History of the Roland V-Accordion

 Around  the mid 19th century,  an invention consisting of bellows and a free-reed mechanism appeared in central Europe. A completely new musical  instrument was born: the accordion. This new instrument deeply influenced the popular  music of the time and brought a large number of people closer to the world of music. To meet the many different demands of the numerous local musicians, accordions became more and more diverse through the decades, never resulting in a standardized musical  instrument. This meant that it was practically impossible to make an electronic version  of the accordion, as the instrument would need to consist of a very complicated mechanism in a cabinet that was still compact  and very easy to carry around.

In 1967 Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder  of Roland Corporation, a leading manufacturer of electronic musical  instruments, travelled  to Italy and had the chance to meet some accordion craftsmen in the city of Castelfidardo in Le Marche, known worldwide as the birthplace of the accordion manufacturing industry.

He was so fascinated by this instrument that he bought  two accordions to bring home and started to cherish  the dream of creating  an electronic accordion.

This dream was also supported by Francesco  Rauchi and Luigi Bruti in Roland Europe S.p.A., members of the Roland Corporation group located in Acquaviva Picena, in the Marche region.

Thanks to the advanced results  of their state-of-the-art research and development processes, Roland finally  achieved another milestone in the history of digital  musical  instruments: the V- Accordion, or “Virtual Accordion”, equipped  with a powerful digital  modelling technology.

(La prematura scomparsa di Francesco Rauchi non gli ha permesso di toccare con mano quel sogno diventato realtà, ed in sua memoria i modelli della linea V-Accordion sono stati identificati con la sigla “FR”.). Texto sin traducir…

The V-Accordion blends the Italian tradition of musical  culture with Japanese cutting edge digital  technology, combining Le Marche’s traditional accordion craftsmanship with contemporary electronic musical  applications.

To reach this goal Roland established close relationships with the craftsmen and technicians of the accordion manufacturing companies in Castelfidardo and its surrounding area.

Roland was able to perfectly reproduce the accordion sounds  by using Roland’s  unique digital  technology, “Physical Behaviour Modelling“, which does not alter the way essential  components, such as the bellows, are used. Air is still pumped by the bellows in a totally  authentic way, but activates  a high-definition pressure  sensor, instead of reeds. Roland thus designed  an innovative accordion without disrupting either its traditional nature or the musical  technique required  to play it.

As mentioned above, the accordion is not a standardized musical instrument; there are different types of accordion for different musical  genres and also for different countries. The V- Accordion can faithfully reproduce all the various  models of traditional accordion, including their different tuning  features. Consequently, you can change a V-Accordion immediately from an Italian accordion into a French musette, a jazz accordion or a bandoneon. This means that an accordionist who plays different musical  genres or wants to explore new sound frontiers doesn’t  need several acoustic accordions – just one V- Accordion.

Thanks to its remarkable  flexibility, the V-Accordion can also be configured in many different ways and also provides easy access to various  free-bass systems  from some of the most expensive  and heavy accordions.

While developing the V-Accordion, Roland’s  engineers  thought: “Why not utilise  the bellows to play other sounds  often available in electronic instruments such as the Violin, Trumpet, or Sax?” That’s why, as well as accordion sounds,  the V-Accordion has several orchestral tones that the accordionist can play with unprecedented expressiveness, thanks to the control that the bellows have over the sound of these tones.

As it is a digital  instrument, the V-Accordion is naturally open to the world of MIDI, allowing it to be connected to other electronic instruments or to a computer for sharing  sounds  and data. Many accordionists had long been dreaming  of this possibility, but it had previously been extremely  complicated and expensive  to add a MIDI interface  to an acoustic accordion.

Indeed, it is not the only accordionists’ dreams that have been fulfilled by the V-Accordion: because it can be listened  to using headphones, it is possible to study or practise  without disturbing people nearby. There is also no need for continuous maintenance, such as tuning  the reeds.

Moreover, thanks to its audio output  sockets,  the V-Accordion can be easily connected to an external amplification system without timbre  alteration or risks of unwanted  “feedback” effects, so common  when an acoustic accordion is amplified using microphones, especially for accordionists playing  on stage.

When all is said and done, the V-Accordion is not intended  to replace the traditional accordion but to complement it and expand its sound potential, while keeping expressive features unchanged and without losing  that particular feeling you get when playing  and holding a true musical  instrument in your arms.

Storia Della Fisarmonica e Della V-Accordion

Intorno alla metà del XIX secolo in Europa centrale comparve un’ invenzione composta da un mantice e da un meccanismo ad ancia libera. Nacque così uno strumento del tutto nuovo: la fisarmonica. Lo strumento ebbe un grande impatto nell’ambito della musica popolare dell’epoca e contribuì ad avvicinare alla musica un gran numero di persone. La fisarmonica, divenuta col tempo sempre più versatile per venire incontro alle esigenze locali di ciascun paese, non è stata mai uno strumento standardizzato. Data la complessità del meccanismo e la facilità di trasporto della fisarmonica acustica, è sembrato per molto tempo impossibile realizzarne un equivalente elettronico.

Nel 1967, durante un viaggio in Italia,  Ikutaro Kakehashi, fondatore della Roland Corporation, azienda leader nel settore degli strumenti musicali elettronici, ebbe modo di incontrare alcuni artigiani del settore operanti nella zona di Castelfidardo, e rimase affascinato da questo strumento, tanto da portarsene a casa due, covando per lungo tempo la speranza di poter realizzare una fisarmonica elettronica.

Speranza sostenuta successivamente anche da Francesco Rauchi e Luigi Bruti di Roland Europe, realtà del gruppo Roland in Europa, che ha sede nelle Marche, ad Acquaviva Picena.

A seguito dei grandi progressi ottenuti con la tecnologia digitale, Roland ha introdotto un’altra pietra miliare nella storia degli strumenti musicali digitali: la V-Accordion, ovvero la “Fisarmonica Virtuale” uno strumento dotato di una potente tecnologia di modellazione digitale.

La prematura scomparsa di Francesco Rauchi non gli ha permesso di toccare con mano quel sogno diventato realtà, ed in sua memoria i modelli della linea V-Accordion sono stati identificati con la sigla “FR”.

La V-Accordion è il frutto della sinergia fra fantasia italiana e tecnologia giapponese, fra la tradizione marchigiana nel settore delle fisarmoniche e l’elettronica applicata agli strumenti musicali.

Per raggiungere questo obiettivo la Roland, ha instaurato una stretta collaborazione con gli artigiani ed i tecnici delle aziende produttrici di fisarmoniche della zona di Castelfidardo.

Si è così riuscito a riprodurre perfettamente le sonorità della fisarmonica mediante avanzate tecniche digitali di “modellazione fisica del suono“, mantenendo comunque inalterato l’utilizzo di alcuni componenti essenziali quali il mantice, la cui aria opportunamente convogliata non eccita più le ance ma un sensibilissimo sensore di pressione ad alta definizione.

La Roland ha realizzato una fisarmonica innovativa senza stravolgere la natura tradizionale dello strumento né la tecnica usata per poterla suonare.

La V-Accordion può riprodurre fedelmente i vari modelli di fisarmoniche tradizionali, incluse le loro diverse caratteristiche di accordatura. Di conseguenza, può tramutarsi immediatamente in una fisarmonica italiana, in una musette francese, in fisarmonica jazz o in un bandoneon.

Questo strumento non intende sostituire la fisarmonica tradizionale, ma essere complementare ad essa, ampliandone gli orizzonti sonori, pur mantenendone le caratteristiche di espressività e quel particolare feeling di uno strumento che si suona “abbracciandolo”.

fuente: accordions.com

más información: Roland/Dallape

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