had evolved more elaborate (but not always superior) accompaniments, but I found nothing "thin" or disappointing about Edwards's work. Quite the contrary. It backed up the singing with what seemed to me to be the perfect combination of drama, sensitivity, and self-effacing simplicity. That's what gave it its "folk" quality: it didn't seem showy or sophisticated. Edwards supported the singing rather than share the spotlight with it.

Edwards's playing may seem ho-hum to listeners who came to the music after first hearing the more elaborate (and often more rhythmic) arrangements of say, the Dubliners or the Ian Campbell Folk Group, but his chosen style of expression was rather different.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 04:55 PM

Spot on, Jon.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 04:57 PM

On second thoughts I never thought I would ever see the words 'Dubliners' and 'elaborate' in the same sentence.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 07:02 PM

"Maybe because it was in the distant past, before the revival had evolved more elaborate (but not always superior) accompaniments, but I found nothing "thin" or disappointing about Edwards's work. Quite the contrary. It backed up the singing with what seemed to me to be the perfect combination of drama, sensitivity, and self-effacing simplicity. That's what gave it its "folk" quality: it didn't seem showy or sophisticated. Edwards supported the singing rather than share the spotlight with it."
I Agree absolutely, it is not thin at all....my whole point about his chordal style and.. it is far from basic


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 07:06 PM

Will, take your attempted point scoring elsewhere and let those of us who wish to discuss Alfs accompaniments,get on with the discussion.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 03:24 AM

Don't knock The Dubliners Steve, Barney McKenna and John Sheehan, two of Irelands finest musicians and some of their arrangements were quite elaborate.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: johncharles
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM

Edwards was playing concertina just over 100 years after its invention, which is prety much infancy in terms of developing playing of an instrument.The fact that he played for Lloyd and Maccoll suggest he was recognised as a good player of his time.
I see many good tune players but few players who have mastered song accompaniment, too often allowing the concertina to dominate.
The concertinas perceived link to folk song is a modern invention, the real traditional instrument is the guitar which has a long and noble history.
john
p.s. the criticism of Alan day was unfounded.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 05:56 AM

We had a long thread a few years ago on the guitar as a folk-accompt instrument. No instrument is more 'traditional' than any other ~~ tho the fiddle has a strong claim perhaps?: depends much on context, availability, local usage &c.

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: johncharles
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 06:19 AM

MtheGm,
i must look that thread up.
I think the point more precisely is that the guitar and more importantly its precusors have a much longer history than the concertina,which is essentially a modern invention.
"Scottish traditional music has been played on the guitar for well over two hundred years, at least that is, since the publication in Edinburgh of Robert Bremner's Instructions for the Guitar of 1758."
The interesting issue is that among the non folkie public the concertina seems to be perceived as the most traditional of instrument. the reason for this remains unclear to me.
john


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 06:33 AM

"The interesting issue is that among the non folkie public the concertina seems to be perceived as the most traditional of instrument. the reason for this remains unclear to me".
yes, its mystifying, considering its a mid victorian instrument, it never fails to amuse me., However 165 years is hardly modern,when i think of modern instruments i think of synthesisers, hammond organs and electric guitars.
John, I disagree about your statement about allowing the concertina to dominate, in fact that is a statement I would use for quite a few guitarists, so we will have to agree to disagree.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 06:37 AM

oh and by the way , I like Alans compilation cd and I would recommend people to buy it along with Brian Peters EXCELLENT CONCERTINA CD, but Alans mentioning it here is irrelevant because it does not contain any song accompaniments by Alf Edwards, if it had I would have had no objection to Alan mentioning it, this is after all a discussion about Alfs English concertina accompaniments.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 06:52 AM

I don't think in fact that the non-folkie public gives a flying one any way you look at it as to which instruments we prefer to use as accompnmt. Some songs I prefer one; some another; a few I like to be flexible ~ sometimes feel like using guitar or autoharp; or banjo or concertina.... or or or...

~M~


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 07:19 AM

absolutely, michael, i fond some songs are suited by guitar or banjo and other by concertina, and some by both and what decide to i use then, is dependent on my mood at the time.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 09:52 AM

The concertina seems folkish because it's so rarely heard outside of street-corner Salvation Army bands. And even they are folkier than any concert performance.

The concertina's easy portability also suggests the sort of thing a carefree shepherd, gypsy, soldier, or sailor might carry with him, at least in a Victorian novel.

Steve, I call the Dubliners' arrangements "elaborate" only for want of a larger vocabulary. "Flashy" might work, but it sounds a bit dismissive. The quality of their playing really stood out in the '60s.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 03:22 PM

mary humphreys, says in a review of Ten thousand miles away," I had forgotten how much I admired Alf whose English concetina accompanied Bert on many of his songs.
I agree with those words.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 06:57 AM

my apologies to al, for being tetchy, i was in very bad pain with gout.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 07:43 AM

Dick - apologies also for using the rough edge of my tongue with you (if you'll pardon the expression). I was also suffering - with back pain and leg cramps - on Friday, and had to miss what was probably a good day at Stowmarket on Saturday with Al and other friends.

I'm still not having your baby, though...


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 10:37 AM

Hate to see what you folks post when you're in your crotchety 90s.

So where does John Roberts score in terms of Anglo playing technique? I've been very impressed watching him play close up.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 12:43 PM

i do not know , but if you like his playing should it matter?


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Brian Peters
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 03:35 PM

Re "a bit stiff", let me stress that I do enjoy Alf Edwards' accompaniments, but the players who came later pushed their accompaniments a bit further both in terms of more adventurous harmony, and a looser approach to rhythm in terms of working around the beat, and so on. But as a pioneer Alf E. did some great stuff and was no doubt highly influential.

Michael, I stand corrected regarding Dan Worral's findings on song accompaniment - must read that stuff again.

"So where does John Roberts score in terms of Anglo playing technique? I've been very impressed watching him play close up."

So have, I, Charley. Top player - he's very modest about it, though.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 03:55 PM

> more adventurous harmony, and a looser approach to rhythm in terms of working around the beat...

Neither of which, in principle, is necessarily an improvement or a good fit for the material.

My view is that there's no value (except in attracting a bigger paying audience) in pushing any form of "world music" closer and closer to the jazz-pop mainstream, nor is there any need to do so.

Of course, highly practiced musicians like to challenge themselves, and what will be will be.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 06:06 PM

Quite right, Lighter. I find playing a single note throughout a song is invariably all the accompaniment it needs. BUT – it must be the right note.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Sep 12 - 04:41 AM

"there's no value in pushing any form of "world music" closer and closer to the jazz-pop mainstream, nor is there any need to do so."

On the specific issue of concertina song accompaniment, I was thinking about the evolution of the style by such English players of the English system as Lou Killen, Tony Rose, Steve Turner, Dick Miles, Keith Kendrick and - most recently and spectacularly - Rob Harbron. There's been a gradual loosening, sophistication and enrichment of the style since the days of Alf E., without (to my ears at least) sailing too close to the wilder shores of jazz. Having a foot in the melodeon camp as well, I've certainly noticed a pronounced trend towards jazz chording and syncopation amongst the new generation of players of that instrument (which seems to appeal to younger musicians more than the conertina), which some people enjoy and others don't.

I think it would be hard to find any form of 'world music' that hasn't been pushed closer to the mainstream in recent years, and there have been both gains and losses there. There will (at least as far as the near future is concerned) always be sporadic trends to 'get back to the old style' alongside the dizzying levels of experimentation and fusion, but the world is changing and shrinking so rapidly that none of us can predict what happens from here.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 12 - 05:09 AM

English trad music was pushed in a different direction by davy graham who influenced martiN carthy, GRAHAM went to morooco and heard the oud and used the sound to produce a different tuning dadgad, which has led on to cgcgda dadeae, and others, .
it is of course impossible to get symapthetic ringning on a concertina, but some ideas chordal can be transferred to concertina, example using a dyad a fifth apart with the third note sharpened, using modal chords with a 7, using suspensions[of intervals of a second] but just briefly touching the discord[for maybe a half beat etc]. all of this stems or its popularisation on the uk folk scene as a result of davy graham visiting morocco.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 12 - 08:21 AM

correction, the 5 string banjo, comes into the equation as well, the appalachian styles, use tunings such as cgcd dgcd, which are useful for modal tunes, has a similiar stus to dagad cgcgcd on guitar, so it could be argued that uk folk music has been influenced by morocco plus america


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Sep 12 - 09:37 AM

There's no substitute for me for sitting down with a more advanced instrumentalist, be it 5-string banjo or Anglo concertina, and having her/him demonstrate what can be done. I then have to decide whether I want to learn what was demonstrated, and when to use it.

At the age of 70, I'm still not ready to take a formal class in music theory and practice. But I highly recommend that the young do that for years, before they compete for attention on the stage.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,donald
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 04:37 AM

I'm a relative beginner and really like the Alf Edwards accompaniment.Would anyone be kind enough to transpose the accompaniment on 'All for me grog' or 'John Barleycorn'? It would be a great help


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 08:27 AM

which tune for john barleycorn does he use.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,donald
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 08:38 AM

It's this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzkkwpq7Ehk


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 12:03 PM

ok the tune is modal, i play this song in sawmill tuning[ gdgcd] on the banjo, my approach would on the english concertina would be to do it in a flat, which suits my voice, i would play the tune against an e flat drone, very different from alfs approach. why? because i do not think straightforward chords work. Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 01:09 PM

Donald, it would be quite a task to transcribe what Alf plays of 'All For me Grog', because it's pretty complicated and would be quite hard to work out just by ear. The intro is played as single-note melody, then for the verses it's a mixture of chords, melody + chords, and harmony lines. He throws some higher-pitched chords into the second chorus as well. A nice example of his accompaniment at its best, IMO.

If you're a relative beginner, I'd suggest working out a few basic chords on your instrument and using those to accompany your singing with rhythmic strikes on the beat. Lloyd sings 'Grog' in F and the chord sequence is something like:

[F] All for me grog, me [Bb] jolly, jolly [F] grog
[F] All for me beer and to- [C] -bacco
[C] For we've [F] spent all our tin on the [Bb] lasses drinking [F] gin
And across the Western [C] ocean we must wan- [F] -der.

Personally I don't enjoy Alf's accompaniment to 'John Barleycorn' nearly as much. He plays nothing but D minor chords (stressing the first three beats of each bar) on lines 1,2 and 4 of each verse, which sounds quite dull and discordant to my ears. He does something more interesting and fluid on line 3, though.

If it were me I'd probably chord it something like this:

There [G] was three [Dm] men came out of the West, their [G] fortunes for to [Dm] try
And [G] these three [Dm] men made a solemn vow John [G] Barleycorn should [Dm] die
They [F] ploughed, they [Am] sowed, they [Dm] harrowed him in, throwed [F] clods u- [G] -pon his [Am] head
And [G] these three [Dm] men made a solemn vow John [G] Barleycorn was [Dm] dead.

Actually I'd probably not use minor chords at all, but use simple 1+5 chords throughout.

Hope that's helpful.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 05:27 AM

Brian is spot on, the important point is to leave the third note[ the one that denotes it is major or minor out of the chord], except probably [imo]for the g major and f major chords.if you are playing it in the key of d modal, the melody starts aggfd, my inclination would be to play d under the first four notes then a low a under the d and then an a under the next f, a d under the next g, then f natural under the d and g and then on the word west play ada, so you are playing melody and two note simple first and fifth under the whole of the first musical phrase. on the words fortune, i would play g with a lower dg, on the words for to try , i would play just the melody notes d c without harmony, and on the word try, play low a d and a.
i have just tried it on the english and that in my opinion is more suitable, just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 05:33 AM

this is really difficult to explain, on the word fortune melody g f natural, with a hrmony d under, for to is dc with no harmony.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 06:17 AM

this song has two musical phrases. so that is what i would do. the first second and fourth lines. so play melody with a d note underneath for the words there were three, the words men come. is a with d above. out of the,play melody notes f nat g a, with a d under, the word west is a and d. as is the word their, the word fortune is gdg, "for to" is dc without harmony, "try" is ada.
that leaves us with one musical phrase to sort, ,the melody is d f g a c dddd, words they ploughed they sowed they harowed him in, then melody a c c d c g a words threw clods upon his head.
i would do this d add an f take the f off add g with d, then play an a then to the a add the high c melody note, now for the four d s play d with ad under, now the last bit play a add c take a off play c with f, then play dc g without harmony, and then play aea, for the word head.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 07:03 AM

well here is a further draft or refinement for laid clods upon his head, a add c [above], then c with f,then play dcg all with an f below, now the g an the f are discordant but work because you only touch for a second and then resolve to aea, for the word head.
here it is, please bear in mind i have only just wrked it out so its a bit tentative
http://youtu.be/mUFPKNWgFX8


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Stanron
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 12:06 PM

Interesting thread.

I was about halfway through reading it when I remembered I had a CD of William Kimber. Now I know he played an Anglo not English but this isn't going off the subject of Alf Edward's concertina accompaniments, honest.

William Kimber was a very strong concertina player but I had forgotten that he was also a fine singer. My point is that he sang unaccompanied. His repertoire was mainly tunes but when he sang he did not accompany himself with the concerina. When he played tunes he included harmony lines and some chords so he was quite capable of accompaniment but chose not to do it when singing.

So the question is, was this a personal foible or was it the 'common practice'? If it was the latter then the Bob Thompson point made in MGM.Lion's second posting can still be valid. The concertina was used for playing tunes and dancing but not for accompanying singers. And the 'tradition' of playing concertina whilst singing is, in fact, an invention of Bert Lloyd and the revivalists.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with the way we now sing and play at the same time but can anyone think of any pre revival singers who played concertina and sang at the same time?


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 12:45 PM

music hall singers, did, pre the uk folk revival, and some music hall songs are accepted by the folk revival as folk repertoire.
but you could argue the same about the bouzouki, traditions evolve and change, the concertina was invented in 1840s, so what.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 01:07 PM

I remember in early childhood, about 1936-7 when I would be 4-5, seeing a production of Barrie's children's play 'Peter Pan'. One of the pirates, Starkie or Smee, sang a song, interpolated I think rather than part of the original script which I have just checked on. But the point is, I distinctly remember his singing to his own concertina accompaniment -- I remember my mother telling me that the instrument was called a concertina — which suggests to me that the use of self-accompaniment by singing sailors on the concertina was something conventionally expected by the director of this production, and his target audience, well before the time of "Bert & the revivalists", adduced in last post, or of Bert's using of Alf Edwards for accompaniment on his records.

Can anyone adduce any other examples?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Brian Peters
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 01:07 PM

Stanron, did you note MGM Lion's quote from Dan Worrall about ten posts down the thread (he was contradicting me, as it happens!):
"The concertina was also frequently used to accompany singing. Such singing was most typically done during evening slack time, and involved both nautical songs as well as any popular songs of the day".

Walter Pardon sang and played melodeon, but not at the same time. Plenty of people who sing and play box find it confusing and difficult to do both together, but quite apart from that, our 'folk' singing tradition seems to have been predominantly unaccompanied, so perhaps it was simply the 'done thing'


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 01:29 PM

Thanks Brian. I really appreciate that


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 02:16 PM

Belated apologies for my error of 29 Aug 12 0942 -- have only just noticed that I attribd singing of The Water Is Wide in 'The Bounty' to Robin Dransfield, when it was of course Barry!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Stanron
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 04:49 PM

I've got as far as page 8 out of the 20 in the first part of the Worral artcle where he goes through accounts of the concertina being used at sea. So far there are no instances of a singer accompanying him or herself on concertina but there's plenty yet to read.

I'd like to point out that my adductions in my previous posting were preceded by the word 'If'. I'm not trying to make or prove any particular theory, I was curious as to whether anyone could link to examples of pre 1950s folk recordings where a singer also played concertina at the same time as singing. I would like to hear what harmonies, if any, were used.

There may well be recordings of Music Hall performers doing this but that raises the old question of 'is it folk?'. I accompany myself on guitar when singing but I don't really think of myself as a 'folk' singer and certainly not traditional but I am interested in how stuff used to be done.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 05:00 PM

stanron, the new mexborough concertina band had arrangements of folk songs.
they also employed one of the band to sing songs on occasions whilst they accompanied him with harmony on their concertinas, this was in the 1930s.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Stanron
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 05:54 PM

Thanks GSS. I found this

https://soundcloud.com/ica-concertina-recordings/the-new-mexborough-english

which I guess is your 1980s recreation. Are there any recordings of the original band? And did you have access to the original scores?


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 09:00 AM

yes, i had access to the original scores, and yes the original music was also recorded by Nigel Pickles on the original instruments on a vinyl lp called the new mexborough concertina prize band.on plant life
we did a concert in wath on dearne town hall, at which a few of the surviving members of the original band were present, they complimented us on our performance.
one of the songs that the original band did was the music hall type song, it has a title something like the spaniard that stole my true love away.
in my opinion the NMECQ recording is superior to the new mxborough prize band recording which was a multi track of nigel pickles, because of the interaction between the musicians., which is obviously impossible to recreate with multi tracking


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 09:17 AM

sorry, the song was called the spaniard that blighted my life.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 11:17 AM

Dan Worrall's article includes at least one reference to hymns being accompanied, and also (p23) a comic song. On p36 he presents a table of the different musical uses of concertinas, that includes a number of instances of song accompaniments.

I suspect you're right, Stanron, that the concertina wasn't commonly used to accompany the kind of songs Cecil Sharp would have called 'folk'. Peter Kennedy's book 'Folksongs of Britain and Ireland' includes a photo of one William Rew holding an anglo, but all the evidence seems to be that he used it for playing dance music.


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 12:58 PM

Song accompaniment on concertina was mainly used in the music halls, for example percy amd mary honri in1936, take that stanron
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/percy-and-mary-honri


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Subject: RE: alf edwards concertina accompaniments
From: GUEST,Terry Murphy
Date: 10 Apr 17 - 05:35 PM

Hello! I am looking for a copy of Alf Edwards Concertina Book. Found one on line for $710.00 not that wealthy yet! My e-mail is-nimbuscat@provide.net THANK YOU! Terry Murphy


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