Heinrich Band and the Rheinische Tonlage

The musician, music teacher and dealer Heinrich Band (1821 – 1860) from Krefeld is not the inventor of the bandoneon without a doubt. Rather, one can regard him as THE person who has contributed significantly to the technical and sound improvement of these instruments – at the time still a concertina or accordion. Last but not least, the excellent marketing and distribution of this instrument is thanks to him. His most important changes to the concertina are, on the one hand, the new arrangement of the tones, which was then called the Rheinische Tonlage (today also often referred to as the Argentinian layout). And on the other hand, the extension of the sound reeds from 1-chorus to 2-chorus, which are tuned octave to each other. He referred to these instruments as Bandonion and to this day they are the archetype of the Bandoneons.

Exactly this model was being spread throughout Germany and Europe until the 1920s as the 100-, 104-, 122- or even 130-tone Bandonion.
Parallel to this development in the early 21st century, an instrument grown up to 142 tones would make history in Argentina and Uruguay. With its unique sound it would change the still emerging music form of Tango radically.