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Palmer-Hughes Quint Free Bass

petch

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Just watched the Galliano video - my schoolboy French can just about manage it! Watch one of the greatest accordionists that ever lived play the easiest quint scale in C major at 5.30 and the slight unevenness as he ends the first octave and begins the second in a way that no other instrument would do. You can see why if you look at the acrobatics his hand is having to do at that moment. Magnify that issue by 100 for us lesser mortals!
The opening to Suite No. 1 looked easier than on chromatic free bass to be fair! Or maybe he just made it look easy 🤔
 

Walker

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Well, I think the gentleman on the quint freebass review has no doubt done his best to try to experience the quint system. Though sadly it seems he does not know the correct finger patterns to work through multiple octaves smoothly. But why would he? He is just casually trying to make sense of it without knowing the established methods - he is just messing around and uses his stradella knowledge. Maybe though having a little knowledge is not always the best basis for giving good advice.

Now, I admire Mr Galliano, and the great man was casually showing the interviewer that he has three octaves of quint that can follow the same pattern as stradella. Each rank running from C to B. However, the maestro would easily play any multi octave scale he wished perfectly, and the technique for multiple octaves is playable in a number of different ways. Flexibility is a bonus of quint. Also, Mr Galliano plays both chromatic converter and quint converter and it is very clear he prefers quint.

As Galliano will know inside-out, there is certainly an established method for scales and arpeggios over multiple octaves, and the finger patterns are different to simple stradella. If our Danp76 wishes, I will share some useful resources for performing multiple octaves on the major and minor scales on quint, per the academic methods of the Italian conservatoire.

For example, here's a quick rattle of a major scale.


Petch, I think you are right on both points. Galliano makes music look easy, but to be fair I think that piece probably is easier on quint converter too.​
 
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dunlustin

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The gentleman who tried his best:
 

saundersbp

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Thank you! I don't know where the world would be without such sagacity. However the experience of my own ears leads to a different picture based on many very good amateur players (far better than me) on subject of stradella scales.
 

dunlustin

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If only we could come to simple conclusions about accordions whatever their design.
More good reading here:


Click on the author's name to discover another fascinating man who, it turns out, plays quint PA.

Maybe apocryphal: I once heard that the C system was a rip-off of the Russians' B system to avoid patent difficulties.
Whatever the truth of that, few would argue that the mirrored LH is superior to the usual Bayan arrangement which is the other way about. And Russians seem to have taken the accordion seriously a long time before the West and with greater success.
 

dunlustin

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More on David Lange:
Try his 'Stretching Stadella' (sic)
And his
Tritone substitutions for Stradella and their usefulness in Jazz. Or how to avoid a jump from Amin to Ab
Also his audio illusion of a chromatic progression using the above on the Stradella LH.
 

saundersbp

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It was written at the end of the last century but is still a great read - thanks for sharing!
I'm very interested in Soviet era music and put quite a few years in researching lost music of that time for another instrument (which is another story). There a some real positives in there about why the Soviet accordion seems to have been so strong:

- no cultural demarcation between folk and classical music (we could learn from this)
- top Soviet composers wrote for the instrument (why haven't they generally done so in the West until comparatively recently?)
- music education wasn't the preserve of those with affluent parents (massive issue here that only seems to be getting more pronounced)

The only thing I'd add to why the Soviet Union produced such amazing art is 'suffering'. I found through my acquaintance that the greatest composers and real creatives have some sort of deep emotional wound, out of which great art is born. Not an original idea, pretty central to most religion and some philosophy, but there can't be that many countries that have suffered under their rulers quite as much as Russia has over recent centuries.
 

Walker

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Accordions are for making music - regardless of systems:

Piano AKKO bayan & Titano Quint converter working together...

 

John M

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The problem with Quint is its playing cricket using the rules of football.

The guy in the 'Quint Bass Review' video explains the fundamental issue starting at 2.15 to 3.00 which (before you even get into Quint bass) is simply the level of athleticism needed to play a simple scale on stradella: it isn't an easy or natural use of the hand. I stand by this possibly controversial statement, not only from personal experience when learning stradella scales (thinking what other instrument has the level of complexity to play such a basic unit of music) but also by listening to other far more experienced players. They take a deep breath and execute a fast stradella scale perfectly; then they do it again or play it in the context of real music and muff it. I've heard this time and time again - its not that they are bad players and haven't practised a lot, its that the athletic demands placed on the hand playing multiple scale sections are simply unreasonable - too dammed difficult! I'd contrast that with the ease of playing consecutive notes on a minor 3rd based system such as C or B systems.

Applying this to classical music (much of which is composed of partial scales up to around 3-6 consecutive notes) and you are being sent out to play cricket with a broken bat. Yes, it can be done with a lifetime of dedication, but the level of practice to perfect an awkward use of the hand is beyond most people's level of patience and time. Perhaps this is why many amateur quint bass players do a broken chordy melange type thing with their left hand because its so much easier than consecutive notes.

The other revelation from this video (which I hadn't previously understood) is that Quint bass casually jettisons the main advantage of stradella bass where the circle of fifths layout means that once one can play stradella in one key, you can play it in all keys with identical movements. Look further on in the video as he moves from the scale of C to D.

Normally a good idea from the richest country in the world with the wealthiest consumers will become globally dominant. The fact it hasn't and something else has for the classical accordion is revealing. To take the idea to absurdity, consider applying the quint bass system to the right hand and have left and right hands mirrored: a concertina crossed with a nightmare of complexity in a mirror.

A fifths based bass keyboard is ideally suited to the dance music for which it was conceived. If you've had most of your life embedded in stradella bass and want to branch out I can see why Quint looks tempting. I do have a strong sense though that after an initial rush, you are going to get stuck on a terribly torturous journey and that an average beginner learning a different bass system is going to quickly overtake you if they want to play a broader range of music.

Cricket and football are both great games - but there are sensibly two different approaches which fit each game perfectly.

I just started looking at the layout of Quint Free Bass on my 8X. At first it looked easy, since the basic pattern is Stradella that I am familiar with, but crossing to a different “2 row” group can be tricky. There are 3 octaves of notes with the lowest octave starting at C1 and the highest octave starting at C3. I have no problem when all the notes are from C1 to B1. As pointed out in the video, it’s the “Crossover” point (octave 2) from B1 to C2 that causes a problem. Also, the row change at the “Crossover” point (octave 3) from B2 to C3.

For example, take a walking bass twelve bar blues I, IV, V pattern in different “Keys”:
C pattern: |C1, E1, G1, A1| |Bb1, A1, G1, E1|
F pattern: |F1, A1, C2, D2| |Eb2, D2, C2, A1|
G Pattern: |G1, B1, D2, E2| |F2, E2, D2, B1|
The pattern changes are different for each “Key” with a “2 row” shift for every “Key” except C.

There are probably some rules (fingering) for playing notes over 3 octaves for the Quint system. This is what I do. I I am sure, is not the most efficient. When I play a note, I think of which octave the note is in and the two “Crossover” points: from B1 to C2 and B2 to C3. That determines which “2 row” group of buttons I am in. This works, but it really slows me down. It’s like when I was learning Spanish in high school. I would think of the word translation to English. This was awkward and slow. It was only when I could “think” directly in Spanish, that I started to improve. I don’t know if I ever will teach this ole brain to “think” in Quint Free Bass.

John M.
 

Walker

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Hi John M,

The thing with playing scales on quint converter is that you are not bound by the finger patterns of stadella. There are whole new paths available, and they transform the experience entirely. This is where our friend on the quint review has really missed the mark badly. It is not his fault, there are simply other routes available. It just requires a little lateral thinking (or the scales sheet with finger work notated). When you choose the right paths, the 'crossover point' melts away, it becomes a flow. It is a real shame that some people will make a decision without knowing the correct finger pattern.

Quint has its own finger options. (the 'c' beside a number means counter bass)

C major on stradella: 4 - 2 - 4c - 5 - 3 - 5c - 3c - 4
C major on quint : 2 - 5c - 3c - 4- 2 - 5c - 3c - 2 (the last note on the 2nd finger is the start of the next octave).

After a little practice of the new finger pattern the results are quite remarkable. The octaves will fall into place. Every musical key will have it's own best finger pattern. This is where it is a good idea to have the right study materials - so you can know how to make the best choice. No point guessing it.

I am happy to take some time to try and help anyone who is open to the possibility of the quint system. It genuinely has some wonderful potential, and I think it's great.​
 
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John M

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Thanks for the example Walker.

I can see I have to "open up" my thinking to different fingering. One thing I never would have tried would be the D in the counter bass row across from the Bb. Also, I have to get used to using finger #5. Now I need to practice the patterns so that they become more "2nd nature".

Those Free Bass tones sure sound nice.

John M.
 

Walker

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@John M. My friend, we both have one or two things to learn... Today I received a present from my friend in Italy Prof. Francesco Palazzo. It was the complete Invenzioni A Due Voci (B.W.V 772/786) and Invenzioni A Tre Voci (Sinfonie) B.W.V 787/801. by J.S Bach, fully transcribed for quint converter accordion (though I prefer the term fisarmonica da concerto:)) by none other than the father of the Italian classical accordion - Salvatore Di Gesualdo.

If you want, John M. send me a PM. and I can perhaps share with you a few more of the scales - with all the correct fingers added. ;) It always helps to know the rules of the game.
 
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