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stavros

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 #1 
Dear Friends of the accordion

I am a musician from Greece.
 
I would like your opinion and expertise.
 
For some time now i am searching to find what instrument ,or better what type of Harmonika has been played in Greek traditional music during the first decades of the 20 th century.
I would really apreciatte if you could hear these youtube sample links i am sending you.This instrument played here by the three top players of the time recordedn in Constantinople and Athens it has been dissapeared long time and certainly it differs from the sound of the other harmonicas that i  have ever heard which you will notice.It is a wonderful instrument.Does anybody have any idea what type of instrument that is.I Believe that is a  German type of Harmonika .  there is also a the characteristic that change to one octave higher when playing the melody ,so maybe they had a row octave too.Anyway the sound is what counts
 
Unfortunately from these three excellent players in these video no early photos have survived in order to see their instruments and  they all changed to the standard accordion after 1940

Here are the examplers
 Andonis Amiralis (please hear this especially after the indroduction)
  in Constantinople by Giagos Psamathianos
 
  Μιchalis Trimmis
 
Regards 

Stavros 
elrubio

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 #2 
Stavros,

Thank you for sharing that wonderful music.

I recommend that you go to the web site     melodeon.net    and join the discussion group there.
I think they can tell you what instrument is being played.

Sometimes the instrument sounds like a  button accordeon, sometimes it sounds like a concertina.

Good Luck
stavros

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 #3 
Thank you very much.
Gino

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 #4 
I know the scale that is being used, I believe it has a 2 half steps, e , f or g. It can be played on a piano accordion or a chromatic acordion, dry. G A B C D e f. I was in the middle east for 2 years and I accidently stumbled on this scale. The use a small wooded flute that makes that sound as well.
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stavros

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 #5 
By what you are saying do you think that i can be an old chromatic accordion with stelle bronze reeds like that one?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Chromatic-Accordeon-Steel-Bronze-Reeds-/140617066055 

Or something that i was invented exclusively in the East.As i said i have never heard another accordion soun like that even in 78 rpm discography area of other counties.
In some advertisements on Greek newspapers in Usa and Athens,it was called misofonia.Which mean half-voice .This due probably to the different note  when open and closed.
The strange is that is was called  by makers Like Anastasio Stathopoulo as a Constantinopolitan misofonia and it was sold together with other instruments like Busson flutinas etc.



Gino

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 #6 
It was a metal plate screwed on the wooden blocks, no wax, leather or plastic involved. They don't make them anymore, it would be nice to see this kind of box return. The problem was finding someome that makes the plates, they could be screwed on any material, plastic blocks, wooden blocks or whatever. It was one long plate screwed on the block. This plate carried different notes.
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stavros

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 #7 
Dear Gino

At what country did you found that one?
Do you know who had it?Was it the same sound as in the recordings i have posted?
Did it looked like an accordion with buttons?

On One recording of Andonis Amiralis,a speaker says.

Hey Andonis with your small buttons.

So i quess it must had buttons like the old Harmonikas did.As you describe it seems it didnt had any buttons or i understand incorrect
Gino

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 #8 
I was in Iraq for 2 years and I stumbled across music that sounded similiar to what you want, but I believe the boxes you seek was once made by the Russians.The harmonikas looked exactly like a regular Harmonika with buttons but the inside of the box was designed differently. If you take apart a modern harmonika or open a modern accordion you will see wooden blocks with metal reeds attached to them with wax. There was a older 40's model that Russsia used to make, the difference of the harmonika's is reeds, the reeds or different. You can still play the music you desire with a modern harmonika but you have to practice. I really do wish someone would make harmonikas like the older Russian style. I had a friend that putt his accordion in the trunk of his car and it became so hott in Texas that it melted the wax and all the small metal reeds fell off the wooden blocks, so you could shake the box and hear jingle bells and that's it, haha! It was a metal square plate that replaced the reeds in some very old Russian boxes.The metal plate was held on the wooden blocks with screws.I hope you understand.
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stavros

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 #9 
Very Interesting Gino.
Its a shame you dont have a picture of it to see what type of brand that was ,but you are sure that this was the same sounds like those examples.
What about the steel bronze reeds.Are all the old ones have bronze steel reeds or was there a special model of some old brands.
Russ

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 #10 
Could they just be piano accordions. There is definite reverb/echo in the 1st one and the third ones volume is very loud which if recorded that way would cause a change in the sound. there could be some slight tuning changes. But if I just heard them without reading about them first I would think they were either piano accordions or CBAs. Amplification can do strange things to reed instruments.
If you find out anything please let us know - interesting music.
Gino

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 #11 
That looks like a 2 row chromatic Garmon that was made in Russia. Look up some of the Russian accordion players on youtube and you will see this box, its chromatic, its not a diatonic like the common cajun or tex-mex boxes.
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Russ

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 #12 
I am stumped. It is surprising that it is so hard to find anything on this - I have done a few searches but found practically nothing. You would think you would find these instruments all over Greece if they were a popular folk instrument. Maybe searching the record companies or trying to find some of the musicians that were alive at that time, or the families of the players might be good leads.  Two of the pictures in the first recording show piano accordions. I give up. 
stavros

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 #13 
Ι Ηave already found the families.I have made some search on that field of greek harmonica for some time.All the players l changed to the piano accordion even back from 1938 and the families have unfortunately no information of their first instruments and they dont know anything at all,besides that no early photos survive.Unfortunatelly the war here in Greece was terrible,almost everything destroyed.The country was already poor before the war ,so you can imagine what happened next.
From my search there is the clue that they use Greek made harmonikas  in Contantinople and in Greece but they are so rare and no expert has ever found any of them until I found one earlier this week and i am waiting from a response of the owner if he is going to sell it finaly.So this may somewhere drive us somwhere
As for the comparison of the Russian harmonika.I dont think there is ,because i have never seen a russian garmonika with spoon basses and these greek musician all used to play with spoons ,thats the only information we have
The biggest challenge is can that sound can re-made  just by hearing those samples ,personally i prefer it better than any other harmonika accordion i have ever heard.
stavros

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 #14 

Ηere is a video of Gorgo Koulaxizis at 2.05 playing his unkown greek harmonika.

Can anyone identify the instrument, model ,etc.

Mr Koulaxizis died a few years ago and his Harmonika has been dissapeared.

I think the sound is different from many others i have hears, any opinions?

Gino

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 #15 
It's a expensive Guerrini accordion with probably 4 reed blocks on the tremble and 5 registers. Each register gives the box a different sound. That accordion was expensive and probably sold on the black market.
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