|Michael Praetorius (organist, composer)||15/2/1571(2?) Creuzburg (Thuringia) - 15/2/1621 Wolfenbüttel|
|Bernhard Eschenbach (kgl. bayerischer Rentamtmann)||Königshofen 1769 - 1852|
|Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann (pasamantero)||armnca de boca||17.6.1805 - 1.10.1864 Berlin|
|Giulio Regondi||classical guitarist, concertinist and composer||1823 (Geneva) - May 6th, 1872|
|Cyrill H. Demian||(organ maker)||Viena 1772 - 1847|
|Anton y Rudolph Reinlein||(music clock maker)||Viena|
|J. D. Wünsch||(music dealer, son in law of Uhlig)||Chemnitz 1814 - 1895|
|Alexandre Françoise Debain||harmonium||Paris 1807 - 1877|
|Wilhelm Rodolph Glier||fpunder of harmonium industry||Klingenthal 1793 - 1873|
|Christian y Johannes Meßner||founder of harmonium industry||Trossingen|
|Ignaz Hotz||founder of harmonium industry||Kittlingen|
|Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni||acoustic physisist||30/11/1756 Wittenberg - 3/4/1827 Bratislava|
In 1856 he publishes a musical edition showing a 130 voice instrument with the main valve saying in large letters BANDONION. For the first time this name is published and helps promote his instrument. The merchant net becomes even larger, when his brother Johann opens a store in Cologne:
Johann Band & Comp. - Musikalische Instrumentenhandlung und Bandonion-Fabrik.
In spite of the suggesting name, there is no evidence of a bandoneon factory. But Heinrich dies in 1860. His widow and the company officer Jacques Dupont continue the business. However, at this point changes possibly the provider or manufacturer of instruments. At the same time Friedrich Zimmermann sells his instrument factory in Carlsfeld to Ernst Louis Arnold But the business continues and the brothers Ullrich and Johann Band sell in 1863 instruments in Mainz. In 1889, Alfred Band establishes a store in Krefeld. Again, nobody knows who is the manufacturer. An article published by Prof. Karl Rembert 1940 in Krefeld suggests they were produced in Waldheim /Saxony by Gebr. Seifert Bandonion- und Konzertina-Fabrik. established in 1870. the boxes of their instruments are nearly squares.
when he organized the production and commercialized it together with a
specially ciphered written music. In 1882 appeared the name "Bandonion" derived
from his name. It was supposed to be used as a substitute for the organ
in small church communities. May be it was the very special sound which
maintain the demand, but the very complex disposition of the buttons,
prevented a greater diffusion. The idea was to have an instrument
for polyphonic music rather than for melody one and the buttons where
placed in a way to facilitate forming of chords. In contrast to
the accordion, already quite popular in many countries, this instrument
does not provide predefined chords. In addition, most of the buttons
have a different tone whether the bellow is opened or closed, this wrongly
denominated as "diatonic". The upcoming popularity of the tango in the
20ties forced the french musette players to play also the bandoneon.
Because of the difficulty of learning it, they asked for so called
chromatic instruments with equal tone for opening and closing. Until
today there rests a certain tradition in
the French speaking Switzerland speaking of the "French" chromatic model.
In Geneva e.g. there existed an orchestra with 10 bandoneons but only 2 of them
C. F. Zimmermann (August 1817 (Morgenröthe) - October, 20th 1898 (Philadelphia) bellow instrument maker in Carlsfeld (Saxony). [Kauert] Learned the piano as a child. In 1830 his parents moved to Carlsfeld and he took violin lessons crossing the border to Bohemia. With 16 he learned iron casting in Chemnitz and where he learned the concertina maker Uhlig. Giving concerts with an Uhlig instrument, he payed his 3 year stay in Chemnitz. Back in Carlsfeld his younger brother convinced him to deal with knitwear and they toured until Danzig. There a laudatory honoring his lovely instrument changed his mind and decided to construct a larger instrument. Uhlig provided the reed boards and in 1848 or 49 he started with a harmonica production, probably Uhlig concertinas but with an extended range. Also a modified model was produced and were he i introduced the button 0 and eliminated the en-harmonics a-flat and g-flat. From the Carlsfeld clock factory he hired personnel and during the best time he occupied up to 76 workers. In 1851 he showed several of his chromatic concert harmonicas at the World Exhibition in London. In the same year he got a patent upon an improvement of his 3-row double action concertina where only one special button shifted all the notes one octave higher. but, no success, there was no understanding for that, and anyhow the concertina was low appreciated. In 1854 he presents 15 different types of harmonicas at the General German Industry Exhibition in Munich. However, he saw no future for his instruments since competitors in the near neighborhood flushed the market with cheep products. He made attempts with a glass-blower manufacture, again without success. He decided to sell all the stuff to one of his fore workers and migrated to the US in 1864.
constructs in 1849 a double action instrument with 3 rows. It differs from that of Uhlig in Chemnitz by one additional button nr 0 and the elimination of the en-harmonics thus approximating it to a chromatic instrument. This represents a new concept and the base for an own system and conforms one of the three fundamental layout systems. It is known as the Carlsfelder Konzertina. and reached a significant diffusion.
From 1854 on he produced instruments as a professional while the metalworker Friedrich Dietz of Cologne took over the commercial part.
It is not known who was the provider of Heinrich Band o Krefeld, but it could well have been Zimmermann. After Heinrich Band died, Zimmermann did not see any future for his instruments and sold the manufacture to his foreman, Ernst Louis Arnold, and who was Zimmermann's apprentice from 1854 to 1858. Zimmermann left for Philadelphia, as suggested his brother Rolando where he established a music store. Rolando in returned to German while Carl Friedrich attended his brothers business. According to the Carl Friedrich he had to work very hard repairing French accordions. But after 2 or three years he managed a patent for a Union accordion, not only for the US, but France, Belgium, England, Saxony. Possibly this Union Accordion is the one which was offered by a music dealer of Krefeld in 1857. The most time he invested however in the development of an new music writing system by cipher. In spite of high investments and trying to convince musicians to use his coding, he did not succeed. However, he got a patent on his system in 1871. Accepting the difficult situation, he stopped the manufacture of harmonicas and dedicated exclusively to develop a new cord instrument, autoharp, which required to use his coding system and for which he got a patent in 1882. This instrument turn t to be very popular and during the first 3 years more then 50.000 units were sold. In 1892 he sold the factory to Alfred Dolgeville and continued improving his coding system. He died October 20th, 1898 in an traffic accident in Philadelphia.
The AA factory operated from 1911 until 1948 in Carlsfeld. After WW II, the East German Government decided to centralize the reed instrument production in Klingenthal, the unit in Carlsfeld was closed.
Arno Arnold leaves East Germany to Obertshausen (Offenbach) in 1949 where he establishes a new factory in 1950. His instruments are not sold to south America. one year after Arno dies in 1970, the factory is closed.
The popularity changed rapidly when about in 1890 the original instrument
manufactured by Ernst Louis Arnold (ELA) reached the
region of the River Plate where it was found to match perfectly well with
the coming up tango. From then on the popular accordion was completely
displaced and in 1911 the most famous producer, Alfred Arnold in Carlsfeld
began manufacturing bandoneons exclusively for the market in Argentina
and Uruguay. The design was gradually modified and the number of tones
increased up to 142, some models 152, with 5 button rows in left hand
and 6 rows in the right.
Only in one year (1930) there where exported 25,000 units to Argentina.
If you consider the price comparable with that of a piano, it was of great
commercial importance. Here the name was "translated" from the German
Bandonion to Spanish: BANDONEON.
Unfortunately the production ceased during World War II. A few units
left the factory after the war, but for quality reasons and changes
of the market of the target countries,
the factory closed in December 1956.
In Germany itself, as I mentioned, there was no great development of the
playing techniques, and even in Argentina professionals began to develop
first methods in the twenties, but mainly based on piano methods.
No European conservatory included this instrument in its teaching program
giving the instrument a low social position.
Many people believe it is something for poor street musicians.
But the fact that it takes very long, like a violin, to achieve a
and also considering the cost of an instrument, demonstrates the contrary.
Today things changed in Europe, and first
Rotterdam and recently
many other French conservatories are offering lessons for bandoneon.
The tonal range is the same as for the harpsichord, and baroque music sounds
specially pleasant. The highest level was probably reached by
Alejandro Barletta (1925 - 2008)
in Buenos Aires.
René Marino Rivero (1935 - 2010)
in Uruguay, a pupil of Barletta, made
very many transcriptions of Bach, Frescobaldi and other composers of the
baroque and he is perhaps actually the most advantaged player for classical and
contemporary music on this instrument.
In the US it was perhaps Astor Piazzolla (who
lived there for 17 years) which made it later known with recordings
together with Gerry Mulligan and Gary Burton. There are very few
musicians experimenting with jazz
and I believe the future lies in this. Similar to the saxophone it allows
forming the sound but in a polyphonic manner and which gives a strong
There are nearly no good instruments left on the market today, but the increasing demand (interest), not only in Argentina and Europe, but in Japan, possibly help to reinitialize production. Here in Switzerland, Brazil, the Netherlands and Berlin there are people (mainly organ builders) working to acquire the needed know how.
If you are interested in more details about the bandoneon in general, I can recommend you a compact disc which is also available in the US, and specially because of the 80 page booklet coming with. The recording is done by the mentioned Marino Rivero but here he plays folk dances of Uruguay, may be it is not too representative for the instrument.
Smithsonian Folkways - Traditional Music of the World 5
Bandoneon Pure: Dances of Uruguay
Smithsonian/ Folkways Recording CD SF 4031 Office of Folklife Programs
955 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 2600
Washington, DC 20560