World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

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World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by yc360 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:01 am

I was puzzled when the Bulgaria guy told me he can't find a CBA player there to demo the accordion he's selling. I thought Bulgaria is part of the Russian/Balkan CBA/Bayan country? Then I saw the Excelsior Quintet from the Baltic and they are all PAs. US is pretty much PA all the way all around. It says the PA was invented in the US (?). The French is CBA, so is the Russian, the Germans? The Serbs are fantastic on the CBAs and the Italians even created the 6 row CBA just for them to keep them happy (?) Urban legend? Hope to hear the experts here have some insights and fun anecdotes on this? Thanks! {}

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by debra » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:23 am

The scene is not nearly as clearly divided as such stereotype statements suggest.
For starters, just watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fovpCO0eXIg
to see that there is a lot more PA in Russia than you think. The orchestra in the video was (maybe is) originally known as Pawel Smirnov's orchestra from Saint Petersburg.
The stereotype statement that is true about Russia is that all CBA players there play B-system. Ksenija Sidorova is another famous example to show that not all Russians play CBA.
Germany has an overwhelming majority playing PA. Just check out German orchestras on YouTube and it's clear.
In some countries the situation is clear, like France with C system CBA, (using a specific instrument architecture with registers under the keyboard), but in many countries it is not so clear.
In the Netherlands PA is still the vast majority but CBA is gaining ground, with a mix of C-system and B-system, the teachers at the conservatories leaning towards C-system more and more (but not banning B-system).
In Belgium the situation is mixed. PA used to be very popular until it was banned at the conservatory (around 1980) and later in music schools (where initially accordion was completely banned). Belgium "enjoys" a plethora of systems, everything available with normal Stradella bass system and with "Belgian bass system". There is C-system (popular in the south-west, closest to France), B-system (popular more in the north), and then there is the B-system variant that has C on the second row (instead of third). In music schools only the normal B and C systems are still used, with standard Stradella bass.
Switzerland has C-system CBA with a "flat" keyboard (not "stepped"). China had mostly PA until the Russians started bringing B-system CBA into that country...
Finland has a C-system with the C on the third row instead of the first...
The reality of today is that the world has become so much a "smaller" place that you can occasionally see every system everywhere, and there is a gradual conversion to just the three major systems: PA, CBA C-system (with mirrored layout in converter) and CBA B-system (with Russian style non-mirrored converter).
My wife and I made the switch from PA to CBA 10 years ago. Had we done it a decade earlier, when our focus was still much on Belgium, we would now be B-system players. But when we made the switch, with our focus more on the Netherlands, we chose C-system. In hindsight we should really have made the switch earlier, and I don't believe that the choice of system (B or C) would make much of a difference.
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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by yc360 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:20 am

:lol: :lol: Guess that's what makes the accordion so interesting and still alive and hopefully well(?) still in Europa? In China it's all about competition and winning trophies, music should come later perhaps, at least not yet. The serious players there are CBAs now because they see the much greater technical potential. In the past 29 years and all the cities and states I've been to in the US, I only saw a homeless lady played a beat-up small accordion on the sidewalk around Monterey once. So when I read that San Francisco was one of the original place the US accordion scene started, I couldn't believe it. Maybe I should get out more :lol: But I remember even the Mexican Mariachi band at the flea market didn't have an accordion player, they got guitar, super sized guitar, bass, brass, and that was it. :ugeek: :shock:

A side question, is making PA easier than a CBA? It looks that way on the outside: PA looks clean and simpler while CBA with all the buttons everywhere is always overwhelming to the onlookers. I am just surprised the Soviets who introduced to China the PA, beer, sausage, long skirts, and lot of other stuff, but never the Bayan or CBA, a strange oversight :roll:

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by Geronimo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:07 am

debra wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:23 am
The scene is not nearly as clearly divided as such stereotype statements suggest.
For starters, just watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fovpCO0eXIg
to see that there is a lot more PA in Russia than you think. The orchestra in the video was (maybe is) originally known as Pawel Smirnov's orchestra from Saint Petersburg.
The stereotype statement that is true about Russia is that all CBA players there play B-system. Ksenija Sidorova is another famous example to show that not all Russians play CBA.
Germany has an overwhelming majority playing PA. Just check out German orchestras on YouTube and it's clear.
That's a bit misleading since accordion orchestras are an integral part of formal music education (and there is an ugly number of teachers with piano focus who teach accordion more or less like a mechanical variant of electronic keyboards with accompaniment mechanism) and orchestra-level playing from score sheets prepared for standard instruments are where the piano accordion shines. If you take a look at bands with accordions, it's still mostly PA but the tables are quite less tilted.

And I think that it was just one or two years ago that in the Klingenthaler Akkordeonwettbewerb a PA solo player made first price again after 15 years or so of winners on CBA... Small-scale hobbyists playing for friends, though, will pretty much exclusively play PA in Germany.

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by debra » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:50 pm

yc360 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:20 am
...
A side question, is making PA easier than a CBA? It looks that way on the outside: PA looks clean and simpler while CBA with all the buttons everywhere is always overwhelming to the onlookers. I am just surprised the Soviets who introduced to China the PA, beer, sausage, long skirts, and lot of other stuff, but never the Bayan or CBA, a strange oversight :roll:
As with so many questions, the answer is "it depends"...

The keyboard mechanism on a good CBA is a bit more complex as it needs something extra to keep the force required on the first row and the repeat fourth row more or less equal (and the second and fifth row as well).
A good PA has this just a bit (equalizing pressure for white and black keys) and if it uses a "rod" it will actually have two rods as the white and black keys will be on a different rod.

That being just a small difference, the one main thing that makes especially larger CBA instruments much harder to make is that in order to fit the much larger number of notes, i.e. reeds/reed-plates, there is much less room between the reed plates and the positioning of the reed plates is very critical: 1/10mm too far to one side and the inner reed will scrape against the side of the hole in the reed block and 1/10mm too far to the other side and the inner valve will scrape against the other side of the hole in the reed block. On a PA there is so much extra space that there is way more than 1/10mm tolerance in the placing of the reed plates.
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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by Geronimo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:45 pm

debra wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:50 pm
The keyboard mechanism on a good CBA is a bit more complex as it needs something extra to keep the force required on the first row and the repeat fourth row more or less equal (and the second and fifth row as well).
A good PA has this just a bit (equalizing pressure for white and black keys) and if it uses a "rod" it will actually have two rods as the white and black keys will be on a different rod.
I am not so sure here: force egalization is not that complex. PA tends to need it as well since it tends to place a few "white" notes between the "black" ones. The keys are a large bulky mechanism that must only move in proper directions with reasonable weight and force: buttons are much lighter and much much more direct. There are various constructs for making keys move "just right" and differences between plastic keys and wood core keys. All that is completely irrelevant for button accordions.
That being just a small difference, the one main thing that makes especially larger CBA instruments much harder to make is that in order to fit the much larger number of notes, i.e. reeds/reed-plates, there is much less room between the reed plates and the positioning of the reed plates is very critical: 1/10mm too far to one side and the inner reed will scrape against the side of the hole in the reed block and 1/10mm too far to the other side and the inner valve will scrape against the other side of the hole in the reed block. On a PA there is so much extra space that there is way more than 1/10mm tolerance in the placing of the reed plates.
Yes, my 4-reed Morino Artiste with déclassement are filled to the brim with reed plates in the treble inside and the outside is just one massive area filled with pallets (with round pallets continuing out of sight behind the keyboard), and particularly the stock Artiste VID does not just have the déclassement mechanism below the keyboard but also all of the combination register mechanism and the thumb register sliders, keeping the air space between pallets and grille free.

In contrast, the bass side is comparatively relaxed on the inside of the bellows, even for my free bass instrument (if you don't look too closely: the high bass reeds are in a hidden layer). The outside bellows area for the bass is again different, with the standard bass instrument being ridiculously spacy compared to the rest of both instruments, and the free bass instrument being crammed with mechanics (there is the standard bass mechanism, there is the free bass mechanism in a lower layer, and the standard chord octave selection mechanism in a top layer mounted to a metal plate just under the celluloid), to a degree where putting in a Midi mechanism or even just microphones would seem unrealistic.

Mind: since the button instruments tend to have less height, even the bass area is somewhat more compressed by default than with PA instruments, but it's really the treble side which carries most of the material for large instruments. A 2-reed, in contrast, looks less like a reed storage area and more like an instrument.

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by maugein96 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:43 pm

CBA is generally only found in any quantity in the following countries:-

France (C and B systems, with B system being most popular in the far north, where they also tend to use the Belgian bass system). Basses are arranged as 3x3 with a stepped keyboard rather than standard 4x2 International system with its flat keyboard. It would appear that in modern times the Belgian bass system is becoming obsolete. CBA is more popular than PA by a great margin.

Belgium (B system is almost universal, although there are two versions of it, namely Charleroi and Liegeois) With Charleroi C is in the second row (known as Do 2), and the Liege system is the standard B system with C in the third row. Again the Belgian bass system is normal, and CBA is by far the most popular accordion. C system CBA accordions are normally referred to as "Bruxellois" in Belgium.

The Netherlands (B system more popular than C system, although PA is possibly the most popular accordion)

Denmark (C system, but PA probably more popular)

Norway (B system with a few C system players near the Swedish border. Only saw a handful of small PAs in Norway when I lived there)

Finland (with their own version of C system)

Argentina (B system)

Serbia (B system with 6 row flat keyboard). In all other countries of the former Yugoslavia PA is most popular by far.

Switzerland (C system with flat or stepped keyboards depending on the area where they are played) PA also popular.

Portugal (C system accordions with French 3x3 bass system)

Sweden (C system more popular than PA in most areas)

Italy (C system, although PA is by far the most common) CBA is most encountered around Emilia Romagna and Piemont. In the area of Modena they use the "modenese" bass system, which is identical to the Belgian system.

CBA is often found in other countries where it almost invariably consists of the standard C system with standard Stradella basses, arranged in the International 4x2 manner with four rows of bass chords.

Outside of Europe the CBA is a rare beast indeed, and in all my time of studying its history, the only place I could find it in any numbers was Argentina.

Unfortunately I have no real knowledge of the accordions that are to be found in the former countries of the USSR, where there is obviously a strong tradition of CBA type accordions, mostly in B system.

Hope the above info is of some use to you.

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by debra » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:55 am

maugein96 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:43 pm
...
Belgium (B system is almost universal, although there are two versions of it, namely Charleroi and Liegeois) With Charleroi C is in the second row (known as Do 2), and the Liege system is the standard B system with C in the third row. Again the Belgian bass system is normal, and CBA is by far the most popular accordion. C system CBA accordions are normally referred to as "Bruxellois" in Belgium.

The Netherlands (B system more popular than C system, although PA is possibly the most popular accordion)
...
Small additions about these here:
- In Belgium C system is more popular in the south-west, bordering on France there, just like B system is more popular in the north-east of France, bordering on Belgium there. I once conducted a full day workshop (play-in as we call it, or "one day orchestra") together with a conductor from the south-west of Belgium (from Ieper). As the third voice in the orchestra was very weak I suggested that we would each play the third voice while the other was conducting. My colleague was surprised to see that I was playing C system (me being from the north) but this was a lucky coincidence as he played C system as well but did not bring his accordion.

- In the Netherlands B system used to be more popular than C but amongst new people teaching and youngsters learning the accordion C system is now much more popular. So it is changing. PA is still the most popular but it is slowly changing as we get more and more CBA teachers.
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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by Geronimo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:03 am

I think one interesting tidbit is that PA countries warming up to CBA are inherently more likely to gravitate towards C system: the fingerings on the treble are a bit more similar, and people with a formal PA education are much more likely to already have worked with C system on the bass side (converter). Of course, influx of Russian teachers can severely tilt the balance again. I do see the advantage of having teachers for whom accordion (and then most likely PA) is not just a second leg after piano. Germany is sort of divided country here, and not just between East and West. It's more gerrymandered than that.

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by wout » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:20 pm

But ksenija is latvian i believe not russian

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by yc360 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:40 pm

:ch :ch :ch :ch {} So interesting learn! Thanks folks! {} :ch :ch :ch :ch :ch

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by debra » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:17 pm

wout wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:20 pm
But ksenija is latvian i believe not russian
Interesting. didn't know that. We have a Russian women by the name Sidorova and supposedly that name is about as common in Russia as Johnson (or some variation of that) in the West. I jumped to the conclusion that Ksenija would be Russian without actually checking.
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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:18 am

Here in Chile, i know 3 people that plays CBA, i think that there are no more than 5 CBA players, and hundreds of PA players.

What about diatonics? Why these aren't in your question? Colombia is a country that loves to play DBA
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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by Morne » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:47 am

South Africa is PA country. I've seen no more than 5 CBAs showing up in various local ads in the last few years. They were generally decades old and not exactly top end. I am aware of only one player who plays a 4 row.

As far as diatonics go, it seems at some point they were called "vrot-orrel" locally. That translates to "rotten organ" (the instrument, not a body part). I've never actually heard anyone using that term, much less seen anyone play one. I don't specifically follow that scene, but I believe they were long ago supplanted by the concertina and PA. There are some recordings on YouTube, e.g:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEIudBm--9A.

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by TomBR » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:53 am

Sebastian Bravo wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:18 am
What about diatonics? Why these aren't in your question? Colombia is a country that loves to play DBA
Diatonics are a huge separate subject but they are not really what this website is about. There are plenty of other websites about diatonics. The question here is PA vs CBA.

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by wout » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:57 am

But your right paul she has russian roots i just read, hence the name :)

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by george garside » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:47 pm

TomBR wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:53 am
Sebastian Bravo wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:18 am
What about diatonics? Why these aren't in your question? Colombia is a country that loves to play DBA
Diatonics are a huge separate subject but they are not really what this website is about. There are plenty of other websites about diatonics. The question here is PA vs CBA.
There are two diatonic sites linked to this one. Melodeon.net very busy deals mainly with what most call melodeons but does cover other. there is also the relatively small button box forum that is entirely about the British Chromatic BCC# box as played by Jimmy Shand et al.

Does anyobody know of other 'diatonic' sites in other parts of the world as the diatonic boxes in all their verieties are more popular than most piano/continental box players realise!

Melodeons or so called diatonics are as much a part of this form as of any other as ''all melodeons/diatonics are accordions but not all accordions are melodeons/diatoniics''

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by hais1273 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:11 pm

I wonder if these will be of interest to anyone. In the French/Breton dance world I move in, most but not all of the accordions are diato's. On the continent diato's are wildly popular with most towns offering evening classes for debutants et joue confirmes.
Bernard Loffet's site is worth a scamper around www.diatotrad.org.
And one I found by chance www.diato-lanquedoc.fr. www.diato.org as well. The only slight downside is they are mostly in French.
Personally , I think they are under-rated instruments, and in the right hands can sound superb. But in the wrong hands they can sound. Um...dull and boring

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by george garside » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:53 pm

interesting but unfortunately the links don't open the sites??'

I agree that in the wrong hands diatonics can sound boring but to be fair so can piano boxes or indeed any other instrument. At the risk of upsetting some melodeon players the problem , ? in England , is a lack of teachers so many buy a melodeon and try to sort it out themselves or maybe by copying the 'wrong hands'.
Things are very different in France, Ireland, Scotland and ? south America and Cajun territory where the diatonic box is taken much more seriously.

george

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Re: World Map of PA players vs CBA/Bayans?

Post by AccordionUprising » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:36 am

maugein96 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:43 pm
CBA is generally only found in any quantity in the following countries:-
....
maugein96, This is a fantastic rundown of the countries where CBA's are played!

My theory is that in places like North America with immigrants from many countries, dealers must have lept at the chance to normalize on one "neutral" system. Then they could sell the new, modern, shiny piano accordion to everybody rather than having to carry seventeen different CBA's. Pity because the various CBA's have advantages, but nothing much beats commerce.

Thanks for this great list with the regions! I'm tucking it away for reference.
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