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    

Barely Used Roland Fr-8x V-accordion, Perfect ConditionSanta Marsala Accordion Red W/case Hohner "corona" Made In Germany 12 Bass Button Vintage Diatonic Accordion.Nice Old Concertina Bandoneon Bandonion Accordion "a. Arnold " 24/28 AaSuper Fair Price !! Made In Germany Hohner G/c/f Corona Ii Diatonic Accordion *beautiful Vintage Giulietti M.52 Accordion Model 50 In Case - Super Shape*Hohner Atlanti Iv 120 Bass Diatonic Delicia Button Accordion And Case. (colector #323)Gorgeous!!! Rare!!! Vintage Bill Harmonium Accordion Made In Italy!!!!!Anton Hlavacek Heligonka Vintage AccordionDallape Organette-genuine Made In Italy Hardshell Case Used!!!!Vintage Cordovox Cg7m Accordion Super V 1085 432Hohner Verdi Ii M Piano AccordionAccordion 120 Bass - Made In Italy, With Case.Cased Hohner Trichord Ii Button Accordion MelodeonLa Melodiosa Vintage Accordion Model 38 120/41 Vintage Stradavox Accordion With Case Black Works ItalyRare Pearl Giulietti Accordion Model S.32 Sn 8918 Accordion Made In Italy Ferrari 120-bass 40 Key Made In Italy Accordion Used Untested UnknownVintage Pancordion AccordionTow Row Weltmeister Button Accordion BbebVintage White Contello Made In Italy Accordion With CaseVintage Hohner Accordion With Case Castelfidardo Accordion Product Of Minerva Stanelli Model 216p With Hard CasVintage Royal Standard Piano Accordion 41 Treble Keys 120 Bass Keys GermanyEmpire Vintage Accordian /41 Key 120 Bass/ Original CaseHohner Club Iiim Diatonic Button Accordion - C/fExcelsior Accordiana No. 507 W/case Accordion Black Vintage Oboe Bassoon Scarlett Noble AccordianPaolo Soprani Italia AccordionHohner Club Iiim Diatonic Accordion, Good Straps And Case, Nice Instrument!Vintage Cellini 41 Key Accordion Circa 1950/60 + Carying Case ~model 386/6 ??~Hohner One Row Button Accordion Key CVintage Hohner Verdi I Accordion In Original Case - Made In Germany - AkkordeonVintage Settimio Soprani Contino Model Accordion Made In ItalyCordovox Accordion Cg 2 & 3 Generators For Parts No Tubes Or Firing Cables 9Used Accordion Made In ItalyBeautiful La Melodiosa # 22 Pezzolinda AccordianVintage Marconi Two-octave Accordion Sn 73436 W/ Case- Made In ItalyLook!!! Ussr Russia Tula Tulskiy Bayan Bass Button Accordion Professional Hohner Student Ll Accordian In Hardcase PlayableAccordion Bellows For One Row17 Key 8 Bass Mini Small Accordion Musical Rhythm Band Kids Toy Gift Hot D7n8Vtg Silvertone Pearloid 12-button Piano Accordion #82430 W/ Case Made In ItalySymphony Accordion. Made In ItalyVintage Concertone Push Button Accordion W/ Case10 Button Beaver Accordion German A Bit Rough But It Does Play % 1940's Magnus Student Accordion Excellent In Original Box WorkingVintage Giuseppe Accordian Brown With Leather Hard Case ItalyExcellent Vintage Silvertone Accordion - Model 104 - No Reserve