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Hey all!

 

I’m brand new here with my first step into the concertina family! I stumbled across this little bandoneon at a music store in my town, and couldn’t pass it up, despite obvious aesthetic and mechanical issues. I am now trying to learn as much about this instrument as I can! The system is very similar, if not the same as a Kusserow bandoneon, and the instrument seems to have been made in the early 1930s for export to Argentina, as the inside of the right hand side bears the markings of a musical instrument dealer in Santa Fe, a bit up the river from Buenos Aires. I found a virtually identical instrument that sold on reverb a while back but the seller didn’t seem to really know what they were talking about, as they billed a C.B. Arnold instrument as being made by Alfred Arnold himself. Also, upon looking at information I can find on the web, most sources would have you believe that the only bandoneons you’ll find in Argentina are 142s or variants of that particular system. Anyhow, just my little quarantine project, and I figured I would share and see if anybody else knows more about these (or can potentially correct my current notions)! CB Arnold 82 button chromatic bandoneon. I was gonna link pictures but I cannot figure out how.

 

Thanks!

 

-William

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I've seen CB Arnolds listed on Argentinian versions of sales sites.  If it's Kusserow-like, the right hand will have the notes ascending in 1/2 tones down the rows starting at the upper button, (without added notes).  Otherwise, there were some early attempts a Peguri fingering which is more like a C-system accordion.

 

Don't let that statement make you think that I know what I'm talking about.  I have a few unisonoric bandoneons and Karl Oriwohl's self published book to guide me.

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Oh gosh yes indeed! Wish I had known about the book. What I really wonder is how many non-Rheinische bandoneons ended up in South America, and who are playing them. I see lots of info on bandoneon relating to tango and Piazzolla and the 142 boxes, but I wonder if there’s more info about the less desirable ones. As far as my instrument, I really like the layout for the right hand, but the left hand feels extremely clumsy for anything but chording.

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This is the instrument as I acquired it, but I did intend to post pics. One button missing on the right hand and scratches everywhere, but I’m a sucker for anything with a bellows and I do plan on getting as much of it repaired as I can once that becomes viable again.

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Posted (edited)

William,

 

your bandoneon looks like an ELA to me. This could be verified by the serial number and production date inside. ELA has been sending CBArnolds (=Chromatic Bandoneon Arnold) at least from 1929 to South America, there is a reference on an italian webside. That means they produced them for a timespan of ten to fifteen years. My guess is they made some hundreds, certainly not more than a few thousands. They produced a book with it, the Metodo E.V. Favero".

Oriwohl claims that Alfred Arnold made CBArnold bandoneons and he should know, he learned to play unisonoric bandoneon from E. Kusserow in the thirties. But the one picture I found is definitely an ELA.

What we call a Kusserow bandoneon has been developed by different bandoneon-makers in the twenties. It is very similar to a CBArnold.

It was designed for playing melody with the right and cords with the left hand. It's main advantage is that you can play in all keyes by just moving your hand to a different position on the keyboard.

If you see photos of early players in Germany they often play the bandoneon "on the corner" which makes it easier to find a decent fingering for the left hand.

Oriwohl played a lot of classical music like Bach Toccatas on his bandoneon so it can be done.

 

Nils

Edited by nils
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Very interesting, as a bandoneon player I have been in visiting and playing in Argentina since years I never heard about this system there!  Could you please find this reference of an Italian website. If this CBArnokd was exported to Argentina it was probably not in Buenos Aires.

 I would guess it was meant to some German communities living in Argentina there are still some playing German concertinas there. Tango players very reluctant to play other systems most of them don't even know they exist.

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Mr. Manoury, have you gotten a chance to play many other chromatic systems like this? I find it’s a really interesting layout! Another oddity of mine (I assume a cheap fix by a previous owner) is the fact that the reeds seem to have only been tuned on the draw, which means attempting to play anything on the push sounds awful.

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