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    

Paolo Soprani Madame Iii Accordion In CaseRare!!! Accordion Serenate Made In Italy W/caseDallape Super Maestro Accordion. Made In Italy #29052. Black W/caseDa Vinci "guerrini" Accordion Special Mm No ReserveVintage Weltmeister Seperato Standard Accordion W/ Hard CaseGabbanelli Pearl 34 Keys, 6 Registers, 12 Bass AccordionExcelsior "20" Lmmh Accordion/accordian, Shipped 70 To Brazil, $180Made In Germany Vintage Diatonic Hohner Akkordion Hohner Corso With StrapsUsed Hohner Panther Diatonic Button Accordion Black, Gcf, With Gig BagVintage Beautiful Hohner Pirola Ivp Full Size Classic German Accordion W/ CaseHohner El Rey Del Vallenato AdgPiano Accordion, Castelfidardo, 41 Keys, 120 Buttons, 5 Stops, No Reserve!Imperial Chicago Custom Built Accordion Italy 1953 Volume Treble No ReserveCastelfidardo Vintage Accordion Italy Italian Zero Sette Factory As Is PartsOld Hohner Preciosa Accordion With The Original Case...free Shipping.no Reserve.Hohner Accordeon Steel Reeds Made In Germany Antique Beautiful 2 Row Button 21 8Hohner Erica AccordionAccordionExcelsior Giovanni Double Tone Chamber Accordion/accordian, Shipped 70 To BrazilBellini 4/5 Lmmh Accordion/accordian, See Video, I Have Shipped 70 To BrazilVintage Scandalli Full Size Piano Accordion W/ The Case Straps G. Quaglia WorkinCajun Accordion Accordian Zydeco King By GabbanelliPaolo Soprani Italia Hohner Compadre Used Key Fbe For Texmex Or Norteno Mint ConditionThree Inherited Vintage Accordions ; Rivoli , Lo Ducal, Cianelli, Sold TogetherThree Row Diatonic Button Accordion Santa MarsalaBell AccordionTitano Black Vintage Accordion Works Great One Sticky KeyAccordion Weltmeister 120 BassVintage Hohner Lucia Iii P 96 Bass Piano Accordion For Parts - Repair Settimio Soprani Accordion M966/26*beautiful* Sea Foam Vinny Roberts Classic Accordion W/ Original CaseVintage Fancy Hohner Arietta 1b Accordion Made In GermanyBeautiful Accordiana Accordion, With CaseVintage Silvertone Accordian Accordion With Case StraVintage La Tosca Accordion With Leather CaseVintage Wurlitzer Accordion With Case. It's Polka Time. Sounds Great! Galanti Bros New York Super Florence Model AccordionVintage Lindo Imperial C30 Accordion C.renella With CaseVintage Child's Hero Accordion * Nice *Antique German Galotta Sport 27 Push Button Accordion W/ Hand-painted Wooden BoxPortable Small White Push Button AccordianVintage Princetti Accordion By I.busilacchio Made In Italy