Bandoneon

What is the instrument that can better express melancholy, passion, and deepness of Argentine Tango?

The roots of this musical instrument are from Germany. In 1834, the famous musician Carl Frederich Uhlig, presented a new type of accordion – German Concertina. Based on this instrument, the instrument salesman – Heinrich Band, invented the Bandoneon, instrument that was named after him. Saxony (in Germany), was the main manufacturing location for concertinas and bandoneons. The most famous producers were Chermnitz, Klingenthal, and Carlsfeild.

At the beginning of 1850, bandoneon had reached other countries. Immigrants toke the instruments – in their baggage – to the new world; that is how this Saxon’s folk instrument arrived to Argentina and Buenos Aires. Bandoneon became the sound of tango in 1900s, in the sailors’ clubs in Buenos Aires. With its distinctive sound, bandoneon became the symbol of tango music.

There were many brilliant tango musicians such were Eduardo Arolas, Anibal Troilo, Pedro Laurenz, Pedro Maffia, Lepoldo Federico, Nestor Marconi, Juan Jose Mosalini, and Dino Saluzzi. However, the man that introduced bandoneon to concert auditoriums was Astor Piazzolla. Piazzola dedicated a big part of his early life to tango. He had a gap in his musical career, but his classic-music studies with Alberto Ginastero and Nadia Boulanger in Paris, brought him back to tango.

Even though Tango Nuevo in the beggining was not accepted by the tango dancers in Buenos Aires, it became popular over time. Today, Piazzola is considered to be one of the biggest musicians of our period. In the beginning rejected, Piazzola later brought bandoneon to the top, and made Argentine Tango eternal with more than 750 compositions (concerts, operas, movies, shows etc).




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