• 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

The organetto tone

NickC

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
389
Reaction score
408
Location
NJ-USA
This is something that I was thinking about recently, and this seems like the perfect place to post it.
What gives the organetto it's signature tone? I've played chromatic accordions with a wide musette, and I just can't duplicate that tone. Is it the size/construction of the box? The tuning? The push/pull technique? More pressure on the bellows? All these combined? It would be convenient to play this music on the CBA, and I could even change bellows direction based on the tonic and dominant chord changes, but there is something unique about the organetto that even other diatonics don't duplicate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,655
Reaction score
1,118
Location
USA
The repertoire? Seriously, a good question, and I am curious too. Do they use standard accordion reed?
 

TomBR

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
150
Location
SE. Gloucestershire UK
My guess - LMM reeds in a very small box? Seeing the speed of bellows movement in organetti videos makes me wonder how the reeds are set or gapped - they're using loads of air!
 

jozz

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
1,732
Reaction score
494
Location
The Netherlands
I read somewhere they have special layout, as opposed to standard 'melodeons'.

This to facilitate playing up and down the scale fast without having to change directions much. Makes sense considering their typical small size, and that they are mostly one-row.
 

NickC

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
389
Reaction score
408
Location
NJ-USA
I didn't even think about the reed type. But, that also leads to the reed block.
The amount of air makes sense too.
 

NickC

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
389
Reaction score
408
Location
NJ-USA
I did a quick web search for an organetto reed block, but I haven't found anything yet.
 
Last edited:

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,655
Reaction score
1,118
Location
USA
I read somewhere they have special layout, as opposed to standard 'melodeons'.

This to facilitate playing up and down the scale fast without having to change directions much. Makes sense considering their typical small size, and that they are mostly one-row.
Between my Della Noce and Corona, there is one button that is "reversed." I'd have to get rhem out to remember, haven't been playing them much but I should.
 

Waldo

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
455
Reaction score
177
Location
Colorado, USA
Went looking for "Organetto", and found what looked like a Club on Wikipedia, and these two interesting entries. The original organetto looks pretty interesting. Sounds like a mini organ (thus, organetto, I reckon). I'm assuming you guys are referring to the second link. The sound may derive from the rapid bellows movement and small amount of air moving thru the reeds/channels. Hard to say for sure.

 

NickC

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
389
Reaction score
408
Location
NJ-USA
It would be interesting to see a calculation of the volume of air being forced to the reeds as compared to a CBA. Although, if someone were to write it out as an equation, I'd have no idea what I was looking at.

btw, that portative organ in the first link does look really cool.
 

losthobos

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
1,459
Reaction score
634
Location
Essex UK
I don't know if relevant but the guy that fitted the midi system into my CBA says he will no longer fit to diatomics due to "compression issues"
 

Waldo

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
455
Reaction score
177
Location
Colorado, USA
sandersbp's post got me to wondering how many instrument designs require two operators?
 

Dingo40

Been here for ages!
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,794
Reaction score
1,505
Location
South Australia
Waldo,
In the "old days " (presumably, before widespread electricity) church organs commonly required someone additional to operate the bellows ?
 

Pipemajor

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
518
Reaction score
214
Location
London, Limousin, France
Waldo,
In the "old days " (presumably, before widespread electricity) church organs commonly required someone additional to operate the bellows ?
I did that at my village church in the north of Scotland as a young boy. The bellows were hand pumped. Although there was electricity in the village, the church was lit by oil lamps. We had electricity and running water in the house, but others had to use the cast iron water pumps in the street.
Those were the days :)
 

NickC

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
389
Reaction score
408
Location
NJ-USA
After listening for a while, I am thinking that the bass chord tone is the one that would be hardest to replicate. It's such a distinct sound.

btw, does anyone know of any books of organetto tunes?
 

Tom

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
2,655
Reaction score
1,118
Location
USA
Organetto.net has a lot.


They range in complexity from very basic.
 

NickC

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
389
Reaction score
408
Location
NJ-USA
Thanks. I'll have a look around.
 

aemit

Wim
Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
66
Reaction score
76
Location
Nijlen, Belgium
This portative organ piece also sounds great on accordion
A portative organ is also known as an a"organetto", it is one of the earliest organ designs from the late middle ages. The one in the clip has two bellows and the player is using both hands on the keyboard. My wife has a one bellows organetto, her left hand pumps the bellows and she plays the keyboard with her right hand. The estampie is one of her favourite pieces.
 

saundersbp

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
264
Reaction score
300
Location
Yorkshire UK
My wife has a one bellows organetto, her left hand pumps the bellows and she plays the keyboard with her right hand. The estampie is one of her favourite pieces.
Its a fantastic piece - I think even better on the accordion! Score below if you want to learn it - copyright has expired as it was written c.1360 :cool:
 

Attachments

  • Robertsbridge Codex - Estampie.pdf
    146.7 KB · Views: 7

Similar threads

Top