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I really love the sound of tango and I'd like to buy a bandoneon.

With the relationship but seeming distinct existence from the Concertina, I don't know how to identify which kind of Concertina/Bandoneon would be able to give me that Tango sound. Can a 20 key C/G do it? a 30 key? Is the 142-note bisoronal the only choice? Which characteristics are required and acceptable?

Also, are these characteristics available in a non-professional instrument? I am an amateur player and can't justify a $3000+ purchase for an instrument I'll probably never be any good at. Yet, I don't want to buy the wrong kind that has a more Irish sound.

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This was running the risk of being closed as a shopping rec question. I've attempted to bring it on-topic without changing the original intent. –  NReilingh Aug 27 '12 at 15:11

1 Answer 1

The term concertina has come to be used for two different families of instruments, both of which evolved out of earlier free-reed instruments.

By 20 (or 30) key C/G you refer to is an Anglo concertina; this style of concertina (along with English and Duet styles) are most closely associated with Irish traditional music (as well as other Northern European folk styles). These instruments are not traditionally used for playing tangos, and it may be difficult to achieve all of the expected stylistic features of tango music with this class of concertina.

The bandoneon, which is closely related to the chemnitzer concertina, are essentially a completely different type of instrument.

ConcertinaMusic.com (a Chmnitzer site) has a nice timeline of free-reed instruments which gives the pedigree of these types of instruments.

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