Month: February 2011

Sylvain Piron Playing "Charlie"

I recently posted a video of “Charlie,” a tune written by my friend and teacher, Sylvain Piron, of Alsace. I sensed I was misremembering it and asked him about it. He recorded this video in response. I was getting a bunch of bits wrong….

Two Accordions For Sale — SOLD

UPDATE: The Giordy has been sold to a good home. The Corso has gone back to the Button Box for trade toward the Nik. Thanks, everyone. Breaking from the usual festivities, I’d like to point out that I’m currently selling two accordions in hopes…

My Trip to Alsace (Part One)

In 2003, my wife, Bethany, and I were given the gift of a trip to Alsace, France, to visit my accordion teacher, Sylvain Piron, his wife, storyteller Catherine Piron-Paira, and their family. I wrote the following shortly after the trip. It appeared some time…

The Last Accordion I’ll Ever Buy?

Just received from the Button Box a Castagnari Nik (G/C) “on perusal.” I’ve taken a turn in my eternal quest for “the last accordion I’ll ever buy,” and gone away from the three-row, full-stop big machines. Saw this on the Button Box web site…

A Good Question!

In comments, the inimitable Tomb asked the following question:Alright, Professor Chapin, here’s my latest in what will be a long line of questions from a novice. The history of the bellows that you’ve published so far seems almost entirely centered in England and France….

Lester Bailey’s Tune-a-Rama

Over on Melodeon.net denizen Lester Bailey has announced that he’s hung his shingle as an accordion repairer and tuner.  Certainly, if you’re near Wendover Bucks (UK) and you find you’ve got a melodeon in a state of disrepair I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Tune-a-Rama. If…

Another bourrée

Another 3-beat bourrée, which I recorded in 2008.  This is a very characteristic bourrée, with recordings of it going back to the 1920s and ’30s. Back then accordionists roamed Paris in unruly bands, terrorizing the population with massive chromatic boxes. This tune goes under a number…

Bourrées

The bourrée is the signature dance of Musique Traditionnelle du Centre France. This isn’t the baroque bourrée of Bach and his suites, and it’s not the jazzy bourrée of Jethro Tull. The bourrée of the Massif Central is a thing about to erupt. It is chaos imminent. Two lines…

What the Heck Does THAT Mean? (Accordion Speak 101)

(for the inimitable Tom B.) A friend made a comment a few weeks ago indicating that those who are not Of the Bellows may have difficulty grasping the lingo of the box. “Yeah, yeah,” I thought, “thus is the fate of squeeze-muggles.” Then I…

The Mighty Corso

Me and my Hohner Corso.  Love. Among the folks corrupted by my accordion influence are those who I’ve actually lent one of my older accordions to, either at my suggestion or their request, so that they might “give it a try.” The truth is,…