Originally called bandonion, this German instrument was intended for religious and popular music. Around 1870 together with the German and Italian emigrants it found a new home in Argentina. From the 1910’s on it became the trademark instrument in the tango music.
The bandoneon is held between both hands, and by pulling and pushing, air is forced through bellows and then through particular reeds as selected by pressing the instrument’s buttons. Different notes are produced on the push and the pull. As left and right keyboard also have a different layout, this means that the musician has to learn four different keyboard layouts to play.
How gloomy the bandoneon at times can sound, so vibrant and flashy are the colors some painters use to depict this instrument. Other artists looked for the heavy mood that emanates from its music. So many different angles, so many different styles, so many different impressions, from so many different countries.
And did you notice that in all the paintings the players were male? This is a call, female bandoneon players step forward and let yourself glorify on canvas
Contribution: Kristin Daenen
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