When I went to graduate school, after a short lived stay in the medieval studies department and before I finished up with a Master of Public Administration degree, I was in the public history department studying my true love topic of material culture. The University of Delaware succinctly describes material culture studies as “an interdisciplinary field that examines the relationship between people and their things, the making, history, preservation, and interpretation of objects.” While concern for finding a job took precedence over what I really wanted to do with a career, I’ve never given up my interest of material culture. In fact, there are few things that get my brain cells buzzing more than researching an artifact and learning all there is to know about it.
A particularly interesting Fresh Air interview with accordionist Will Holshouser (which lead my coworkers to constantly ask me if I’m listening to circus music on my computer…Will’s new album is available on iTunes) had me thinking about the old accordion at my Mom’s house. While I was over for lunch this week, we got it out and I took a few pictures. Mom played it a little, too. We tried to put together the history of the origins of this particular Hohner. She remembered that Grandpa played it a little, and when she wanted to take piano lessons and they didn’t have a piano, she was given instruction on the accordion.
In terms of accordion, it is a 25+2 instrument. That’s 25 piano keys and two rows of bass buttons. And it’s still in working condition.
This one was made in Germany.
A 25+2 model accordion is generally considered to be a student or travel model. It’s a good thing to start on though…and it won’t cost me a thing to see if I like it.
House of Musical Traditions has good information on dating your accordion here.
And here is the best thing I’ve seen in some time (just a short intro on the instrument itself before the magic happens):