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The Remarkable History of the Advent of Paolo Soprani Accordions

By Lili Gomes @_roselili

Paolo Soprani AccordionsAn accordion is regarded as the traditional symbol of Ireland and plays profound emotional significance for Irish people and also for the Italians. The modern accordion as we see today did not look anything like itself when a certain man named Paolo Soprani first set his eyes on it.

It all started when a pilgrim from Austria while returning home stopped by a farmhouse in Castelfidardo and seeked shelter. After he was invited in, he sat by the fireside and began to play on something that young Paolo thought was a strange box. The musical instrument was actually a replica of the device patented by Mr.Demian in 1829, in Vienna. It is said that one night, out of curiosity, young Paolo woke up from his slumber and studied the mechanism of the ‘strange box’.

It was not until 1864, when Paolo Soprani opened up a small workshop at his house with some assistance from his brothers. After a few years, he shifted to a larger residence and also employed a handful of workers. He created an accordion that he called ‘armoniche’ and sold it in markets and fairs. He also went to Loreto to exhibit his creation. The armoniche marked the birth of Paolo Soprani accordions.

In the year 1872, Paolo Soprani decided to shift to the middle of Castelfidardo, and when there, he started a factory in Piazza Garibaldi. The instruments he made became very popular among the peasants who often danced to popular music. Gradually, Paolo Soprani started receiving requests from other nations of Europe and soon his instruments were being imported by other continents as well. As the demand started increasing for his unique accordions, Paolo Soprani felt the need for more labourers and a bigger factory. Therefore, he established a new and larger workshop with the help of his sons Achille and Luigi, where he employed some 400 workers.

Paolo Soprani achieved huge success in Paris when his company was acknowledged at a fair, in 1900. He was honoured with a memebership of two academies for inventors, one in Paris and the other in Bruxelles.

With progress of time, Paolo Soprani accordions have swiftly made their way into the 21st century as well. There are different variants available in the market including diatonic accordions, button accordions and piano accordions, with the most modern features. The Paolo Soprani have had a major significance in keeping alive the tradition of accordions in Ireland.


The Remarkable History of the Advent of Paolo Soprani Accordions

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