Roland/Dallape – Towards the Future

On Tuesday, 14th September 2010  a historical decision was taken in the City of Stradella, Lombardia, Italy, between the multinational Japanese company Roland and one of the oldest accordion manufacturers in Italy, the company Dallapé.

Dallapé started production of accordions back in 1876, when founder Mariano Dallapé founded the accordion factory and started the production that has remained in family hands until today.

After 134 years of traditional and hand crafted  production of the very finest accordions, due to various difficulties, the time has come for the factory to close their big and somehow impressive gates forever, at the end of 2010.

But history is and will always remain history and as such cannot and will not disappear.

Historical  instruments, tools  and  parts of the factory will be found in the world of the Museum of Stradella where enthusiasts will be able to experience and appreciate – even for short moments – the atmosphere of the unrepeatable and unforgettable  “ancient history Dallapé” during their short visit in… "it was once upon a time…."

With the official signing of this unique and historical decision between Roland and Dallapé,
the unmistakable sound DALLAPE  will continue  to enchant the world and accordion lovers.  The company ROLAND from Japan – but most of all its founder Mr. Ikaturo Kakehashi and the President Hidekazu Tanaka, has forseen a new and interesting innovation for the future with this project which has moved relatively quickly from a dream concept to an actuality.

Roland and Dallapé have agreed to continue the long lasting Dallapé history and to transform the original “Dallapé Sound” into a new digital system, that can easily be adapted as an additional option to any ROLAND V-Accordion.

The wonderful Dallapé sound is therefore not only retained for future generations in pristine sound conditions perfectly sampled, but will also expand with more options available, and expand to every part of the world, being easily operated and accessible in future to large numbers of accordionists.

This historical agreement was signed in the City of Stradella, in the ancient office of Mariano Dallapé by Amleto and Bianca Dallapé and Alfredo Maroni  (President of Roland Europe). The signing was followed by a press conference in the Stradella City Hall in the presence of Luigi Bruti (Marketing Director of Roland Europe and a founder of the V-Accordion),  the Mayor Pierangelo Lombardi (City of Stradella), Carlo Aguzzi (Director of the Museum in Stradella), Giuseppe Zacchetti (Director of the Theatre), as well as journalists, TV and local media reporters.

The outstanding musical harmony between traditional and digital music moving "Towards the Future" was masterfully performed by  Maestro Ludovic Beier on his Roland FR-7X and the “Dallapé Centenario 1976” played by Maestro Gianluca Campi to a very attentive and appreciative audience.

Works by Ludovic Beier:
Bluesette using American Tuning on Italian Accordion / Dry Tuning on Jazz Accordion + A-Bass & E-Piano
Melody Tango using Bandonéon / Bandonéon + Octave Piano & Strings
Cinema Paradiso using Bayan Accordion
Brazilian Fingers using Musette detune (French) / Flute & Bass
Swing My Reeds using Classic Accordion Master + A-Bass & Clarinet
Arrivederci Roma using Old Italy musette / Symphony

Works by Gianluca Campi:
Amarcord - N. Rota                            (Soundtrack)
Voci di primavera - J. Strauss           (Viennese Waltz)
Adios nonino - A. Piazzolla               (Tango Argentina)
La Campanella - N. Paganini            (Rondò)
Tico-Tico - Z. Abreu                           (Samba)

Duet by
Ludovic Beier and Gianluca Campi:
Tango For Claude - Galliano            (Tango, Original)

….welcome to the high technology ROLAND “digital Dallapé Sound of Music”.

For further and more detailed information about the history of both companies, please read the Press Release text below the pictures.

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Click each picture to view the full sized picture.  
Images of current Dallapé Main Office with photos and posters of artists using Dallapé accordions.
Images of the original office and laboratory of Mariano Dallapé. As before
As before Images of the Dallapé laboratory
and accordion factory. As before
Amleto Dallapé (Administrator) with the Dallapé accordion produced for the signing event. Amleto Dallapé interview by Italian RAI Television.
Photo of factory area. Sign outside the building.
More pictures of the production area. Bianca Maria Dallapé, Alfredo Maroni (Roland Europe President) and Amleto Dallapé checking the agreement documents in the original office and laboratory of Mariano Dallapé.
The signing of the historic agreement. Bianca Maria Dallapé, Alfredo Maroni (Roland Europe President) and Amleto Dallapé proceed to shake hands after the signing.
Press conference at "Museo della Fisarmonica" (Accordion Museum) of Stradella. At the main table are: Bianca Maria Dallapé, Alfredo Maroni, Amleto Dallapé and Luigi Bruti (Roland Europe Marketing Director). Speech by Amleto Dallapé.
Speech by Luigi Bruti (right). Speech by Pierangelo Lombardi, Mayor of Stradella (right).
Performance by Gianluca Campi playing a Dallapé accordion.
Peformance by Ludovic Beier playing the Roland FR-7x V-Accordion.
Roberto Gaetani (Roland R&D Department - Chief Sound Engineer, Roland Europe). Italian TV RAI filming Ludovic Beier performing.
As before Ludovic Beier and Gianluca Campi playing and accordion duo.
The oldest Dallapé Accordion in the Stradella Museum. Alfredo Maroni and Amleto Dallapé shaking hands to seal their historic agreement.
Bianca Maria Dallapé and Amleto Dallapé pose with the oldest Dallape. A picture of the City of Stradella Dallape Accordion Factory from the street.

Press Release by Roland Corporation dated 14 September 2010

Cutting-Edge Technology and Traditional Craftsmanship:
Symphony of a Company

In 1868, after much wandering in search of a more rewarding task than working in the fields, Mario Dallapé decided to settle in Stradella, where in 1871 he realized the first prototype of an accordion called a "cassetta" which was built with recycled materials.

Following a wave of enthusiasm for the product, from 1876, Mario Dallapé began mass production in their craft shop.

The success of the product and popularity of his new instrument was striking: in just a few years, Dallapé could count on a large manpower increase brought about as a direct consequence, with a significant expansion of the company.

Around 1890, thanks to the fundamental innovations he designed and produced, the business achieved top awards at national and then international level with such awards as the Diploma "Grand Prix d'Honneur" conferred on the company Mariano Dallapé International at the Exhibition of Paris in 1900.

The use of high quality materials and superior design for quality sound, gave to his accordion, then as now, a rare harmony, power and quality of sound.

The historic factory accordions Dallapé "will finish the production at the end of 2010, but thanks to the sale of its prestigious name to the famous Japanese electronics factory, Roland, the name "Dallapé" will survive over time and even enhance its prestigious reputation in the history of music world.

In 1967 Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of the Roland Corporation, a leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, travelled to Italy and had the chance to meet some accordion craftsmen. He was so fascinated by this instrument that he purchased two accordions to bring home and from there, started to cherish the dream of creating an electronic accordion.

This dream was later on supported also by Francesco Rauchi and Luigi Bruti in Roland Europe, a member of the Roland Corporation group located in Acquaviva Picena, in the Marche region, Italy.

Thanks to the advanced state-of-the-art digital technology designs, Roland designed and developed another milestone in the history of digital musical instruments: the V-Accordion, (“Virtual Accordion”) equipped with Roland's very powerful digital modelling technology.

“FR” the two characters identifying this instrument stand for Francesco Rauchi as a homage paid by Roland to one of their best collaborators, who passed away a few years ago without ever being able to see his project implimented.

The V-Accordion can truly reproduce the various models of traditional accordions, including their different tuning features. As a consequence you can turn a V-Accordion immediately into an Italian accordion, a French musette, a jazz accordion or a bandoneon.

In the end, the V-Accordion is not intended to replace the traditional accordion but to compliment it and enlarge its sound potential, while keeping its expressive features unchanged, as well as that peculiar feeling conveyed by a musical instrument you can play by “holding it in your arms”.

The digital V-accordion using Roland's innovative technology will be able to bring to the whole accordion world the "anthological" sounds perfectly sampled of the best of the production of the famous Dallapé Accordion Factory, from the beginning in 1876 until today.



Tecnologia d’avanguardia e tradizione artigianale: Sinfonia di un’impresa

Nel 1868, dopo molto peregrinare alla ricerca di un’attività più gratificante del lavoro nei campi, Dallapé decise di stabilirsi a Stradella, dove nel 1871 realizzò un primo prototipo di fisarmonica denominata a “cassetta”, costruita con materiale di recupero.
Sull’onta dell’entusiasmo, dal 1876 ne incominciò la produzione in serie nella propria bottega artigianale.
Il successo di pubblico  riscontrato dal suo nuovo strumento fu clamoroso: in pochissimi anni Dallapé poté contare su di una consistente manodopera  che determinò, come diretta conseguenza, un notevole ampliamento dell’azienda.
Attorno al 1890, grazie alle fondamentali innovazioni introdotte iniziarono a giungere i primi riconoscimenti su scala nazionale e, successivamente, internazionale come il Diploma “Grand Prix d’Honneur” conferito alla ditta Mariano Dallapé all’esposizione internazionale di Parigi nel 1900.
L’impiego di materiali di ottima qualità e la superiore resa sonora conferivano alle sue fisarmoniche, allora come oggi,  un suono di rara armonia e potenza.
La storica fabbrica di fisarmoniche “Dallapé” terminerà la produzione alla fine del corrente anno ma, grazie alla cessione del suo prestigioso marchio alla famosa fabbrica di strumenti elettronici giapponese ROLAND, il nome “Dallapé ”sopravviverà nel tempo ed addirittura accrescerà la sua fama nel firmamento musicale mondiale.
Nel 1967, durante un viaggio in Italia, Ikutaro Kakehashi, fondatore della Roland Corporation, azienda leader nel settore degli strumenti musicali elettronici, ebbe modo di incontrare alcuni artigiani costruttori di fisarmoniche, e rimase affascinato da questo strumento, tanto da portarsene a casa due, covando per lungo tempo la speranza di poter realizzare una fisarmonica elettronica. Speranza sostenuta successivamente anche da Francesco Rauchi e Luigi Bruti di Roland Europe, un’eccellenza tra le realtà industriali presenti in Italia, nelle Marche, e precisamente ad Acquaviva Picena.
A seguito dei grandi progressi ottenuti con la tecnologia digitale, Roland ha introdotto un'altra pietra miliare nella storia degli strumenti musicali digitali: la V-Accordion, ovvero la “Fisarmonica Virtuale” uno strumento dotato di una potente tecnologia di modellazione digitale.
La prematura scomparsa di Francesco Rauchi non gli ha permesso di toccare con mano quel sogno diventato realtà, ed in sua memoria i modelli della linea V-Accordion sono stati identificati con la sigla “FR”.
La V-Accordion può riprodurre fedelmente i vari modelli di fisarmoniche tradizionali, incluse le loro diverse caratteristiche di accordatura. Di conseguenza, può tramutarsi immediatamente in una fisarmonica italiana, in una musette francese, in fisarmonica jazz o in un bandoneon.
Questo strumento non intende sostituire la fisarmonica tradizionale, ma essere complementare ad essa, ampliandone gli orizzonti sonori, pur mantenendone le caratteristiche di espressività e quel particolare feeling di uno strumento che si suona “abbracciandolo”.
La fisarmonica digitale con l’innovativa tecnologia Roland sarà in grado infatti di proporre addirittura una ”antologica” dei suoni perfettamente campionati degli strumenti più rappresentativi della produzione Dallapé dal momento della nascita, nel 1876 e fino ai nostri giorni.

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