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Notes and Narratives: Aidan Coffey

Anne-Marie Bell
Notes and Narratives: Aidan Coffey

Developments in the use of the button accordion in Irish traditional music: its evolution as a musical ensemble instrument

Aidan Coffey will trace the developments in button accordion playing in Irish music, from the instrument’s beginnings up to the present day with reference to recordings and footage of many significant players. The presentation will discuss the different 2-row systems available in the 1930s and 1940s leading to the popularity of the B/C system (exemplified by Paddy O’Brien, Joe Burke, Finbar Dwyer etc.) among young players from the 1950s onwards, a development that lead to its followers numerically surpassing players of the C#/D system (exemplified by Joe Cooley, Johnny O’Leary, Tony MacMahon, Jackie Daly, Mairtin O’Connor, the Begleys etc.).

It will also look at the transition of the 2-row accordion from often being a loud tremolo-tuned instrument to many modern-day accordions, tuned to give better sympathy with other traditional instruments such as the fiddle. The latter development along with many players’ attentiveness to the other traditional instruments helped the accordion find its way into Irish traditional ensembles where it increasingly complimented rather than dominated the other instruments.



Cover charge: €10 (€5 concession)

Contact details: info@pipers.ie 01 873 009

*Also available live on NPUTV pipers.ie/npu-tv/

15 Henrietta Street