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paulbrennan

Pianola Concertina/bandoneon

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Has anybody seen a bandoneon/chemnitzer type instrument with a player piano mechanism?  I just saw one today in the back room of the local accordion shop - not working. He also had an old Chemnitzer with the Henry Silberhorn label and a Chemnitzer or possibly bandoneon with the name Emil Schafer of Magdeburg-N. Does anybody know anything about this maker? All of these were in bad repair.  I have pictures but the upload is failing for some reason.

Edited by paulbrennan
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Thank you, that looks exactly the same except this one is in black. Well, that and it doesn't work :)

Edited by paulbrennan

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I've seen them turn up from time to time.  The problem is that there was (stress, was) a company that had rolls but they're website seems to have gone dormant.  Of course, you'd want to be able to either get or create more rolls for it if you had one.

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Yes, fascinating (raising one eyebrow), those Tanzbär concertinas! 

 

A friend of mine is an organ grinder. Now that he's retired, he does it full-time.  And he has quite a collection of barrel organs and other mechanical instrumets. My particular favourite is an American "preacher's organ", which has free reeds instead of the usual pipes of a barrel organ. It does indeed sound more unctious than the usual German barrel organ - partly because the rolls are all of good, old Anglo-American hymn tunes!

I appreciate his music, and he appreciates mine, but we've never really done anything musical together. Perhaps I could persuade him to add a Tanzbär to his collection, and offer to demonstrate it whenever he's doing an organ show.:D

 

Cheers,

John

 

Edited by Anglo-Irishman

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When I was a small child in Chicago, I remember being amazed to see elephants walking in a parade down my city block, in front of my own house, on their way to perform in a circus at the park nearby. This would have been around the summer of 1959.

 

No wait... it's that other really early performing animal memory I meant to tell you about.

 

The old Italian organ grinder man on 53rd street had a captivating little monkey, wearing a smart military jacket with tiny silver buttons ...and a brimmed cap too! The monkey would beg for money and make the most amusing faces and try to get us to put coins in his little tin cup. His adorable clever fingers were black and shiny and deeply wrinkled. He had such perfectly formed fingernails and quick precise movements that were so delightfully unpredictable. The organ grinder man let him climb all about, on top of his head and then onto the organ and down to the ground, then springing back up to perch on the man's shoulder and beg with his little cup.

 

The ape was always glancing about, this way and that, in an abject and deferential manner that was expressed most completely by the mobile movement of his extravagant eyebrows. His ridiculous antics made us all laugh. "The poor thing. The poor dear little adorable thing"!

 

He pooped right in front of us! What a fine fellow!

 

Indeed, there was also that clumsy and heavy music machine, supported on a hefty stick, and I remember that it did actually play, with its gears and crank and oily smell and it certainly made the dirty old organ man sweat to grind it...  but I only had eyes for that crazy monkey. When I put a penny in his cup, he doffed his cap and looked me right in the eye, with a wink!

 

Thank you for reminding me... It's been a long time.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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On 9/7/2019 at 9:28 AM, Jody Kruskal said:

I would like to see/hear your organ grinder friend. Any links to a video? 

 

Here you go: link

It shows my friend and his charming wife at an organ festival. The two of them often sing to the accompaniment of their barrel-organ - the old, moralising and precautionary ballads that were working-class entertainment before the advent of radio.

 

Interestingly, the monkey (bottom left of the video screen) is still part of the team, and still the one collecting the money. Nowadays there's a law against exploiting live animals, but the German organ grinders still typically have a soft-toy monkey on their organ.

Cheers,

John

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The Musical Instrument Museum in N Phoenix has one on display in the Mechanical Music Room. Along with music boxes, player pianos and the like.

 

 

PlayerBandoneon.jpg

Edited by JimR
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