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Argentine Bandoneons

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Thanks, Mike. I recall seeing a documentary called "Bandoneon" a year or so ago that seemed to do a very respectful job of describing, showing, tracing the history of said instrument. What struck me then was that it (the film) included pleas from some of the players and repairmen to the world at large -- mainly sounvenir hunters, I guess -- NOT to buy the vintage German original bandoneons to take home as souvenirs, thereby removing them from circulation. Seems that the instruments were being bought up by wealthy tourists [accuracy of that statement I cannot attest to] and thus depriving players in Argentina of the best instruments. Did anyone else see that film?

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Wow, that's exciting stuff! I'd wondered in the past how they were keeping up bandoneon culture given the lack of affordable new production, and apparently "they weren't" is the answer. I'm curious as to what kind of price point they're going to get on those. Geuns has single-voice student bandoneones for €2600, but I imagine even that is pretty pricey in Argentina. So make that "intensely curious" as to how economically they'll be able to make these.


To one degree a little surprised they're not offshoring more of it, but then again it is done as a university project, and also Argentina has high unemployment and presumably reasonable labor costs, so maybe making it in-country is pretty practical.



Me being me, part of my reflex was "I wonder if they'll end up ever making Hayden bandoneones". Clearly not as part of this initial university program, but maybe if this helps get the ball rolling on a new generation of bandoneonistas, that will build the market for a few other folks to start making high-end instruments in the Southern Cone.


I still have the intent, once work and finances stabilize a bit, to find a Latin American accordion tech and have him build a reedless body/action so I can MIDIfy it, and I've been plotting bandeoneon-shape just for simplicity of construction. No bandoneones in any of the countries I'm working in so far, but I figure a decently skilled accordion tech might be able to whip up a basic frame/action bellows. Fwiw, similar to the bandoneon situation in some ways, Colombia relies heavily on imported Hohner 3-rows, and there are few folks that make any indigenous accordions.

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If what can bee seen on theese few photos is in fact a production-ready prototype I'm more than curious on how will it sound. The whole reedblocks, soundboard and action are made from plastic. Outer shell looks like it's made celuloid-covered plywood and if the price is the main concern I wonder if they will use zinc plate reeds or standard accordion reeds. All previous "modern concertina building" threads can be summed up to "you simply cannot get a traditional sound without traditional materials".

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@Łukasz: I'm seeing different stuff in other inside shots; perhaps the one in the article is a 3D-printed prototype? Check my links below for more and more detailed photos of the guts.



More info and images:


- https://www.facebook.com/proyectopichuco

- http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/suplementos/m2/10-2176-2011-11-19.html(interview, more internal shots, etc)

- another detailed photo gallery at bottom of page: http://www.unla.edu.ar/index.php/noticias/199-novedades-destacadas/1279-el-bandoneon-pichuco-gano-el-premio-innovar-2012


An internal shot from their Facebook page:



If anyone sees anything that they want to understand, and aren't getting a clear answer in GoogleTranslate, let me know and I'll summarize it for you.


Also, I added a small mention of this project (and footnote to the BBC article) into the Wikipedia "Bandoneón" article. Thanks for pointing it out!

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i posted a while ago about this with a link to the article, but not sure i can find the thread now. i posted it in one of our periodic long back-and-forths about the need for, and everybody's varying opinions on the feasibility of, production of affordable concertinas which also are very fast and responsive and have excellent, responsive reeds. i think it was one of those discussions about "why the concertina is not played on a more widespread basis."

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