Vintage Accordions and Concertinas

The accordion, or squeezebox, is a type of free-reed instrument that generates sound when air rushes past metal reeds affixed to blocks inside the machine. In some types of free-reed instruments, such as harmonicas, air is produced by the musician’s mouth. In concertinas, bandoneons, and accordions, air is pushed and pulled past reeds by means of a bellows.

While free-reed instruments had been popular in ancient China (the Cheng), Egypt, and Greece, as well as in Renaissance Europe, the accordion as we think of it today did not appear until the early 19th century. Some organologists ascribe the accordion’s invention to a Viennese instrument maker named Cyrillus Damian, who patented an “accordion” in 1829. Others, though, point to the work of a German named Christian Friedrich Buschmann, whose 1822 “hand-aeoline” had a bellows and keyboard, more closely resembling and functioning like an accordion than Damian’s device, regardless of its name.

One of the first instrument makers to devote himself to accordions was Paolo Soprani, who, in 1864, opened a workshop in Castelfidardo, Italy. By the end of the century, the factory employed some 400 people, one of whom was Elio Gabbanelli, who also worked for accordion makers Silvestrini and Crucianelli before making his own instruments in 1929. Gabbanelli brands included the Aquila in Italy and the Noble and Reno in the United States. In 1960, one of Elio’s son, Gianfranco “John” Gabbanelli, left Castelfidardo for Houston, Texas, where he established a U.S. branch of the family firm in 1961. Gianfranco wanted to give the instruments some color and flash, and he bet that the Tejano and Cajun musicians he came in contact with would embrace his wild sense of style, which they did.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Music Museum

National Music Museum

The National Music Museum, which is located at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, features 15,000 instru… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Roland Fr-7 V-accordion, RedMade In Germany !!hohner Student V M Piano Accordion 48 Bass Vintage Titano Accordion Made In ItalyOld Style Hohner Cajun Accordion (ec)Vintage Excelsior Accordian Hohner "club Ii" Melodeon, Diatonic Button Accordion, Key: C-f, Folk Music !!Catena Black Accordion W/ CaseScandalli Super Vi Italian Piano Accordion Genuine Ela Bandonion Bandoneon 142 Voice Tango History GermanVintage Italo American Accordion AccordionsExcelsior Model 320 Piano Accordion With Case "made In Italy" Mother Of PearlHohner Tango Vm Accordion Made In Germany Handmade Reeds Stamped Sounds Great!!Vintage Crucianelli Accordion - 41 Keys & 120 Bass - Excellent Condition!Accordion - Giulietti 5 Row Bassetti Free Bass - Classic 127 Continental VCajun Accordion Andre Michot Lost Bayou Rambers Folk/cajun BlackVtg 50's Italy Galanti Fw 320 Accordion 41 Keys 120 Bass Music Instrument W CaseVintage 70's Black Hohner "erica" Button Accordion & Book. Germany. Very Nice!!!"hohner Erica" Diatonic Accordion, Melodeon, Key: G-c , Folk Music, Great Sound!Hohner 72 Bass Entry Level Piano Accordion Red "issues" U Fix ItSoprani AccordionVintage Concertina Squeezebox 21 Button Pearl Red White Accordion ItalyHohner 4 Stop Button Accordion / Melodeon Ha 114 Key G No ReserveRoland Fr-7x White Midi Piano Keyboard V-accordionVintage Spirito Cleveland Accordion Made In Italy Women's Child Accordion WowHohner Accordion With 4 Stops Made In Germany ! G-c-f Weltmeister Diatonic Button Accordion 12 Bass Fever Button Accordion - 31 Keys, 12 Bass (s08008104)Vintage National Two Sided Accordion W/ Case " Great Condition "Vintage Camerano Italian Accordion 25 Key 12 Bass Button With Case & StrapsHohner Corona Ii Classic Accordion In PearlVintage Lindo C 30 Imperial Accordian Made In Italy 10985 Hohner Corona Ii Gcf Button AccordionHohner EricaHohner Vintage 2 Row Accordion Red A623Vintage Titano Tube Chamber Organette Accordion Italy Mother Of Pearl Keys Cavalier Accordion Made In Italy 3/4 Reeds 41/120 Very Nice Roland Fr-1x AccordionAccordion Sonola Ss7 4/5 Reed Good Condition Hohner Accordion Diatonic, El Rey Del Vallenato. Perfect Shape.12 Bass.key A.d.gVintage Moreschi Accordion Squeeze Box W/ Case & Leather Straps Gorgeous Accordion Pollina Made In ItalyAccordion With Case * Made In Italy * Red & WhiteStrasser AccordianVintage 1915 M. Hohner 10 Key Button Accordion Made In Germany No Reserve 2 Fontaini AccordionsMorelli Accordian With Hard Case Fast ShippingBeautiful Castiglione Accordion. 403 Series. New Case! Recently Serviced! No ResBrand New Roland Fr-2b White Chromatic Button V-accordionSalanti Full Size Italian Made Piano Accordion W/ Case Acordeon De Teclas Nr!!Vintage Ivory Silvertone Accordian 460/260 Original CaseExcellent Made In Germany Diatonic Button Accordion Hohner Club Iii M Antique 10 Button Wooden Hohner Accordion - Philadelphia Grand Prix - 1926?Vintage Cordovox Accordion Accordion Bass ReedsKoch Accordion*vintage* Manbiw Made In Ussr - Musical Instrument - Accordion As IsHorch Superior, 120 Bass, 14 Registers, German Piano AccordionSeville Italian-made 120 Bass Accordion- Smaller,super Clean,ready To PlayCingoloni 120 Button Red & Cream Colored Accordion Made In Italy & Case