Chromatic Button Accordion



  • ViejoVatoViejoVato New
    Posts: 80
    Hello ...
    anyone still reading these posts ....
    I've been playing a 2 1/2 row Hohner Club III M ... it's great because it has 3 reed blocks and 5 treble register switches, allowing an octave with or without tremelo.
    While I like it a lot, very expressive instrument, it just does not allow facility when trying to learn transposable dimished 7th runs.
    I looked harder at the CBA's vice the piano and desided that this was the way to go. It's more a visual thing for me. It is an isomorphic instrument, much luike the guitar in that one pattern in one position will produce one a scale (or subset) andf the same pattern shifted will do the same scale in a different key ...

    cheers and keep on sucking and blowing ..

    Arizon ...
    "I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way"
    my granny 'Meme' Foster circa 1998 at age 102
    Django Jerry Jam - home grown GJ & Dead Ahead pickin'
  • Posts: 1
    I know this page is many years old, but I came across it while trying to find a method book specifically for the C-system CBA. I found a few, mostly in other languages (French and German), but I eventually found one available in english. Two sites I found it on had positive reviews for the book. I plan on ordering it soon.

    The book is Complete Method for Accordion by Luigi Anzaghi and can be found on several sites without too much effort.
    Here is one: ... #chromatic

    Hope this helps!
  • weechimpyweechimpy New
    Posts: 15
    Good to see a bit of life in this thread
    The maugein method describe above is terrific for getting the fingering right, it develops velocity without efforts. 10 minutees par day has seen my playing improved greatly (not that I make nicer melodies).
    As for bass combining there is a very comprehensive description
    e.g. Am6= Bass A + Am + D7
  • losthoboslosthobos New
    Posts: 5
    Hi, New to this site but impressed by the wealth of information to be found...
    I was wondering wether anyone would be able to help me with a tuning description (perhaps mr bandoneon, whose replies seem knowledgeable). I have a Bugari accordion but not sure as to wether its tuned american, swing, parisian, italian is not full musette but has quite a wide vibrato to my ear...
    anyways i was thinking of recording a few of the voicings a nd posting them on youtube..i'll then post a link here and perhaps someone would be kind enough to describe the sound..
    hope that makes sense and if anyone will take me up on that please let me know and i'll record a little video
    many thanks
  • brandoneonbrandoneon Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France✭✭✭
    Posts: 171
    Can you get your hands on an electronic tuner? If so you could see how many cents "wet" your musette-tuned reeds are in comparison to the "dry" tuned reeds. From there I could point you to a source that describes the different tunings. Otherwise you could try a youtube video and I could give my (subjective) opinion what tuning it sounds like.

  • losthoboslosthobos New
    Posts: 5
    Thanks for your reply, i've borrowed an electronic tuner and this is what i find...
    the accordion has 5 unnamed registrers ranging from
    LOW REEDS A at 444Hz Single reed
    LOW + A at 444Hz Two reeds
    MASTER A at 445Hz Three reeds
    HIGH + A at 446Hz Two reeds
    HIGH A at 444Hz Single reed
    I'm not sure what to make of this in terms of 'cents'
    Also i'm not sure exactly how many sets of reeds there are in the voicings...there are 4 reedblocks inside the treble side of the accordion but as the mic system was molded in at birth I'm unale to remove the blocks and see exactly which blocks the couplers are switching on.
    The box is Italian made for the French market and the couplers are behind the buttonboard and are operated by the thumb..
    Sorry for my total lack of understanding of an instrument i enjoy.
  • PiedViperPiedViper New
    Posts: 10
    I'm not sure I understand. There are 5 registers for 4 reed blocks? It's quite common to have 5 registers for 3 reed blocks (eg. LMM configuration). I'm guessing this is what you have because you say your master plays 3 reeds. This,for example, would give you L, LM, LMM, MM, and M. And, you're asking about musette tuning, so I assume you don't have an LMH configuration.

    In the case of an LMM configuration, to figure out the exact tuning, I think you need to measure the tuning separately on the 2 middle reeds. You have already have register to give you one of the middle reeds (which I'll call M1). However, there is no register to give you M2 because it's always meant to be played with M1 (as "MM" above).

    If you played the register that selects the MM combination of reeds and if these reeds were tuned like this:
    M1 = 440 Hz
    M2 = 442 Hz
    a tuner wouldn't be able to tell you much because of the constructive interference of these 2 simultaneous signals. You'd have to measure each reed in isolation. If you take this to an accordion shop they should be able to blow air through that M2 reed to tell you what it's tuned at.

    You ask about cents. At this part of the acoustic spectrum, a 1 Hz offset is roughly 3 cents. The conversion isn't linear across the spectrum so here's a site that will convert for you. You can enter an interval 440Hz to 443Hz and it'll tell you how many cents in that interval:

    Hopefully this helps.
  • PiedViperPiedViper New
    Posts: 10
    Oh, just one other thing to feed my own obsession. You mention that the accordion is made for the French market. I was wondering if you can tell if the reeds are attached to the reed blocks with wax or if they are attached using nails and screws. I ask because I noticed the Fisart accordions use nails and screws (according to what I see on the web). Perhaps others can correct me, but from what I can tell, the Fisart accordions are just the Vignoni accordions made for the French market. The Vignoni's do appear to use wax. From what I've read this difference may be responsible for some of that unique and bright sound of some french accordion music. Anyhow, just curious...
  • losthoboslosthobos New
    Posts: 5
    Thankyou to everyone who's helped with their replies...i am geting to understand a little more as to whats going on inside the box in relation to whats going on inside my ears...
    To PiedViper..the reedplates are waxed rather than screwed to the blocks and i'm not sure if Bugari do this to all their models or not...I'm assuming its made for he French market due to its layout and reedblock LMM choice...its listed on their wesite as French/Swiss line.
    thanks again to all for the advice shared
  • ChadChad Bellingham, WashingtonNew
    Posts: 45
    Hey guys long time guitar player Chad here. I have been having issues with my left had and some nerve damage and numbness in my left hand. The writing is on the wall and I wanted to do something intensely musical and I have always loved the accordion. I think the moment I fell back in love was with Tchavolo Schmidts Alors Voila! album with Ionica Minune on the accordion. Wow! What a sound. ANyway, I started taking piano lessons all so I could eventually get an accordion and I found when I get a little farther into it that my fingers dont fit between the black keys so well and I get a lot of extra notes when I play. Thats frustrating and irritating. I have had the opportunity to spend a little time around Ludovoic Biere and his handling of the chromatic accordion blew me away. I started doing research, which is something I do well. I found a cool app for my iPad called Accordio which has both sides layed out for you. It works pretty well although if you get too into it and play too many notes at once the program crashes and you have to start it over. It is a great way to have a practice place without hauling your accordion around. I understand my music theory well enough to have already come up with a lot of progressions and fingerings for chords. It seems to flow so very well on the button bar. I finally laid my hands on an old Hohner Maestro IV box. I love it! I have never had so much fun sounding awful! My accordion is beautiful. The man I purchased it from is a true accordion geek. He had 15 of them in various configurations. He worked on them a lot fixing minor issues with buttons and reeds to rewaxing them and all that. He is a dear man who has recently moved to Sicily. Anyway, he completely went through my "Ivy" - Maestro IV, and sold it to me for a very good price. I have had it for a couple of months now. Once I started studying how they are laid out, it makes so much sense! What a great instrument!
    I did find a little gem of a book, at about a 40% discount from other places. It was written in the 30's but apparently it is one of the most comprehensive tomes on the subject of the CBB. ... B003AH0TXI
    Wholly Man
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