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SteveS

Bandoneon - F.Lange

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I've just acquired a bandoneon - a F.Lange, Chemnitz, model from 1930s at a guess.

37/35 buttons, Rheinische tonlage (the type used for Argentinian tango).

Looks to be in reasonable condition, with 1 missing button.

We'll see what it's really like once I open it.

1100956714_375.jpg

Edited by SteveS

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They are scary to learn. Best to think of them in guitar terms, with groups of notes most associated with hand chord positions in 'rosettes' rather than a linear pattern.  'Don Benito' books 1 and 2  by Luciano Jungman are a comforting introduction. 

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On 9/13/2019 at 9:25 PM, paulbrennan said:

Nice! The people at the FB group "US Concertina Assoc" know a lot about these I think.  Double, triple reed?

It's winging its way to me now - once I receive it and open it I'll let you know - though I suspect it'll be single reed.

 

Edit: turns out the US Conc Assoc people are for the Chemitzer concertina, and not the Rheinishe tonlage variety most popular with Argentinian tango aficionados.

Edited by SteveS

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15 hours ago, Stephen Selby said:

They are scary to learn. Best to think of them in guitar terms, with groups of notes most associated with hand chord positions in 'rosettes' rather than a linear pattern.  'Don Benito' books 1 and 2  by Luciano Jungman are a comforting introduction. 

Thanks - the Don Benito course looks interesting.

I've found the Ambros tutor by an Argentinian master published in 1930s (at a guess - in Spanish).

One tutorial I found on YouTube describes it as learning 4 different keyboard layouts in one instrument - scary!

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9 hours ago, SteveS said:

Thanks - the Don Benito course looks interesting.

I've found the Ambros tutor by an Argentinian master published in 1930s (at a guess - in Spanish).

One tutorial I found on YouTube describes it as learning 4 different keyboard layouts in one instrument - scary!

Ambro is quoted by those who are top players; but it's a really daunting method for newbies without a teacher at their side. I particularly like Don Benito because within a couple of lessons, you are playing things that you would not mind other people hearing.  You need to watch out for another thing: some methods (not Don B ) teach a style that is predominantly pull. To me, that style leads to too much use of the breather lever, which makes for choppy phrasing. 

 

Another thing I suggest is to check carefully the tuning. I bought one once which had been accurately re-tuned to 1930s standard pitch, rather than modern European pitch or Argentinian piths (a little bit higher). 

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17 hours ago, Stephen Selby said:

Ambro is quoted by those who are top players; but it's a really daunting method for newbies without a teacher at their side. I particularly like Don Benito because within a couple of lessons, you are playing things that you would not mind other people hearing.  You need to watch out for another thing: some methods (not Don B ) teach a style that is predominantly pull. To me, that style leads to too much use of the breather lever, which makes for choppy phrasing. 

 

Another thing I suggest is to check carefully the tuning. I bought one once which had been accurately re-tuned to 1930s standard pitch, rather than modern European pitch or Argentinian piths (a little bit higher). 

Thanks for the tips - I like the look of the Don B method so I may invest in that.  I noticed that the keyboard layout on the extremities of the Lange are different to the Arnold bandoneons.

I haven't yet received the bandoneon, but I'm expecting it to be in 1930s pitch - whatever that'll be centred on.  Hopefully I'll be able to retune it.

I have noticed that modern bandos appear to be tuned a little higher than A=440.

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Retuning would be expensive. The one I bought first was in tune with itself but not at modern pitch. I just left it, on the principle that it would be years before I was ready to play work anyone else! Yes, South American bandoneons are tuned a little sharp

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On 9/14/2019 at 10:26 AM, SteveS said:

It's winging its way to me now - once I receive it and open it I'll let you know - though I suspect it'll be single reed.

 

Edit: turns out the US Conc Assoc people are for the Chemitzer concertina, and not the Rheinishe tonlage variety most popular with Argentinian tango aficionados.

Yes, my mistake I missed that it was Rheinische tonlage.  I sincerely hope it's a double reed - it certainly looks big enough - you'll be all set to tango. I am looking for one of these myself and have just about given up. As far as teaching materials there is also a new set put out by the Argentine cultural agency Tango Sin Fin.  They are very good but very advanced in parts.  Some of it is free online. 

Edited by paulbrennan

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6 hours ago, Stephen Selby said:

Retuning would be expensive. The one I bought first was in tune with itself but not at modern pitch. I just left it, on the principle that it would be years before I was ready to play work anyone else! Yes, South American bandoneons are tuned a little sharp

I can do the retuning and all other repairs myself.

I expect it'll be years before I could contemplate playing with other bandos - on the other hand I may get to play with others on the balfolk circuit sooner - so I guess A440 will be what to aim for.

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9 hours ago, paulbrennan said:

Yes, my mistake I missed that it was Rheinische tonlage.  I sincerely hope it's a double reed - it certainly looks big enough - you'll be all set to tango. I am looking for one of these myself and have just about given up. As far as teaching materials there is also a new set put out by the Argentine cultural agency Tango Sin Fin.  They are very good but very advanced in parts.  Some of it is free online. 

Thanks for the tip re. Tango Sin Fin - they certainly seem to have a lot of material for learning.

It'll be quite a while before I dare play tango with others - balfolk may be more accessible.

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I'm away in Italy at the moment and so haven't yet got this bandoneon into my hands.

However I've been doing so digging on the keyboard layout since I suspected it didn't quite appear consistent with the 142-note Rheinische tonlage.

It appears that I may be right - the system appears to be the Einheits tonlage (description here), which differs slightly in the keyboard layout from Rheinische, and may have up to 3 reeds per button. According to this link, this type of bandoneon system may be better suited to folk and classical music.

Here is a link to a comparison of the Einheits and Rheinische layouts.

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Steve I think you mentioned you could do the tuning yourself. I'd love to hear more about what's involved. I would not contemplate trying to retune a whole instrument but it would be very useful to be able to make small adjustments in a reed or two. Do you think that's a learnable skill on these kind of reeds?

Edited by paulbrennan

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3 hours ago, paulbrennan said:

Steve I think you mentioned you could do the tuning yourself. I'd love to hear more about what's involved. I would not contemplate trying to retune a whole instrument but it would be very useful to be able to make small adjustments in a reed or two. Do you think that's a learnable skill on these kind of reeds?

I use a tuning table for accordion reeds, and a tuning bellows for concertina reeds.

It's possible to learn tuning, and with care good results can be achieved.

But always practice initially on reeds from a scrap instrument

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