• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

"For those who cherish the sound of piano accordions..."

craigd

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
137
Reaction score
39
Location
Nanaimo, BC
Wondering what to make of this quote from La Malle aux Accordéons, an accordion retailer:
"Pigini has made this button accordion out of a piano accordion’s box, for those who cherish the sound of piano accordions but prefer the beneficial ergonomics of button instruments. This model is also suitable for tall, slender musicians looking for an instrument that is most adapted to their body shape (less depth, more balance)."

It suggests a cba has a different characteristic sound and balance? I am not yet intimately familiar with the sound and feel of a cba, but hope to be soon. Should I expect a different sound from my piano accordions (all of which sound somewhat different from each other). If cbas do sound different, how so?
 

Sebastian Bravo

Active member
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
228
Reaction score
25
Location
Santiago, Chile
Chromatic button accordions with cassotto have a small problem. Because the 3 rows of buttons are linked to 3 reed blocks, some notes will be in the most inner part of the cassotto, having more effect, while the others will be in the start of the cassotto, having less effect. That's the problem, and with a piano accordion, white keys have more effect than black keys (correct me if it's the opposite) But the difference isn't as noticeable as in the CBA. So, having a chromatic button keyboard with a Piano Accordion layout of reeds, makes the box longer by placing all the reeds from 64 notes in 2 blocks rather than 3. That's why they mention it to fit better in taller people
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,821
Reaction score
666
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
The reality is that there are two types of button accordions: piano accordions with a button keyboard versus more bayan style accordions with more notes and the keyboard typically a bit further from the player's body.
Virtually all brands/factories have been making the former type since the very beginning. Just an example: the button accordion played by Richard Galliano is shaped like a piano accordion, but it has buttons and inside the empty slots in the reed blocks are occupied so whereas a piano accordion has 41 notes the reed blocks actually have room for 46 notes and that's what the button accordion has.
Every brand does this. My first Bugari for instance was the 285/ARS (5 voice, 41 notes) and later I got the button equivalent (5 voice, 46 notes). There's also the 288/ARS (4 voice, 41 notes) and the equivalent button one 508/ARS (4 voice, 46 notes). I also have a Hohner (Morino) Artiste X S which is the equivalent of a Morino VI, but where that piano accordion has 45 notes the Artiste has 56, still on 2+2 reed blocks.
The other type of button accordion has 3+3 reed blocks and comes in French style (small accordions but still with 52 notes) and in bayan style (58 to 64 notes). The accordions with 3 reed blocks in cassotto do have a small issue that the sound of the three blocks in cassotto is not the same: the block for the 3rd row of buttons is a bit less mellow on the M register than the other rows. (On the L register it is less noticeable, if at all.) This varies between accordions because it really depends on how close the first set of reeds is to the "exit" of the cassotto.
I actually also notice the sound difference on accordions with 2+2 reed blocks, like piano accordions. There again it differs in how well different manufacturers manage to hide that difference. Often on a cassotto piano accordion on the M register you can hear a difference between the white keys and the black keys (and you can find out by listening which white keys are actually on the block for the black keys). Once you hear the difference you can never "unhear" it and it will continue to bother you, so don't go looking for it! On a piano-accordion-shaped button accordion it's the same, but there it's not white versus black keys but first row versus third row, with the second row split between the two blocks.
So for instance if someone plays a chromatic scale on a bayan-style accordion, slowly, on the M register in cassotto, I can hear (without looking) whether the accordion is C system or B system, because the first and third row (and thus also reed blocks) are reversed. But for "Joe average" there is no difference...
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
3,188
Reaction score
220
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
We'd need more context, but I believe that some people don't like the sound of a Bayan (heretics... lol) and basically stuck a button keyboard on their traditional piano accordion "innards".

Can we see the link where you saw this, Craig?

Edit:
Found it: https://www.lamalleauxaccordeons.fr/fr/54-accordeon-acc-pro-46-96-basses.html
At the bottom in the "en savoir plus" section:
This accordion has the particularity of being designed in a piano accordion body, resulting in a significant height (43.5cm), and a shallow depth.
The sound of this instrument is typical of piano accordions.
Like piano accordions, the instrument is designed with two rows of valves instead of three.
-----------------
That's the more pertinent parts/differences, I believe.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top