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Celtic tunes on piano accordion?

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Jim Dixon 15 Jul 01 - 11:58 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 01 - 12:06 PM
Sorcha 15 Jul 01 - 12:08 PM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 12:21 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Jul 01 - 12:27 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 01 - 12:34 PM
selby 15 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM
Chanteyranger 15 Jul 01 - 12:55 PM
Chanteyranger 15 Jul 01 - 12:59 PM
selby 15 Jul 01 - 01:08 PM
Chanteyranger 15 Jul 01 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Guest 15 Jul 01 - 01:45 PM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 01:56 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Jul 01 - 07:28 AM
CarolC 17 Jul 01 - 12:46 PM
CarolC 17 Jul 01 - 12:53 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 01:02 PM
CarolC 17 Jul 01 - 01:04 PM
Wesley S 17 Jul 01 - 01:08 PM
CarolC 17 Jul 01 - 01:23 PM
bill\sables 17 Jul 01 - 09:17 PM
Noreen 17 Jul 01 - 10:50 PM
CarolC 17 Jul 01 - 11:37 PM
ddw 18 Jul 01 - 01:00 AM
ddw 18 Jul 01 - 01:10 AM
Sam Pirt 18 Jul 01 - 04:23 AM
GeorgeH 18 Jul 01 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh 18 Jul 01 - 07:41 AM
Noreen 18 Jul 01 - 08:02 AM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 08:21 AM
ScottyG 18 Jul 01 - 08:36 AM
Noreen 18 Jul 01 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh 18 Jul 01 - 09:29 AM
Noreen 18 Jul 01 - 09:36 AM
ScottyG 18 Jul 01 - 09:39 AM
GeorgeH 18 Jul 01 - 09:39 AM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 09:40 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 01 - 06:27 PM
ollaimh 18 Jul 01 - 06:30 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Dec 01 - 03:50 PM
MMario 05 Dec 01 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Manitas 05 Dec 01 - 04:56 PM
Noreen 05 Dec 01 - 06:05 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 01 - 06:23 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Dec 01 - 07:34 PM
Noreen 05 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM
53 05 Dec 01 - 09:53 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 12 - 07:46 AM
clueless don 05 Jan 12 - 09:13 AM
Mr Happy 05 Jan 12 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Baz Parkes 05 Jan 12 - 10:57 AM
Mr Happy 05 Jan 12 - 11:11 AM
Peter C 05 Jan 12 - 11:47 AM
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Subject: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:58 AM

My wife was recently given a quite playable piano accordion that was formerly gathering dust in someone's attic, and she has set to work learning to play it. She already knows lots of Scottish and Irish tunes, which she plays well on hammered dulcimer and flute. She can also read music and play piano, although not in performance.

So, given these circumstances, it makes sense for her to learn to play Celtic tunes on the piano accordion, although most traditional Irish musicians favor the button accordion.

Now she wants to know if there are any other musicians that play Irish or Scottish tunes on piano accordion, and if there are any CD's available. She wants to hear what they sound like, and she thinks she can probably figure out the fingering from a good recording.

Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:06 PM

Jim, I suggested. "Karen Tweed's Irish Choice" which is a book but has 2 cassetes with the tunes available to accompany it to someone in another thread some time ago. Not quite what you are asking for but it may be worth a look. It is availible at www.mally.com.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:08 PM

LOL! His name is Sam Pirt and he plays with Bill Sables, Ian Stehphenson, and several others. I'm sure someone will be along to tell you how to get his CD's.......I'm sure Dick Greenhaus at CAMSCO has them.


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:21 PM

I could be wrong about this, but I think that the button accordion is used for a lot of Irish music is because it can be played faster. The piano accordion is perfectly acceptable if you don't need to play really fast. (Unless you're Sam Pirt. He can play fast on anything, according to what I've heard.) Your wife might want to start with some slow airs, laments, and waltzes until she gets the hang of it.

And you used the term 'Celtic' in a generic sort of sense, but I think there are a lot of differences in style between Scottish, Irish, and other kinds of Celtic playing on the accordion.

And I agree with Sorcha. Sam Pirt is a great accordion resource.


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:27 PM

I used "Celtic" as a shorthand for "Scottish and Irish" because my wife plays both, and I couldn't fit both words into the title of the thread!


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:34 PM

Sam is excellent... Just to add some weight to my suggestion of Karen Tweed , click here.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: selby
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM

Phil Cunningham is another good resource, he has a great book out called The House In Rose Valley, he also has plenty of cd credits to his name. He has his own web site. Keith


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:55 PM

Scottish piano accordionist Phil Cunningham is a true wizard of the instrument (he played in the folk band "Silly Wizard," which was around in the 70's and 80's). He is known for blazing speed and technical brilliance, for soulful playing of airs and waltzes, and for composing many wonderful tunes that could easily be mistaken for traditional material. Look for his solo albums "Airs and Graces" and "The Palomino Waltz," and for Silly Wizard recordings on Shanachie and Green Linnett labels, Silly Wizard being more for inspiration than instruction, and for his book of his own compositions, "The Cunningham Collection."

He has been instrumental (no pun intended!) in showing the range and possibilities of the piano accordion in Scottish music, though it has been used in dance bands for many years, and he has been an influence on many of today's players and on the way the accordion is played.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:59 PM

I must have been writing when Selby posted. Great minds think alike! :-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: selby
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:08 PM

Here is Phils website, chanteyranger while I nipped of for this you posted hope you hav'nt been doing the same Keith :-) http://www.philcunningham.com/


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:31 PM

Didn't know about his website. Thanks for the link.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:45 PM

Jim,

I haven't figured out how to do the blue clickie thing, but the web address below will take you to a sound sample of the Alexander Brothers' music. Tommie plays the piano accordion.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/alexander.brothers/

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:56 PM

Here's a blicky for the Alexander Brothers


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 07:28 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 12:46 PM

I'm trying to find small (or large) on-line audio samples of some of the different accordionists that have been mentioned (and any others that might be good), so that I can determine who plays in the styles that I want to learn without having to go broke buying a whole bunch of CDs that I may not need or want. My CD budget is very small.

Here's an example of the sort of thing I'm looking for...

Mudcatter Bernard

Can anyone point me in the direction of, or provide URLs for anyone they think is good?

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 12:53 PM

By the way... when I tried to access the audio samples for the Alexander Brothers, my computer gave me an error message saying that the destination format could not be found. Has anyone else had that problem? It could be my computer. I've just had it upgraded and it's acting funny.


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:02 PM

Can't believe no one here is aware of the Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection?

http://www.users.qwest.net/~hartobrien/tunehome.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:04 PM

Blicky for Paddy O'Brien


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:08 PM

I saw a great band by the name of Gabrials Gate at the last North Texas Irish Festival that had a piano accordian. They are from Kansas City or somewhere nearby. I think there is a link at www.ntif.org


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:23 PM

Blicky for Gabriel's Gate


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: bill\sables
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 09:17 PM

Sam is back from Sweden now so he should be able to give some sort of imput.
Bill


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 10:50 PM

Some mp3 and Real Audio clips of Sam Pirt playing piano accordion with that wonderful group 422 (click) though the accordion is well blended with the other instruments. Definitely worth a listen anyway, it's one of my favourite CDs.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 11:37 PM

Great CD, Sam! Any chance you'll ever put out a recording with the accordion being more prominent?


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: ddw
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 01:00 AM

Jim,

There's a guy here in Windsor who plays Scottish & Irish tunes on accordian. His name is Len Wallace and his band is called The Diggers.Great performer! I'll see if I can come up with a Web site for you.

Back shortly,

david


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: ddw
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 01:10 AM

Jim, try this clicky

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 04:23 AM

Hi All

Carol C - Ye I am hopeing to get a solo album out ether this year or the beginning of next year, I just need to get the finanace sorted!!

The piano accordion is EXCELLENT for celtic (irish, scottish, breton etc..) music. OK so the notes may be a bit further appart from a melodion but belive me they flow so much more when you are playing.

It is really a great instrument to play celtic music on, the rewards are huge.

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:38 AM

I'd say piano accordion is far more common than button in Scottish music . . indeed, it seems to be the "standard" instrument for the Scottish Country Dance movement. And wasn't Jimmy Shands a piano accordionist?

One to listen out for is Ian Lowthian . . in particular the Catriona Macdonald (fiddle)/Ian Lowthian (piano accordion) albub "Opus Blue" is as good as "Celtic" (I hate that term!!) music gets. Sadly it's on Dave Bulmer's Celtic Music label, so many decent distributors don't stock it.

Another band is Flook! (www.flook.co.uk) (the albums "Live" and "Flatfish"); while there's not a great deal of accordion on their albums the CDs are absolutelyn excellent - and the accordion playing is wonderful.

George


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:41 AM

Find some recordings of Jimmy Shand; THE MASTER of Scottish Accordianists in his day.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Noreen
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:02 AM

I always assumed Mr Shand played piano accordion, never having seen him, only having heard him. So I was very surprised to see a picture of him (when he wss newsworthy recently as he had died...) strapped to a big button accordion.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:21 AM

George, I think you'll find Jimmy Shand played a chromatic button accordion.

Carol, I can't find any sound clips of the Karen Tweed book/ tapes I mentioned. One beauty of this set is the accompanyment on the tapes is minimal. It really does show how she plays the tunes... and as someone described in the link I gave before as "Sam Pirt's mentor", as you might expect, she does play them rather well.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: ScottyG
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:36 AM

Jon,

Hence the famous Shand Morino button instrument Honer made to Sir Jimmy's specs. I wonder why every picture I see of him has him holding a piano accordion. He was the best, whatever he played.

ScottyG


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Noreen
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:06 AM

So he played both, Scotty?


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:29 AM

Think you'll find Sir Jimmy Shand played piano accordian, button accordian and melodeon.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Noreen
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:36 AM

Thanks Scott... sorry, Sir Jimmy.


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: ScottyG
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:39 AM

Noreen,

Aye, I would assume so. Can't figure why he'd be depicted in photos with a piano accordion if he strictly played a button instrument. I imagine a lot of accordion players use both. There seems to be varied opinion as to which type of accordion best suits "Celtic" music. Myself, I enjoy either, tho I can't play them. I simulate accordion on my digital piano when I attempt to play some of the "auld Scotch sangs" I love so much.

Cheers

ScottyG


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:39 AM

Hey, we're all right . . Except I put an s on his surname . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:40 AM

I've tried a search but haven't found anything that states whether he did play piano accordion or not although the button one is specifically reffered to. Here is one quote I found:

"Jimmy not only played accordion - he had the Hohner company build a "button" model to his specification, which would produce a sound better suited to Scottish Dance Music than anything else the market could offer. This was the highly acclaimed "Shand Morino". He also played the melodion, mouth organ and fiddle. "

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:27 PM

I am fairly certain that Jimmy Shand played the button instrument exclusively rather than the keyed accordion - I remember an excellent radio program a few years ago where he was interviewed by John Kirkpatrick. He talked extensively about his musical career and detailed the instruments he played without a single reference to the keyed accordion. I second all reccomendations re. Karen Tweed and Phil Cunningham's playing and would like to add Freeland Barbour to the Scottish list.

Ian S


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:30 PM

you know the irish definition of a gentleman. some one who know's how to play the piano accordian but doesn't


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 03:50 PM

I decided to revive this old thread because a new problem has come up. My wife's skill on the accordion has now progressed to the point where she wants to play it in her band. It has caused a conflict with another band member: the piano player, who, until now has always considered it her prerogative to decide what chords are played.

This has not been much of a problem as long as the other performers were playing hammered dulcimer, flute, fiddle, and so on. The piano player is fond of complicated chord progressions. She isn't content to stick to 3 or so chords per tune. She says that's way too boring. She is very fluent with music theory, so she works out complicated accompaniments using chord inversions and so forth.

Her chording scheme conflicts with the chords my wife has learned on the accordion. Because of the way the chord buttons are arranged on the accordion, the chords the piano player wants to use would be difficult if not impossible to play.

I had breakfast with the piano player this morning, (We frequent the same coffee shop.) and she bent my ear for nearly a half-hour about this problem. I'm not a musician myself, and I barely understand enough music theory to know what the problem is. I haven't discussed it with my wife yet.

My wife has listened to a Phil Cunningham CD and noticed that Phil wasn't playing chords. Is this the standard way it's done when playing in a band? Is it common, in Scottish music, for the piano to play chords that can't be played on the accordion? Is the piano-player just being a prima donna here?

I'd like to know others' thoughts on this subject.


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: MMario
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 04:33 PM

"Share?"


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST,Manitas
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 04:56 PM

Phil Cunningham does play chords but always below the melody. He often uses a midi set up to make his left hand sound like a piano.

Why not just use the accordion as a melody instrument and leave the acompaniment to the piano for the tunes already in the repertoire and then work out mutually agreeable arrangements for nre matierial?


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Noreen
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 06:05 PM

Hi, Jim.

Seems to me, that since the pianist has been playing longer than your wife, and has worked out more interesting ways of accompanying the tunes, this is an opportunity for your wife to learn more about accompaniment from one who knows.

There is nothing that the pianist is playing that can't be adapted for the accordion. The exact same progressions are unlikely, but what the pianist will be trying to remedy is the times when conflicting chords are played at the same time... which feels like fingernails down a blackboard. Your wife (sorry to have to refer to you like that, Jim's wife..) can play single notes in places where complete chords are too awkward.

I think it unlikely that the pianist is just being a prima donna here... although a lot depends on her attitude. If it were me I'd be delighted to help work out a joint accompaniment that makes the band sound good- isn't that the point of playing together? Good luck with the playing.

Noreen

Ceili band pianist


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 06:23 PM

another wonderful young accordionist is Sandy Brechin

a very talented player and extremely easy on the eye..... *grin*

and his CDs are wonderful....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 07:34 PM

Since writing the above message, I have discussed the problem with my wife and found out that the problem isn't nearly so serious as the piano player led me to believe. Anne has decided, with no hard feelings, to sit out those tunes (or at least not play them on the accordion) where she can't play the chords the piano player wants. She also thinks that, with enough practice, she WILL be able to learn to play the chords the piano player wants. She just isn't that good yet.

As it happens, the tunes my wife has been practicing on the accordian are tunes that were already in their repertoire. She came to last night's rehearsal prepared (she thought) to play accordion on 3 medleys out of about 20 in the whole night's set. (The tune list for the next gig had already been decided.) There was only one medley on which they couldn't agree on the chords, so Anne decided not to play on that one. It's no big deal, in her estimation.

I should point out that, although this particular problem is new, the band does have a history of having a lot of difficulty making decisions as a group. The band has nearly split up a couple of times over similar stuff. Hence the paranoia.

Maybe this a topic worth starting another thread about: How do bands make decisions? Appeal to authority? Phil Cunningham does it this way, so it must be right. Or, it's easier for you to relearn your part than for me to relearn mine, so let's do it my way.

Actually, the most convincing argument to me would be, "OK, let's do this tune your way and the next tune my way." But some people have a hard time compromising like this, and want to argue about every chord and every grace note until everybody else gives up.


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Noreen
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM

Jim, I wouldn't be interested in playing in a band with people like that- sounds no fun at all. Bands I've played with have all had respect for each others musical talents and opinions, and so everyone has tried to fit in with each other, rather than trying to force others into their may of thinking. It's been more like:

OK, I'll do it YOUR way...No, *I'll* do it YOUR way!

Thanks for the link, Alison- interesting chap- and he plays the accordion too! *grin*


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Subject: RE: Help: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: 53
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 09:53 PM

IS THE SONG WHAT CHILD IS THIS CONSIDERED A CELTIC TUNE? BOB


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Subject: RE: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 07:46 AM

Dean Warner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHsM4o_kFM

Karen Tweed
This is a 3 part video. Watch her bass side!
http://youtu.be/v3vhGBpZKIA

Jimmy Keane
http://youtu.be/xzAPJwhO3d4

http://youtu.be/e0o3_GmRwEY

There is more just follow the links. Have fun!


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Subject: RE: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: clueless don
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 09:13 AM

Not sure if this old thread is still relevant, but in addition to Phil Cunningham and Jimmy Keane, already mentioned, the piano accordion is overwhelmingly the most common instrument among those who play for Irish step dancing competitions ("feisianna" [spellings vary], which is the plural of "feis", which is pronounced "fesh".)

Don


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Subject: RE: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 09:41 AM

What're 'Celtic tunes' ?


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Subject: RE: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: GUEST,Baz Parkes
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 10:57 AM

Tunes from Celtland, silly....,


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Subject: RE: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 11:11 AM

...ah!

From the Balkans!


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Subject: RE: Celtic tunes on piano accordion?
From: Peter C
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 11:47 AM

IMHO if only one member of a band is playing the chords then it is no problem! That person plays what they think sounds best! If several people are playing chords, just like a jazz band you all have to agree on the chord progression!


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