Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

After visting the Internet Archive last week and perusing Howe's Preceptors for both the banjo and the accordeon I got to thinking about the Ethiopian Serenaders. (I tried this statement as an ice-breaker at a party this weekend - with mixed results) The Serenaders played both instruments  - simultaneously if we can believe the engravings. Does anyone happen to know if the first accordeons were in concert pitch? The Howes book is written out as if it's in C.  Most of the early accordeons were diatonic, like button accordions today. There are a few from that era in museums around here but I've never had the nerve to ask to try one. I can probably lead a good life without knowing the answer this question.

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The French accordeons were manufactured in various keys, I've even heard of one that came in a case with an extra reed board in a bottom drawer so you could switch keys. Having a row of accidentals (like mine) does not mean you can play it in other keys, like Ian mentioned, its just not really possible to do much that way. When playing along with a C accordeon, the banjo just tunes down. Hoping to get some duets recorded and posted here.  I sometimes think my time would be better spent working on concertina / banjo, but I don't have a concertina and kinda prefer the sound of the brass reeds in these 1850's accordeons. Dave

Will -  it's probably just awkward because I don't practice enough.

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