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Real bandoneon sound for tangos

Pinu

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Hello guys,
most time you do not have choice about which set of reeds to use when using the bandoneon register.

on the other hand, when using a LMMH with no tremolo and LM in cassotto, there is the possibility of using either L(c)M(c) or L(c)M (out of the cassotto).

traditionally in Italy the combination L(c)M has been always the preferred, just because in the orchestras normally people where playing a 3+1 (only L in cassotto).

I like having both LM in vassotto, but the the sound is for me even too mellow sometimes

How do you guys see this topic?
 

Pinu

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I forgot to mention something: how do you see the L(c)M(c)M(out of the cassotto) when using a box without tremolo?

in reality, even if the main frequency is the same, the armonics (higher natural frequencies linked to the main frequency) will have different amplitude; going a bit more technical the signal spectrum is having a different frequencies linear composition (Fourier's transform).
in practical terms, you may have no tremolo at the lowest frequency, but at the higher you will have different amplitude for the same armonic, resulting in a kind of tremolo.

any thought?
 

boxplayer4000

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Bandoneon instruments are rare locally but I have listened to and admired their thick sound when played in a South American/tango situation.
The word 'bandoneon' gets into the scene here usually on one of the tone change couplers where at least two reeds are straight tuned to each other, an octave apart. The effect is enhanced if they are in cassotto.
I'd be interested in the tuning, number of voices, etc. on the genuine bandoneons used for tangos and the amount (if any) tremolo tuning.
 

debra

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Pinu

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Fully agree Debra. that's why my inquiry in which would be the preferred register combination for emulating a bandoneon.

having the MM voices tuned fully dry, one in the cassotto one outside, provides us the possibility of selecting among the 2 combinations above mentioned.

P.S. Indeed, cooperfisa guys are doing a big effort on making everyday nice new experiments. it is very good soemone is working to bring accordion (and the whole family) to the next level
 

Walker

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Real Bandoneon Sound for Tangos, nice subject! The bandoneon, is of course a main instrument and the authentic choice for South American tango - a very serious business in Uruguay and Argentina.

The piano accordion makes a pretty good attempt at the tango in the genteel surrounds of the European and North American ballrooms. Okay, so it's not the real deal, but then, does it have to be? Not really. The piano accordion and button accordion for that matter, are versatile enough to make it work, and well. The like's of Ksenija Sidorova can be heard on the Proms leading a great orchestra in the works of Piazzolla. While Stefan Hussong has made some world class recordings of tango music with his MIII Gola.

But when we see the word 'band' written on a treble switch we are not really looking to hear a replication of a bandoneon. No, we are seeing a term used to name a particular voice combination. There are certainly three such categorisation systems commonly used. The 'dots' (in LM position), the pipe organ system (16', 8') and the instrument names system ('bandoneon' etc.). Who would have thought it - a 'bassoon' and a 'clarinet' coupled create a 'bandoneon', that's musical alchemy at work! Of course, the accordion does not need to sound identical to a bandoneon. Indeed, it really does not sound much like a real bassoon or a clarinet either. As I say, it's simply a naming convention to describe the characteristics of the accordion voice combinations. It's not even universal, as a Hohner Gola clarinet sound is actually referred to as oboe on the register, or at least it used to be on the vintage ones. Go figure...

However, as a distant cousin of the bandoneon, the accordion on the LM register gives a good effect. There is a family resemblance. I personally like the LM voice on a non cassotto accordion, which can be particularly crisp and dry. To me that's the best bandoneon sound. Though some double cassotto accordions muster a decent LM voice too. I am less keen on the 3 + 1 accordions popular in Italy, as typically that is for the benefit of a desirable triple voice 'musette' tone rather than a great 'bandoneon'.

I have seen the Bandoneon piano accordion in the Cooperfisa factory many a time. I never once had the desire to play it - it's a peculiar looking instrument. But whilst manufactures like Cooperfisa and Teknofisa seek to work on new designs, particularly Fiorenzo Bernasconi's new instrument the Bercandeon, developed by Teknofisa - and I would suggest it is a stronger attempt than the Cooperfisa design.


The Bercandeon, looks quite cool there - when it's not being played, but in operation it is, shall we say, slightly inelegant - as the legs are used to open and close the double bellows. Mind you it would give a terrific work-out for the adductor and abductor thigh muscles, and you can supply the motivational accordion music too. Every cloud has a silver lining - apparently. Now, this leg bellowing is a bit of a price to pay for not having a bass strap restrict your hand and wrist movement. However, that's the way of things. Any new design can loose as much as it gains by 'mixing things up'.

Now don't get me wrong, I think it is good to experiment - I think the Kravtsov is a great idea. But I also think manufacturers need to look to the past for inspiration. They need to start building accordions with the quality of the golden age instruments. That would be a sure way of making better sounding accordions.

Interestingly, unlike the Kravtsov accordion, that is effectively a redesigned piano keyboard with treble and bass operating in (more or less) mirrored layout - high notes near the floor on both treble and bass. The Bercandeon works like the bayan with treble and bass moving in opposite direction. Anyway, each to their own - they're all part of the same big old family, after all.​
 
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I believe that this is correct, as an accordionist we don't have to try to imitate the exact reed sound that a bandoneon has, this is impossible as Debra and Walker have pointed out, but rather focus on the way we can create the sound with what we have.

There are a few things to do, but the registers I'd normally use would be MH (outside cassotto), LM (outside cassotto) or LMM, especially playing Piazzolla with my quintet.

The most important part I find is the articulation and phrasing. The bandoneon is completely different from an accordion's action as both manuals naturally fall open when a note is played, this changes the accents & emphasis on first notes of a phrase and any note that follows. Also the location of the buttons isn't in a uniform line (except for a C system bandoneon), like the piano or button systems, this means the scales, phrase and ornamentation will sound quite different as the player must accommodate quite odd movements which drastically changes the uniformity of the phrase. Finally, I'd suggest that the sound of the bandoneon is quite raw in comparison to an accordion, due to the reed configuration and box sizes etc, and if you listen to Piazzolla playing you will hear what I call hard entries and exits from a note, which isn't a sound you wouldn't traditionally do on an accordion (especially on lyrical pieces).

I'd suggest that any reed combination can work but I'd also suggest to play it in a unaccordionistic way.
 

Pinu

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I then would sa that the closest to the real sound is to use both LM out of cassotto. Correct?

I have actually all combinations in my 3 accordions L(c)M(c), L(c)M, LM and personally the one I like the most is the L(c)M.

I need to acknowledge @Grayson Masefield the fact that the LM (all out of cassotto) is the closest to Piazzolla's sound.
 

Walker

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Hi @Pinu,

You like the big names! 😁

I hope Grayson does not mind me sharing these Tango videos. One of the worlds greatest accordionists with one of the worlds best accordions (Titano Emperor Super V)


And with orchestra:

 
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Pinu

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Hi @Pinu,

You like the big names! 😁

I hope Grayson does not mind me sharing these Tango videos. One of the worlds greatest accordionists with one of the worlds best accordions (Titano Emperor Super V)


And with orchestra:

Indeed, big names are for me a very valuable source of inspiration and continuous learning.
I like to start from the state-of-the-art knowledged and build on them which will be the style I like the most.
Grayson is definitely contemplated among the best in tango.

That's why I mentioned I tried various possibilities and the combination I like the most personally is the L in cassotto and M out of the cassotto. Second for my personal taste are both LM out and last are both inside cassotto.

That's very personal. I am pretty sure not all of you agree. Any comment is very welcome
 

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