music notes

What is a Bandoneón?

If you've ever heard Tango music, you've heard The Bandoneón. At first, perhaps you don't even notice it until perhaps you hear a few bars playing as a solo instrument. Then, suddenly, you get it— and you are never the same. It changes your hearing and your feeling and gives you a truer sense of pitch. It envelops you in a pensive, but warm and evocative soundscape. Like a blanket it comforts you from the world outside. It draws you in. It grows a deeper relationship between you and Tango.

This unique reed instrument is also a sublime technical achievement. It was the invention of Heinrich Band who, at age 29 in December 1850 put the first one on sale in his shop in Krefeld, Germany.

Personally, I loved this instrument from the moment I saw it and got to hear six of them played live simultaneously while visiting Buenos Aires. The unique sound drew me in and captivated me forever.

So, explore this website and discover the history of The Bandoneón, how it works technically, more about its origins and how it got to Argentina to become the main instrument of every Tango Ensemble. Discover its elegance, intricacy of sound and beauty.

"Retintin" by Eduardo Arolas and played by Anibal Troilo.