Mudcat Café message #1301013 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74474   Message #1301013
Posted By: Polly Squeezebox
19-Oct-04 - 05:03 PM
Thread Name: Traditional German instruments?
Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
Bavarians also play the Steirische Harmonica - not a blown type of instrument at all but similar to what we know as a melodeon. The instrument originated in the Steiermark region of Austria and is used extensively for Schuplattler (slap dancing!). Also used in Austrian and Bavarian folk song and music. The one major difference between this instrument and the melodeon is that the middle button of each row plays the same note whether the instrument is 'pushed' or 'pulled'. I was lucky enough to have one bought for me by my husband, it cost him 2,000+ and is, I believe, the only Steierische Harmonica in UK. I was completely unable to master playing it until I gave in and had the instrument modified to the normal 'push/pull' thourghout. It has the most wonderful deep bass chords on the left hand - presumably for the playing of 'Umpa' type Bavarian music. It is also completely confusing for most other musicians, if I take it to sessions. who assume it is some type of melodeon until I start playing - it's tuned completely to brass band type 'flat' keys!