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Beauty contest - looking for contestants

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Tom,

Vibrant colours alone will not greatly influence the popularity of accordions, and I agree with you about the emotional element to musical performance. I have always tried to put something of myself into whatever I play, which I believe is the only credible measure of any performance.

The Elephant in the room is the observable inflexibility to be found in the proponents of singular genres of music, which often comes across as "tribal" to me. The accordion is a very flexible instrument, sometimes hamstrung by the constrictions of the traditionalists.

When anyone asks me what kind of music I like, I tell them: "good music." Good music can be found in many genres, as can bad music. To stick with just one musical style is to dismiss vast amounts of great music, and I can't do that. I play mainly Folk & Popular music, with bits of Jazz, Rock & Country thrown in. Tunes from the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's form the basis of my repertoire, and I enjoy playing them all (badly.)

Would I play my music any better if I owned a brightly coloured accordion? Honestly, I don't know, but I would prefer it to a drab looking, monochrome instrument.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 
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craigd

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First of all, I want to acknowledge the two new entrants from Tom and Jozz. Both blue beauties with subtle differences, the Piatanesi more restrained, the Bugari more flamboyant but still tastefully done. Both quite new instruments?

Colourfulness alone wont do the trick for accordion popularity, I agree. A friend of mine, not a great respecter of our instrument, told me that accordions remind him of bowling balls. Needless to say, he is no longer a friend of mine. (Just kidding, an old friendship that has survived worse than that.) I agree with the others who have said expressiveness in playing is the key. But the looks of an accordion can be part of its expressiveness too, I think. If people see the accordion played in a skilled, dynamic and expressive way, in a variety of genres, they may want to hear more of it and maybe even play it themselves. But, how to get the accordions out there in the first place? The accordion has had the world's longest come back, without ever really coming back.
 

Tom

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Good points Craig, thanks. The Piatanesi is pretty new, maybe 5 years old, I can't remember.
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Craig,

The question you pose is perennial, having been examined many, many times on this forum. Truthfully, I don't know how we make the accordion a more popular or "mainstream" instrument. All I can tell you is what I have tried to do, and what I know other members do.

Firstly, I am a member of a thriving and very inclusive Folk Club, which welcomes anyone who wishes to participate or just listen. Members or visitors can play any instrument they drag through the door, just as long as it is acoustic, and nobody minds how bad you are. (which is handy for me.) Members support novice musicians generously, and their contributions are always met with rapturous applause. Provision of such a nurturing and friendly environment affords ordinary people a safe place to develop their skills and make lasting friendships.

Though current restrictions will not allow it, Brenda and I play regularly in Care Homes and Old Folks Homes. We also play for dementia groups within our community, with unbelievably positive results. People who have pretty well given up on life get a real kick out of hearing the tunes they danced to in the 50's & 60's, and I love seeing their reactions.

I also play in local parks and beauty spots, where my audiences cover all age ranges. It has always surprised Brenda & I, just how many people want to chat about the accordion. We have been surrounded by young children, many of whom asked pertinent questions about accordions.

I make no claim as to the efficacy of my methods, but I hope it may encourage others to break out of their shells.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

Tom

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Yes, Art, it is beautiful, thanks! I'm sorry, Stephen, I don't think the accordion will ever return to anywhere near it's popularity of the Golden days. It will forever more be a beloved though niche instrument. I agree with you however that getting out and playing, either paid, volunteer or just with friends adds tremendously to your enjoyment and well being. Can't wait for this covid to go away so I can continue. I feel bad for the people like Keyman who have to risk their health to keep on keeping on.....
 

craigd

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Well Art, the Scandalli Super 6 always takes the cake overall, all things considered: build, sound, looks, history etc, but here we are being superficial . It's not completely out of place with that lovely curlicue. If it's yours, it must be a joy to behold and play.
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Tom,

I hope you are wrong, but fear that you are right. Still, they give you and I a great deal of fun, so we can't complain all that much.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 
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jozz

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First of all, I want to acknowledge the two new entrants from Tom and Jozz. Both blue beauties with subtle differences, the Piatanesi more restrained, the Bugari more flamboyant but still tastefully done. Both quite new instruments?

I have no idea of it's real age but I thought around 2010-ish.
 

Dingo40

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CraigD,
A belated entrant ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘
(I found this on a post by JimD. Thanks Jim ๐Ÿ‘)
1603342755911.jpeg
 
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JIM D.

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Art:
You might of posted the Super 6 by mistake but would my pick in a beauty contest. You see just as the saying "Beauty is
only skin deep" it also applies to some gaudy painted & jeweled boxes sold today. The look of the Super 6 is not beautiful by
those standards But instead "Classically Hansom".
 

craigd

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CraigD,
A belated entrant ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘
(I found this on a post by JimD. Thanks Jim ๐Ÿ‘)
1603342755911.jpeg
Impressive curves, not sure I am taken by it - it's almost intimidating the size of that keyboard and the overwhelming pearlescence. Might be blinding in bright light. But hey, I'm not really the judge in this beauty pageant. I was going to hire Trump for that, but he's busy.
 

craigd

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You are right Jim; I didn't read right and I apologize for my mistake. Still i want to upload a picture...
Hope it works better!gaudi.jpg
Okay, I said I'm not the judge, but this one gets my vote! Even the diagonal two-tone bellows tape is super cool. And those symbols, probably all sorts of hidden meanings. Why would they camouflage the three rows of buttons as piano keys - button accordions considered "foreign"? And something's blacked out where the name plate would be on the treble side?
 

ArtMustel

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Okay, I said I'm not the judge, but this one gets my vote! Even the diagonal two-tone bellows tape is super cool. And those symbols, probably all sorts of hidden meanings. Why would they camouflage the three rows of buttons as piano keys - button accordions considered "foreign"? And something's blacked out where the name plate would be on the treble side?
I've read somewhere that these CBA disguised as PA were made to allow button accordion players to play in certain piano accordion orchestras, but i don't know if that is true. My theory (that could be totally wrong) is that, at some time, PA were considered more classy, elegant or professional than button boxes and by playing these fakes people would look smarter. Oh well, my theory is not very good either but I'm sure some members of this forum could know the real reason behind this absurd? system...
 

Dingo40

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Dingo40

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And here's Alf Hรฅgedal playing such an instrument ๐Ÿ™‚
("Pietro's Return ", by Frosini.)
You'll notice his fingers never touch the PA section of the treble side ๐Ÿ™‚
 
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