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pU

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 #1 
The Hohner Corona design was changed quite a bit over the years.

I ve tried to show the details that were changed over the years - I hope all you forum members can supply more details so we can write the Corona story.


The first Coronas went into production in 1955.



Hohner Corona II of the early sixties



cinco letras Hohner Corona III from the eighties, the instrument of vallenato



6 Coronas II and III through the years - the Corona II is a double voice (Two Reeds Per Note), the Corona III a triple voice instrument (Three Reeds Per Note) upper row:Corona II GCF-tuning sixties, Corona II GCF, sixties, Corona II GCF, seventies lower row Corona II GCF, eighties, Corona III BbEbAb, seventies, Corona III BbEbAb, eighties





The early Coronas had a chrome grille that was flush with the body, later models in the mid sixties came with a lid and the chrome was gone. The mother of toilet seat plastic changed from red to purple.







The name and ornaments were originally two-tone (gold/black or gold/red), later the second colour was gone.




The models of the fifties and sixties had 47 holes on the bass side, later models 20 holes only. The form of the feet was simplified from two rounded bases to four simple nobs.







The buttons of the treble side were changed from small and rounded to big and flat to small and very round headed.





The early models sport a wooden keyboard, later models are degraded to a plastic keyboard.





The letters of the key were stamped into the wood of the keyboard. When the wooden keyboard went out the window, the letters went to the leather of the bass strap. A special case is the cinco letras Corona III, which is the main instrument for vallenato music. The German nomenclature - B for Bb - is used, resulting - vallenato talk- in cinco letras (five letters) were normally would be six. German nomenclature: B Es As - international nomenclature: Bb Eb Ab.





The thumb strap was fastened in the same way as the bass strap, later thumb straps were riveted to the keyboard.





The grille cloth went from a tightly woven fabric to a light gaze.

Let´s see how Ry Cooder reacted, when he heard a Corona for the first time:

"Ill never forget when I was driving one day and listening to the Mexican station... and suddenly on came this sound. I pulled over and turned on my tape recorder because I wanted to find out out what the hell this is. There´s this accordion and this funny sounding big guitar and this singing, and the accordion has this vibrato to it.
I knew it wasn´t a piano accordion; it was something else. It played what I like to hear - triads, sixth, very melodic and beautiful. It was strong and bright on the radio...
This was simple and really good sounding, so naturally I had to find out what it was.

I didn´t know what it was, so I called Chris Strachwitz, who runs Arhoolie Records up in El Cerrito, California. He knows everything. He told me that he was involved in Norteno, or TexMex music, which features this Mexican accordion sound.

It was this insane coincidence. He said "Nobody likes it because it´s repetitive and boring" and I said, "Great, that´s just what I like."

I flew up there to visit Chris, and of course his house was full of Norteno records. One look at one of these album covers, and you know it´s serious. He puts one on the record player, and there you have it - that´s the sound. So I got some of these albums from Chris and went home to Westwood Music, West Los Angeles, to order one of these accordions.

We looked in the catalog, and there it was - aha!"

"It says Hohner Corona II, it´s red, and it´s got three rows of buttons. When it finally came I sat for six months, six hours a day, seven days a week and practised. I´m not exaggerating. I had a Flaco Jimenez record with one tune I knew I could do. Flaco played things I like to hear, really simple, elegant things.

And I practised and and really worked, and it was hard. As is the case with great, weird music, the instrument is fighting you. It´s primitive and not worth anything, but you have people who have transcended all of that stupidity and have gotten ahead of the thing and they bend it around to their wishes.

Strachwitz had planned a trip to Texas to make this film with Les Blank called Chulas Fronteras, which is now a famous social documentary on the entire Tex-Mex scene. In the process he had to go about the countryside to meet the people he wanted to film and establish his presence there.

So here´s this strange, tall gringo " El fanatico" they called him, looking for Flaco Jimenez. Where´s Flaco? "Make a left turn, right turn, left turn, right turn, then go three blocks and turn down the alley". Jesus, it was just like blues. Then you´d get there and they´d say, "Oh no, Flaco doesn´t live here. He moved six month´s ago."

We went through this forever, but this is how you find people. Finally you find out where he lives and pull up in the front yard, and there he is, the man himself, and it´s like "oh, oh oh" Because you´ve built the thing up and the intensity is so strong, you just attack the poor guy. But he was very relaxed, sitting in his living room watching TV with his little boy.

I told him I was trying to learn the instrument and that I love what he does. It surprised him.
That night he played a dance...


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davidinnewyork

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 #2 

Peter,

A fantastic explanation of early to late Hohner models.  The pics and narration are great.  I think a Hohner history book is in the making.........I own four Corona IIs' and I would not trade them for anything else.  From the 50's to the classic of 2000

 

I am gathering pics of a two row CF Hohner that I also own.  I describe it as a very square box, cell red, a diamond pattern grille, metal bullet shaped feet, no hardware for straps, and is in good condition, but needs tuning.

Peter, any idea of the year or era from my description?

Thank you for all your input to this forum.

David

Chato

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 #3 

Peter-

 

Thank you very much for this valuable info.

I hope this spurs a comparison of the other types of boxes that are discussed here, in particular distinguishing Elio originals vs. others.

 

Thanks Again-

Valente 

 

Gilbert

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 #4 
Great info Peter!

My red corona II has the 47 holes at the bass section and two color (gold/black) letters. It also has the stamp on the wood GCF. It is a dark red color and it did not come with a flush grille. This is great since hohner still makes these grilles for replacements.  The flush grilles are no longer available.

The black hohner only has 20 holes at the bottom, single color letters (gold), and does not have a stamp on the wood nor the leather. This accordion was probably made right before they started using celluloid fingerboards.  Like the red accordion, it did not come with a flush grille.  Both accordions also have the larger flat buttons. I still have the original box for the jet black hohner.

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pU

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 #5 
Gilbert, there seem to be a lot of different combinations possible. the flush grill was the first thing to be abandoned, because it´s much more labor intensive to cut the fittings.

Glenn, the circular pattern you mention, I think, is mainly found on the Hohner Corona IIIR, although Los Alegres use a Corona II with that pattern.




Bass side with the circular pattern on a Hohner Corona IIIR



Hohner Corona IIIR



Note that the Hohner Corona IIIR has only two reedblocks, showing that 16 tones fit into one reedblock, showing that a 46 button Corona II would be possible, outer row 15, middle 16, inner 15 buttons. If you look inside a Corona II you can see that there´s lots of spare place. Hohner took the body of a low budget piano accordion model, the Hohner Student, for the Corona.





The Corona IIIR is a three voice model, but with different set up of the reeds. Whereas the Corona III has three reeds of the same note, the Corona IIIR has two reeds of the same note with one reed an octave lower. The switches let you select (from left): Two reeds at once, like on a Hohner Corona II, but be warned, this instrument doesn´t sound like a Corona II, it´s more or less the sound as if you´ve put a blanket over your Corona II, one reed plus the lower reed, all three reeds at once, the lower reed alone, the normal reed alone.

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mariog

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 #6 

I HAVE SEEN 1 HOHNER "OLD HOHNER" WITH THE ROUNDED BASS HOLES AND THE FLUSH GRILL...  AND EXCELLENT ACTION.  THIS ACCORDION WAS PLAYED SO MUCH THAT THE BUTTONS ARE WORN OUT.

THE SOUND IS THE BEST SOUND I HAVE HEARD FROM A HOHNER.

mariog

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 #7 

QUESTION?

 

IS IT TRUE THAT THE OLD HOHNERS HAD THE BUTTOND MADE FROM "GUESO" OR BONE?

pU

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 #8 
I have not seen any Coronas with bone buttons. This is typical for the other Austrian style accordion, the "Styrish".
There are two Austrian accordion styles, the Vienna style (the best known Vienna style accordion is the Corona) and the Styrish, which is used for music of the Alpes.

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mariog

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 #9 

thanks peter.... thanks glenn.

 

I gues people beleive everything they hear.    as was the case of an old man in mexico with his 1950's pre corona.

hemisat

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 #10 

Peter On your statement about the corona IIIR having only 2 reed blocks I think you meant 2 rows of treble air valves. It has 3 reed blocks but each air valve for each button opens 1 and a 1/2 reed blocks,because there are 3 reeds per button. You can't have 3 reeds  on the same reed block per button because there are only 2 walls to the reed block. I have never seen any 3 reed , reed blocks  not even on professional piano or 5 row chromatic accordions,  so I don,t think that there is any. Anyway I have 3 Corona IIIR s and I have had them apart and they have 3 reed blocks, The button mechanism is different than the one on the corona II the IIIR has the buttons staggered while the II has them in line.Also on the 46 button possibility I think it would be a difficult task . You would have to add a 4th row of either 15 or 16 buttons because the reed block in the middle has 15 reeds on one side and 16 reeds on the other so you would have to eliminate 1 of the 16 reeds or add a reed to the 15 reed side then you would have a 47 button accordion. Peter I'm not trying to act smart and I hope you don't see it that way but Reed blocks and reed arrangements on accordions can be a nightmare, I have a Guerrini 3 row 2 reed 3 register accordion that I opened last month because I had a broken reed  and a couple of other reeds that won't play because they had trash in them and all this time I was thinking that the accordion had 3 reed blocks and it surprised me that it only had 2.The more I work on accordions the more I appreciate the simple 3 row 2 reed 3 reed block no register accordions like the corona II, they are a lot easier to work with  because you have more room between the reeds to wax them and you don't have to take the grill off or take 2 of the reed blocks off to find which reed is the one that you need to work on. Just my 2 cents worth. Juan

David

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 #11 

Great idea otono.  This makes sense since there is a lot of info on the hohner corona and forum members tend to skip this since it gets lost as posts are added.

 

 



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 #12 

PU/Glenn,

 

I have seen a Hohner Corona III with the following attributes.  Decade mark beside them going by Glenn's post.

 

1. Flat Buttons 70's?

2. Slat Pegs 50/60'?

3. Flush Grill 50's?

4. Multi colored decal 50/60's?

 

Ok now by going by these attributes what decade was this accordion made in?  The Flat buttons dont seem to match the items 2-4 when going by the decade.

pU

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 #13 
Now let s see how Ry Cooder reacted, when he heard a Corona for the first time:


"Ill never forget when I was driving one day and listening to the Mexican station... and suddenly on came this sound. I pulled over and turned on my tape recorder because I wanted to find out out what the hell this is. There´s this accordion and this funny sounding big guitar and this singing, and the accordion has this vibrato to it.
I knew it wasn´t a piano accordion; it was something else. It played what I like to hear - triads, sixth, very melodic and beautiful. It was strong and bright on the radio...
This was simple and really good sounding, so naturally I had to find out what it was.

I didn´t know what it was, so I called Chris Strachwitz, who runs Arhoolie Records up in El Cerrito, California. He knows everything. He told me that he was involved in Norteno, or TexMex music, which features this Mexican accordion sound.

It was this insane coincidence. He said "Nobody likes it because it´s repetitive and boring" and I said, "Great, that´s just what I like."

I flew up there to visit Chris, and of course his house was full of Norteno records. One look at one of these album covers, and you know it´s serious. He puts one on the record player, and there you have it - that´s the sound. So I got some of these albums from Chris and went home to Westwood Music, West Los Angeles, to order one of these accordions.

We looked in the catalog, and there it was - aha!

It says Hohner Corona II, it´s red, and it´s got three rows of buttons. When it finally came I sat for six months, six hours a day, seven days a week and practised. I´m not exaggerating. I had a Flaco Jimenez record with one tune I knew I could do. Flaco played things I like to hear, really simple, elegant things.

And I practised and and really worked, and it was hard. As is the case with great, weird music, the instrument is fighting you. It´s primitive and not worth anything, but you have people who have transcended all of that stupidity and have gotten ahead of the thing and they bend it around to their wishes.

Strachwitz had planned a trip to Texas to make this film with Les Blank called Chulas Fronteras, which is now a famous social documentary on the entire Tex-Mex scene. In the process he had to go about the countryside to meet the people he wanted to film and establish his presence there.

So here´s this strange, tall gringo " El fanatico" they called him, looking for Flaco Jimenez. Where´s Flaco? "Make a left turn, right turn, left turn, right turn, then go three blocks and turn down the alley". Jesus, it was just like blues. Then you´d get there and they´d say, "Oh no, Flaco doesn´t live here. He moved six months ago."

We went through this forever, but this is how you find people. Finally you find out where he lives and pull up in the front yard, and there he is, the man himself, and it´s like "oh, oh oh" Because you´ve built the thing up and the intensity is so strong, you just attack the poor guy. But he was very relaxed, sitting in his living room watching TV with his little boy.

I told him I was trying to learn the instrument and that I love what he does. It surprised him.
That night he played a dance..."


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alamo

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 #14 
Fantastic thread pU! Because of this, it cleared things up so I find out I just got myself a 60's model on ebay. I was wondering....

thanks!

wicho

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 #15 

Hi, I own an old GCF Hohner Corona II.  I am not sure if it is a 1950 or 1970 model in great condition, however, I want to replace the grill but have not been able to find one.  Does anybody know where I can purchase one?  Thanks! 

 

MORALES1336@YAHOO.COM 



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 #16 

Glenn/PU,

 

I just seen a Hohner Trichord in person.  This model looks just like a Corona III.  Any idea if this trichord is a pre-corona?

Karlitos_Way

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 #17 

Trichord was an Irish box.  Although it looked/looks like a Corona III, they are keyed differently.  I've known of Trichords to be commonly keyed in B,C,C#.  Not sure how many reeds they are on the treble side though.  pU...can you help with this?

 

-Karlos

 

pU

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 #18 






























































































International


German


Espanol


C


C


Do


C#


Cis


Do#


Db


Des


Re b


D


D


Re


D#


Dis


Re#


Eb


Es


Mi b


E


E


Mi


F


F


Fa


F#


Fis


Fa#


Gb


Ges


Sol b


G


G


Sol


G#


Gis


Sol#


Ab


As


La b


A


A


La


A#


Ais


La#


Bb


B


Si b


B


H


Si



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pU

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 #19 
http://youtube.com/0tt0ni0









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Glenn

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 #20 
Nice job Peter...

Maybe you can enlighten us on playing the accordion bass side.. .. ??

Hope to see more..

Nice paintings.. I imagine you did them ..

GLENN
Carlos2008

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 #21 
QUE ACORDEON ES ESTA QUE TOCA MAÑE RADA (HIJO DE PACHO RADA) ??:




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pU

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 #22 
In the film

EL ACORDEON DEL DIABLO

you can see how he takes a crosscountry busride to Venezuela to buy his cinco letras Hohner Corona III.

Back home he lets Ovidio Granados tune it a half step higher from BbEbAb to BEA.

Look for fotos and the trailer link in the vallenato portion of the forum.


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Carlos2008

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 #23 

I have the movie, a friend of mine sent it to me in DVD from belgium...

Actually mañe rada goes to maicao, near the border with venezuela to buy his accordion.

So it's a Hohner Corona III.

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marmjes

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 #24 
Here are the pics of the Hohner Corona II 70`s model that you requested, Peter. Bare with me on these because im working off a different computer.If you notice anything that disqualifies this accordion as a 70`s or even a Hohner, please let me know so that I can discontinue the sale of this item.
Thank you,

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cazadorez

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 #25 
Here are some pics of my late 60's vintage Hohner Corona II.



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pU

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 #26 
thank you!

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Colombianguy_III

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 #27 

I prefer the Corona III of the nineties. The accordions made today aren't that well made IMO.


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bernie22

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 #28 
1955 Hohner Corona II. This was my grandfathers. He bought it new in 1955 and has sat in its box since 1974. I saw this post when I was doing some research a couple of years ago and I thought you might enjoy seeing it. 
Bernie







ngonzalezz23

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 #29 
Hohners have the loudest sound I have ever heard, but i am not into them. I prefer a sound that is not too loud but that sounds clean. In my oppinion.
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Kimric

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 #30 
To answer a earlier question "did Hohner make accordions with bone buttons"
 The might have in the late 1800's but I have never seen one. The earliest Hohners I worked on had buttons made of mother-of-pearl shell, later ones are made of Casien or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galalith and also Celluloid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celluloid. I believe the modern ones are Acrylic.

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Corona1

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 #31 
Talking about oldies what do you guys think about this one? And what can you guys tell me about it?

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Gilbert

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 #32 
Hi Corona1,

That is the pre-Corona made in 1954.

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