Scottish accordion music

November 15, 2017
Scottish Accordion Music Derek

Photo of an accordionThe accordion started in Italy in the early nineteenth century and became popular all-over Europe. It quickly discovered its place in Scottish songs, its greater energy financing itself to playing alongside the fiddle in party groups, as well as its complexity and can play numerous tunes and designs.

There are essentially 2 kinds of accordion: the piano accordion, with a piano keyboard on a single side of the bellows to play the melody and a number of pistons or buttons on the other side to play the bass outlines and chords; together with key accordion which utilizes some buttons regarding right-hand part as opposed to the piano keyboard.

Like fiddle, it's very preferred in dance music in addition to two tools are often paired off - there are many accordion and fiddle clubs available throughout Scotland.

Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain are a very famous accordion and fiddle duo. Phil and Aly play a famous track that Phil wrote for centenary of the Gaelic event, the Nationwide Mòd.

Seud nan Ceud Bliadhna (Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham)

'Seud nan Ceud Bliadhna/Memories of Father Angus MacDonell/The Braes of Dunvegan March' done by Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham

From Pearl, Whirlie Registers, WHIRLIECD3, Track 9

The accordion was introduced from mainland Europe where in fact the instrument has a large and different ancient arsenal. Because of this, numerous dance band and Scottish piano accordion people in addition play ‘continental’ design arsenal, that will be usually designed to emphasize their particular center and method. Some solamente players and members of contemporary bands additionally play dance-based music and slow airs and tunes which can be rooted in Scottish traditional songs but push the boundaries of style and method.

Boxclub, a band with no less than four accordions playing collectively, features a typical example of this in song No. 62.

'No. 62' done by Boxclub

From Boxclub, Boxclub, BOXCLUBCD1, Track 5

The party band is when the accordion reigns - and you will find essentially two wide ranges of musical styles. Regarding the East coast and in the north-east, a nice, self-disciplined design of songs referred to as 'strict tempo' is popular, while on the West coast, a freer, swingier party style is heard, led because of the accordion. The best-known player of ‘strict-tempo’ music ended up being Jimmy Shand, even though the most famous western coast-style player is Fergie MacDonald. Both tend to be 'button-box' players, but both types of accordion - piano and key - can be found in every one of these types of songs.

Fergie MacDonald plays one of is own best-known tunes, 'The Jig Run-Rig' in a group together with his band - they'd play this group of tunes to dance a 'Strip the Willow'.

The Jig Run-Rig (Fergie MacDonald)

'The Jig Run-Rig' done by Fergie MacDonald

From Agus na Muideartaich, Lismor, Track 9

There are smaller family members associated with the accordion such as the melodeon, that is especially well-known in the Western Isles. Another close relative is the concertina, which is a great deal involving party types like the hornpipe. Concertina people such as Simon Thoumire have actually however shown your tool can perform playing really advanced and complicated songs. To listen to three youthful accordion players from traditional music school in Plockton doing his thing together, hear the 'Sands of Kuwait Set'. To hear some solo accordion playing, listen to 'Merrily Danced the Quaker's Wife'.

Image of black piano accordion published on Wikimedia Commons.
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