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    

Vintage Hohner Diatonic Push-button Accordion - Made In GermanyExcellent Vintage Hohner 2 Row Pokerwork Diatonic Accordion, GermanyHohner 2815 Pokerwork Diatonic Accordion G/c 2 Row Melodeon O/boxElkavox 77 Accordion And Tone GeneratorRoland Fr-1b White Chromatic Button AccordionVintage Empire Push Button Accordion W/ Hard CaseVintage Paolo Soprani Italia 41 Key 120 Bass AccordionVintage German Bandmaster Concertina Accordion 20 Key Squeezebox C1970sNice Doiran Accordion White Peral ? Accordian With Case And StrapsAccordiana Accordion By Excelsior Model 310 Medium SizeSoprani Ampliphonic Coletta Piano Accordion 120 Bases 41 Keys Italy MadeGabbanelli Acordeon AccordionPetosa P1000 Midi MusetteAccordion Sonola Aa 7 Auction! No Reserve PriceHohner Student V Piano Accordion Akkordeon In Perfect Condition From GermanyBlack Cajun Accordion Beautiful Old Bandoneon Bandonion Accordion "aa" Alfred Arnold Bandoneones 38/33Noble Futuramic Accordion World's Finest Made In Italy Case Cord Nice!!Vintage Hohner Corona Accordion - Black - 1950's ?? (ss1015433)Vintage Contello Special Accordion Hard Shell Velvet Carrying Case Italy 1930'sVintage Italian Sonola Rivoli Model R.345 AccordionVintage Stancato Accordion Sn 4520 W/ Hard Case - Made In ItalyTitano Accordion In Excellent Shape Made In Italy W/ Books & Case.......... L@@kAntique Vintage Beautiful Professional Renelli Red & Pearl AccordianArpeggio Master Professional Piano Alas Accordion Italy 41/120 W/case Hohner Vintage Accordion Pokerwork Two Row Germany Plays OldHohner 1040 Steel Reed Diatronic 1 Row 4 Bass Acordian German Premium Quality !!Baldoni Bros AccordionScandalli Super Vi Italian Piano Accordion Vintage Top German Piano Accordion Weltmeister Stella -40 Bass, 5 Reg.&hard CaseTop !! Germany Made !! Hohner Club Ii B Button Accordion + Case + Straps Gabbanelli AccordionItalo American Acc Co Chicago Gloria Deluxe Accordion Gorgeous Vintage ItalianHohner Accordion Bag, Only Used Twice .......... L@@kGabbanelli AccordionCastelfidardo Altimoro Accordion Antique Accordion By Imperial D95s Made In ItalyBeautiful Concertina Squeeze Box Accordian Made In Italy VintageVintage The Globe Steel Reeds AccordianBellini Mother Of Pearl Accordion Excellent Shape Made In Italy .......... L@@kHohner Corona Ii 31-treble 12-bass Red AccordionScandalli Accordion L570/83, Made In Italy, 5 Treble/2 Bass, Ivory/black/goldVintage Italian Accordion - Lucchini StradellaAtlas AccordionVintage Instrument Frontalini Numana Youth Size Accordion 25 Key 12 Bass TestedAntique Accordion Mop Mother Of Pearl Made In Italy W/ CaseValenti Accordion * Piano Type * Made In Italy * Mop Pearl Finish * Fast S&hHohner "erica" Push Button Diatonic Accordion.Vintage Top German Piano Accordion Weltmeister 40 Bass+hardcase~no Reserve PriceVintage International Detroit Vivo Accordion For Restored Vintage Hohner 12 Bass Accordion With Case White Mother Of Pearl L@@kVintage Cav M. Dallape & Figlio Accordion Stradella ItalyHorner Verdi Ii Accordion In Excellent Shape........ No Reserve.....must Sell!Ferrari Accordian W/caseHohner Accordion Back Pack Carrying Case Ferrari AccordionVintage Universal Made In Italy Accordion Model 2431 Bass 120 Treble 41 KeyDavinci Da Vinci Mm20 Mm-20 C - 41 Key 120 Bass Electric Accordion Early 19th Circa Maina 105 Accordion 120 Bass Made In Italy Baronelli Acordian