Dating concertina

In The Irrepressible Churchill, compiled by Kay Halle (Robson Books, 1985), Churchill is said to have used the phrase in 1913, when he was First Lord of the Admiralty.According to 'an ear-witness', he was having trouble with some of his admirals at a strategy meeting.

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Another crisis was looming on the horizon, however: a change in musical tastes, with melody giving way to rhythm in music.

Many business owners managed to convert their companies to the production of pianos, guitars and other musical instruments over a short space of time but, unfortunately, the small-scale businesses producing hand-crafted accordions were hardest hit.

The Castelfidardo accordion industry really took off at the end of the 19th century, as shown both by production figures and the number of workers employed.

However, the Second World War had devastating effects on accordion production: 51,000 instruments were produced in 1938 compared to just over 500 in 1944.

Today, thanks to a cultural revival brought about by the efforts of many, the market for quality professional instruments has become a prestigious niche in the area of Castelfidardo and the surrounding towns.

As long as the accordion was considered solely as a folk instrument, the trend in accordion teaching was to concentrate mainly on developing right hand technique.

It was difficult to find an accordionist who could develop even a fragmented melody with the left hand or was capable of arousing the admiration of an audience.

The bellows were understood solely in terms of air production or, at best, as a means for highlighting rhythmic accents.

The inability to produce notes at a true pitch with the left hand was one of the causes of the instrument being relegated to a limbo of so-called “poor instruments”.

The real evolution of the accordion began in the 1950s, when some composers sought to enhance the use of harmonic accompaniment and therefore re-assess the contribution of the left hand in general.

The patent for the accordion was filed in Vienna in 1829 by Cyrill Demian, but it was fundamentally redesigned in Italy in the second half of the nineteenth century.