Exercises for C system CBA
#21
(07-07-2019, 07:58 PM)fphlpsnrg Wrote:
(07-07-2019, 08:31 AM)maugein96 Wrote:
(06-07-2019, 09:37 PM)fphlpsnrg Wrote: I hate exercises. The only thing one learns is the exercise. Time is better spent learning music. One of my teachers from long ago introduced me to the following (see link):
Basic Exercises

I was obliged to try and teach myself to play, and was unable to associate with other CBA players in pre-internet days.

Unfortunately that meant learning from books, exercises, the lot. I do appreciate that time is best spent learning to play music, but if you're struggling with technique, how do you achieve that? A fair number of members are either new players, or people possibly interested in changing from PA to CBA.

Best just do what you've been doing from long ago. Seems you've had the benefit of several teachers, and that has probably made all the difference. CBA teachers have always been a very rare breed in most English speaking countries. I would consider the fact that you found more than one was very fortunate indeed.

As far as learning technique on your own, the only suggestions I can make are: find the pattern that will allow you to play a phrase smoothly and advance on to the next. Remember that the accordion is a "breathing" instrument. Find a consistent and repeatable point in the music to change the bellows direction. Most importantly, record yourself. There is nothing more illuminating or humbling than to hear yourself as others would. Listen to other players to hear how they bring the instrument into music.

I am strictly an amateur. Out of four teachers, I've had only one teacher who focused on CBA. She has gone on to other pursuits outside music. My own history with accordion is fragmented and uninteresting. 30 years ago I bought a well–used 1947 Hohner Gola: piano right hand, stradella left hand, with a separate 3 row free-bass.  20 years ago I found a Giullietti Contninental C – chromatic right hand, 5 row free bass in the left hand. My interest in music is primarily baroque, classical, and early 20th century jazz. Piano is a percussive instrument. Accordion is primarily a wind instrument. Properly played it rivals the violin in replicating the human voice. Bach now sounds lyrical, Ellington's chords flood the senses.

The most complete instruction book for CBA is Elsbeth Moser's "Das Knopfakkordeon C-Griff", Sikorski Musikverlag, Hamburg. For the last 10 years, I have been working on an English translation. In the last year, I have been working with Dr. Moser on the final version. Hopefully, it will go Sikorski later this month for publication. Her original work is carefully written in precise German, and genuinely inaccessible to English speakers. The content of the English version is as close to the original as possible. My approach to the language is to make it comprehensible to a moderately bright 12 year old. The only change for the English version is in the diagrams, to present both the left and right hands as if the musician were viewing the instrument in a mirror. This presentation eliminates the mental step of re–orienting the original face–on to the keyboard diagrams, enables the musician to relate to the diagrams directly, and enhances transfer of the patterns to the keyboard when the manual is studied from a music stand. Once the player has viewed themselves in the mirror, the transfer of the physical image of the keyboard in the mirror to the mental image presented by the keyboard diagrams will be direct and immediate.

She and her team put together a massive amount of research, thought, and work over several decades to bring her work into its final German form. The way I describe her text is, that while Bach demonstrated what could be done with the clavier in “Das Wohltemperierte Klavier”, her book shows how to build music from the bayan. A familiar quote from Bach is “all one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time and the instrument plays itself”. Dr. Moser’s work shows the student not only how to hit those notes, but also how to recognize those
notes in the pattern of the music in front of them.

Is your English translation ready for publication by Sikorski? 
An English edition of the Elsbeth Moser C-Griff method would certainly have impact on amateur accordion students and teachers.

The accordion community needs more CBA tutor books in English.
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#22
(07-07-2019, 08:26 PM)Stephen Wrote:
(07-07-2019, 07:58 PM)fphlpsnrg Wrote:
(07-07-2019, 08:31 AM)maugein96 Wrote:
(06-07-2019, 09:37 PM)fphlpsnrg Wrote: I hate exercises. The only thing one learns is the exercise. Time is better spent learning music. One of my teachers from long ago introduced me to the following (see link):
Basic Exercises

I was obliged to try and teach myself to play, and was unable to associate with other CBA players in pre-internet days.

Unfortunately that meant learning from books, exercises, the lot. I do appreciate that time is best spent learning to play music, but if you're struggling with technique, how do you achieve that? A fair number of members are either new players, or people possibly interested in changing from PA to CBA.

Best just do what you've been doing from long ago. Seems you've had the benefit of several teachers, and that has probably made all the difference. CBA teachers have always been a very rare breed in most English speaking countries. I would consider the fact that you found more than one was very fortunate indeed.

As far as learning technique on your own, the only suggestions I can make are: find the pattern that will allow you to play a phrase smoothly and advance on to the next. Remember that the accordion is a "breathing" instrument. Find a consistent and repeatable point in the music to change the bellows direction. Most importantly, record yourself. There is nothing more illuminating or humbling than to hear yourself as others would. Listen to other players to hear how they bring the instrument into music.

I am strictly an amateur. Out of four teachers, I've had only one teacher who focused on CBA. She has gone on to other pursuits outside music. My own history with accordion is fragmented and uninteresting. 30 years ago I bought a well–used 1947 Hohner Gola: piano right hand, stradella left hand, with a separate 3 row free-bass.  20 years ago I found a Giullietti Continental C – chromatic right hand, 5 row free bass in the left hand. My interest in music is primarily baroque, classical, and early 20th century jazz. Piano is a percussive instrument. Accordion is primarily a wind instrument. Properly played it rivals the violin in replicating the human voice. Bach now sounds lyrical, Ellington's chords flood the senses.

The most complete instruction book for CBA is Elsbeth Moser's "Das Knopfakkordeon C-Griff", Sikorski Musikverlag, Hamburg. For the last 10 years, I have been working on an English translation. In the last year, I have been working with Dr. Moser on the final version. Hopefully, it will go Sikorski later this month for publication. Her original work is carefully written in precise German, and genuinely inaccessible to English speakers. The content of the English version is as close to the original as possible. My approach to the language is to make it comprehensible to a moderately bright 12 year old. The only change for the English version is in the diagrams, to present both the left and right hands as if the musician were viewing the instrument in a mirror. This presentation eliminates the mental step of re–orienting the original face–on to the keyboard diagrams, enables the musician to relate to the diagrams directly, and enhances transfer of the patterns to the keyboard when the manual is studied from a music stand. Once the player has viewed themselves in the mirror, the transfer of the physical image of the keyboard in the mirror to the mental image presented by the keyboard diagrams will be direct and immediate.

She and her team put together a massive amount of research, thought, and work over several decades to bring her work into its final German form. The way I describe her text is, that while Bach demonstrated what could be done with the clavier in “Das Wohltemperierte Klavier”, her book shows how to build music from the bayan. A familiar quote from Bach is “all one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time and the instrument plays itself”. Dr. Moser’s work shows the student not only how to hit those notes, but also how to recognize those notes in the pattern of the music in front of them.

Is your English translation ready for publication by Sikorski? 
An English edition of the Elsbeth Moser C-Griff method would certainly have impact on amateur accordion students and teachers.

The accordion community needs more CBA tutor books in English.

I have a shelf full of remarkably useless and mediocre instruction manuals on CBA. Dr. Moser's favorite word is "Geduld" – patience. She is currently reviewing the final revision. It is already in publication format. Dr. Moser’s accessibility, willingness, and grace to revisit her original work, and active interest in the English version made it possible to get as far as we have.

I have no idea how long it will take to get to actual publication. Let's guess at 6 months and be pleasantly surprised if it is sooner. One has to appreciate the huge amount of work and the number of years it took her to produce the original version and that we only get to do this once.
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#23
If there is a space left on your shelf, do you have the Alexander Dmitriev article on Positional fingering on the bayan CBA? It's in Russian and English translation.
Or the 1973 book by Nikolai Risol about bayan 5 finger playing technique?  Not translated, only in Russian. 

Both are B-system orientated, but Dmitriev included C-system fingering numbers. 

Both publications are cornerstones in CBA fingering methode.
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#24
(07-07-2019, 09:32 PM)Stephen Wrote: If there is a space left on your shelf, do you have the Alexander Dmitriev article on Positional fingering on the bayan CBA? It's in Russian and English translation.
Or the 1973 book by Nikolai Risol about bayan 5 finger playing technique?  Not translated, only in Russian. 

Both are B-system orientated, but Dmitriev included C-system fingering numbers. 

Both publications are cornerstones in CBA fingering methode.

There are many different theories and mysteries regarding CBA.

In case anybody was interested in the Do2 or Charleroi accordion, still played in northern France and Belgium, this is how it's done.

No books, methods, teachers, or uncertainty about fingering. 

The box is B system with C in the second row. Thumbs not allowed, and pinkies by invite only. Get it out of the case, strap it on, and away you go. Three fingers will cover most of the repertoire on any rows you wish, and I haven't seen any method books written specifically for a Do2.

Edouard Duleu made millions out of playing as an entertainer, without giving much thought as to whether he was doing it right or wrong.

The music was simple, but not many had the technique that he possessed to carry it off.

This is accordion from the days when it still commanded respect and interest from non players:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGrZlCjjvGQ

Or watch Raul Barboza play standard B system the way it should be played (in Argentina):-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0RPNnR6qLE

Need to have a word with him about his terrible fingering and he should really be wearing two shoulder straps. The right strap across the upper arm was popular with some old school French players, like Jo Privat.

His box is a Pampiana, which is a re-badged Piermaria supplied to South America, and has International type peg bass buttons arranged 4/2.

Basically, there are many variations on the theme of CBA, and many world class players often flew in the face of convention in the years when the accordion was way more popular than it is now. I would imagine that the same phenomenon could be found with PA, or not as the case may be.

These days everybody seems to be obsessed with doing things correctly, when I would argue that there is no such thing. You either have it or you haven't, regardless. As it happened I never had it, but still got a lot of pleasure out of pretending that I had.
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#25
"You either have it or not, regardless"? 

No,  sorry, good accordion de teachers and good methods can make a huge difference. 


What's the use of school education if it would only be a matter of talent? 

Without his father Leopold giving him violin lessons, Woolfie wouldn't be the musician and composer he became. 
Even Mozart needed some teaching lessons. 

He wasn't born a music genius.
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#26
Hi Stephen,

I understand your point of view, but in my own experience, which has never ventured into the classics, the accordion world has tended to be dominated by players of exceptional natural ability, who have concentrated on "popular" music.

I do appreciate that the very existence of the accordion these days is partly due to its popularity as a classical instrument. In my generation in Scotland the accordion just wasn't accepted as an instrument for serious music studies, and therefore all of the technical works that existed were simply unheard of.

Several prominent Scottish accordionists who wished to gain diplomas in music were obliged to go and study elsewhere. The most notable of those is Professor Owen Murray, who studied at Copenhagen. Whilst he is undoubtedly a splendid and very accomplished player, his playing and compositions remain virtually unknown in his home country.

Everybody can benefit from taking lessons, but not everybody has that wow factor that makes people sit up and listen.
To some of us the accordion is an "easy listening" type of instrument, whilst for others it merits serious study to maximise its potential.

Perhaps where you are situated good accordion teachers and methods are easier to come by, and there are sufficient numbers of students to justify the continued existence of such teachers and methods. That is simply not the case where I live.

For a lot of technically accomplished accordionists, nothing is too difficult, as they've learned the whole lot, grade by grade, until they have it all down as they have been taught.

However, out of a thousand such players you'll be lucky to find more than a handful who can inject their own individuality into their playing.

Take a thousand accordionists out of the rural parts of Brazil, give them each an old battered PA, and listen to what they can do. The vast majority of them will not be worth listening to, but a handful will have that little something that sets them apart from the others. Those are life's real entertainers, and most of them will never had much if any formal training on the accordion.

The notion that the accordion is something that requires to be systematically learned in the classical sense is open to question.

I do realise that the regional music of Brazil is pretty specialised, and not appreciated by everybody. The real sting in the tail is neither is classical music.
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#27
Please leak it to me.   Wink
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#28
(09-07-2019, 02:00 PM)mitchnc Wrote: Please leak it to me.   Wink

Mitch,

Not too sure of what you mean, but appreciate the humour.

Essentially my point is :- Who taught Jimi Hendrix and Dick Dale to play guitar upside down with their left hands and make a lot of money out of so doing? 

If there was only one correct way to play an instrument neither of those guys would have earned half a dollar between them with their efforts. 

If you aspire to be a classical musician you must be prepared to spend a lot of time learning whatever is required to achieve that goal.

If you aspire to be an entertainer in a specific genre or genres you must be prepared to learn all of the particular techniques required to carry that over. 

If your aim concerns the latter option you can rest assured that no classical musician will be able to play as you do, unless they opt to study the specific techniques that you've already acquired. 

Examples:-

French musette played with three fingers of the right hand only, in the typical old fashioned French musette style:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOw4BxDS_WU

French musette played on a PA in a style expected of a non French audience:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsxMgf_gjoc

As someone who has listened to French musette accordion for over 60 years, it's a no contest. The first version is genuine, and the second is "plastic French". Forget about the Roland and digital music. The tempo and playing technique screams "foreign".

Play those tracks to international audiences and the chances are that nobody will even realise the first one was genuine. However, the second clip features a very accomplished accordionist who can play anything from the classics to French musette. World audiences are now inclined to believe that French musette should sound like the second clip. 
 
Here is the typical "modern" French sound, as demonstrated by Louis Corchia, a world champion, who was born in Paris. No three voice musette to be heard at all.His box is LMMH, or LMM, depending on what he used for the recording.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ47hqCOYZM 

Doesn't sound very French does it? Ask Ms Baker to play it, and see how she gets on. 

Don't get me wrong, Alicia Baker is a world class player, but French musette is a sideline for her, and that is obvious to those of us who are fans of the genre.

On no account would I decry her efforts. The lady is an accomplished entertainer, and has all of the musical qualifications to prove she can play to world standard. However, she takes second prize to old three finger Aimable in the world of French musette.

Show me the non Bosnian classical player who can do this and I'll eat my words:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FmnQcHnacg
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#29
"French musette played with three fingers of the right hand only, in the typical old fashioned French musette style:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOw4BxDS_WU"

After a slow intro this 11 year old plays typical French musette style with five fingers of the right hand, the "modern" accordion technique on CBA :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIljcOUNfXs

To me this 5 finger technique is as typical as the old fashioned Aimable 3 fingers technique.
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#30
(14-07-2019, 08:57 PM)Stephen Wrote: "French musette played with three fingers of the right hand only, in the typical old fashioned French musette style:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOw4BxDS_WU"

After a slow intro this 11 year old plays typical French musette style with five fingers of the right hand, the "modern" accordion technique on CBA :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIljcOUNfXs

To me this 5 finger technique is as typical as the old fashioned Aimable 3 fingers technique.

Hi Stephen,

You are perfectly correct. It is very typical of modern players, and Benoit is a kid in a million. 

It's not a matter of disagreement, and unfortunately I do tend to be stuck in the days when the accordion was still quite popular. 

In countries such as France, where the instrument has retained a certain degree of popularity, then the approach to playing has altered significantly since the 50s and 60s. The old musette standards have had the rough edges smoothed out a bit, to the point where stuff like this is now firmly well in the history books. The player is Gerard Desreumaux, from Wervik, just over the Belgian border. The sound is the way it used to be done. Fairly simple but with great presence. Not many players are capable of playing like that these days, regardless of their technical ability.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtQDjDIGhWI
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#31
Hi,

Benoit Nortier can play both 5 fingers technique and 3/4 fingers technique.
French musette accordionists are playing standup all the time at the bals musettes, so they feel the thumb is helping them to stabilize the accordion (because they are playing so fast and wild)

With good accordion straps and the accordion firmly attached to the body, it is possible to play this with 5 fingers technique.

The difference between him and Aimable is the difference in (modern) accordion education. And as a 11 years, he's doing very well compared to the accordion star Aimable. Both were/are very talented, but I honestly think talent is much less important than education. With moderate talent you can do a lot, if supported by good teachers.

I have no statistics, but it wouldn't surprised me the present popularity of accordion is underestimated, compared to the old days of the golden period 1920-1950. But you would have to make a global comparison, including all countries in the world. 
Don't forget that many guitarists or pianists have an accordion as a 2nd music instrument.

Here is Nortier demonstrating his 3/4 fingers technique with thumb on the side:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNwlHhEt0zs
[color=var(--ytd-video-primary-info-renderer-title-color, var(--yt-spec-text-primary))]Benoit NORTIER St Amand sur Sèvre mai 2016 Valses[/color]
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#32
Hi Stephen,


Yes, he does play without the thumb most of the time in that clip, although he makes quite frequent use of it at times. 

I remember that accordion he is playing. Just 80 basses, as Aimable wasn't much of a bass player either. At times he made a lot of use of a Ketron chromatic keyboard which he mixed with his accordion in some tracks. 

Aimable, Verchuren, and many other "pop" players received a lot of criticism from those accordionists who preferred not to listen to "musette pur" in every track. Their music was often referred to as inferior, which it probably was in the pure musical sense. 

I do accept what you say that people of average ability can benefit greatly from formal music study and tuition, it's just that most of the players I have listened to over the years don't appear to have gone down that road. 

Here in Scotland the accordion repertoire has remained pretty static over the last few decades, and that has played a large part in why it isn't very popular here any more. The notion of "jazzing up" traditional tunes like they did with French musette just wouldn't work here. I do appreciate that is not the same in other countries where players are encouraged to get involved in classical music and possibly introduce elements from other genres into the playing. Some Scottish players allow themselves to play a selection of what we call "Continental" music (French musette, German Bier Keller, light classical, etc). However when they do play that sort of material the audience tends to disappear to the bar and the toilets.  

Like yourself I don't have access to facts and figures, but I can remember the days when most large towns had a music shop which stocked a selection of accordions. I would now guess we are down to single figures for the whole country. 

I fully appreciate things are probably different where you are, and maybe that's why our attitudes are at odds with each other. Basically, the accordion has never really been taken seriously here in a pure musical sense, except by an ever diminishing number of teachers, and a core of players who are dedicated to the traditional styles. The instrument is generally confined to one or two very localised genres, and in my lifetime I've seen very little change, other than to observe the marked scarcity of players over the years.
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