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What is this: Bandoneon or Chemnitzer:


Fanie
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Yes, a Bandonion or Bandoneón (depending on your language), and made by the firm of "F. Lange vormals [formerly]  C. F. Uhlig" in the industrial city of Chemnitz in Saxony (known as "the Manchester of Germany") where Uhlig had invented the German concertina.

 

"Fully inlaid" ones like that were the most expensive models in their day.

 

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited typo.
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5 hours ago, Fanie said:

is there among them a row of buttons that resembles an Anglo?

Yes, there is! Three rows, in fact.

If you take the core area of 20 buttons (10 left, 10 right) and ignore everything else, you basically have an Anglo in A/E. I play the Bandoneon a little, and I have one party-piece, an arrangement of  "Linden Lea," which has the same fingering on Anglo and Bandoneon - it comes out in C major on the Anglo and A major on the Bandoneon.

In addition, the Bandoneon has a third push-pull-diatonic row in G. Playing across the G row and the A row gives you interesting capabilities, which are different from playing across the A and E rows.

 

When I bought my Bandoneon (in a junk-shop in Berlin) I thought at first that it was terribly out of tune, until I discovered that central core area - and then I was playing tunes within minutes, using my Anglo experience!

 

Have fun!

 

Cheers,

John

.

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You mean the metal corners of the bellows folds? Yes, half of them seem to be missing, and more seriously, they're the ones next to the player - where the instrument rubs on your clothing. There are also a lot of button-tops missing. Considering the age of your instrument, I would imagine that it would be hard to find a supplier for these parts. Perhaps a professional restorer could cannibalise an irreparable instrument of the same type.

At least the "central core area" I mentioned seems to be intact on both ends, so you should be able to try it and see what it sounds like.

Cheers,

John

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Thank you for the references, I will check them out.

I recieved the bandoneon and it is not in good shape. Some of the gussets on the bellows are gone, 39 bellow corners are missing, 15 buttons are missing, and some of the reeds keep on singing all the time, so the pads will probaply have to be replaced.

Lots of projects to keep me busy, I am currently working on a Wheatstone Anglo and an old 1880's Stanley reed organ.

Thanks

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  • 10 months later...

Ok, I finally fixed the old 55 button bandoneon and it is playing again.

I replaced a few gussets and patched some leaks in the bellows. 

I made 16 buttons (thanks to instructions from Harry Geuns in Belgium)

I replaced one broken reed tongue (Harry sent me a new one.)

Then I replaced the leather pads on the left side (but it is still leaking some air on the left).

What an interesting instrument: It is basically an Anglo with rows of chords in G, A and E, and then a lot of other accidentals.

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Well done, Fanie! Have fun!

By the way, have you checked the tuning with an electronic tuner? When I did that with my old Bandonion - which is wonderfully in tune with itself, even after over 100 years - I discovered that it was at the old German concert pitch of A=435Hz. In a way, it's nice to have a "voice from the past" on your lap - but on the other hand the possibilities of playing with others are limited. The only time I played my Bandoneon with my group, it was a duet with the fiddle. Violinists can retune quickly and reliably between numbers!

But the Bandoneon can really make music on its own, and any singers you may want to accompany won't notice those 5Hz differnce😉

Cheers,

John

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