Evolution of the Keyboard Systems

Maria Dunkel has analyzed in her book Bandonion und Konzertina the three mayor German primitive keyboard systems, those of

Uhlig (Chemnitz), Zimmermann (Carlsfeld) and Band (Krefeld).

Additionally she identified a fourth system in Bavaria called Münchner Lage, but she could not determine the originator of the basis for the later Schrammelbandonion since there existed for at least 3 different manufacturers during the 60ties in Munich.

The list starts with the first 28 key design having 14 keys (1-14) distributed on 3 rows on each side of the instrument. The indicated key numbers were later extended with symbols (second and third column) and were used to identify the keys for the symbol notation. Later modifications led to an inconsistent labeling, particularly when notes where shifted or modified, or when manufacturers introduced other ideas.


Table: The evolution of Uhlig's system (Chemnitz)
time keys added to bass keys added to treble voices total
1835 1 - 14 1 - 14 56 (3 rows)
  0 (f/c) 0 (f/c) 60
    1/0, 15 64
until 1860 1/0 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0 76

Uhlig's instrument is also known as the German Concertina or Chemnitzer.

A mayor extension of this layout was achieved after 1890 by Max Neubert, Richard Lindner and Max Scheffler. The Scheffler'sche Lage adds and rearranges many keys for 102 or 104 voice instruments.



Table: The evolution of Zimmermann's system (Carlsfeld)
time keys added to bass keys added to treble voices total
< 1849 1 - 14 1 - 14 56 (3 rows)
1849 1 - 14 0 (a♯/f) 58
1851 0 ?   60
1854 - 58 15, 16, 17 ? 15, 16, 17 ? 72
? 0/1, + 0/1, + 80
  18 (+), 1/2, 2/3 88
no date 19, (18 removed?) 18, 19, 20 96
until 1860? ? ? 100, 102, 104

Zimmermann's instrument from 1849 is also known as Karlsfelder Konzertina.



Table: The evolution of Band's system (Krefeld, Rheinland)
time keys added to bass keys added to treble voices total
1845 1 - 14 1- 14 56 (3 rows)
  0 0, 2/0 (Uhlig's 1/0), 3/0 64
  2/0, 3/0 + 70
  1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 4/0 (+), 0/1, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 88, 4 rows
1854 + 4/0, 5th row: 0/0, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 100, 5 rows
1856 ? ? 110
1860 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 0/0, (+), 15, *, 5/0, 16 5/0, (*), new row: 15, 16, 17, 18 126, (130) 6 rows

Band's instrument was known as Bandonion (since 1856) and due to his home town Krefeld / Rheinland the keyboard system as rheinische Lage.

Band was registered as merchant in Krefeld and was not a constructor or manufacturer, he must have ordered his instruments from elsewhere, since in Krefeld there were no manufactures available. There are many indications about his source to be Carlsfeld. After the death of Band in 1860, Zimmermann sold his manufacture to Ernst Louis Arnold in 1864 and left to North America where his traces are lost.

created: August. 1997

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last update: 2017-11-17
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