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CBA Finnish system

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Deleted member 48

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C-system CBA players can also play on the Finnish system 5-row chromatic button accordion.
In the Finnish system the C-system layout can be found on 3 rows.

http://nydana.se/accordion.html
quote:
In Finland they also play the C-system, but the rows have been shifted so that the note E is found on the first row.

Im looking for an online picture of a Finnish CBA layout system.
If anyone knows where to found one online, a scheme of the layout could help.
 

debra

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Every CBA uses 3 rows for all the notes, and then there are repeated rows to make playing easier under some circumstances.
A standard 5-row CBA has row 4 as a copy of row 1 and row 5 as a copy of row 2.
There are two fundamentally different systems, and their difference is which diagonal they use to go up the scale. You can tell the difference by looking at the diagonals formed by the black keys (on instruments with black and white keys). The finnish system has the same diagonal direction as the standard C system. But everything is moved two rows over. On a standard C system accordion the first and second row (seen from the edge of the accordion keyboard) each have 2 white keys, then 2 black, then 2 white, etc. and the third row has 3 white, 1 black, 3 white, etc. When you see that the diagonals are the same but the 2nd and 5th rows have the 3 white, 1 black, 3 white, etc., you know it is a finnish system. When the diagonal goes the other way and the first row has 3 white, 1 black, 3 white, etc. you know it is B system. When the 3rd row has the 3 white, 1 black, 3 white, etc. and the B-system diagonals you know it is the Belgian Do-2 system.

I believe this is how it works. I do not have the pictures.
 
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maugein96

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Hi Stephen,

Here is one I made earlier!



Please note that some Finnish accordionists play the Finnish B system, with B in the second, rather than the first row. The accordions look almost identical, but if you study the B system buttons with the accordion in its upright playing position, youll see that on the inner row containing three consecutive white buttons these are positioned slightly higher than the corresponding buttons in the second row. In the Finnish C system layout those buttons are placed lower than their equivalents in the second row. Sorry to complicate things, but thats the way it is, and it is the only way I can explain it without going into the depths of music theory that I know very little about. Best forget about the B system altogether, but be careful as it is there to confuse us. The black and white keys are a helpful aid here.

Youll see that the Finns use a non-standard system of notation also utilised in other Scandinavian countries. B flat is known as B, and the key of B is notated as H. Thats why youll not see B flat on the keyboard. I know this from time I spent in Norway trying to get the hang of folk tunes on guitar.

How to play Finnish C system CBA? Probably best to use the method you already know for standard C system. Ive only very recently started to research Finnish accordion, but have already discovered that opinions differ. The general attitude seems to be that the thumb should only be used when necessary, but youll already know that is a very big bone of contention. Some teachers apparently prefer to play with different fingerings, and from what Ive seen the inner 4 rows seem to be better used than the outside row. Then again Im only starting out in my quest to discover Finnish accordion, so hopefully somebody will come on and hit us with facts rather than speculation.

EDIT:- Added a photo of Finnish C system to replace rather long winded download. Not now really sure if Finnish B system is the same as Belgian Do2 system, as I originally thought (and posted). Takes me all my time to cope with C system without guessing about B systems.
 

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Deleted member 48

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Thank you very much for the picture of the Finnish CBA layout.
If you start with the c note on the 3rd row, and only use 3 rows, a c-system player can play a Finnish CBA.
But you got to stay on those 3 rows (3rd, 4th and 5th row)
 
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Deleted member 48

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Now I see it works on all rows, interesting.
 
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maugein96

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Yes it does. However, even more interesting is the fact that quite a lot of Finnish CBA players play normal C system, probably inspired by their Swedish neighbours. Ari Haatainen is one such pro player, usually playing Swedish Rise accordions, but often plays a 4 row C system Maugein.

In Finnish accordion forums they often talk about certain players/composers favouring the middle three or inside three rows. Never saw a post mentioning the outside three rows which is interesting.

Perhaps the most famous player who plays Finnish C system is Veikko Ahvenainen, and it is he who advocates that the thumb should only be used when necessary. In the Finnish C system this requires the hand to be on the centre of the keyboard without the thumb being able to support it. He advises would be players to study French players like Gus Viseur, Eric Bouvelle, Andre Verchuren, and various others, and you'll often see him with his thumb on the edge of the keyboard when circumstances permit. However, I would have to say that he started to perform in 1957, and not many modern Finnish players seem to follow his example.

If I was playing a Finnish C system my right thumb would have callouses on it, as I have small hands and shortish fingers.
 
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Deleted member 48

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Thank's to your picture, Finnish CBA is now clear to me.
And I can follow Paul's statement on the direction of the diagonal.
There is no fundamental difference between c-system and Finnish system. Both layouts share the same direction.
The names of the music notes are not important in this

We should in fact change the denominations of b-system and c-system.
Names of notes are not that important in chromatic scales.
 
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Your remark on playing the 3 inside or middle rows of a 5 row CBA, may well be one of the best fingering options on CBAs.
This way the player has 1 extra top row and 1 extra bottom row.
French 4 row CBA is not for transposition, more like one extra top row for convenient fingering options.
 
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maugein96

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What I have noticed from studying You Tube videos is that players of the Finnish C system seem to have a more comfortable right hand position than the standard C system.

For such a small nation they seem to produce a relatively large number of virtuoso players, so maybe they are hiding some secret from us? The modern accordion scene there seems to be thriving, consistent with the fact that used instruments are available at very reasonable prices, together with the fact that there are a large number of accordion books available, compared with the UK.

The Finnish language is a bit alien to we western types. It may surprise people that the letter "F", and various others common to western European languages, do not exist, apart from in foreign loan words. Words like Polkka are actually pronounced with the two Ks sounded, but you'd have to hear Finnish spoken to appreciate how that is achieved. "Finland" is the Swedish word for Suomi, which is what the Finns call it. It roughly means "Land surrounded by water", which is appropriate for a large part of the country. I acquired an elementary knowledge of written Finnish when I was in Norway, but attempting to speak it was only for the brave.

The Norwegians tended to hate the Finns, largely due to their allegiance with Germany in WW2. However, the Finnish allegiance with Germany was based on their hatred of the Russians, whom they feared would take over the whole of Finland if they defeated the Germans. Their fears were partly justified, as they did lose part of their territory to Russia in 1948.

Sorry to go off the accordion track, but that's the way I am. Regardless of the history, Finnish accordion is definitely worthy of further study, particularly by students of CBA.
 

donn

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maugein96 said:
The Norwegians tended to hate the Finns, largely due to their allegiance with Germany in WW2. However, the Finnish allegiance with Germany was based on their hatred of the Russians, whom they feared would take over the whole of Finland if they defeated the Germans. Their fears were partly justified, as they did lose part of their territory to Russia in 1948.

In fact they had already lost territory to Russia - Karelia, including Säkkijärven - in 1940, and they didnt get much help from anyone. England and France were apparently ready to send a force, but theyd have to travel through Norway and Sweden - who turned them down. It wasnt just some trees and tundra, it was a significant part of Finlands industrial base and half million refugees. Thanks loads, Norway. In 1941 the USSR demanded more, and Germany was about ready to start its ill-considered war on them, so Finland cooperated with Germany, and recovered the territory it lost.

In the process, as they drove the Russians out of the Karelian territory they had occupied, they found radio controlled mines in Viipuri, which they jammed with radio transmissions on the same frequency -- Vili Vesterinin playing Säkkijärven Polkka, 1500 times in a row.

After the end of WWII, the Russians took that territory back, and Säkkijärven is now Kondratyevo. 260,000 civilians had moved back, and 19 of them decided to stay and become Russkis, the rest returned to Finland.

reliable authority said:
A large group of Russian soldiers in the border area in 1939 are moving down a road when they hear a voice call from behind a small hill: One Finnish soldier is better than ten Russian.

The Russian commander quickly orders 10 of his best men over the hill where Upon a gun-battle breaks out and continues for a few minutes, then silence.

The voice once again calls out: One Finn is better than one hundred Russian.
Furious, the Russian commander sends his next best 100 troops over the hill and instantly a huge gun fight commences.

After 10 minutes of battle, again Silence.

The calm Finnish voice calls out again:
One Finn is better than one thousand Russians

The enraged Russian commander musters
1000 fighters and sends them to the other side
of the hill. Rifle fire, machine guns, grenades,
rockets and cannon fire ring out as a terrible
battle is fought.... Then Silence.


Eventually one badly wounded Russian fighter crawls back over the hill and with his dying words tells his commander, Dont send any more men......its a trap. Theres two of them.
 

debra

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My favorite Finnish system player is Petri Makkonen. He has some really interesting compositions like "The Red Bike" and "Like Swans". There is a book called "The Red Bike" that has the (solo) score for several of his compositions, including these two. There are many performances of these pieces on YouTube but I like the performance by Petri Makkonen himself the best.
 
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maugein96

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donn said:
Eventually one badly wounded Russian fighter crawls back over the hill and with his dying words tells his commander, Dont send any more men......its a trap. Theres two of them.

Liked that one Donn.

The Finns never seem to have had it all that easy, and they sit rather uneasily between Russia and Sweden as you know. I remember reading about the various boundary changes in Karelia, or Karjala as the Finns call it, and it was all pretty complicated. Glad you know something of the history which made interesting reading.

Funny how accordions can unite the world! A few days ago I was sweating in Brazil, now Im freezing in the Arctic again!

A rather amusing feature of life in the Norwegian Arctic was the government trying to impose taxes on the Saami people, or Laplanders, according to the size of their reindeer herds! It was like trying to tax an island depending on the number of seagulls roosting on it! The Lapps paid little heed to the red tape of any of the countries they wandered through, and they never seemed to bother playing the accordion either! No doubt somebody will prove me wrong there, but I dont think accordions would be up to Arctic temperatures.
 
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maugein96

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debra said:
My favorite Finnish system player is Petri Makkonen. He has some really interesting compositions like "The Red Bike" and "Like Swans".

Never heard of him before, but enjoyed the comedy in the Red Bike. During the "Like Swans" track I kept waiting for the funny bit, but maybe I missed something subtle.

Another name to add to my increasing list of Finnish virtuosi. I'm starting to wonder if they have any performing players who fall short of virtuoso standard?

Thanks Paul
 
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maugein96

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Proved myself wrong again, although these Saami are from the Kola Peninsula in Russia. That accordion looks like it was also made in Russia.

Dont think Ill be posting any of the music in the I like that section, as most of the Saami folk music Ive heard consisted of long vocal laments relating to the hard life in the northern wastelands.

Mind you, here in Scotland we have a similar phenomenon. Northern wastelands with people dressed in colourful costumes moaning about the terrible weather, and the fact that CBAs are getting scarcer all the time!

 

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