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Author Topic: Hohner identification & age (removed Pokerwork from subject - as it isn't!)  (Read 3878 times)

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David Summers

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Hi All,

Just bought myself an accordion, just for the fun of it. Found a good Hohner Pokerwork on ebay, thats had the major bits replaced, and in BC (which I wanted, as hopefully I'll be able to play in any key with work - yes against english tradition - but like the idea of semitones apart).

Anyway usual question here, can it age be identified? I haven't yet received it so just have the ebay pictures, and looks like quite an old model. So any ideas before I get it?

Regards,

David.


Its going to be fun learning the device ;)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 10:31:09 PM by David Summers »
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playandteach

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Re: Hohner Pokerwork identification
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 12:23:44 AM »

This is the model I first started on.  I particularly liked the very long bellows and the honking bass. Although mine was BbEb (t'wasn't mine at all of course)
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Peadar

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Re: Hohner Pokerwork identification
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 07:47:00 AM »

First off - it is not a Pokerwork.   Pokerwork is a style of embossd decoration, applied in Gold on a black ground to thousands (mllions???) of  post war Hohner melodeons of various model numbers with stradella cornered case work,  These included the single row spoonbase HA112/113/114 models and the Stradella  bassed (bass buttons set into the casework)  single row 1040. These are all catalogue model numbers. However the definitive "Pokerwork" is the two row.....and I have no idea what "number" was allocated to to those.

The "Laurel Wreath" decoration on yours is I believe pre-war, possibly early 1930's. Many of the Hohner model numbers differ from others only in their detailing. The wooden keyboard with a steel cover plate is I think also a 1920's/30's feature. That particular decoration yours has was also produced in White (Gold decals on white painted box). I think you wiillalso  find that it is a slightly different size to the pokerwork models. A 45 degree stagger between the two rows of bass buttons is also I beileve an indicator of earlier manufacture (not clear from the photos.)

But you are dead right- melodeons are a fun instrument. And yours predates the development of the modern English D/G tuning. It looks a grand yoke altogether.

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Theo

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Re: Hohner Pokerwork identification
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 08:24:18 AM »

Quite correct it’s not a Pokerwork,  but to be strictly accurate Hohner never used the “Pokerwork” as a model name.

Yours is a different model but is the same size and shape as the modern “Pokerwork” and most parts are interchangeable.  Yours is a better quality version and if it still has the original reeds they are likely to be very good quality, responsive and with a lovely warm tone that is unique.  By the sound of it the original reeds have been replaced,  I hope that the replacements are equally good.

I agree that it’s most likely 1930s,  possibly 40s.

What are the major bits that have been replaced?
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Tone Dumb Greg

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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Hohner Pokerwork identification
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 09:58:11 AM »

Same beastie but in white, as Theo said they were mostly in either black or white, with the gold spray. I have one sitting in a shelf near to hand, which is in B/E

SJ
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: Hohner Club Modell 1. Bb/Eb, de-clubbed : Early Hohner Pressed Wood A/D : Hagstrom G/C: Hohner 3515 C/F: 1930's Varnished wood G/C: Hohner 2915 B/E: Hohner Erika C/F: Hohner Pre Corso C/F : G/C Liliput: Bandoneon tuned D/G Pressed wood:

David Summers

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Re: Hohner Pokerwork identification
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 10:01:45 AM »

Theo and Peader, thanks for the excellent feedback. Yes although sold as a Pokerwork, I'm not surprised that its not - as much as anything very different grill structure.

Ebay posting said new leather bits, new bellows gasket, and new dural reeds. I'm interested as well to see how well it has been done.

Browsing way back through this forum, someone posted a similar picture with model number 3515 - don't know if that makes sense.

Anyway just a quick glance and could see it was an old model; but surprised it looks like a 1930/40 model. Guess this means that it may well have an odd bass system?

Should hopefully get it this weekend, then I'll learn more :)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 10:20:50 AM by David Summers »
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Peadar

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One of the things I love about Melnet are the copious opportunities it gives me to put my foot in my mouth...

Sitting in the workshop a "Back burner" project for the winter is this white AD. Externally has seen a lot more (ab) use than David's, and it is in white,   but otherwise I think it is the same model.. and as I have just discovered takes a Pokerwork sized grille (270 x 115 mm).  It looks to be the same model as Greg has spotted.
If all the reeds have been  replaced at once  then likely to have a normal (present day) chord arrangement.







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David Summers

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well its arrived. And yes it does look like 90 years old, but in very good condition. The metal work has huge marking on it ...

All leatherwork  is very new, like looks like it hasn't been used since mounted. The bass seems to be modern set up, anyway the 2 D's are the same, and going up through the notes just about fits in. Hadn't realised that the chords are up on octave! Bottom of the right has side says "GC" I think, but looks like it is BC as described (well the B and E that are on both the B and C key seem the same.

One of the base buttons is new, so thats been replaced, rest clearly some some age in them.

Sound, well as its my first accordion can't say if they are truly excellent - but they are certainly good. some notes are a bit slow to start (e.g. the bass in places). I don't plan to open this up and look, until I get used to the device.

Its clear I need some practice to change notes, so is it going up and down the octaves on the C line, then on the B line. Then slowly changing keys as I get used to it. Or should I do tunes "165454216 16544345 165454216 12543234 14254333323456 142543333234"?
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tirpous

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Quote
Browsing way back through this forum, someone posted a similar picture with model number 3515 - don't know if that makes sense.

Yes, that's a 3515 you have.
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george garside

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, so is it going up and down the octaves on the C line, then on the B line. Then slowly changing keys as I get used to it. Or should I do tunes "165454216 16544345 165454216 12543234 14254333323456 142543333234"?

to me the easiest way to get the basic hang of playing a BC box is to learn anad practice scales ( as do players of many other instruments)  Start with om the row scales i.e in B & C starting on the 3rd button push .( same fingering on each row. then try simple a tune or two.

next have a go at the scale of G obviously starting on G on the C row (keyboard chart is on this forum)  then repeat as above

next the D scale 

then the A scale

there are 2 notes available on both push and pull  i.e. B and E   go back to the tunes you have already played and experiment using the alternative B & E which are useful both to control the bellows opening and also to ease some trickyh fingering.

that should keep you going for some time!

george ;)
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David Summers

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Thanks George,

So do scales in 2 octaves where possible (e.g. C and B); where only one octave possible (e.g. F) just do one, or start from the second? I guess just do major keys first, as minor is just a case of starting a minor third down.

Slowly move round the keys in the circle of fifths, so adding one sharp or one flat at a time.

With cross fingering, do that in scales as well? Eg in G for the sequence DEF#G do both Pull-Push-Push-Push and Pull-Pull-Push-Push, where the second is better in scales, but in music may be better doing the Push E, so learn both?
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David Summers

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Re: Hohner Pokerwork identification
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2019, 08:06:31 PM »

This is the model I first started on.  I particularly liked the very long bellows and the honking bass. Although mine was BbEb (t'wasn't mine at all of course)
See what you mean about the bass. Reading up on it, the pokerwork and I presume this 3515 have the base made up of a very low octave, and a mid octave? I'm going to have to open the box at some stage just to see the reeds installed ...
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David Summers

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And whilst posting - any suggestions for a case to get for this beast, its lasted 90 years so far, and would be good to see it go another 90 ...
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george garside

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I find the major keys  easier on a Bc  and the minor keys easier on a CC#.  that is because  you simply use the  same fingering so eg  the key of G on a BC is the same fingering as Ab  a CC# box. same goes for keys of D & Eb etc etc.  ( on a BCC# box you get 12 keys for 5 scales plus lots of alternative direction notes to help control bellows direction- the smallest BCC# box is the hohner trichord  wihich is the same size as a corona)

As tto the choice of pull or push for B & E   learn the scales first using one of these and once you have got that right try using the opposite direction B & E  with the objective of being able to use whichever provides the easiest fingering for a particular part of a particular tune or to stop the bellows going ever outwards!

george
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Peadar

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GC on the side of the fingerboard is almost certainly telling you that the box was manufactured s a GC and then converted to BC by changing th reeds. (I get the impression that there is an English cottage industry based on converting 2 row melodeons of all known tunings to DG....there's probably also an Irish diaspora cottge industry converting boxes to BC)
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Stiamh

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Thanks George,

So do scales in 2 octaves where possible (e.g. C and B); where only one octave possible (e.g. F) just do one, or start from the second? I guess just do major keys first, as minor is just a case of starting a minor third down.

Slowly move round the keys in the circle of fifths, so adding one sharp or one flat at a time.

With cross fingering, do that in scales as well? Eg in G for the sequence DEF#G do both Pull-Push-Push-Push and Pull-Pull-Push-Push, where the second is better in scales, but in music may be better doing the Push E, so learn both?

If I were you I would stop after exploring the D and G scales and learn some tunes. Moving "round the keys in the circle of fifths" is a noble endeavour but assuming you want to use the instrument to play a particular kind of music, I don't think you should delay starting to play tunes.

Mind you, I know a man, a former member of this forum, who spent many hours practising scales on his 3-row ADG, learning all the different ways of playing them smoothly across the rows. He got very good at it. Much better at it than actually playing tunes on the instrument, at which he was decidely less impressive. He seemed quite happy to carry on that way. Maybe you would be?  8)

Assuming you wouldn't, turn to tunes. If you decide to learn a new tune in a key you haven't tackled before, that would be a good point at which to learn the scale concerned. Equally important would be to practise arpeggios in each key as well as the scale (going up and going down).

Mastering all the scales and playing in remote keys can come later.

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george garside

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Thanks George,

So do scales in 2 octaves where possible (e.g. C and B); where only one octave possible (e.g. F) just do one, or start from the second? I guess just do major keys first, as minor is just a case of starting a minor third down.

Slowly move round the keys in the circle of fifths, so adding one sharp or one flat at a time.

With cross fingering, do that in scales as well? Eg in G for the sequence DEF#G do both Pull-Push-Push-Push and Pull-Pull-Push-Push, where the second is better in scales, but in music may be better doing the Push E, so learn both?

If I were you I would stop after exploring the D and G scales and learn some tunes. Moving "round the keys in the circle of fifths" is a noble endeavour but assuming you want to use the instrument to play a particular kind of music, I don't think you should delay starting to play tunes.

Mind you, I know a man, a former member of this forum, who spent many hours practising scales on his 3-row ADG, learning all the different ways of playing them smoothly across the rows. He got very good at it. Much better at it than actually playing tunes on the instrument, at which he was decidely less impressive. He seemed quite happy to carry on that way. Maybe you would be?  8)

Assuming you wouldn't, turn to tunes. If you decide to learn a new tune in a key you haven't tackled before, that would be a good point at which to learn the scale concerned. Equally important would be to practise arpeggios in each key as well as the scale (going up and going down).

Mastering all the scales and playing in remote keys can come later.
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David Summers

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If I were you I would stop after exploring the D and G scales and learn some tunes. Moving "round the keys in the circle of fifths" is a noble endeavour but assuming you want to use the instrument to play a particular kind of music, I don't think you should delay starting to play tunes.

Mind you, I know a man, a former member of this forum, who spent many hours practising scales on his 3-row ADG, learning all the different ways of playing them smoothly across the rows. He got very good at it. Much better at it than actually playing tunes on the instrument, at which he was decidely less impressive. He seemed quite happy to carry on that way. Maybe you would be?  8)

Assuming you wouldn't, turn to tunes. If you decide to learn a new tune in a key you haven't tackled before, that would be a good point at which to learn the scale concerned. Equally important would be to practise arpeggios in each key as well as the scale (going up and going down).

Mastering all the scales and playing in remote keys can come later.
Struth no! I'm already counting as I do the scales, so I can try and ram in my brain which are tones and which semitones. Then can move onto thirds and forths, and fifths. And at that stage there is a hope to pay tunes by ear ....
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Peadar

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I know you want to play English Music but I would recomend David Hanrattan's "The Box" as a good get-you-going book for an adult learner. It walks you through a first few tunes - OK they are Irish but learning any tunes - or even just sight reading them helps you find your way round the keyboard....covering the ground that the first few pages of all the DG melodeon tutorial books do (but for the BC) you can then use any of the tutorial books for English melodeon as a tune resource.

Iam using the books the other way round- i.e. with 1 rows and an AD 2 row "The Box" is a graded tune resource for learning tunes, but told me nothing about how to find keys on the board.
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