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What is this magnificent accordion played by Olivia Steimel?

Try correcting a Geography teacher who insisted on telling his students that the Sun always rose in the East and set in the West.
I once fouled my prospects of an honours year in Geography because of the professor's disbelief in the theory of continental drift, which was pretty well generally accepted by then ( even if not by him)šŸ˜„
That was a "lesson " in geography for me indeed!šŸ¤£
 
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"The Accordion is dead - long live the Accordion."

Thank you for those videos, Stewart,
14th. century meets the late 19th. in modernised forms.

I am intrigued by the bass set-up on maestro Battiston's accordion.
 
The recorder is great, it goes very well with accordion.

When I was young the very idea of going to a conservatoire to study accordion was not a serious one. I thought the accordion was a hobby, not a profession. Nearly 25 years later and it's becoming a common choice. I believe there are lots of conservatoires in many places, Italy has around 120. Also, Italy is slightly different to most other European countries because Quint system is fairly popular here along with chomatic systems.

In some countries it is common for the accordion teacher to persuade their students to change systems to suit their philosophy. I personally find this approach distasteful. I like the variety that is embraced in Italy.

Ivano Battiston plays Quint system over 8 rows (4 octaves). It is also a 5 voice accordion. The bass board is distinctive with the white and black contrasts, but that's a decorative touch.
 
The accordion programs in the Folk Music department at Finland's Sibelius Academy or the World Music Academy at Ireland's University of Limerick would be on my list . . .
 
In some countries it is common for the accordion teacher to persuade their students to change systems to suit their philosophy. I personally find this approach distasteful. I like the variety that is embraced in Italy.
Indeed!

In some countries the teacher is also teaching a system they can't play themselves. I find this bizarre not least when it's comes to help with fingering tricky music.
 
That... is what some consider the king of accordions... a Hohner Gola, except hers is not the base model of a Gola 414, hers is a (I confirmed it), model 454, meaning it is a 4/5 reed, 185 bass accordion. The right hand has a 45 key extended keyboard at the right hand and a 126 bass standard stradella system and a 58 note MIII (3 extra rows up top), system Free Bass in C-Griff.
That's what I would have thought. But counting the bass buttons again and again, I find just 56 buttons in the free bass. The non-symmetric arrangement suggests no dead buttons, (and mirrored C system). The "standard" large instrument free bass range would be E1ā€“Cā™Æ6. Maybe this instrument ends at B5? But the right-hand range is the full 45 keys. Puzzling.
 
There were so many variations of the Gola. Remember that EACH Gola ever produced (except the first 4-6 that Giovanni Gola made himself to introduce it to the world back in 1956), were made to the specs of the original purchaser.

I've seen some Golas that even had odd colors and 4-rows of Free Bass up top and 47 keys on the right hand of a Gola PA. There were pretty much no restrictions (besides your budget, as Hohner was never afraid to charge top dollar for anything you asked), you tell them what you wanted, paid full up front and waited for it and they delivered it. Basically, if you dreamed it, they could make that Gola for you.

They had base standard models, but no one was ever restricted to purchase a base model unless that was what they wanted, everyone knew that you could make your Gola unique to you.

Knowing this, one's chances of finding a Gola that matched the specs of their basic models is a bit challenging, with the Hohner 414 likely being the biggest exception, quite a few of those were sold because they were the lowest price.

In 1973 these were the starting levels for a Hohner Gola 454:
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... after that, anything you could ask for, they would deliver.
 
A used Gola 454 is currently listed at $45,000.00 on Reverb by a German music store .... for a musician whose aspirational dream would match up with this, how would one even begin to vet such a purchase, or locate a credible 3rd-party expert to do so. I suppose a Euro-based buyer could bring a specialist contractor with them when going in person to play it.
I've learned when thinking about the prices of excellent accordions, do NOT complain to violinists, cellists, or pianists. $45,000 would be a middle-range instrument for a concert-level performer of any of those instruments. As for how to vet it, you make a trip and test it. Or, if the seller is willing, you have it shipped to you on spec and keep it and play it for a month. Violinists and cellists (less so for pianists) do this as a matter of course. For those of us who don't need a special converter or chromatic bass, it's amazing and wonderful, in the world of instruments, that one can get a new pro-level accordion for less than $10,000.
 
I've learned when thinking about the prices of excellent accordions, do NOT complain to violinists, cellists, or pianists.
And that's by piece. If you go by weight, you can easily get several hundreds of pounds of Gola accordion for a pound of Stradivarius violin. And don't get me started on number of parts...
 
...for a musician whose aspirational dream would match up with this, how would one even begin to vet such a purchase, or locate a credible 3rd-party expert to do so. I suppose a Euro-based buyer could bring a specialist contractor with them when going in person to play it.
Do what I just did, I suppose... lol
1. Know what you want

2. have enough knowledge to know the difference between a good and bad Gola (and trust me, there are PLENTY of bad ones, starting with that one in Japan!)

3. Have patience (or lucky! I started my search June 15th right here, and found my Gola within a few months... special thanks to @jozz !!!)

4. Work hard, save a LOT of money... lol

5. Know the right questions and things to ask for of the the seller

6. Be prepared to do what it takes... like in my case, a 2.5 day whirl-wind trip from Canada to Amsterdam and back... or be ready to walk away and keep looking and NOT feel bad about it.
 
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