Accordion History


In 1833 C.W. Meisel brought an accordion to Klingenthal, made by W. Thie of Vienna, which he found at the Brunnswick Fair. A few years after that in Trossingen, Charles Messner started making 'mundoalines', a type of harmonica. Thirty years later, Mathias Hohner (a watchmaker) developed an International Manufacturing industry. By 1862 Klingenthal had over 20 accordion manufacturers and in 1903 the Hohner accordion workshop opened. By 1905 Germany exported 35,220 accordions to France, and had 35 manufacturers.

In the1930's, a style similar to that of the popular English 'dance bands' developed. It was light, syncopated music which borrowed from American jazz, but also included Waltzs, Tangos, Polkas, Two-steps and Bostons.

Trossingen is a small village in Fôret Noire. It was one of the first places to make accordions with free reeds, in the first part of the 19th century. In 1903 they began manufacturing accordions, and by 1910 Hohner was the largest manufacturer in the world. Even today, the town is organised around the accordion manufacturers.

The Hohner Symphony Orchestra was started by Hermann Schittenhelm (b 1893), who became the teacher for 22 years. One of his students, Rudolf Wurthner (b 1920) succeeded him as the firm's teacher and as orchestra leader. Both wrote educational and concert pieces for the accordion.

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