• 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

Russian "khromka"

oldbayan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
292
Reaction score
156
Location
Toronto, Canada
Hi. Does anyone play a Russian diatonic unisonoric garmon? The one with 25 treble buttons and 24 bass buttons. Looks like an interesting box, although limited in range and keys, compared to a chromatic bayan. But the button arrangement makes it possible to sound very typical. There is one for sale in my neighborhood, I am tempted to get it, just for the fun of learning a new method of playing. It is like this one:
 

oldbayan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
292
Reaction score
156
Location
Toronto, Canada
Well, I just bought one from a seller I know in Ukraine. Not a high-end model but it should be good enough. 3 treble voices with a switch. These usually come in the key of C so the chords on the bass side are "pre set" for the common I-IV-V sequences in C major and VI-II-III relative minor plus a few extras like the II chord and 9 bass buttons.

There were government specs for accordions, like many other things, during the Soviet regime, and the khromka garmon was one of the 3 prescribed accordion styles. It is made to facilitate the playing of most folk tunes and what I find the most fascinating is the layout of the treble side, the outer row buttons correspond to the notes on the staff line while the inner row buttons match the notes between the lines! So you have two C notes on each row. There are button for 3 accidentals.

Some good explanations here:
 

Attachments

  • Vesna2-small.jpg
    Vesna2-small.jpg
    73.8 KB · Views: 9

Ventura

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
590
Reaction score
424
Location
mid-atlantic, USA
my old friend Walter who lived in Poland once quipped that the
layout and limited rows of buttons were "proscribed by the Politburo"
because so many old Soldiers only had 3 fingers left on their right hands
and could not play 5 rows of treble buttons
 

oldbayan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
292
Reaction score
156
Location
Toronto, Canada
my old friend Walter who lived in Poland once quipped that the
layout and limited rows of buttons were "proscribed by the Politburo"
because so many old Soldiers only had 3 fingers left on their right hands
and could not play 5 rows of treble buttons
It was designed to be easy play! They sort of designed it to match the music. Limited yet effective. No extra weight. Professional players use a few boxes, tuned in various keys, when using it to accompany singers.
 

oldbayan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
292
Reaction score
156
Location
Toronto, Canada
It arrived Monday! Two weeks from Ukraine to Canada, by post, not bad. Of course, it needed a bit of overhaul, there is a hand-written note inside saying it was completed on April 27, 1970. Still in very good shape for its age, tight bellows and gaskets, only 2 pallets needed to be re-attached properly.

It's a LMM with a register for the L reeds. The MM are tuned wet. A few reeds were silent or out of tune and had to be adjusted, one reed on the bass side was broken so I replaced the reed plate. Funnily enough, one reed plate on a MM block of the treble side was for a bisonoric instrument! It had G and A reeds and looked like it was original, which means someone played this instrument possibly for decades with a G note that could only be played in one bellows direction!

Otherwise a fun instrument to learn. Typical loud basses as we find in many Russian instruments.
 

oldbayan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
292
Reaction score
156
Location
Toronto, Canada
Yes. That's the instrument. We find lots of recordings on YouTube of bands and individuals playing this kind of accordion.
 

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,708
Reaction score
1,194
Location
USA
I ordered a brand new one from the Tula factory! Key of A. Typical Russian decoration. Should take a few months.


Tulskaya 301M.jpg
That's a beautiful flower decoration, Old, congrats. Let us know how it goes!
 

Chickers

Active member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
145
Reaction score
71
Location
CLEVELAND, OHIO, USA
On its home turf??
Hey Dingo.
Thanks for sharing that Russian (I think) video regarding the Khromka accordion
I love the sound of the music, and the gaiety expressed in the music, dance, and costumes.
Does that tune have a title ? Is that folksy Russian music have a name ?
You must have a wealth of music in your archives---keep them coming.
CHICKERS
SEVEN HILLS, OHIO, USA
 

Dingo40

Been here for ages!
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
1,785
Location
South Australia
"You must have a wealth of music in your archives---keep them coming."
Thanks, Chickers, I appreciate the compliment, but it's just surfing the web and YouTube!
As I understand it, it's a Don Cossack song to do with love, courtship and marriage (the common disasters of mankind ?) that's why its so catchy!?
Thanks for responding!??
A different (energetic) rendition:
In a similar vein:
 
Last edited:

Dingo40

Been here for ages!
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
1,785
Location
South Australia
Oldbayan,
That's great!
As you can see in the thread above they are capable of making great music!??
Do tell us how it goes!?
 
Last edited:

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,708
Reaction score
1,194
Location
USA
Congrats, it's beautiful! Is it in good condition, sounds good?
 

oldbayan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
292
Reaction score
156
Location
Toronto, Canada
Yeah, it sounds amazing! The bass side is absolutely stunning. Rich deep basses that we normally hear on much bigger instruments. It's a 3-voice LMM on the treble side. Sounds like the instrument in the video. The build quality is much better than I expected, it was custom-made with better quality reeds than the basic model. Tuning is spot-on. Very responsive reeds. This one is tuned in A instead of the usual C, gives richer, lower pitch sounds, ideal for the moody Russian melodies.
 
Last edited:

Dingo40

Been here for ages!
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
1,785
Location
South Australia
Another lovely example being demonstrated .
Unfortunately, the only words I understood were "gamma"="scale", "bass"="bass", " akkord "= "C hord"??
Still, it's good eye-candy!??
A peek inside:?
Reluctantly, a final example:?
 
Last edited:

Eppu

Newbie
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Helsinki, Finland
Hi. Newbie here, but I've been playing these for a bit over two years now. So far I've got 3.

Was a bit tacky at first, but then I installed cyrillic alphabet on my tablet (I've read a year of russian 25 years ago), a whole new world opened, and now I have a playlist on youtube of some 40 videos, some instructional, some performances, which have been my inspiration, and mentor on garmoshka.
 

Attachments

  • PSX_20220108_005812.jpg
    PSX_20220108_005812.jpg
    458.6 KB · Views: 5
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top