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February 19, 2010

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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 19, 201 0 The accordion, we have seen it, heard it, admired its beauty, and have enjoyed the songs played on this mar- velous instrument. But what do we know of this instru- ment, its history, where it was first introduced and why it is so beloved in Italy and around the world? Approximately 63 miles southeast of San Marino, The Accordion -- An Italian Legend by James DiPrima joined the chorus of trying to produce this instrument such as Giacomo Alunni from Umbria in 1850, Giovanni Cingolani from Recanati in 1856. Their at- tempts did not bring the pro- duction of the accordion to a level that had any kind of an economic impact. Paolo Soprani changed the life of many people in the Marche made. Amazingly in 1907 only 690 accordions were exported, yet by 1913 the fig- ure was 14,365! It is believed tically affected. Production went from 26,000 being ex- ported in 1926 to 17,000 in 1932, greatly affecting the employment of many in the region. Much material have been written and spoken of the accordion being an instru- ment invented in Italy and being "the pride of our in-dustriousness and This little town in Marche with a population of 9,000 was able to provide many workers from the surround- ing towns of Loretto, Osimo and Recanati employment for 10,000 people in the musical business. Sixty companies are now located throughout Italy, thirty are located in Castelfidardo. Their future lies in how well Italy close to the Adriatic Sea in the Marche province you will find the "citta" (town) of Castelflflarflo. You might ask what does this town have to do with accor- dions. Well for one thing it is the international capital of accordion production in Italy. And how did this honor all come about? Well the legend, as it was told many times, started in the year 1863 when a stranger arrived in Castelfidardo seeking shelter. He was able to secure lodging in the farm home of Paolo Soprani. At night the stranger would entertain the family with a musical instrument, not known in these parts of Italy, a sort of concertina. So taken with the instrument that one night Paolo took it apart to see how it was made. On the very table that the family used for meals Paolo Soprani began to build his accordion. Italy was a united country in 1861, and the people now saw themselves as being free of the constraints placed upon them during the years as city states. They were now able to pursue their own interest. And so it was that Paolo began the first produc- tion of accordions along with his brother Settimio. Years later Settimio opened up his own workshop producing accordions. Others soon region by transforming the economy of one that was to- tally agriculture to an indus- trial economy. Soon Paolo and the town of Castelfidardo were becoming famous as the accordion became more popular throughout Italy. Its reputation soon reached the ears of Giuseppe Verdi, then president of the "Ministerial Commission for the Reform of Musical Conservatories" during the 1870s. He pro- posed to the Italian conser- vatories that the instrument be studied. Many changes and new innovations were made to the accordion dur- ing this period. Mattia Berardi made changes and improved the button-accor- dion. A copyright was regis- tered to Rosario Spadaro from Catania, Sicily in 1890 for a free-bass accordion and the. first to create the box- accordion was Pasquale Ficosecco. By the 19  century the pro- duction of accordions began to flourish. In 1905 there were 500 workers making accordions. The historian Olivelli wrote that "in 1905 when nothing was mass pro- duced but everything was handmade", Paolo Soprani was able to manufacture 1,200 accordions a month. The Italian market was able to absorb most of the units f NOBILE INSURANCE ALBANO F. PONTE, CEP Financial and Estate Planning Email afponte @ Phone 617-320-0022 MICHAEL F. NOBILE, CPCU ARLINGTON 148A Massachusetts Avenue Arlington, MA 02474 (781) 646-1200 Fax (781) 646-1148 MEDFORD 39 Salem Street Medford, MA 02155 (781) 395-4200 BOSTON 251 Hanover Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-6766 Fax (617) 523-0078 Fax (781) 391-6493 J POST-GAZETTE EAST BOSTON SATELLITE OFFICE Is NOW OPEN MARIE MATARESE 35 Bennington Street, East Boston 617.227.8929 MON. and TUES. 10:00 A.M. - 3.00 P.M. THURS. 11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M. ACCEPTING Advertisements General Advertisements * Sales and Rentals Memorials * Legals ADVERTISING WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE that this was due to the emi- gration of Italians who were talented artisans, musicians and many workers devoted to their ability to make accor- dions. These emigrants saw the possibilities of importing the accordion and opening schools and hiring talented players to teach students how to play. Other artisans experienced in accordion production settled in other European countries such as Nazzareno Piermaria who settled in Paris in 1922 and today continues with the third generation of the family still in contact with Castelfidardo. The production and profits increased for the Soprani company through the years, but as we all know when things go up they can also come down. And so it was that in 1929 when the Wall Street Stock Market came crashing down that the ac- cordion business was dras- the delight of the Italian people" as stated in the Review Varietas - Rassegna Nazionale dell'Autarchia in 1941. In that year fascism, under Benito Mussolini, was instrumental in rebuilding the industry by ordering 1,000 accordions to be dis- tributed to the Italian Army during World War II. This was some help, but between 1939 and 1945 accordion production was still down to the point that in 1944 only 500 were produced. After the war people in Italy began to have a re- newed vigor for life and hope for the future. In the town of Castelfidardo compa- nies sprung up to manu- facture accordions, so that from 1946-1948 nineteen new companies were formed and produced the instru- ment. Production and ex- portation of accordions in- creased from 57,523 in 1947 to 192,058 in 1953. they can read the market going forward. Music changed from the Elvis Presley type music to the rock music of the Beatles in the 1960s. Several com- panies in Marche followed the trend and went into manufacturing electric gui- tars. They did not fair well and from 1960-1963 several had to close. Innovation in new technology was intro- duced in an attempt to revi- talize the accordion such as the introduction of the transistor. The accordion did not become a fashionable instrument during this time. It was not out in front with the rock and roll guitar- ist, swinging and bashing their instrument to the ground. No, the roll of the accordion, I believe, is to be in the hands of a musician who can bring forth the soft- ness, richness and the beauty of this fine instru- ment, the accordion. 'r ' Please join us at this Kick-OffParty to rejoice in last year's success and get excited for another incredible year of Relay in East Boston! Because of volunteers like you, we are celebrating a world with less cancer, and more birthdays, so get ready for an inspirational and entertaining birthday party themed night - Relay style! Dinner will be provided/ Register yourself or your team today!. www.Ea RelaY. For .l.lfe o East Boston ..... f Kick'Off Party i Orient Heights Yacht Club 61 Bayswater Street, East Boston L ......................................................................................................................................................................................... Sincerely, Your Relay For Life Planning Committee RSVP to Tiffany at 617.224.8141 or eastboatonrelayforlife@gmaiLcom i i i i I I I ii i i t I i t | I t i ii r i ............