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Portuguese CBA in better days

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maugein96

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Anybody wondering what is the correct way to play a C system CBA these days is in a bit of a quandary with all the conflicting opinions over various fingering techniques, and there has been a recent tendency to introduce PA style techniques with regard to the right hand.

Heres some footage of a Portguese virtuosa, Eugenia Lima, being featured on a French TV show hosted by Jacqueline Huet, a French actress turned TV presenter.

Eugenia was still playing professionally until she died three years ago at the age of 88. If you watch her right hand youll see her playing trills with her first and second fingers only, which was the way most of them did it in those days. The thumb was generally only used on the outer row of buttons, and the old teachers would not allow habitual use of the right thumb which they considered to be cheating. Very few players ever bothered with the inside 5th row, and often had instruments with only 4 rows. In case youre wondering about her left hand they play 3x3 bass in Portugal, the same as in France.

Sorry if the tunes are not to your taste, but I posted the clip so that you could see her hands in action. The first one may be familiar to some of you as April in Portugal, but it is actually a folk tune named Coimbra in Portugal. The second one is a corridinho, a folk style from the Algarve.

CBA is the most common type of accordion in Portugal, although the PA is more popular in Madeira and The Azores.

<YOUTUBE id=XwkvuoYGq3I url=></YOUTUBE>
 

TomBR

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Thanks Maugein, enjoyable and technically interesting. There's lots of good stuff under the acordeonistas portugueses heading on Youtube.
Four rows, 3+3 bass - that'll do very nicely thank you! :D
Tom
 

Anyanka

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Thank you for sharing that - what virtuoso playing! It's great to see the close-up of the fingers on buttons.
When I saw Maria Kalaniemi in concert (great Finnish accordionist), I noticed that she never used the 5th row at all either; funny for me, as I prefer to play at that side of the accordion...
 
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maugein96

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Hi anyanka,

I rarely if ever use the 5th row, largely because the music I've always played is simple enough not to require it.

The funny thing is though when playing in G or E my fingers tend to want to stay in rows 2,3, and 4. I used to transpose the keys to A or C so that I could keep off the 4th row, but as I try and play most stuff by ear I found it easier to just move in one row and play in the original key. I do make a conscious effort to stay in the outside three rows, but my fingers often seem to drift onto that 4th row when playing in those keys. The keys of B and F don't seem to present any problems, although not many of the tunes I play are written in those keys.

It's a pity that the accordion music of Portugal seems destined to remain virtually unknown outside of its own frontiers, although I appreciate it can be a bit of an acquired taste.
 

losthobos

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Superb....some great lessons to found in her playing....thanks....
 
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