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    

Crucianelli Pancordion 30c White Pearl 41 Key / 120 Bass Accordion In Hard CaseVintage Scandalli Accordion #798/9 W/case....Diatonic Button Accordion Made In Italy Must See!* Vintage Italian Accordion W/ Original Case Made In Italy *Beautiful Vintage 24 Key Scandalli Accordion W/ Pancordion Case WorksHohner Button Accordion Accordian 8 Bass 21 Melody Made In Germany ExcellentHohner Corona Ii Classic Accordion In Excellent Condition, Key Gfc, GermanyRare Hohner Corona I Button Accordion With Straps Adg La (a16145)Vintage Art Deco Rosciani 3/5 Reed Piano AccordionVintage AccordionOld Vtg Hagstrom Accordion Squeeze Box Musical Instrument Music Made SwedenVintage Frontalini Accordion Push-button Accordion Sn 18 - Made In ItalyTitano "virtuoso Convertor" Accordion/accordian, I Have Sold Over 125 WorldwideVintage Hohner Accordion 10 Button Keys Interesting Old ItemVintage Delsie Midget Grand Accordion W/ Hard Case - Made In Italy RepairAccordion HohnerStradivari Deluxe Spinet 120 Basses 16.75" 41 Key Leather Strap Accordion + CaseVintage Hohner Imperial I Accordian GermanyVintage Crucianelli 36 Bass 3 Register Piano AccordionVintage Hohner 2 Row Button Accordion 8 BassVintage Castiglione Accordion - Made In Italy - Good Working ConditionLo Duca Bros Dutchess Accordion Rare 1940s 50s In Box Black W White Accents ItalHohner Corona Ii ClassicHohner CompadreGianetti 22-key Piano Accordion W 8 Bass Buttons - Beautiful Red Finish, W CaseHohner Viktoria Club Modell Diatonic Accordion - Made In 1934!Antique/vintage Hohner Diatonic Button AccordionBeautiful Sonola Rivoli Red Accordion W/ Case, Straps Mint Condition A Beauty!!Titano Accordian "ideal" ModelMoreschi 120 Bass Accordion W/caseAntique Button Accordion By Cav M Dallape & Figlio Stradella Italy - No ReserveNew 30 Button Black Natural Finish Concertina Accordion W/caseParts Of An Accordion !! Grey C/f Hohner Club Ii B . Made In Germany Excelsior Accordiana Accordion With Case 72 Bass Keys ExcVintage Czechoslovakia Medalist Accordion ConcertinaVintage AccordionOld Vtg Hasstrom Accordion Squeeze Box Musical Instrument Music Made SwedenSoprani Ampliphonic Accordion With Case Vintage Casino Accordion Black And Ivory 1940-1950Vintage Galanti Accordion Serial # 2699 With Original Case & 1957 Receipt ItalyVintage Ferrari Accordion In Case Made In Italy **nice**Vintage 1920's "koch" Button Accordion Vintage Rivoli Little Maestro Accordion 41/120 White Pearl Made In Italy W/ Case Lo Duca Bros AccordinAccordion Red Small For Child By Woodsstock Music Collection WorksHohner Piano Accordion AdultVintage Made Italy Accordian Fronlatini Executive Estate Family Heirloom Nr MintVintage Italian "symphony" Small Accordion Made In Italy Pearl Red W/caseVintage Ancona AccordionVintage Base Accordion "no Reserve" RedVintage Mini Schylling Accordian Great Working Condition Vintage Made In Italy Warner Accordion - Rare Find In Working ConditionVintage Marrazza Montreal Piano Accordion 10 Button Keys Interesting Old Item