I stumbled on this post on Concertinas & Gender, at a discussion over on IRTRAD, which raised a couple of interesting points which I thought it might be interesting to explore here.

 IRTRAD: Concertinas and Gender
" .. in the days before the electronic media, I wonder how these women built up theirrepertoire without leaving their homes."
Well surely, before the days of radio & discs, they would have learned from musicians visiting
them in their homes, whether local musicians or travellers, who may have attended old
fashioned Ceilis
" .. I also wonder at the status of the concertina in the tradition."" .. like many of the other women who played the instrument, she never played it outside the home."


I'd imagine it's status was perhaps verging on being non-existent,
if nearly all the players adopted the old methods of playing the rows & so in odd keys, while so
many never played outside the home.

" .. in the nearly 1000 items in my database of UK/Irish made recordings of Irish dance music, there isn't one of a concertina player - male or female - and, to my knowledge, the only US-recorded player was William Mullaly. .. also, few concertina made it into the old ceili bands - of course, the method used by the old players made it tricky for them to play with other players, so they were out on a bit of a limb .."


If these instruments were rarely seen & when seen, were unable to join in with other instruments,
it is surely not so surprising that there was thought to be little commercial value in producing
anyrecordings of the Concertina players of the day.

 

Isn't it scary to think that we oh so nearly lost such wonderful instruments from the tradition, as the Concertina, the Harp & the Uilleann Pipes from the Tradition, simply because they were just that little bit different from the norm.

 

Saints preserve us all, from normality!

 

Cheers

Dick

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