C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

My child has been playing C#/D button accordion well for two years.I contacted a branch of Comhaltas enquiring about lessons and was told if we joined their group my child would be starting as a complete beginner learning B/C accordion!
The notion of learning C#/D button accordion was scoffed at!

After two years learning with Conor Keane & Brendan Begley at The Willie Clancy Festival,Miltown Malbay, among children playing C#/D and B/C accordions in the one class,this attitude is dissappointing.Should we move west?

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

In all fairness, Gracie, CCE is largely a voluntary organisation and it may just be that whoever teaches box in your local group only has expertise on B/C.
If I were you and my child was getting on well on the C#/D or whatever, I’d definitely let them stick at it. Just use the Willie Week resources and whatever else you can find - local musicians with open minds. Tunes are tunes, doesn’t matter what you play them on.

Posted .

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

"The notion of learning C#/D button accordion was scoffed at!" THAT is the sad part of this tale.

Just remember that it’s not that long ago that CCE also scoffed at most of the Donegal & Kerry Music, not permitting much of it to be played at their silly competitions.

They also scoffed at many of the instruments which are commonly used to play Irish Music today, but eventually they came around & allowed them to be used too.

The important thing to remember here is that CCE aren’t the be all & end all of Irish Music, they are but a side show.
So I trust you will make sure that your daughter sticks to her guns & you find a good C#/D tutor for her.

I play with a brilliant C#/D player every week & I just love the lively attack you get from those great boxes.

The Repeal of the Union and James Byrnes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhj_l9M1u8s


Sorry, but in in comparison, ye olde roly poly B/C boxes just sound far too sloppy for me! 🙁

Good Luck.

Cheers,
Dick

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

I play b/c but love to listen To the c#/d players given that box’s great sound

Given its place in development of the bc, that seems to be a very narrow view

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

…but YES, you should move West, just on general principles!!

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Stick with the c#d and let her develop a style just like the masters Conor Keane and Brendan Begley.
And she would be far better off not getting involved in box playing cce has decided is the correct way, there are quiet enough of the bc players and they all tend to sound very similar. No offence .
The music is not about competion

Listen to the heart and drive in Conor keans music Listen to joe Cooley , Jackie Daly etc. and experience the real living tradition..
Having said that theres room for all
jimmy

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Hmm it depends how used she got to playing C# / D. It can be hard to switch depending on how she has grown to it. You should ask her what she wants to do. Stick with C# /D or go to B / C. It’s all the same, just different placement with notes.

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

"there are quiet enough of the bc players and they all tend to sound very similar. No offence ."

Why say something offensive and then say "no offense?"

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

plus, the opposition between the two systems is faux. ersatz. made-up. ridiculous.

on a b/c box, when you play on your c row in the key of c (say, a "D tune," but playing it in C), you ARE playing what the turistas and poseurs call, "c#/d style." that is all so-called "c#/d style" IS, is playing "on the row" like a one-row melodeon. on a c#/d box, you do this with D tunes on the D row, and also A, G, and all of their relative minors. but once you leave those keys, you are no longer playing so-called "c#/d style."

so, even "c#/d -style players," including the great ones, keep b/c’s around for playing in flat keys. see, the wonderful cd a couple years ago by peter carberry of music from longford. he is playing "on the row" on a b/c. that is the SAME as so-called "c#/d style."

so when you see marvelous clips of b/c players, if they are playing in C or its relative minor, a minor, or F or G and THEIR relative minors, that IS what turistas call "c#/d style," i.e., "on the row," like a one-row melodeon.

so the whole thing is ridiculous.

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Is there an opposition between the two styles? Why wasn’t I told?

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Is there any truth in the rumour that, when Jackie Daly won the All Ireland in 1974, he had to use a B/C box, because CCE didn’t accept C#/D boxes as part of the Irish Tradition?

If so, when did CCE first accept the C#/D Box?

I notice that they only accepted One Row Melodeons as part of the Irish Tradition back in 1983.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_All-Ireland_Fleadh_champions#One_row_melodeon_.28Mileoideon.29

Amazingly, they only started accepting the Harp, back in 1975, 24 years after their competitions started!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_All-Ireland_Fleadh_champions#One_row_melodeon_.28Mileoideon.29

Cheers,
Dick

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Well i think there has been melodeon players in ireland for a very long time making wonderful music, perhaps from instruments that were difficult to handle
It looks to me that some (not all).. people in cce tries to control whats accepted as traditional …why do this ..?
Surely a cd or bc player should be able to sit and play tunes together .
Anyway its getting away from the disrespect shown to Conor Keane and Brendan Begley in the first post…why would moving west make a difference..?

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

I’d be very surprised if Comhaltas didn’t accept the harp, as it was one of their goals to restore its playing:
http://comhaltas.ie/about/goals

The Wiki page also reflects the number of people choosing to compete on a particular instrument down the years. For example, Mick O’Connor won the 1971 Miscellaneous Instruments on Mandolin because it didn’t yet have a separate competition.

As for Jackie Daly, I’ll ask him the next time I see him, but that might not be for a while … and he may not give a straight answer 🙂 Perhaps one of our Clare-based members could ask him?

(And yes there have been various controversies around Comhaltas, but it’s also done a lot of good, with many people putting in years of unpaid teaching etc.)

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

It is absolutely true that Jackie had to use a B/C box in order to win the title.

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Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

I think it was on banjo that Mick O´Connor won the All-Ireland title in 1971, un der the category of Miscellaneous Instruments, although he may have done the same with the mandolin because he does play it.
The concertina was also in the miscellaneous category in those days. I have some old fleadh programmes which show this.

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

I can see your point Ceemonster. But from the OP’s point of view, there would be a difference. In that, suppose the local CCE tutor plays B/C - they are obviously going to demonstrate a different fingering for any standard tune in D say. Her child will be playing along the D row and her tutor will be crossing the rows, so it could be confusing in terms of technique. Obviously you know this but I’m just pointing it out in case Graciegirl is confused.

I’d still say, stick to C#/D if s/he likes it, learn technique from other C#/D players at WCSS etc. but find some sort of mentor locally (not necessarily a box player) to learn tunes from.

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Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Yes!The Wounded Hussar!That’s what we’ll do!She tells me she can play b/c(has tried it) if she wants but prefers C#D!
Comhaltas - Gathering of Musicians of Ireland!?

Depends on which key you play in it seems.

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

dead easy - if the tune is in D, use the C#/Ds E major fingering on a B/C and there you have it in D.

If you at the stage where you find one or two sharps a bit two too much, you probably wouldn’t be wasting much time by learning both systems.
Play all your favorite tunes in C on the B/C, then start working on tunes in G.
Once you have cracked G & D, you wont need a C#/D

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Will Comhaltas bring in the session-police to tazer anyone found with a B/C, like they do with didges?

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

DO NOT give up! C#/D is more in the spirit of the older players and we NEED C#/D players in this day and age. Please have your son continue on C#/D; it will save an extremely beautiful dying art.

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Oops, sorry. I typed son but meant to type child.

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

dead easy - if the tune is in D, use the C#/Ds E major fingering on a B/C and there you have it in D.

If you at the stage where you find one or two sharps a bit two too much, you probably wouldn’t be wasting much time by learning both systems.
Play all your favorite tunes in C on the B/C, then start working on tunes in G.
Once you have cracked G & D, you wont need a C#/D
GEOFF u r missing the point, the c# d is better imo because it uses the home row of D, and is much punchier, Stick with the C# D, it is IMO a better system

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Person, if one of CCE’s aims was really to restore the playing of the Harp in the National life of Ireland, it seems a little odd that they waited a whole 24 years before including it in their prestigious set of competitions?

As for Mick O’Connor Murfbox, the records show that he won the 1st Senior Banjo competition, back in 1971, so clearly CCE launched their Banjo competition 4 years before their Harp competition, so maybe in CCE land, the Banjo is more Traditional! 😉

"It is absolutely true that Jackie had to use a B/C box in order to win the title."
Many thanks Sooz, maybe I have a few years in me after all, before the men in white coats come for me! 😛

…. don’t you just love bureaucrats! 🙁

Cheers
Dick

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

It does seem odd, but nobody ever accused CCE of being consistent. But then you did used to see some pretty amazing Misc Instruments competitons, with harps, mandolins, didges and washboards all in the same competition 😉

And Sooz, will there be cakes for tea?

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Thanks Barry.Will do that!

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

I stand corrected, Dick, about the category in which Mick O´C won his comp.
I was very surprised to see that the harp was not taken on board until some years later. CCE of all people !
Still, times are changing, the crisis is biting deep. I see in the sessions section that there´s a Larry Murphy´s pub in Dublin. Could somebody be moonlighting ? 🙂

Re: C#D Button Accordion & Comhaltas

Definitely true about Jackie Daly using a B.C box to win all Ireland in listowel. Long live the king!