For Marais Bouleur: it's in G major, just the usual I an V chords, except that an E minor chord intervenes often and prominently. Or if you feel like that dominates the song, you could say it's in the key of E minor, since that's the same thing: relative minor of G.
Nearly positive it's just a C box being played in the key of G in the the usual way, 2nd position, over the I and V chords (and thus the usual occasional chord clashes with the bass side if you play it). When the E minor chord comes up, she just plays an E note (with a few extra little things a couple times). That's a push note, so if you play the bass side there, you will have a C chord, which will sound very wrong.
The basic melody is just composed of the notes G-A-B-D-E, so theoretically you could play it in 1st position on a G box, or 3rd position of a D box.
Nathan, do you acknowledge the "4th Position" key of "D" on a "C" box?
And yes, you are right Kristi Guillory is playing a "C" box for Marais Bouleur. That's some break down you have there! Wow.
How is it that you are able to do this? Did you go over the song with a guitar, or do you have your accordion fingers dry erase marked?
But the 3rd position "did not" confirm itself when I played along with my "D" box in the key of "E". The 4th position "E" kept confirming itself.
Confirmation keys or the "double octaves" and "double chords" that usually start the song, and or finish the song, or even repeat prominently within the song. If your accordion fingers are musical note marked, you can visually see these confirmation keys happening as you play. Seeing these confirmations will help to teach you how to play in the 4 known position, and be able to recognize and or call the key of each.
Not sure what you mean by “acknowledge” … I personally have no particular stake in this numbering controversy :)
It’s definitely not a D box on that song because you can hear an occasional C (natural) note in the flourish she sometime does over the E minor chord. And it’s definitely not a G box, because during the D chord she plays D and A notes together (I feel like I hear that combo in like EVERY song played in 2nd position). So yeah, that was my thought process, and I have a C box anyway so I could reproduce it right away.
You should theoretically be able to play all the notes of the basic melody on that D box, but not necessarily reproduce all the details, like that little C note in the flourish.
Something for you B flatters. Would the 4th position on a Bb be the key of "C" (one letter forward)? According to the position pattern system, it is, then the Bb players would have a whole lotta Cajun songs that they could play along with on their Bb accordion in the 4th position which would be the key of "C". That would be something for the Bb players to try. Unless of course the 4th position on a Bb ends up being C flat or some crap like that.
And one other thing...why in the hell is the top button (on the pull) tuned out of pattern to the rest of the 10 buttons or in sinc to its sister octaves? I think its a got dam conspiracy! This has been done on both of my accordions. Why break pattern like that accordion builders?
Is it because players can't play the top button, so somebody just tuned it to "whatever" and every accordion builder just followed suit? I find it strange, but I'm sure there is some logical answer.
4th position on a Bb would be C *minor* (strictly: the C dorian scale, which has a minor 3rd), so you’re not gonna be able to play C major melodies that way.
With the other issue, I’m guessing you’re referring to the fact that 10th button pull note is LOWER than the 9th button push (and pull) note – I did a double take over that too when I first tried one of these things. But the pattern is totally consistent: push notes go do-mi-sol, and pull notes go re-fa-la-ti. Since there are three push notes but FOUR pull notes, the pushes and pulls are gonna get more and more out of sync with every higher octave; no way around that without changing the whole setup pretty drastically. There’s just no way to evenly divide 7 (# of notes) by 2 (# of bellows directions). If you kept adding higher buttons, image how unintuitive it would get by buttons 12, 13, and 14.
(The one exception to the pattern is the 1rst button pull, which ought to be a low fa – I think they change it to sol so you can play a useful chord using the bottom three buttons together. I know they break the pattern on the lowest holes of a harmonica for the same reason.)
Setting aside issues already discussed re the relevance of "positions" and the numbering thereof, the answer to your first question is yes -- C is the second note in the Bb scale, so assuming 4th position is built around the 2-note, 4th position on a Bb accordion would be key of C. Keep in mind that playing in C on a Bb box, you don't have access to either the 3rd note (E) or the 7th note (B) in the C scale.
As to your second question, builders or historians may be able to provide a "correct" answer. Practically speaking (and assuming by "top button" you mean the 1 button), it seems to me at least that continuing the "pattern" down to the 1 button doesn't provide much benefit (since not a lot of melody is going to be played at such a low pitch), whereas breaking the pattern provides some nice capabilities that wouldn't otherwise be available. Specifically (and speaking in terms of a C accordion):
1. The G note on the 1 pull allows you to end songs in the key of G (of which there are many) with a nice full G chord (1-2-3 pull) that actually contains a G note.
2. I've heard at least one player (Chris Miller) doing a traditional bass shuffle in G that relies on that low G note (1-3 pull / 2-4 push / 1-4 pull / 2-4 push, etc.). It's a cool sound that couldn't really be done without the low G on the pull.
Oh, "top button" meant 1st button? (In my mind that's the "bottom button".) In that case, ignore my 2nd paragraph, and my 3rd paragraph says the same thing as bassman.