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Other Crimes and Misdemeanors Against Accordion Humanity

September 8, 2016

There are a few other traits that some players and students engage in that may not be as dire as the dragon antagonists described in "Slaying Two Prominent Bellows Dragons," but are nonetheless impairments to achieving optimum musicianship.

 

Pulsing

Simply stated, make sure you don’t keep time with the bellows. This misdemeanor seems to be particularly prevalent with polka players, who incessantly let the bass buttons influence the flow of the bellows so that every beat, or every other beat, has a slight accent. What the bellows are doing in relationship to a given phrase should be completely independent of the basses being played.

 

Tugging

This is related to the pulsing problem, in that the auditory effect is much the same, but this subset of pulsing is more selective, and I’ve termed this as tugging. This refers to any extraneous emphasis typically at the ends of measures on longer notes. Some players have a tendency to engage in slightly accenting notes where no accent would be logically intended. As a matter of fact, often the note should be emphasized when initially played, not at the end of its duration. Yet many players do the opposite by emphasizing what should be the unstressed segment of the note's time value.

 

For instance, if you play a half-note at moderate tempo, it may be appropriate to slightly accent the initial stroke of the note on the first beat and taper back on the second beat of the note. Yet, some players do the opposite and emphasize the unstressed beat that should be unstressed.

 

Engaging in Dynamics Unassociated with a Phrase

This trait refers to playing a phrase of music, such as four measures, without regard or knowledge about portions that should be subdued and those that should be emphasized. This player seems to engage in dynamic undulations irrespective of what the music is trying to convey.

 

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