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Author Topic: Savoia Giorgio, Bozzetti, other makers of San Giovanni in Croce, Cremona  (Read 2487 times)

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pgroff

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Hi all,

Is anyone here an expert on the early work of these makers from San Giovanni in Croce, Cremona?  I would be very interested to learn more about their history and their tradition of accordion making.

Savoia Giorgio is often mentioned among the earliest Italian accordion makers, with a date of 1860 given here:
http://www.accordions.com/articles/chronology.aspx

A beautiful Savoia Giorgio & Figli (semidiatonica?) is shown here:
http://www.coralesfrancescodapaola.it/images/stories/mostre/fisarmoniche/fisarmoniche08-mostra003.JPG
http://www.coralesfrancescodapaola.it/mostre/fisarmoniche/details/41-mostra-di-fisarmoniche.html


Some of the history of the firms Savoia Giorgio, Savoia Giorgio & Figli, Luigi Savoia, and others is given in La Lanterna No. 80, Dicembre 2007, pp.  6 -7:

http://www.yumpu.com/it/document/view/16398360/la-lanterna-na80-dicembre-2007-fondazione-sanguanini

A well-loved small Bozzetti organetto (lateral basses?) is illustrated here (figure 7):

http://htmlimg3.scribdassets.com/2lxba5b9s02byiva/images/18-f18519bba7.jpg
http://www.academia.edu/3341194/Gli_strumenti_musicali_del_Museo_Ettore_Guatelli_di_Ozzano_Taro

A beautiful small semitonata (with stop? possibly with the bass side repaired or converted to lateral basses?) from San Giovanni in Croce, whose maker's label is too small to read, is shown in the gallery here:

http://media-public.pmm.rtsi.ch/media/object/rtsi/3e4e5d08-83c7-4858-8727-d209d13c438a/?width=670&height=502

http://retedue.rsi.ch/home/networks/retedue/jazz/2009/05/04/leydi.audio?selectedImage=3e4e5d08-83c7-4858-8727-d209d13c438a

Others are illustrated in the books, Galbiati & Ciravegna, "Le Fisarmoniche," and (I believe) in Monichon, L'Accordéon.

Thanks to anyone who can tell us more, add other examples of similar instruments, and fill in the history of other makers of this area.

Paul Groff

edited to add:  I started another thread about a Carlo Benvenuti box, in case there is any interest in examining that one more closely:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,13606





« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 12:35:17 AM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Savoia Giorgio, Bozzetti, other makers of San Giovanni in Croce, Cremona
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 12:50:49 PM »

Here's a more detailed look at a beautifully-made Savoia Luigi box from 1926 (or earlier?):

http://bandonion.info/en/solo,IV-61.htm

There's a lot to see and understand including the interesting unisoric lateral basses. But my interest at the moment is the melody-side layout.

The two melody rows are described as diatonic, and in the keys of A and Eb major!  Now, I haven't seen this instrument but trusting for the moment that this is correct.

That interval, an augmented fourth, is equivalent to a fourth plus a semitone.  For comparison with the D/G/accidental melodeons that are often discussed on this forum, those keys of A/Eb are comparable to a transposition of D/G# (enharmonic and temperament issues aside, for now), or "D/G/G# minus the G row."  D/G#, or A/Eb would cover all the 12 notes of a typical chromatic scale. 

Of course if played across the melody rows, this system would finger very differently than a D/G or the semi-tone tuned chromatic systems such as B/C, C/C#, C#/D, D/D#, or D/C#, C/B etc. 

One advantage of a D/G# or A/Eb system, for a 2-row box, compared to the semitone systems such as B/C that also cover all 12 tones in 2 diatonic rows:  the D/G# or A/Eb when played only on one row at a time would allow more of a contrast in the sound between the two rows available. 

On the semitone boxes such as B/C, D/D#, D/C# etc we know there are 2 notes in each octave that are present on both melody rows, but in different bellows directions (the notes B and E, for a B/C box; F# and C# for a C#/D, etc).  This assumes that the temperament is equal or well-tempered (12 tones, recirculating).

For a D/G# melody system, given the above assumptions, the 2 duplicated notes would be G and C#.  For an A/Eb system, the 2 duplicated notes would be D and Ab.  If the temperament is mean-tone or another temperament where enharmonics are not equivalent or there are more than 12 tones to the octave, then G# does not equal Ab (etc) so these duplicate notes might not apply.

PG

edited:  compare with an earlier discussion on this forum about a G/C# layout, proposed by Chris:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,8006

edited March 18, 2019 to update a link
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 12:02:42 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Re: Savoia Giorgio, Bozzetti, other makers of San Giovanni in Croce, Cremona
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 03:17:35 PM »

There's an interesting Luigi Savoia box on ebay now.  This could possibly be a C/B or G/F# (or similar semitone box) with stradella bass, comparable to the Benvenuti Carlo discussed here:


http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,13606

The current ebay Luigi Savoia:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ancien-accordeon-Luigi-Savoia-/311172524286

PG

edited to add: more recent listing of the Luigi Savoia. This auction is expired, but there's still a live link on June 11, 2015. Will post photo below for posterity:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/311354505859
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 04:44:51 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Updating this thread with another interesting instrument from San Giovanni in Croce.

This Luigi Savoia 3-row box in CFE, MMM, is dated to 1913, and is very original. Shown below in comparison to the Carlo Benvenuti G/F# box.

This Savoia in my photos below is somewhat similar to two other instruments shown and described from major european collections:

1. Giorgio Savoia "chromatic"

https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/09102/_CM_0938815.html

2. Luigi Savoia (former collection of Oriwohl, R. I. P.):

http://bandonion.info/en/solo,IV-61.htm

The Giorgio Savoia instrument in the first link is described as "chromatic," but may have been made as a mixte instrument and later converted. According to accordion historian Béatus Zimmerman (personal communication), the early Croce Cremona instruments were mixte, but were often converted to chromatics (with unisonoric melody reeds) in the years when the chromatic accordion was first becoming popular. Note that the Giorgio Savoia has had its long, diatonic-style, air lever removed.

The Savoia Luigi instrument from the Oriwohl collection, in the second link above, is described as in the keys of A and Eb (if I'm interpreting the german correctly). Now, I'm not entirely certain that this description is correct for the Oriwohl Luigi Savoia.

Both the Carlo Benvenuti and the Luigi Savoia instrument shown in my photos below have "relative layout" of notes in the inner two rows of buttons that are nearly identical to one another; the Benvenuti in G/F# and the Savoia in (C)/F/E, but there are some slightly anomalous notes in both of them in the lowest octave, compared to more common diatonic layouts, that could lead to confusion.  So it's possible that the layout of the instrument in the Oriwohl collection was misinterpreted.

PG
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 02:51:46 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Another instrument, "maker anonymous" but apparently from the tradition of San Giovanni in Croce, is documented at the link shown below (visit the link for many photos and full description, in french). This seems to be the same small (but not necessarily early) instrument that was illustrated as "one of the first mixte accordions" in Pierre Monichon's book, "L'accordéon."

https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/09102/_CM_0937342.html



« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 11:22:52 PM by pgroff »
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pgroff

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Another Savoia Luigi accordion was listed for auction recently. This seems to me to be an early one, possibly earlier than the date suggested in the listing ("ca 1920," sic). Note the very square bellows corners and the simple hooks attaching bellows frames to the wooden casework. This instrument seems to be diatonic on both right and left sides, and somewhat resembles some models of Swiss Langnauerli  (a predecessor of the Schwyzerörgeli). I'll attach a couple of photos from the auction, since this link may eventually expire:

https://auction.catawiki.com/kavels/16466647-organetto-savoia-luigi-fabbricazione-d-armoniche-san-giovanni-in-croce-cremona-italia-a-sei-bassi-epoca-1920-circa




« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 11:07:03 PM by pgroff »
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