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Instrument for non-musical beginner?

There's also a variety of these things (chord organs):πŸ™‚
1)You don't have to blow.
2) There's no condensation (moisture).πŸ™‚
3) they're quite compact.
4) You don't tote them.
There's also a large variety of harmoniums (or reed organs)πŸ™‚
Some of the many varieties:
A quick look at some vintage examples:πŸ™‚
 
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I bought a melodica. It's free-reed keyboard instrument powered by blowing air through a hose. Mine has 37 keys.

I think that’s an excellent choice. I’ve bought 4 melodicas recently, two cheap ones for my young grandsons to play with and a different one for me. Then later I added a second, higher quality one (both Suzukis). I keep the cheaper one in the shop and the other in the house.

For me, a piano player, I think the melodica is good practice towards getting comfortable with the vertical RH keyboard on the piano accordion. Since the keys on the melodica and accordion are similar in width, both narrower than what I’m used to on the piano, all intervals are smaller - I have to relearn what an octave, for example, feels like!

One melodica hint - I store them vertically so any remaining moisture will tend to move towards the clearing valve.

JKJ
 
One melodica hint - I store them vertically so any remaining moisture will tend to move towards the clearing valve.

Similar with recorder, I have a fancy holder on my mic stand, the main purpose of which is to hold the recorder upside down to drain moisture
 
Hello,
This is my first post. I am a 65-year-old retiree with no musical background. I want to learn an instrument. Accordion appeals to me and I'm trying to decide if its right for me. The ideal instrument probably doesn't exist but this is what it would look like:

1) Easy enough to learn.
2) Room to grow. I expect to play simple music, but would like something versatile enough to grow with.
3) I like lower pitched instruments. No penny whistle for me!
4) Since I don't know keyboard, a piano layout has no advantage over a button layout.
5) I'm not afraid to spend money for something that I would actually use.
6) I have carpel tunnel syndrome.

So- what instrument would people recommend? Is this a reasonable goal for someone like me? If I get an accordion, what kind should I consider?

Thanks,
Dwight

You sound a lot like me in terms of background.

It comes down to the style of music you want to play. For me, with no real musical or keyboard background, a diatonic button accordion was the right choice, as I wanted to play Celtic music. While it can be played on a piano accordion, many consider it to sound "correct" on a diatonic, as the push and pull on notes, all the time, does effect the music. A diatonic accordion (though to find much more information on it, call it a melodeon, too) will typically be considerably smaller and lighter than a full on piano style. For example my B/C weighs 3.8kg/8.5lbs and is small enough to travel with. (Compare this to an apparently mid weight Hohner piano I'm playing with that weighs in at 28lbs) For hiking, I'd suggest a one row melodeon/accordion though.

The chromatic button is more versatile, and maybe easier in a way to learn from scratch than piano accordion, according to what I've read.

The more serious concern is carpel tunnel, to me. You'll be using your right hand (and left) fingers a lot. But on the diatonic your wrist shouldn't be doing much of anything, as the movements you want are with your fingers and with your elbow. If you're moving your wrists a lot, you're doing it wrong. Could you play with a wrist brace that left your fingers free? I'd say most likely yes.
 
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You sound a lot like me in terms of background.

It comes down to the style of music you want to play. For me, with no real musical or keyboard background, a diatonic button accordion was the right choice, as I wanted to play Celtic music. While it can be played on a piano accordion, many consider it to sound "correct" on a diatonic, as the push and pull on notes, all the time, does effect the music. A diatonic accordion (though to find much more information on it, call it a melodeon, too) will typically be considerably smaller and lighter than a full on piano style. For example my B/C weighs 3.8kg/8.5lbs and is small enough to travel with. (Compare this to an apparently mid weight Hohner piano I'm playing with that weighs in at 28lbs) For hiking, I'd suggest a one row melodeon/accordion though.

The chromatic button is more versatile, and maybe easier in a way to learn from scratch than piano accordion, according to what I've read.

The more serious concern is carpel tunnel, to me. You'll be using your right hand (and left) fingers a lot. But on the diatonic your wrist shouldn't be doing much of anything, as the movements you want are with your fingers and with your elbow. If you're moving your wrists a lot, you're doing it wrong. Could you play with a wrist brace that left your fingers free? I'd say most likely yes.

Do tell, what is authentic about "Celtic music" that includes musical instruments which did not exist at the time that the music/style was created?
That apart from the fact that there is considerable doubt that it is of Celtic origin in the first instance or that the Irish people are, in fact, predominently Celtic.
Authenticity is in the minds of those with some kind of agenda to push, rarely in historical fact.
When I see/hear a "Celtic" band playing on Spanich guitars, Italian mandolins, Austrian/Italian squeezeboxes, African/American banjos, pipes of evidently very recent development, and plastic skinned Bhodrans claiming some level of authenticity the question of integrity rises immediately in my mind.
 
I wanted to play Celtic music. While it can be played on a piano accordion, many consider it to sound "correct" on a diatonic, as the push and pull on notes, all the time, does effect the music.
Do tell, what is authentic about "Celtic music" that includes musical instruments which did not exist at the time that the music/style was created?
I think you both have valid points. I also play Irish music, and what I would consider to be "authentic" is not the instruments, but the style of playing those fast ornamented melodies. I think the problem with PAs and CBAs is that it is harder to play them in the proper style, a style that was developed on diatonics trying to imitate fiddlers, but you can come close with dedication and practice. Sometimes beginners with PAs show up at a session and don't know how to play in the proper style, especially if they are heavy with the oom-pah bass, thus the bad reputation of PAs. However, there are some excellent Irish-style piano accordionists.
 
Celtic origin in the first instance or that the Irish people are, in fact, predominently Celtic.
The other day, there was a report of an examination of a several thousand year old body* which indicated that pre-Celtic inhabitants of the islands of Ireland had substantially the same genetic components as the current inhabitants.
The results cast severe doubt on a Celtic Irish origin!πŸ€”
*https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/tv-series/the-emerald-isles#:~:text=Ardal O'Hanlon goes on,sustainably within their extraordinary environment.
 
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Authenticity is in the minds of those with some kind of agenda to push, rarely in historical fact.
When I see/hear a "Celtic" band playing on Spanich guitars, Italian mandolins, Austrian/Italian squeezeboxes, African/American banjos, pipes of evidently very recent development, and plastic skinned Bhodrans claiming some level of authenticity the question of integrity rises immediately in my mind.
I think we can all agree that the most authentic live "Celtic" music is to be found in Australia!πŸ€”πŸ˜€
 
Do tell, what is authentic about "Celtic music" that includes musical instruments which did not exist at the time that the music/style was created?
That apart from the fact that there is considerable doubt that it is of Celtic origin in the first instance or that the Irish people are, in fact, predominently Celtic.
Authenticity is in the minds of those with some kind of agenda to push, rarely in historical fact.
When I see/hear a "Celtic" band playing on Spanich guitars, Italian mandolins, Austrian/Italian squeezeboxes, African/American banjos, pipes of evidently very recent development, and plastic skinned Bhodrans claiming some level of authenticity the question of integrity rises immediately in my mind.


All I did was describe what many proponents of Irish diatonic accordion claim. There are so many counter examples, it's clearly not the only path, but I'd offer that it might be the easier path in that style, generally. I guess I didn't throw in enough history or disclaimers for you, despite putting "correct" in quotes? ;)

Of course an instrument invented in the 19th century won't have been there at the beginning of whatever beginning you might choose. Nor as you mention, guitars, banjos and so forth. So what? Play on what you like, play the music you like, I'll be happy for you. I'm from a place of borders, immigrants, and cultures all mixing together. I tend to find "authenticity" arguments a bit tiresome, generally.

I won't back off the weight claims, though. Sorry. I like to play standing up. We can fight about that if you like. ;)
 
I think you both have valid points. I also play Irish music, and what I would consider to be "authentic" is not the instruments, but the style of playing those fast ornamented melodies. I think the problem with PAs and CBAs is that it is harder to play them in the proper style, a style that was developed on diatonics trying to imitate fiddlers, but you can come close with dedication and practice. Sometimes beginners with PAs show up at a session and don't know how to play in the proper style, especially if they are heavy with the oom-pah bass, thus the bad reputation of PAs. However, there are some excellent Irish-style piano accordionists.
Oh, definitely, there are plenty of great PA Irish players. I'll admit to becoming interested in doing this from James Fearnley of the Pogues who plays PA. I mean, I play with people not doing "pure drop" Irish music, so I feel the limits of my basses, and lack of a third row for lots of chords. And also how guitarists can occasionally be PITAs.

There's a kind of tension between someone genuinely wanting some sort of reference point of how a thing might have sounded, looked, tasted, whatever at some point in its history, and some sort of annoying "authenticity police" who sneer at, say, cuisine invented by people living on a border as if they aren't real, true, authentic, people in some way.


But I'll be getting an odd bird of an instrument at some point, as it's being restored. An old Hohner BC diatonic, four voices, but with 36 basses, so maybe I can be both "authentic" and also not?
 
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The other day, there was a report of an examination of a several thousand year old body* which indicated that pre-Celtic inhabitants of the islands of Ireland had substantially the same genetic components as the current inhabitants.
The results cast severe doubt on a Celtic Irish origin!πŸ€”
*https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/tv-series/the-emerald-isles#:~:text=Ardal O'Hanlon goes on,sustainably within their extraordinary environment.
I remember reading something about genetic tests of ice age bones in England, and them testing people living nearby as well, and finding a guy who was pretty much an exact match of the ice age genetics living about two miles away. He even looked like the facial reconstruction they worked up from the genetics.
 
Do tell, what is authentic about "Celtic music" that includes musical instruments which did not exist at the time that the music/style was created?
That apart from the fact that there is considerable doubt that it is of Celtic origin in the first instance or that the Irish people are, in fact, predominently Celtic.
Authenticity is in the minds of those with some kind of agenda to push, rarely in historical fact.
Not as much "agenda" but "expectations". An authentic "Musette" employs the bagpipes it is named after. But J.S.Bach already wrote "Musette" to be played on solo keyboard. The expectations at his time were others than at ours, and his expectations may have been historic but not original to the Musette.
When I see/hear a "Celtic" band playing on Spanich guitars, Italian mandolins, Austrian/Italian squeezeboxes, African/American banjos, pipes of evidently very recent development, and plastic skinned Bhodrans claiming some level of authenticity the question of integrity rises immediately in my mind.
Maybe "authentic" isn't the proper word here rather than "traditional". "authentic" implies doing nothing new while traditions are grown and form a common set of expectations that may be under common development. And there a number of things like a "Celtic music tradition" that are fairly young and draw upon a certain way to recall and venerate historical contexts.
 
"authentic" implies doing nothing new while traditions are grown and form a common set of expectations that may be under common development.
Indeed, I agree there is a big difference between "historical re-enactment" and "traditional". The former might employ crumhorns or flageolets to play music as it was back in the olden days. However, in my experience, traditional music is a living and ever evolving traditional that nods to the past but keeps on moving.

I noticed recently that UNESCO has flagged Uilleann piping as a great cultural treasure. UNESCO state on their YouTube site "Uilleann Piping is a musical practice in which a particular type of bagpipe (known as β€˜uilleann’, β€˜Irish’ or β€˜union’ pipes) is used to play traditional music. Bearers and practitioners include participants of all ages, dispersed throughout the world. Uilleann Piping offers an important way of socializing, providing a sense of rootedness and connection to the past. Knowledge and skills are transmitted using both long-established and modern practices, and the practice is primarily safeguarded through the efforts of the group Na Piorabairi Uilleann. Country(ies): Ireland"

After the accordion I think my next musical instrument would certainly be the wonderfully expressive Uilleann pipes.

 
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Indeed, I agree there is a big difference between "historical re-enactment" and "traditional". The former might employ crumhorns or flageolets to play music as it was back in the olden days. However, in my experience, traditional music is a living and ever evolving traditional that nods to the past but keeps on moving.

I noticed recently that UNESCO has recently flagged Uilleann piping as a great cultural treasure. UNESCO state on their YouTube site "Uilleann Piping is a musical practice in which a particular type of bagpipe (known as β€˜uilleann’, β€˜Irish’ or β€˜union’ pipes) is used to play traditional music. Bearers and practitioners include participants of all ages, dispersed throughout the world. Uilleann Piping offers an important way of socializing, providing a sense of rootedness and connection to the past. Knowledge and skills are transmitted using both long-established and modern practices, and the practice is primarily safeguarded through the efforts of the group Na Piorabairi Uilleann. Country(ies): Ireland"

After the accordion I think my next musical instrument would certainly be the wonderfully expressive Uilleann pipes.

This seems right to me.

I enjoy hearing something like early music on thoughtfully made replicas of the historic instruments performed by players who have devoted considerable effort towards performing in what they believe that old style to have been. I feel as though I can glimpse the past in a real way, and think about how people enjoyed music in another time. And most of it is also just good, as music, if different.

I also enjoy, and play, traditional music as you describe it.

Then there's the whole interesting (to me) subject of how technology makes new sounds, capabilities, and manipulation of sound possible, and what people all over the whole do with those possibilities. From (arbitrarily) accordions, to electric guitars and manipulation of that signal, to digital instruments and sound production.
 
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