A piece of history in a traditional musical instrument: the accordeon!

I’m an hopeless romantic, I love spending afternoons browsing old photos and thinking about moments of the past. I love savoring the joyful moments experienced, and feeling close to the people who filled them.

Last Holidays were particularly nostalgic and I had been thinkig about my family a lot. Memories of when I was a child and I used to play together with my grandparents and my cousins.

Today’s technology allows to capture millions of moments of everyday’s life: take a picture of any event, even the least significant ones. Maybe this is the reason why old photos have a more “intense relevance”, as if they were more “real”.

In the past, pictures were taken to enclose really memorable moments and when you looked back at them, well…you have the feeling you’re brought back in time. When I was a child, it was very common to get together with all neighbours, both young people and grown-ups.

I remember very well when adults just winked at each other and that was enough to start celebrating, without any particoular reason. My father started playing the accordion, my aunt began to sing the notes of the melody and then we were all suddenly dancing, young and old people, all together, in the street.img-20170127-wa0003

Sometimes this off-the-cuff street parties happeed to celebrate a profitable workday in the farmland, or a national holiday, in short, it did not take much to get the party started!

Looking back on these pictures I thought that many of our traditions are gone or fading. And that’s why last month when I was back to Italy, I decided to go and visit the International Museum of Accordeon in Castelfidardo, that has been the town with the largest production of this instrument for over a century.screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-21-29-19

In addition to documenting the history of this famous instrument, the museum pays tribute to the many craftsmen and industrial entrepreneurs, who through their commitment, have helped transforming culturally this area of Le Marche.1data38

1data39And from Castelfidardo, in fact, is also the famous Paolo Soprani, who created a workshop at the end of 800, where he improved the quality and the aesthetic of the accordion. imagesOriginally, that was just a Viennese rudimentary contraption. Paolo made the first modern accordion and gave birth tor a flourishing craft industry of this instrument.superking

The quality of accordions made in this charming town, is appreciated all over the world. To my grandfather, his accordion was more precious than a gem. Indeed, it was his own gem!screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-21-33-27


The International Museum of Accordeon in Castelfidardo

1data071data19I would like to thank the staff of the Castelfidardo Accordion Museum for having welcomed and for coming with me in this beautiful “journey to the childhood memories”.screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-21-33-39

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-21-31-55If you find yourself in Le Marche, my dear friends, please rememebr to add Castelfidardo in your destinations to visit. A few minutes from Loreto and the stunning park of Monte Conero, this town will offer breathtaking views. The proof of the pudding is in the eating!


For more information please visit to: http://www.museodellafisarmonica.it/




60 thoughts on “A piece of history in a traditional musical instrument: the accordeon!

  1. The world seems to be changing so fast! A lot of what I remember as a child is already “history”. When my mother talked about growing up on a farm in New Zealand in the early 1920s, much of what she said would have made sense to anyone growing up on a farm anywhere in Europe in the preceding centuries.

    I remember going to parties where all, young and old, were entertained by someone playing what we called a piano accordian. I suspect my nieces and nephews wouldn’t know what this was!

    • LOL! Yes, you’re right…’not long ago’ nowadays sounds like ages! Things has starting changing so fast lately.
      I wouldn’t b surprised if your nieces and nephews wouldn’t know about the piano accordeon, since mine do not know about it, either.
      Such a shame! Luckily there are still places that keep culture and memories alive, as the International Museum of Accordeon in Castefidardo.

      Thanks for your comment!:-)

  2. My aunt played the accordion. I remember her hurling that big monstrosity onto her shoulders and just going to town! I was always fascinated by the musical sound. I wish I knew what happened to it. 😦

    • Thanks Denzil!
      I read John Lennon started playing accordion when he was a child, while making up a lot of different musics and other instruments.
      That’s interesting, right?!
      No, I can’t play it, unfortunately. But my father used to. It was fun and I still have beautiful memories about that time:-)

  3. Most cool instrument. There is a lady staying at a cabin here that pulled hers out at our community Christmas party. It gave me the chills in the best way 🙂

  4. This article was so interesting. I play the accordion — although I haven’t actually done much of any playing in several years now. Almost no one around my area is interested in accordion music anymore. In fact, a number of people laugh when I tell them I play one. But I do have one friend who also plays and one former accordion student whom I see occasionally, and we have short reminiscences now and then.

    • Hi Sandra,
      so sad to hear that!
      I know accordion it’s maybe not so on trend anymore, but that’s part of our tradition and people’s roots.
      I guess most people do not have any idea of how to play it:-(It would be great for them to visit the Accordion Museum in Castelfidardo. Maybe this would help them in change their minds:-)

      • I’m sure it would. When people really understand the intricacies and the value of the accordion, they do hold it in higher esteem. When I was growing up, there were a lot of people in our area who played. Of course, there were a lot of immigrants — especially Italian and Polish/Bulgarian. Those cultures really value the accordion a lot.

      • Sandra, I totally agree.
        Thanks for sharing your experience: history and roots should never be forgotten.
        That is how our current culture has been built over all these years.

  5. The accordion is one of the instruments the children are encouraged to learn at the conservatoire here. It does have rather old-fashioned connotations, but I’m always amazed at how many of the kids struggle with their accordion cases on wheels on their way to class. Old traditions have thick skins 🙂

  6. Such a great article. Thank you for sharing this. I have always been intrigued by the accordion and I love the music it creates. To learn some of the history makes it even more special.

  7. I love looking at old photographs…especially those in black and white. The idea of gathering around the accordian and singing sounds heavenly. Thank you for this lovely post. I am filing it (and your blog) in my travel section.

  8. Such a lovely post, thank you. Yes, the power of music… To me, anyone who can sing/play a musical instrument is indeed truly blessed. Well, perhaps in my next life… Not to forget the incredible artisans who actually make this magic.

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