Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Working on a Patriotic Medley

Our church is having a Patriotic Concert on July 5th and I'm working on a Medley of George Cohan songs including Yankee Doodle, Give my Regards to Broadway, and It's a Grand Old Flag. It's a bit weird because the music is so old that the left hand, which is supposed to be Bass Clef, is actually written in G or Treble Clef, so I have to constantly remind myself of that. But it's a nice arrangement.

I came across an interesting link today http://www.talkingreeds.co.uk/ for anyone who is interested in how accordions produce their sound and how they are tuned. It is a very informative website and full of great information. Our Brevard Chapter of the Central Florida Accordion Club met last Sunday and Jessica and I went down to visit them. It was a fantastic meeting, the room is spacious and those who sign up to play don't have to compete with a lot of disruptive conversation. A Couple of weeks ago I found a 2nd accordion, (I've been wanting to have a back-up) in Deland. It is an Excelsior AC, and it is in pretty good condition. The keyboard action is fantastic and I will eventually get it tuned, but it is in pretty good tune. Now I'm torn when I go to practice. Do I play the Excelsior which feels better to play, and sounds better acoustically than my Pietro, or do I play my Pietro connected up to my amplifier with the CIAO Midi on, which produces a lovely sound.

If anyone out there has any favorite patriotic songs, or medleys which you enjoy playing, please share them with us. Have a happy 4th of July! Tony

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Interesting Facts from "The Accordion" by Toni Charuhas

Toni Charuhas writes in her book, published in 1955 as a dissertation for a graduate course of study, the following, from page 15.

"The accordion today is one of the largest selling instruments in the musical world. According to statistics, more than 125,000 accordions were imported into the U.S. from Italy alone in 1953 and with the demand constantly growing it would not be too presumptious to predict that in the near future there will be an accordion in practically every home. A census conducted by the American Music Conference discloses that in 1955 there are an estimated 1,500,000 persons playing accordion in the US."

Wow. Who would have thought that the accordion had once been so popular in the US? But it is making a resurgence. Artists like Cheryl Crow, Billy Joel, and Barry Manilow play the accordion. For more interesting facts, check out http://www.ladyofspain.com/naam.html.

There are also some awesome accordion performances you can check out on You Tube. Frank Marocco is of course my favorite. But I checked one out the other day at this location, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwFr--TG_KY It is Joel Guzman doing a jam session and it rocks!

I had never looked at the inside of an accordion until about 4 years ago when I took the bellows pins out of my Sano with great fear and trembling, and gingerly separated the bass and treble side from the bellows and peeked inside. I'm not recommending that everyone do it, but it was very informative.

If you are an enthusiast, and you have any interesting stories about your accordion experiences, we'd love to hear them. Hope you are spending a little bit of time each day working those fingers and squeezing the bellows. Spread the happiness!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wow, my first post on a brand new blog about accordions!

I hope this will be a place for accordion lovers to share thoughts and ideas.

Perhaps tell us about projects you are working on, and maybe receive answers to questions you may have. Also, let us know your favorite music, your favorite artists, and your accordion journey.

(I probably won't be monitoring this blog daily, so please be patient when leaving comments)

Most importantly, get that box out of the closet and start practicing again!