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French Trad - Could damage your wealth CBA-ers!

TomBR

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Lovely playing here, demonstrating the Saltarelle range.

Anyone know who the player is? Low key presentation shall we say but beautiful playing.




More will pop up in the Youtube sidebar.

Did I say damage your wealth? Of course not, whats money compared with good music and instruments!

Might almost make one want to change system! ;)
Tom
 

donn

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Change system? I'm already there - 4 row C system with French style 3+3 stradella bass, if I'm not mistaken. Would be just the thing when my Morris gig starts bringing in more money.

Interesting how much some of it reminds me of Louisiana "Cajun" squeezebox playing. I don't know anything about historic connections, for all I know this guy may have listened to a lot of that stuff and picked it up right here in this millennium, or could be common roots.
 

AccordionUprising

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The Cajun accordion tradition developed many of years after regular contact with most international French culture was broken. Even French-Canadian Acadian music played on similar one-row (German-style) instruments developed totally separately, as the accordion came to each of the traditions a hundred years after the Great Expulsion of Acadians (which led some refugees to Louisiana). After French Canadian music added accordion (1830s+) it became much more influenced by Irish immigrants. Cajun music meanwhile developed in tandem with French speaking Black Creoles (who seem likely to have introduced the accordion to the area in the late 1800's.)

The Cajun Renaissance of cultural pride and international outreach took hold in the 1960s-1970s. Before that the music was largely unknown beyond the region. Any connection back to France is gonna be modern, unless there's some new good evidence.
 
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maugein96

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Love the Cajun accordion, but would have to agree with AccordionUprising that there doesn't seem to be any real connection with Cajun music and France, other than the lyrics to the songs, which I doubt most European French speakers could make a lot of sense out of.

I'd never heard Cajun music at all until it sort of hit the UK in budget CDs (mainly the Balfa Brothers) about the early 80s. My kids used to love dancing to it and they're in their 30s now. I have relatives in the US who describe the Cajuns as "scary", but I think they re a bit old fashioned that way. I would consider New Jersey, where they come from, is scarier than Louisiana.

No idea who the guy demonstrating the Saltarelle accordions is. Saltarelle have been there lurking in the background of the other two main French manufacturers for some years, although their instruments have never seemed to make it into the big time, so to speak. They have been making full sized instruments for a long time, but have never seemed to attract many of the big name French musette players, which is a pity. It may have been the case that they simply wished to concentrate on producing folk instruments, which are obviously superb.

I nearly ordered a full sized Saltarelle CBA about 30 years ago, but lost confidence in the UK agent after a disaster with a Piermaria order. At that time Saltarelle accordions were selling for about 2/3rds of the price of an equivalent Cavagnolo. Maybe that was the problem. They weren't charging people enough for them!

The range of instruments as demonstrated have superb tone, and I've already seen one or two mainstream musette players using them from time to time.

My wealth is safe as I've promised my wife there will be no more accordions, guitars, or anything else.
 

losthobos

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Always liked this tone and air...considered buying saltarelle but realistically think overpriced given so few reeds...
I often play this between standards and surprisingly often people will come after and ask what it was...and ive know idea of title
Sandy Felt was very kind a while back and sen me his transcription after I heard him play I on youtube....top fella
 

Geoff de Limousin

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I have been considering one of these for a long while but for the price, of even secondhand models, one can buy a lot of accordion elsewhere. The Christmas special offer discounts were very tempting but the wheels are still turning in my head.

Note that the latest versions have 84 bass buttons and the new Arcadia from Saltarelle , a 96 bass with 5 left hand registres is an alternative to the Castagnari Magica.
 
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maugein96

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Yes, they do seem to be very pricey, even secondhand, although if you can wait 30 years they might be available a bit cheaper, the same as the rest of the CBAs doing the rounds in Europe.

Prices of used CBAs in Italy and France are ridiculously cheap compared with the UK. Box for box you'd probably pay twice the price of a PA for the same number of reeds and twirly bits on a CBA here. Why? They sit in dealers' shops for years, whilst PAs turn over at a reasonable rate, or so it would seem.

If they don't watch what they're doing most new European CBA players will be using Hohner Novas. Hohner are now making a fairly decent job of these, and whilst they will probably never melt the hearts of many, their affordability is bound to be a factor. Had a go on mine earlier this evening, and it's not a bad wee box for the money. They have put a lot of effort into the two voice "violon" or "celeste" tuning, which gives a nice Italian or watered down French "musette". Probably still better going for a used Italian box, but if you are craving a new accordion, then the Nova is definitely worth consideration, as long as you are not looking for "street cred". Until I took the time and trouble to become familiar with mine I slated it as being inferior, but I've since changed my opinion. If you are used to hand made reeds they might never fit the bill, but I actually quite like taking mine out for an airing these days, cheap Chinese reeds and all. It is ideal for Italian Liscio and Filuzzi, as long as you aren't looking for a lot of tone changes.
 

losthobos

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For dodgy gigs or busking I have a Korean built Moreshi with Italian reeds..72 bass 4 row...2 reeds...sweet Parisian sound...if you cant find something used these boxes punch well above their weight...
 

Geoff de Limousin

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There are currently several Saltarelle Bourroches on the secondhand market in France, which makes me wonder whether those private sellers are not liking these, almost new , boxes or perhaps they are wanting to upgrade to the 96 bass model. Also to note, three Bourroches for sale but no Castagnari Magicas... hmmmm?

My interest in these is more a ' size matter'... having walked around several festivals with an 11 kilo accordion in the rucksack bag... though I did have the little Maugein 'Festibal' for a while but I could not get comfortable with it. It was my first CBA and that could have been the problem as I never figured out where to wear it...

Last summer I tried the Bourroche , the smaller Magicas and a small Verde... all on the same day at a music festival... verdict ? The Verde and the Saltarelle won on price and punch, the Castagnaris on looks and feel... the money stayed in my pocket... but only just!

One other thing that holds me back is the occasional need to play in B maj... ok I do have the 120 bass CBA for that... but I'm allways thinking polyvalent.. one accordeon for all needs, tuck it under your arm and take it everywhere, just in case .
 

Anyanka

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Beautiful playing! I tried out all the CBAs at the Son Continu festival in 2015, including a couple of Saltarelles. Same reason as Geoff above: looking for something more lightweight for gigs and festivals. I wasn't that taken with the Saltarelle CBAs, although I love the sound of their diatonic boxes. Their CBAs seemed bland by comparison. My favourites were the Fisart and Castgnari for tone and feel - Fisart much more affordable of the two - but I probably won't go ahead with purchasing, because I'm just too used to 5-row playing. I also have a 3-row for Morris, so a third variant would just be too much, I think.
 

Geoff de Limousin

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Anyanka said:
Beautiful playing! I tried out all the CBAs at the Son Continu festival in 2015, including a couple of Saltarelles. Same reason as Geoff above: looking for something more lightweight for gigs and festivals. I wasn't that taken with the Saltarelle CBAs, although I love the sound of their diatonic boxes. Their CBAs seemed bland by comparison. My favourites were the Fisart and Castgnari for tone and feel - Fisart much more affordable of the two - but I probably won't go ahead with purchasing, because I'm just too used to 5-row playing. I also have a 3-row for Morris, so a third variant would just be too much, I think.


A certain blandness... yes that is what my wife said too. Whilst wanting something of a handy size I am not sure I want to compromise on sound, and being used to 4 reed right hand and 5 reed bass..... hmmm something will have to give...
 

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