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as said looking for another instrument

with bellows and bandoneon is looking

pretty cool. as you know I play accordion

and I would like to know if this instrument

can be played like and accordion in terms of

all chords both opening and closing as I know

that there are a 5 octave range but does this mean

that I can get all chords but because of the range

some chords may be in a higher octave when opening

compared to closing etc.

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Bandoneons are harder to find than concertinas or accordions. You will also find it much harder to find a teacher and/or teaching materials. Also, If you are interested in playing tango, it helps if you can read/speak Spanish.

 

As with the concertina, there is not one type of bandoneon. The standard tango bandoneon has differrent keyboard layouts on opening and closing the bellows. Also, left and right hand layouts are not related, which means that one needs to learn four different layouts. Moreover, the layouts, IMHO, defy any logic: one has just to memorize them.

 

There are also unisonoric chromatic bandoneons at have at their core the same layout as a C-system CBA in both hands (plus a come of extra rows). There are other types (e.g., Einheits Bandonion).

 

Search youtube for bandoneon performances to get an idea of the range and complexity possible.

 

If you are looking for a free reed instrument that does not limit what you can play on the left hand (exotic Jazz chords with flatted fifths and whatnot), you could take a look at free-bass accordions. Instruments, repairers, and teachers are easier to find.

 

You might also consider the Hayden, Maccann or Chidley concertinas.

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You might also consider the Hayden, Maccann or Chidley concertinas.

 

The Crane/Triumph (two names for the same layout) concertina is also an option. Even the Jeffries duet, for that matter.

 

But in case it matters to you, you should be aware that sound quality of all these concertinas is very different from bandoneons or accordions. You might or might not like the difference.

 

And depending on where you live, there could be another option: the Chemnitzer concertina. In construction and sound the Chemnitzer is more like a bandoneon, though it has a different layout of the notes. Both duet concertinas and Chemnitzers -- and I presume bandoneons, too, though I haven't paid much attention to bandoneons -- come with different numbers of buttons and therefore different upper and lower limits to their ranges.

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If you want an instrument that has all the chords under the left hand on both press and draw, get an accordeon! :rolleyes:

Oops! You've already got one! :blink:

 

The Bandoneon is a type of concertina, and like all types of concertina (apart from a few extinct German experimental ones) it has single-note buttons, not chord buttons. This leaves you free to take your melodies down into the bass, or to play a melody with counter-melody, or to build chords out of the single notes, and to play them as arpeggios.

In common with the Anglo concertina, the Bandoneon is bisonoric, with a core of button rows based on the diatonic Richter scale, like the 20 buttons of the early German concertina. The Bandoneon has 3 main rows (G, A and E), as opposed to the Anglo's 2, but again they have the common feature of a non-systematic range of accidentals and reversals scattered around the Richter core. These are hard to look for at first, but easy to reach once you know where they are.

To answer you question: some chords are available in both bellows directions, but not on the same buttons.

 

What the Bandoneon does have in common with the accordeon is the full, sonorous timbre (quite different from English-built concertinas of all types), but what it does not have is the "wet" tuning - instead, the double-reeded Bandoneons have the typical tango "dry-octave" tuning. Again unlike the accordeon, the Bandoneon does not have registers with varying effects.

And there's a more subtle difference as well: accordions, as far as I know, are tuned in Equal Temperament (ET), whereas at least my old, single-reeded Bandoneon is not. Although all scales and harmonies sound in tune, some individual notes are a few cents sharp or flat on the electronic ET tuner. So any ET instrument - accordeon or "chromatic Bandoneon" - sounds differnt.

 

My advice would be to keep your accordeon for the music that you already know, and, if you want to play the Bandoneon because of its "coolness factor", learn to exploit its unique features, and play Bandoneon music (doesn't have to be tango!) Music is a blend of instrument and player. Same instrument+different player=different music. Same player+differnt instrument=different music, is equally true.

 

Cheers,

John

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I have to agree with Anglo-Irishman - if you want an instrument that plays like an accordion, get an accordion. Concertinas, in all their various forms (and diatonic accordions for that matter) are different instruments. Embrace that, and take advantage of it to do something different musically from what you can already do on accordion.

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The Bandoneon is a type of concertina, and like all types of concertina (apart from a few extinct German experimental ones) it has single-note buttons, not chord buttons. This leaves you free to take your melodies down into the bass, or to play a melody with counter-melody, or to build chords out of the single notes, and to play them as arpeggios.

In common with the Anglo concertina, the Bandoneon is bisonoric, with a core of button rows based on the diatonic Richter scale, like the 20 buttons of the early German concertina. The Bandoneon has 3 main rows (G, A and E), as opposed to the Anglo's 2, but again they have the common feature of a non-systematic range of accidentals and reversals scattered around the Richter core. These are hard to look for at first, but easy to reach once you know where they are.

To answer you question: some chords are available in both bellows directions, but not on the same buttons.

 

 

 

You are describing one particular type of bandoneon. A different type, among many types, the unisonoric, chromatic bandoneon is also in use, mostly in European countries. A description of its layout can be found here:

 

http://atzarin.com/eng/introduction/keyboard_layouts/unisonoric_bandonions.html

 

Olivier Manoury playing an unisonoric, chromatic bandoneon:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHzzhCDgavo

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As an aside, I think the language normally associated with tango as it comes from Argentina is Portuguese and not Spanish.

 

And if you think that the Bandoneon for tango is where you might want to go, search on the internet for “The Last Bandoneon” which is a film about the Bandoneon and tango. Wonderful film and fabulous music!

 

Ross Schlabach

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As an aside, I think the language normally associated with tango as it comes from Argentina is Portuguese and not Spanish.

 

 

The language of Argentina and of Argentinan tango is very definetely Spanish. (Source: am native Spanish speaker.)

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As an aside, I think the language normally associated with tango as it comes from Argentina is Portuguese and not Spanish.

 

The language of Argentina and of Argentinan tango is very definetely Spanish. (Source: am native Spanish speaker.)

 

Yep. Portuguese is the language of Brazil, not Argentina. (Of course, both are dialects recognizably different from the versions spoken in Portugal and Spain themselves, just as there's a difference between American English and English English.)

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Posted (edited)

You are describing one particular type of bandoneon. A different type, among many types, the unisonoric, chromatic bandoneon is also in use, mostly in European countries. A description of its layout can be found here:

 

You are, in a way, correct; however, as a linguist, I would designate the traditional tango instrument as a Bandoneon (with a capital B ) - it's a German, bi-sonoric concertina in the so-called rheinische Tonlage (Rhineland tuning) that was developed my a Herr Band from Krefeld, hence the name. The chromatic version I would rather designate as a "bandoneon" (in quotes). It has nothing in common with the original Bandoneon except the dry-octave tuning.

While many musicians can play tango music written for and with the original Bandoneon on the chromatic bandoneon, it is unlikely that music composed on the chromatic would have the character of music composed on the bisonoric original. Just my supposition, based on composing and arranging on several differnt instruments. Each instrument's limitations call for a differnt problem-solving strategy, and thus influence the music.

 

Cheers,

John

Edited by Anglo-Irishman

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You are describing one particular type of bandoneon. A different type, among many types, the unisonoric, chromatic bandoneon is also in use, mostly in European countries. A description of its layout can be found here:

 

You are, in a way, correct; however, as a linguist, I would designate the traditional tango instrument as a Bandoneon (with a capital B ) - it's a German, bi-sonoric concertina in the so-called rheinische Tonlage (Rhineland tuning) that was developed my a Herr Band from Krefeld, hence the name. The chromatic version I would rather designate as a "bandoneon" (in quotes). It has nothing in common with the original Bandoneon except the dry-octave tuning.

While many musicians can play tango music written for and with the original Bandoneon on the chromatic bandoneon, it is unlikely that music composed on the chromatic would have the character of music composed on the bisonoric original. Just my supposition, based on composing and arranging on several differnt instruments. Each instrument's limitations call for a differnt problem-solving strategy, and thus influence the music.

 

Cheers,

John

 

 

Just a nit: the rheinische Tonlage bandoneon *is* chromatic (i.e., it has all notes of the scale). I would use "bi-sonoric" vs. "unisonoric" to distinguish the two types of bandoneons. We are, of course, "contándole los tres pelos al gato".

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Chromatic bandoneon is a bandoneon.

Bisonoric bandoneon with Argentine layout is a bandoneon.

Bisonoric bandoneon with German layout is a bandoneon.

 

They are all bandoneons. It is the reeds, the size and shape, etc. No one in the real world of music understands them as anything but bandoneons. They are built, played, and sold as bandoneons, because that is what they are. The added descriptives will tell you what type.

 

Chemnitzer, while viewable as a bandoneon, gets the chemnitzer appellation due to having different number/voicings of reed sets.

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Posted (edited)

RE the OP's question. The bandoneon has all notes. Obviously the chromatic bandoneon has all notes in both directions, because it is unisonoric. With the main two types of bisonorics, nearly all notes occur on both the push and pull, though this differs. According to maker and player Klaus Gutjahr, the German layout gives you this, while the Argentine layout has a couple of notes on the left side that don't recur in both directions. Some makers now offer Argentine-layout bandos with some extra notes over the traditional 142, to close that gap.

 

But that is a different question from, will a bandoneon play like an accordion: No. It has as many notes and chordal possibilities on both sides, and you can arrange any type or piece of music you like on it, and it is a really cool instrument, but it will not aspirate, phrase, or move like an accordion because it is not an accordion. It has its own parameters and its own ways, and it's worth jumping into it, but it does not play like an accordion.

 

 

Be aware as well, that Argentine tangueros largely (not wholly, but largely) play tango on bandoneon ON THE PULL, but NOT on the push. They pull out playing a line or phrase. Then they push back in using the air button, and do so at beats and moments that complement and accentuate the lift and movement of tango. Then they come back out again while playing the next phrase, repeat, repeat, repeat. You can see this on Youtube, often 6 or 7 bando players sitting in the front row of a big tango orchestra in their tuxedos, doing this in unison with their bandos.

 

One CAN play the bandoneon in both directions continuously; the notes are all there to enable this, if you do the work necessary to acquire that level of technique. And some advocate that this is the highest and most accomplished mastery of bandoneon (this school of thought would be, more or less the Germans). However, the tangueros maintain it is the alternation of playing on the pull and whomping back in on the push with the air button, that achieves that tango nyah. A master-level Argentine bando player with conservatory technique will KNOW HOW to play in both directions. But in practice playing tango, they're gonna do it largely on the pull.

 

Due to this, the sound difference between playing tango dance music on a bisonoric bandoneon, versus playing it on a unisonoric ("chromatic") bando, is not as dramatic as some might think. The Argentines might not like to hear this, but playing-mostly-on the-pull thing effectively makes your bisonoric bando into a de facto unisonoric. And players of unisonoric ("chromatic") bando who know tango music and know what the hell they're doing, can get this same sense of tango swing or lift by playing their unisonoric . . . . only, or largely, on the pull. And whomping back in using the air button, all in the rhythm and in the phrases appropriate to the movement of tango music. Just like the players of bisonoric, who by doing this are converting their bisonorics into . . . de facto unisonorics.

Edited by ceemonster

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