Internal Accordion Construction and Basic Maintenance Seminar

The Accordion-Concertina Repair and Technicians’ School and A World of Accordions Museum, 1401 Belknap St., Superior, WI 54880, under the direction of Helmi Strahl Harrington, Ph.D. announce an Accordion Specialty Seminar: Internal Accordion Construction and Basic Maintenance. The Seminar will be held on February 22, 2015 from 2.00 - 6.00 PM with the attendance fee of $100.00.
This is an uncommon opportunity to learn at the only accordion research and specialty center in the USA.  The emphasis will be on basic repairs, tuning, organologic classifications.
Have you ever wondered why some accordions are extraordinarily expensive, and others are not? Sometimes the brand- and model-name really matters, but not always. Some instruments escalate in value comparable to stock-market investments while others only depreciate. How do you know when you have a good one? How do you know what not to buy? What capacities must the accordion have in order to fulfill your performance goals? What can you do to maintain or enhance your accordion’s quality; what should only an expert undertake?
In this four-hour session you will learn about all seven major categories of accordion-family instruments from selected instruments in the Museum collection. You will have the opportunity to learn about basic repairs, tunings, construction refinements, efficiency, and pricing values. You will have the opportunity to experience some of the accordion types, in various construction styles and brands of manufacture. You may bring your own instrument for assessment.
The accordions and concertinas preserved in A World of Accordions Museum show the entire history of the development of the instrument family, the construction types, innovations, tunings, performance capabilities, and content variations. Understanding of the characteristics all accordions have in common, the basic principles on which they work, the component parts of how they work comprise your first insights into repair and maintenance as we investigate chosen instruments.
Students will observe the necessary tools of the trade (bring your favorite hand-tools if you choose to disassemble your own instrument). Topics that will be covered include the following: basic cleaning and maintenance, sectional disassembly, treble and bass machine adjustments, reed waxing and aperture leathers replacement, bellows repair, gasketry, grills, and celluloid/cosmetic work.
Many people have unclear or mistaken ideas concerning tuning and reeds, and appropriate terminology. Students of the seminar discover many factors that are involved in reed-quality classifications and how they affect the instrument and the player. Reed banks vs reed blocks, "dry" (concert) tuning, "wet" (musette) tuning are topics that will be explained. You will have the opportunity to try your hand at tuning a reed.
The class will learn the salient characteristics of the two large divisions within the accordion family of instruments: chromatic and diatonic. Chromatic accordions include piano accordions, button chromatic accordions, English concertina and Chromatic Bandonion. Diatonic accordions include button diatonics in one-row through four-row varieties, Anglo concertina, Chemnitz concertina, and Bandoneon. Some of the most popular hybrid instruments will also be mentioned. The five categories of quality-definition, "world-class"- "fine"-"professional"-"intermediate"- "student," instruments will be surveyed, attending to specific criteria of construction and artistic capacities. Basic principles of music theory, directed toward understanding instrument construction, will be reviewed. Recognition of construction eras, brand names and countries of origin will be stressed. Pricing and appraising will also be discussed.
Admission to this seminar is limited. Please register by February 15, 2015 by sending us your contact information and check or money order for $100.00.  Some specialty tools are available for purchase at the seminar, as well as the book 'Inside the Accordion'.
You may reach the director, Dr. Helmi Strahl Harrington by phone (Museum landline 715-395-2787 or cell 218-393-0245) or by e-mail at accordion@sprynet.com