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The Bandoneón: The Rising of an International Star

Author: sounding images

The bandoneon has achieved worldwide fame as a tango instrument. However, it is so much more than that!

  • The Bandoneon | Copyright: © deBunt Film

    The Bandoneon © deBunt Film

European immigrants introduced it to Argentina in about 1900, where it would become the central element of tango, though it already possessed a decades-long history. The very popular "miner's piano" was originally developed and built in Germany and served as a portable organ at church processions or was played underground for dancing after work.

Musically, the bandoneon has far more to offer than just the tango: from Bach's fugues to traditional miners' songs, from the Threepenny Opera to Argentinian bandoneon hard rock, from French chansons to contemporary classical music. All of these varied music genres feature in this film. They are played by a diverse range of people who broaden the prevailing image of this “tango instrument” in refreshing ways.

This lively film collage, shot in Germany, France and Argentina, supplemented by largely unpublished archive material, clears up outdated clichés. We will show the bandoneon for what it is: a highly complex instrument with a broad, deeply touching sound spectrum and a diverse musical repertoire, an extremely diverse international community of musicians and fans, as well as an eventful global history that once began in the countryside of Germany.

Length 52 min
Authors Wiebke Pöpel & Helena Rüegg

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