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DaleR

Which Is The Oldest?

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Hello!

 

I have been doing a bit of research and have hit the bottom. Which is the oldest? The concertina or the accordion? Or the one row diatonic?

 

Inquiring minds want to know!

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I think one of many story goes that it was a german organ builder, Buschmann?, who more or less incidentally constructed the first accordion like instrument in 1822. A instrument with bellows to get a long even tone as a mean of tuning organ pipes, and shortly after his invention one-row accordions are supposed to have started to show upp. I don't now if this is just another accordion tale. But if this story is true then the one-row accordion might have come first or not? ;)

Edited by Hasse

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I'd suggest you might like to have a look at my Michaelstein Conference Paper.

 

Interesting read. Which is the oldest?!!!

 

The early history is a complicated story that I hoped I'd explained in my Paper, but the germ of the Accordion, and of the Concertina, is contained in the two1829 Patents of Cyrill Demian (Vienna) and Charles Wheatstone (London) respectively, so in essence they are contemporary. But they are two closely related branches of the same species that developed, sometimes interbred, mutated and diverged seperately - so we may be talking in different terms and the answer to your question could depend on your interpretation of what is meant by an "accordion" or a "concertina"...

 

... Buschmann? ...

 

I hesitated to state it outright in my Paper (though I wish I had!), but the 1930's claims for Buschmann as the inventor of the accordion and/or the harmonica are now dismissed by researchers/academics, in Gemany and elsewhere, as "Nazi propoganda" - since Demian, though he lived and worked as an organ builder in Vienna, was Armenian rather than Aryan.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Interesting topic, but loaded with nationalism and proud :-)

The free reed "discovery" in Russia, Europe and elsewhere in the 16th-18th century in reed organs etcetera led to enthusiasm

...

 

I honestly think the debate about who was first , is very difficult to analyse, but I agree I am also interested in this topic :-)

Well, you might have already guessed from my previous post that I think/suspect that this is a thread on the road to nowhere... So many different stories and variations concerning this subject have turned up, and so many claims are around that THIS is the inventor. The reason for claiming just that is, as already stated in posts above, often based on a nationalistic perspective with the normal motivation of who made the first, biggest and best.

 

To be hornest how interesting is it really to know what or who was first? How interesting are all these never ending and hard to proof discussions of who was first, that are going on for ever and ever. In this case it's about accordions/concertinas, it could have been airplanes, cars, light bulbs, pens or whatever.

 

What’s interesting about this aspect of history of our history, it not really the subject itself, but more often is it the history of the people going through trouble, researching to find or (as in case with accordions I suspect) constructing an appropriate history.

Edited by Hasse

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To be hornest how interesting is it really to know what or who was first? How interesting are all these never ending and hard to proof discussions of who was first, that are going on for ever and ever.

 

It might be of some interest regarding the evolution of free reed instruments (and just to this extent), i.e. to gain deeper knowledge of our instrument's ancestry...

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Well put:

There sure is a interesting debate in this history of inventions and evolution of free reed bellow musical instruments, but we are all humans: a mix of ratio and lots of emotions.

 

For me the question of who (person, nation, ...) invented something, is inferior to WHAT is the invention, and what are the possible advantages of this new invention.

 

In music history organology, the study of musical instruments and their evolution in time, the real interesting questions for me are:

- what is the effect on changes in music theory, music scales distributions on the construction/development of musical instruments? (changes in tuning and temperament theories)

- vice versa: what are the effects on changes of musical instrument construction on new music composition?

- above all: what is the effect of mathematical study and the study of regular interval structures on the construction of keyboard layouts on musical instruments. The "key-board", being a "key" that opens the door(s) to make music easier to play on your instrument. The (music) instrument being a "medium" between the ear/brain and the production/enjoy of music. If the builder made an inbuilt mathematical layout, things are easier for the player.

 

Applied to free reed bellow instruments:

the effect of mathematical layouts (be it Wicki, Hayden, chromatiphon, CBA-layout, C. Wheatstone double duet layout, and many other possible mathematical possibilities) on the ergonomy and comfort of playing a concertina/accordion/bandoneon/...

the debate about bisonoric versus unisonoric

The need to know which came first and thereby trying to decide who invented what, is often a rather uninteresting aspect, if you regard an objects development over time. What’s interesting is often what came after the first invention, all aspects of further development, successful and unsuccessful.

 

A lot of good inventions never became anything, no matter how good they were, because the skilled people that’s needed to see potential and improve the invention never turned up or the wrong people tried to make improvements… and just look what you risk ending up with = instruments like CBAs and PAs :rolleyes:

Edited by Hasse

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It all seems suspiciously late to me. Are we right to disregard the renaissance regal as a predecessor? It has beating reeds rather than free reeds, but that's not a big step in the great scheme of things. It even has bellows.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regal_(instrument)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0_WtelZ8X0 (which illustrates that not everything goes right all the time)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M87JII5UN8U (which illustrates the need for a separate bellows operator!)

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It all seems suspiciously late to me. Are we right to disregard the renaissance regal as a predecessor? It has beating reeds rather than free reeds, but that's not a big step in the great scheme of things. It even has bellows.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regal_(instrument)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0_WtelZ8X0 (which illustrates that not everything goes right all the time)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M87JII5UN8U (which illustrates the need for a separate bellows operator!)

 

Thank you, I was trying to remember the name of the regal the other day. I got as far as "vile-sounding early reed organ thing" (meant with affection - but it's a harsh sound and no mistake!)

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Concertina or piano accordion...which is the oldest??!!! :wacko:

 

Concertina. Now stop being so pushy and rude!

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Concertina or piano accordion...which is the oldest??!!! :wacko:

Concertina.

 

That would be true with respect to both the German system and English system concertinas, which were invented/developed independently of each other, though at nearly the same time.

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Concertina or piano accordion...which is the oldest??!!! :wacko:

 

I really wish you'd stated that what you meant was the "piano accordion" sooner - you could have saved me a wasted afternoon spent searching online for the earliest (1829) patent images and then for the means to convert them to a format that I could post here. :angry:

 

It's why I asked you what you meant by an "accordion" and it makes your question much, much easier to answer - the piano accordion (in the form we know it today) with Stradella bass only started to develop in the 1890s, whilst Wheatstone's English concertina goes back to 1829, the German roots of your 2-row Stagi to 1834 and the English origins of your 30-key Rochelle Anglo to around 1860.

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Well, seeing that I've already done the groundwork, I might as well post it.

 

Below is what Cyrill Demian, the inventor, named "Accordion" in 1829.

 

From the Patent drawings;

 

 

demian4.jpg

demian5.jpg

A mock-up of the instrument in the drawings, made by the Paolo Soprani firm;

 

demianps.jpg

And an actual, original example from my collection (the Patent shows the basic 5-key version, but states they can be made with anything up to 10 keys);

Chambers-Michaelstein-Demian.jpg

Edited to add; and as I've already said in my Michaelstein Paper - "These very first models of accordion were made to be played left-handed (to our way of thinking) [footnote 16: It being considered, at the time, that the right hand should be used to control the bellows, probably in analogy with stringed instruments like the violin and guitar, where the left hand fingers the notes and the right hand produces them] and played only chords, as contemporary tutor books explain and surviving instruments demonstrate (hence the name, deriving from the German word for chord = "accord", plus the suffix "-ion")."

 

 

Demianreedpan.jpg

 

 

It has "German silver reeds arranged in 5-note chords per brass plate, those on the press numbered I to VIII and on the draw 1 to 8, keys numbered (left to right) 1 to 8 for left-handed playing. The scale of this instrument differs from later models, starting on key 2 and playing DRAW/PRESS, 3-DRAW/PRESS, 4-DRAW/PRESS, 5-DRAW/PRESS."

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Charles Wheatstone's 1829 Patent is for his very logical fingering system (which we now call "English concertina fingering") applied to some novel free-reed instruments, principally his (mouth-blown) Symphonion, but includes a bellows-powered version of the Symphonion (at top left in the Patent drawing) and thus gave Patent protection for the English concertina:

 

Wheatstone-Concertina-Patent-No-5803-of-

It would seem that English concertinas we would more easily recognise as such first appeared in 1833, and according to Charles Roylance, who later owned the instrument (which I now have) "The first Instrument was sold to Capt: Gardnor of the 2nd Life Guards, it was then called the Symphonion with bellows" and this is it:

 

 

Firstconcertina.jpg

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