H. Berlioz distinguishes in 1844 between ``le Concertina Anglais''
and ``le Concertina Allemand'' but dedicates a detailed description only to
the first since the keyboard of the German instruments depended upon the
caprice of the builder. The confusion persisted also in Germany but was
finished at the end of the
1850's when the term Bandonion was introduced in the region of
Krefeld, Mainz and Cologne while in Bavaria the
term Concertina dominated..
The instruments from Saxony and Thüringen were continued to
be chromatic harmonikas
while sold to English and French spoken
countries as concertinas and to the Rhineland as
bandoneons (but with a distinct layout of the keyboard).
After 1860 an additional Konzertina
keyboard system was introduced in Munich perhaps by F. Stahl first with
30 buttons, later with up to 60 buttons but which were close to the
system of Band.
May be this system was the basis for the later
of Strobl with 132, 136 and 180 voices.
In Leipzig a magazine for bandonion music established in 1895 was renamed
after a year
to Allgemeine Concertina- und Bandonion-Zeitung demonstrating the
similarities among both instrument types. On the other hand, in 1895
there existed about
18 bandonion clubs in Leipzig and no one concertina club while using
their players instruments of Wünsch, successor of Uhlig
the inventor of
the German Concertina. This shows that concertinas were called
bandonions there. Wünsch himself describes in 1890: ``This instrument
(bandonion) is becoming more and more known so that all instruments with 88
to 260 voices are now called bandoneons.''
(The number has to be divided by two
since instruments with double chorus are meant). In the beginning of
our century a distinction between the rheinisch on one side and
and Karlsfelder on the other is established.
The fast propagation of the bandoneon was based on a clever marketing.
Besides the distribution of the instruments labeled BANDONION in
big letters forming the good visible valve plaque on front
of the instrument,
Heinrich Band formed a merchant chain with members of his family giving
lessons and distributing a huge number of scores and sheet music for his
instrument and chamber music.
So in 1859 his brother Johann established a shop in Cologne. Other
existed in Mainz, Krefeld, Glasgow? and New York.
In the time from 1868 to 1881 there existed a special section for
in Hofmeister's Manual of sheet music with separate divisions for
harmonica, accordion and konzertina. Because all the instruments were
manufactured in Saxony, the factories there expanded simultaneously.
They tried to copy Band's strategy and designed valve plaques saying
CONCERTINA for the instruments they sold directly and
until the end of the
century the old term harmonika disappeared. Finally in the 20's
the outer design of both instrument became the same. The polygonal shaped
instruments were only the smaller 1 or 2-row ones with a
limited number of voices. In many parts of Germany the term
was displaced gradually by the newer Bandonion
and both terms were used
undistinguishable up to the point when the saxonians returned to their own
roots and forced their own keyboard system. When in the 20's
the discussion about a unified system raised, there was no chance to
bring both parties together and in 1924 a
Many attempts were made for unisonoric instruments. Charles Péguri from Paris replaced the reed plates of 142 voice rhineisch bandoneons (an Argentine extension of the 130 voice version) with unisonoric ones unprecisely called chromatic bandoneon. This fact simplified the manufacture of instruments suitable for musette players. The construction of the Kusserow bandoneon with a different button layout was not as popular.