B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

Do anyone know if any manufacturers still produce the B/C/C# accordions with stradella bass system (british chromatic accordion).

They seem to be the most popular ones among scottish button accordionist (e.g. Jimmy Shand).

But I see that lots of contemporary players are switching to two-row B/C (eg. Fergie Macdonald), is this because you don’t get new instruments with three rows and stradella bass anymore? Or even B/C/C# accordions at all?

Do anyone know webssites or shops in in scotland/england were these accordions wold be available second hand?

I’ve heard there is a annual festival for collectors of Jimmy Shands own designed accordion model for hohner - the shand marino - is this true? - and is this and similar events a place to go for getting one of these accordions?

Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

This should draw some interesting comments.

The ongoing B/C vs C# /D controversy
Saltarell vs Soprani vs the World.

B/C is pretty standard and alot of people are comfortable with it. so it out numbers the rest in terms of general usage. C#D is a wonderful instrument, but less frequently used. Leav it at that.

I went with a 2 1/2 row Saltarelle for the reasons B/C/C# was out there. More flexibility particularly with fiddles.

Stradella bass is a much rarer animal. And, for most box players, playing bass is not a high priority unless a players individual style uses it. Most folks I see, play the box as a melody instrument, though there are many very quite capable bass players (John Williams in Chicago for one and is very orchestral in his use of it)

Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

Here’s a link for someone who plays the BCC# :

i do like his playing. maybe if you find a way to get in touch with Graham Irvine : on the vids you see differents makers …
and if you get in touch with Castagnari, I’m sure they can make one for you : they make 3-row chromatic button boxes, it’s just a question of putting diatonic reeds (actually they do a lot of custom-made layouts : in France, people play GC boxes with a third row of accidentals, about different for each player…). Saltarelle also has a small chromatic button, that they can change in a BCC#.
and on this site, our session friend Free Reed plays such a box…
BTW, I’ve seen lastly a lot of 2 and a half row boxes, tuned BC and the half row C#…

Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

You don’t hear these boxes much in Irish music any more but there are quite a few enthusiasts around in Scotland and to a lesser extent England. Ask at http://forum.melodeon.net/ and you’ll find out all you want to know.

Boxes crop up on eBay quite often - Casali Verona, Hohner Trichord, Hohner Morino models, etc. Castiglione accordions in Michigan usually have quite a few in stock.

Here’s a video clip of an Irish musician who knows his way around one. Horribly trite song but there are some nice reel snippets in between the verses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29vHWKDvc9w

As many who have been to the Catskills Irish week can attest, there is a box player local to that area who is also a very handy exponent. Unfortunately although he has the instrument down pat he is invariably floody with drink and a royal pain in the bass cabinet.

Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

Thanks for replies, my intention was to use it for scottish music. Although the reel snippets in the clip above sounded really irish, although that particular player did’nt seem to explore the bass side to much.

The only more well-known irish player I recall playing three row occasionally is Finbar Dwyer, although I’m not sure wheter his three row box (a soprani I think) is a box with stradella or more common 12 bass lay-out).

21/2 row players tend to have 12 basses aswell (like the mentioned John Williams - wich bass playing is great) and quite a few to row players tend to have 12 bass aswell these days, Jackie Daly have it on the saltarelle he is most seen with these days.

Anyway this stradella bass (unisonoric) with a bisonoric (push/pull) treble gives kind of best of both worlds I think.

But for not be in danger to cause an needless discussion about this box vs standard two rows - two rows are GREAT too

Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

Graham is a fine player, he was coming along to our session for a while before xmas. I think he is primarily a scottish style player, but he does have a big repertoire of iris tunes.

When he was in the oran mor i’m pretty sure he was playing a 2 row (probably bc) but witha greatly extended bass set up.

He used the basses quite extensively compared to most 2 row players, but sensitively. Not drowning everyone else out like some scottish style PA players can do.

I think he still plays in the oran mor regularly, but for set paid gigs of scottish stuff, not at our wed session.

- chris

Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

actually having watched Graham’s youtube videos, and thinking about it again, I couldn’t swear that he had a 2-row in the pub. I might have misremembered, not sure.


Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

Trad Lad - There are still a few three row players around, myself included. Admittedly the two row is the more popular accordion in ITM, and many three row players revert back now and again to a two row. The three row was always a great instrument for the scope of keys available, consequently great for band work. That’s one of the reasons why Shand in conjunction with Hohner designed it. His design was known as the Shand Marino and there is a Shand Marino Convention every year in Scotland. I’ve never been but I do know some Irish players who have attended. As far as I know the Shand Marino was last made by Hohner in Switzerland. I heard that you can still get one made for big bucks. Hohner also made the Gaelic IVs three row - A nice box. Paolo Soprani made a very good three row, and recently I played a three row Salterella, nice and light. A recent three row on the market was a Fantini (you can see Graham Irvine playing one on UTube) and when you on there have a look at Norman McKay playing ‘Leaving Paris’ Not ITM I know but a long way from a two row……… Lastly here is a 12 year old Scots lad who knows his way around a Gaelic IVs.


Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

I’m interested in these just from the stand point that they offer the best of both worlds — the sound/feel of a button box with the functionality of the stradella bass system.

The 8 bass system on my B/C is a cruel joke. I’m sick of answering the question, "And what are those button on that side for? Why don’t you used those?"

With a fine red three row on my knee
I’ll rattle this house gaily

read accordionworld.blogspot.com

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Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

Trad Lad - Goggle ‘Box and Fiddle magazine’ - They have a number of three rows for sale in their Classified Ads Section, including a couple of Shand Marinos and a Gaelic IVs

Re: B/C/C# britsh chromatic accordions

PLay the box you like….The Music will make it work if you listen to Her.