Thursday, June 27, 2019

ProtoBandoTango - The Early History of the Bandoneon

Actually asking for help finding sources about the early history of the bandoneon...

A deep dive here - does anyone have any info/sources/ideas for sources/knowledgeable individuals/historians on how the bandoneon actually came to "be" in tango music?

Yes we all know the story of it's invention in Germany in 1846, and that it was brought to South America by missionaries - or at least that's one story I've read somewhere. Supposedly it first appeared in BA around 1870, and then started being played in tango in the early 1900's (or perhaps as early as the 1890's), and then became prominent in tango music in the 1910's.

The article linked below has some fairly detailed info and sources, but I thought I would throw this out there. I'm particularly interested in the periods between 1850 and 1870, when it first "appeared" in Argentina/BA, and then also from 1870-1910 - being used/adopted into tango.

How many bandoneons were in BA during those years? How did they get from Germany to BA? By ship obviously, but did a German salesman/dealer/distributor bring them? Or were they brought by individuals? Were they brought by individual immigrants making their way to BA from all over Europe? Was there a dealer selling them in BA? Any ideas on cost at the time? Is the missionary story true?

Any and all details/thoughts/ideas/stories you may have heard would be greatly appreciated.

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