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Liscio Bolognese

M

maugein96

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This style has been mentioned on the forum before, and features the popular accordion music from the area in and around Bologna in Italy. The similar genre of Filuzzi is probably more associated with the dance halls in the city of Bologna itself with a repertoire comprised entirely of polkas, mazurkas, and waltzes. There is an obvious crossover between the two styles (or so it would appear).

What is Liscio Bolognese? Its a genre which comprises relatively straightforward music that most accordionists should be able to get to grips with if they like the tunes. There are no fancy chords or jazzy sounds, and CBA players are probably in the majority. A few of them will demonstrate various fancy fingering techniques which they have perfected, but these are not strictly necessary to appreciate the music. Most importantly, unlike some other styles, the music has been specifically composed to be played on the accordion, and takes the limitations of the instrument into consideration.

As a starter, here is a clip of Cristina Cremonini playing a pleasant waltz entitled Scacciapensieri Valzer, which should be within the scope of any intermediate player. Her Stocco instrument has quite strong Italian musette tuning, but the tune could be played equally well in other registers.

If there is sufficient interest in this genre Ill keep posting clips of other players, not all of whom play CBA.

<YOUTUBE id=PuX22F0UT-k url=></YOUTUBE>
 

WaldoW

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I'd be interested. Can you post some tunes I can pronounce tthe name of?
She dosen't appear to be using the left hand [fingers]. Is this typical of the genre?
 

Tom

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Grazie, continua così per favore!

Thank you, please continue!
 
M

maugein96

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Firstly, Id better say that I was introduced to the genre by an old friend after I had been playing French musette for some years. Im not an expert or aficionado on the style, and in fact have never actually been to the Bologna area of Italy. Any knowledge I have has been obtained from Italian media articles and websites using a suitable translation facility. I therefore cannot answer questions on the really technical aspects. I was drawn to the style by virtue of the fact that it has a broad similarity to French musette, as well as the fact that a large number of players use CBA instruments which are similar in configuration to those found in France.

From a selfish point of view (again) I was hoping that a thread on the topic might generate comments from other members and thereby force me to do some further research to mutually improve our knowledge.

I was a bit hesitant, as the Liscio Bolognese style is obviously confined to the area of Emilia Romagna around the city of Bologna, and would not necessarily appeal to many. There are variations on the theme, and these have already been covered on the forum by links to some lengthy Italian documentaries which I have already posted. There is a bit of crossover with the (slightly) better known Italian Musette genre, and the main difference would appear to be the relative simplicity of the Liscio Bolognese music.

One thing we need to deal with straight away concerns the (non) use of the basses. Within the city of Bologna itself, a style of ballroom dancing named Filuzzi or smooth began about 1900, and the main instrument was the organetto bolognese. These were little accordion type instruments which did not have bass buttons. A feature of the genre was the Polka Chinata, devised so that it could be danced by two male partners at a time when single women were not of a mind to attend the dance halls. As time progressed it was felt necessary to modernise the style somewhat and use chromatic as opposed to diatonic instruments. This resulted in the manufacture of small PA and CBA instruments which were built with no bass buttons at all. In even more recent times it would appear that these are possibly no longer made. The consequence of that is that younger players now play the music on full sized instruments, and it is a bit of a lottery whether they bother with the bass buttons. Im told that a lot of pro players dont play the bass side so as not to spoil the backing, although I dont really know which logic applies to Liscio Bolognese. Some players use the basses whilst others do not.

Filuzzi is an even more specialised subject than Liscio Bolognese, and consequently I dont really know much about it.

Here is Andrea Scala with Piazza Maggiore, using one of those little hybrid PAs.

<YOUTUBE id=3KdlwNQZuhU url=></YOUTUBE>
 

Tom

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Thanks Maugein, very interesting, thanks for the history.

In my understanding, the term "liscio" as a dance and music style is very broad, and is used all over Italy. In that sense, possibly you could say that the "Filuzzi" is a type of liscio music played in the Bologna area. As an aside, "liscio" is literally translated as "smooth," often used to characterize someone's hair, for example. How it also became the name of a music and dance style, I do not know.

I am not familiar with this particular style from Bologna but it is very interesting. I agree with your statement that the basses are not used because it gives a cleaner sound, and there is bass already in the backing music (the "basi").
 
D

Deleted member 48

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Thank you for all the info on liscio music.
Please keep posting tunes and videos.

Every hyperlink to copyright free old liscio sheet music is welcome.

Eg old italian mandolin sheet music tunebooks. Mandolin with guitar chords, mandolino e fisarmonica, etc
 
M

maugein96

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Valid point Tom. The Liscio from Bologna is the one Im most familiar with, although I do realise that it is played elsewhere in Italy. Maybe somebody knows of other regional variations? It was the same when I went looking for Italian Musette. Most of the players of that style seem to be from the north, and again there was a hard core of players like Gigi Stok and Carlo Venturi who hailed from the general area of Emilia Romagna. I may well be blinkered and am certainly biased in favour of players from that area, although I would be interested to hear just about any Italian style. For instance, I love the Tarantellas played in the south as well, its just that Im not too familiar with the music or the players. Maybe if the thread was expanded to include all types of Italian music that would be better for the forum? There is at least one Italian member on here, but he rarely posts at all, probably due to language issues. There are various Italian accordion forums, but I find them quite difficult to navigate through.

Back to the posts. There is also a style of Liscio played in the Piemonte, where there is an element of French influence the further north you go. William Isabel is one of the more prominent players of that style, and Ive posted a clip of one of his compositions, which he did jointly with Sirio Sini who is from Bologna. The Piemonte influence may or may not be apparent to listeners, and a bonus for this one is that the score appears in the video window at relevant parts of the performance.

If there is a downside to the genre, it can become pretty repetitive, with only the three basic dance styles covered, but even if only a handful of people get benefit from it Im happy to keep posting (and learning).

Here is Sirio Sini playing Rebus.

<YOUTUBE id=-3_qSlgHYjQ url=></YOUTUBE>
 

Tom

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Hi again! Speaking of sheet music (spartiti), you can find all of this music for free at the site referenced in your video:

https://www.lisciodoc.it/

Stephen, do you have the music of Matteo Casserino already:

http://www.brucezweig.com/music/matteo/

Hmmmm, Im sorry to hear that you think the Italian forums are hard to navigate, I hope it is just a language issue, as I am the creator and administrator of fisarmonicaforum.it.

That said, my favorite liscio duo, Barbaraec, hails from Le Marche. The accordionist, Giorgio Cerioni is amazing, and creates quite complex and multi layered basi midi, much of which is available, along with spartiti, on their website.

<YOUTUBE id=3KqbZTHs6j4 url=></YOUTUBE>
 

Tom

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Thanks again! Hmmm, Im not sure I understand about the three dance styles covered, I think there is quite a variety played..... But, you make a valid point. As in many styles, a lot of the virtuoso accordion playing in Italy can be repetitive due to the fact that it is to show off the technical skills of the performer, rather than the beauty of the song......

Oh, and speaking of Piemonte, I think I play their theme song on youtube (with basses <EMOJI seq=1f60a>?</EMOJI>)....


<YOUTUBE id=TzwG_nAlJCw url=></YOUTUBE>
 
M

maugein96

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Tom,

Found your forum and yes it is easy to navigate. Don't know how I couldn't find it before. I had come across "fisacromatica" and one or two others, but my Italian is practically non-existent, and I had difficulty.

My reference to the "three dance styles" of waltz, polka, and mazurka, is probably more appropriate to Filuzzi. Carlo Venturi played a lot of different stuff, but I was never really sure if it was Liscio or Musette, or a fusion of both.

The repetitive nature of the virtuosi is no big deal for me personally, and as you say is often due to players wanting to show off their technical skills. It can sound repetitive, but French musette, my main accordion interest, is much the same.

Love your Piatanesi accordion. Great sound, and I hadn't heard one before. Don't think I've ever seen one here in the UK.

With regards to spartiti, you may already be aware that there is a link to Novalis publishing on the forum, put on by another member. I think it is very helpful to others to allow free access to music scores, and I have noticed that there are a lot of free music scores available from Italian publishers. By contrast, there is not a lot of free stuff on French musette and some publishers charge several Euros for one title.

Well, I'm delighted that we actually have Italian members on the forum, who can correct any "educated guesses" I am prone to post when I don't really know much about the topic.

Problem we have in the UK is not many of us really know much about "fisarmonica" in Italy at all. When I began to take an interest abut 25 years ago, I could only get hold of recordings by Gigi Stok and Carlo Venturi. As I also play cromatica I was naturally drawn towards their playing. One of their videos featured Barbara Lucchi, one of Venturi's pupils, and she appeared to be playing what looked like a French range Piermaria "cromatica" (except that it had Italian tuning). There were a handful of other players from the Bologna area on the video, but I cannot now remember their names. Sadly the video was accidentally destroyed some years ago, and it has only been in recent times by looking on You Tube that I've been able to identify other Italian players. Therefore my knowledge of Italian players is not very comprehensive and is centred around players from the Bologna area, like Tiziano Ghinazzi, Davide Salvi, Ruggero Passarini and his grandson, Massimo Budriesi.

I was wondering if you could maybe answer an issue I've had for many years, but which nobody has been able to answer? I once posted a topic on here entitled "sistema francese" in an effort to work out why the accordionists in Emilia Romagna played the same type of cromatica accordions as they do in France (i.e with treble couplers mounted behind the keyboard, and the bass buttons in stepped rows.) None of the forum members knew the answer to that. It would be my guess that the "French" accordions copied those played in Emilia Romagna, and not the other way around. Have you perhaps any idea?

Finally, many thanks for the link to lisciodoc.
 
M

maugein96

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Just occurred to me that nobody may know what an organetto bolognese is.

Here is a clip of one being played by Marco Marcheselli.

The second clip demonstrates its use when played for dancers of the Polka Chinata. I have posted an example of this dance before, but not this particular clip.

This is Filuzzi, and not Liscio, and is just meant to explain a couple of things I mentioned earlier.

<YOUTUBE id=NRjm-S-GZRM url=></YOUTUBE>

<YOUTUBE id=g7aAh5HaIYM url=></YOUTUBE>
 

Tom

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Wow, super cool, thanks, I've never seen this particular type if organetto!!!! Thanks! Hmmmmm, ok, I see. I'm really sorry, Maugein, but I cannot answer your question. <EMOJI seq="1f626">?</EMOJI><EMOJI seq="1f626">?</EMOJI><EMOJI seq="1f626">?</EMOJI> I must admit that I don't really know much at all about the French musette style, or the accordions they play, although it is fascinating music. Yes, the Internet is a beautiful thing and there are just tons of videos available now, on just about anything, and so much sheet music you could never play it all! I'm sorry, I am American, but I speak Italian and love to listen to and play that music! Ovidio Piatanesi has a small, boutique shop in Castelfidardo. I don't think they are super well known accordions but I really love mine. Looking forward to your next band post! Thanks!
 
M

maugein96

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Tom,

One day I hope to make a pilgrimage to Castelfidardo, although my wife hates the accordion, and I cannot find anybody else whose wife would want to go with me!

Not surprised you'd never seen an organetto bolognese, as on one of the "Italia's got Talent" TV shows, two guys danced the Polka Chinata, and had to explain what they were about to perform to the Italian judges, none of whom had a clue.

I'll keep the posts going, although I am off to Tenerife on Tuesday where I'll never hear or see an accordion for 10 days. Only "Spanish" accordion I've ever heard was by Basque players on the French side of the border. There are obviously a number of Spanish players, but they are not really well known internationally.

Thanks for answering my query about the French/Italian accordions. I'll probably never really get an answer to that one, as nobody else I've ever met was even able to hazard a guess.

I'll be sure to look in on your forum now that you've enlightened me to its existence.
 
D

Deleted member 48

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Thank you for the sheet music links Tom.

Did someone already looked at? :
www.lisciobolognese.it

It has liscio sheet music

Unfortunately the Italians have not systematically scanned traditional and popular old sheet music. They seem a bit neglecting their trad music culture.

In contrast to Irish trad musical heritage. Thousands of online tunes...
 
M

maugein96

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Hi Stephen,

Thanks for that link. I had seen it before, but never really explored within its depths. I found an article about the Bolognese dialect which I found interesting, even though I don't really speak Italian. A few hours worth of browsing plus an online database of local music and composers. Some of the links are broken, but it is well worth a look. Confirms there are only a handful of big name accordionists still current in the Bologna area, but there are many other good lesser known players.

France has a national database of music, but it typically only contains a handful of titles relative to each composer, especially in the accordion section.

Personally, I think there should be a right to access sheet music free, after a period of grace following the death of a composer. I would imagine that the case in Italy is it would be unlikely whether any current composer of accordion music would stand to make a lot of money from his/her works, so they might as well give it away to encourage other players to buy their CDs.
 

Tom

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Hi Stephen,

Im sorry you have been unsuccessful in your searches for old Italian sheet music. Actually, I have found many such Italian sites and believe my paesani are quite respectful and grateful with their music. Im sorry I dont have time to give you an exhaustive list, but this site, Mobrici.it, has enough to keep you playing for years to come.

http://www.mobrici.it/CANZ_POP/emiliaromagna.htm

Have a great trip Maugein!
 
M

maugein96

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Thanks Tom,

Great link and some of the lyrics are in regional dialect. I think most of us find it easy to forget that some European countries were created out of the amalgamation of regional states, which still have strong local identities. I briefly looked up which states united to form Italy, and am still at a loss as to how it all finally came about.

Last time I was in Spain I was actually in Catalunya, and before that, Andalucia. The cultures in both of those areas, whilst being Spanish, can often be markedly different in the language and the attitudes of the people to Spaniards who reside closer to Madrid. This time I'm off to the "Islas Canarias", which are as far from Madrid as we are here in southern Scotland! They tell us the local people are descended from Moroccan Berbers, although the waiter at your table is as likely to have been born in Peru! Being of Irish descent and living in Scotland, where the word "sun" doesn't feature in many of our sentences, I have that distinctive red and white "Ulster tan" which will immediately identify me as being a "Guiri" (northern European) to the local people. They welcome us with such graffiti as a shark devouring fat blond north Europeans, entitled "Eat the Guiri", yet millions of Guiris descend on their shores every year and line their pockets with our cash. Sadly the often atrocious behaviour of north Europeans in Spain leaves a lot to be desired, although the locals should be aware that some of us are just crawling round the bars on all fours and cursing and swearing at the tops of our voices, because we cannot find any accordion music!

If I hear or see an accordion being played I'll certainly make a note of it.
 

Tom

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Great! Please post pictures, accordions or not! Sadly, this has been my experience with my fellow American tourists......
 
M

maugein96

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Sorry Tom, no accordions in Tenerife although I did hear somebody playing some Tex-Mex with accordion on their phone!

I had a few problems to sort out when I came home so sorry Ive not posted on this thread for a few weeks.

I was tempted to post some stuff by the great Carlo Venturi, but decided to concentrate on some of the lesser known players from Emilia Romagna.

Here is a young Lorenzo Ginepri, a pupil of Dino Lucchi, playing al fresco in Monghidoro, in the mountain area south of Bologna.

Not too keen on the sound coming out of that Cooperfisa, although the amplification may have had something to do with it. Dino Lucchi, his tutor, tends to have a similar sound. The boy obviously had some way to go at that stage, but it was all there just the same.

<YOUTUBE id=EIlVX_v8SmU url=></YOUTUBE>
 

Tom

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Una bella mazurka di Castellina, grazie. A beautiful mazurka from Castellina (Pasi), thank you. He plays very well and has a great future ahead if he continues like this.
 
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