The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.

Readers' Letters
Suggestions, Comments, Criticisms!

If you would like to respond to any of these letters,
or if you would like to send us a new letter, please use The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. Contact Form.

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March 17, 2010
Elaine Andaloro
Hope you can help me spread the accordion word.
The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival offers a 2-week study-performance opportunity in all art forms. Button Box and Beginning Piano Accordion classes are taught by Joe Smiell. Intermediate and Advanced Accordion taught by Uri Sharlin. July 18-Agust 1, 2010 on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus under the Midnight Sun. Fairbanks Alaska
Lots of people come from the mid-west to vacation in Alaska. This might be a great way to mix their love for accordion with an Alaskan vacation! Lots more information on the web site.

December 3, 2007
Anthony Kozar
Hello-- An interesting site -- thank you! I thought you might be interested to know that a few pipe organ builders have sometimes included free reed stops in their instruments. So, not all organ reed stops are beating reads (sic). Free reed stops are rare because they do not stay in tune well with the rest of the organ (the other pipes change pitch with temperature but the free reeds do not).
An example of their use however can be found in the Steinmeyer organ at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, Pennsylvania. A brief description of the instrument is given here: The specification page lists the "4 Euphone" stop as being a free reed.

Robert Stead replies:

Thanks for the information. The image of the organ in the church is very beautiful!
Robert Stead

September 8, 2007
Hello, I am a musician who is very interested in asian free reed instruments, have just found your site which was very interesting... I was just wondering if you could help or put me in touch with anyone who can- as there seems to be a bit of a lack of easily findable information in general on such instruments! I have a khaen from thailand, some of the reeds arent playing properly, and one is broken. they seem to be very sensitive things...I'm a bit reluctant to heat it up too much or take it apart or anything in case I break the whole thing- and I'm not sure how I could get another one! I was also wondering if the range could be expanded by making extra holes in the bamboo, say with a soldering iron- but unsure about doing it in case the bamboo totally cracks-and not knowing where exactly the holes could be!
Anyway if you or anyone you know could help at would be really very much appreciated! any information about getting hold of other asian free reed instruments would also be very welcome...I am actually in japan at the moment but I believe it is incredibly expensive to buy a sho here. I dont know if one has to go to the places they are from or there is some sort of obscure second hand place somewhere...perhaps I am just hopelessly dreaming!
Well, hope to hear from you some time, thanks for your time reading this anyhow.

Robert Stead replies:

Perhaps one of our reader's can help you. If so, the reader can respond by way of our contact form.
Robert Stead

July 17, 2007
Marta Siermantowska
I am looking for anything that has been written on Richard Galliano's music and his influences. Maybe there is any book or articles about it? It would be great if any of the readers had any information. Just I dont feel there is enough online. Thanks a lot !

Robert Stead replies:

Perhaps one of our reader's can help you in your search. If so, the reader can respond by way of our contact form.
Robert Stead

June 18, 2007
Biljana Vitanovic
I study accordion at university in Pula (Croatia). I am playing Toccata op.2 by Zoran Bozanic, and I need some informations about this composer (his biography) but I can't find it anywhere. So I would be very greatful if You could help me and send me something about him.
Thank You very much

Robert Stead replies:

Perhaps one of our reader's can help you in your search. If so, the reader can respond by way of our contact form.
Robert Stead

March 30, 2007
Cheryl McGinley
I am looking for a copy [does not have to be an original] of Galla Rini's duet arrangement of Dance of the Comedians..does anybody know where I might find one?
Thank you

Robert Stead replies:

Off hand, we do not have access to a copy of this music. Perhaps one of our reader's can help you in your search. If so, the reader can respond by way of our contact form.
Robert Stead

March 23, 2007
Stefaan Walraet
I am looking for some Russian accordion sheet music books that are out of print--and also some important books.
If anyone has got information on these books and sheet music books, I would be very pleased to know.
You can contact me at:

1) Mirek Alfred, Garmonika, Proshloje i Nastajshtshyje, Interfks, Moskwa, Russia, 1994, 533 pp. ISBN 5-85235-091-5 (encyclopedia: history of accordion, producers, who\'s who in accordion, accordion associations, sources -- bibliography, discography, literature, books, manuals, translation of the title: HARMONICA, THE PAST AND THE FUTURE).

2) Alfred Mirek: Iz istorii akkordeona i bajana (1967)

3) Alfred Mirek: Gpravocnik po garmonikam (1968)

4) Wlodzimiercz Lech Puchnowski: An Outline of Accordion History in Poland, AMFC Warszawa, 1986

5) Wlodzimiercz Lech Puchnowski: Fingerings for the Button Accordion (Fonola Warszawa, 1993)

6) Wlodzimiercz Lech Puchnowski: Standardization of the Accordion, AMFC Warszawa, 1996

7) Nikolai Risol: Elementary Principles on Fingering on the Button Accordion
(Use of all 5 fingers of the right hand) (A book in Russian of about 280 pages published in Russia in 1977)

Author/Editor Title Year Editor/Publisher Place
Motov Vladimir Concert pieces for bayan 1963 Muzyka St-Petersburg
Motov Vladimir Ugrai moy bayan (Play my accordion) volume 14 1963   Moscow
Tchaikin Nikolai Concert pieces 1968 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Kamaldinov Georgi Pieces transcriptions and etudes 1971 Muzyka Moscow
Stojanov Anatoli Pieces for bayan 1971  Abakan
Onegin Alexei Concert pieces for bayan 1972 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Gorlov Nikolai Pieces transcriptions and etudes for bayan 1972 Muzyka Moscow
Stojanov Anatoli Concert Pieces 1972    
Tchaikin Nikolai Pieces arrangements and etudes for free bass accordion 1972 Muzyka Moscow
Kornev Vladimir Russian Folk Dances for bayan duet 1973   Moscow
Shishakov Yuri Folk Music from Tshubashin arranged for bayan and accordion (30) 1973 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Yaskevtich Ivan Virtuoso transcriptions for bayan 1973 Muzyka Ukraina Kiev
Kamaldinov Georgi Folk music from Mordovia (14 pieces) 1974 Muzyka Moscow
Tichonov Boris Pieces 1974 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Repnikov Albin Album of bayanist 1975 Sovietski Kompozit St-Petersburg
Gorlov Nikolai Concert pieces for bayan 1976 Muzyka Moscow
Poludnitsiv Alexander Pieces arranged for bayan 1976 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Poludnitsiv Alexander Siberian Folk Music 1976   Novossibirsk
Stojanov Anatoli Pieces and arrangements 1976    
Kamaldinov Georgi Pieces and arrangements for bayan 1977 Sovietski KompozitMoscow
Slepokourov Sergei Success pieces of Sergei Slepokourov 1979 Sovietski KompozitMoscow
Shenderev Georgi Pieces arranged for bayan 1979 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Dmitriev Alexander Popular pieces of bayanist Dmitriev 1980   Moscow
Dudnik Alexander Kubansk Folk Dances 1980 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Kornev Vladimir Quadrilles 1980   Moscow
Timoshenko Alexander Pieces and arrangements for bayan 1980   Moscow
Onegin Alexei Folk Songs and Dances for bayan 1982 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Kornev Vladimir Russian Folk Dances 1982   Moscow
Tichonov Boris Selected pieces for bayan 1982 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Gridin Viktor Concert pieces and transcriptions for bayan 1983 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Dudnik Alexander Folk Dances from Kubansk and Don Region voor free bass accordion 1983 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Timoshenko Alexander Concert program for bayanists Volume 2 1983   Moscow
Dudnik Alexander Concert pieces for free bass accordion 1984 Sovietski Kompozit Moscow
Timoshenko Alexander Concert program for bayanists Volume 3 1984   Moscow
Dmitriev Alexander Popular virtuoso pieces and transcriptions for bayan 1988   St-Petersburg
Dranga Yuri Concert repertoire for the accordionist 1991 MuzykaMoscow
Fedotov Vladimir Concert pieces for bayan 1998   Kazan
Dranga Yuri Popular pieces of Yuri Dranga 2001   Moscow
Timoshenko Alexander Concert Pieces for bayan volumes 17, 18, 34, 54, and 56 1969-1991   
Various authors Bibliotheca bayanista (Library of sheet Music for bayanists), many volumes

Robert Stead replies:

Perhaps one of our reader's can help you in your search. As you can see we have presented your list with your email address.
Robert Stead

January 1, 2007
Matthew Skoller
Even though you are clear about the fact that you are a classical music web site, you still are being historically inncorrect when you imply each diatonic harmonica was not played in multiple keys. The blues players were doing it in the 20's. They were playing complex rhythms and melodies on the diatonic harmonica in at least 3 different keys for each harmonica.

December 18, 2006
Paul Bender
I enjoyed very much Mr. Doktorski's explanation of each of the reed registers of the right hand manual for a 4-voice accordion. I found it very informative, and in combination with the sound clips, an ideal summary.
Could he possibly compose a similar summary for the left-hand manual of a 5-voice accordion? There seems to be little public information available at all regarding the reed registration of the left-hand manual, and few accordions (except perhaps some of the newer or higher-end instuments) even provide markings on the registration switches for the left hand. Even though the right hand registration seems to be of much greater interest and concern overall to most accordionists, it seems to me that the left hand registration is shrouded in much more mystery and is considerably different (conceptually) than the right hand registration. Anyway, anything you could to to provide insight regarding this subject would be much appreciated!
Thanks for the great resource!

Henry Doktorski replies:

Dear Paul Bender,
Thank you for your letter, and your kind words about my article published by the New Music Box about Accordion Registrations.
Your suggestion about a similar article about the left-hand registrations is excellent, as long as funding is available. I will write to the New Music Box and see if they are interested in commissioning another article from me.
In the meantime, perhaps you might find a copy of the book "A Collection of Lectures For Accordionists" by Anthony Galla-Rini (Music Graphics Press, San Diego: 1981). There is an excellent chapter titled "Bass Buttons, Chord Buttons and Registers" which might help to answer some of your questions.
Henry Doktorski

Accordionist, Pianist, Organist, Composer, Conductor, Author, Educator
Faculty Member: City Music Center at Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

November 18, 2006
Lee Randall
I would like permission to use the article "A Short History of the Free-Reed Instruments in Classical Music" by Henry Doktorski copyright 1998 and the image of Bushman's Aura from the archive of A. Mirek. I am working on the completion of a master's thesis. My thesis has a short history about harmonicas and then lists and describes Hohner Products available from 1900-1940. I am working on this thesis through the National Music Museum on the campus of the University of South Dakota which houses the Alan Bates harmonica collection. Thank you!


Dear Lee,
I would like to reply to you, however the email address that you supplied was incomplete. If you are still interested in the article, please send us your full email address (using our Contact Form).
Robert Stead

November 4, 2006
Ralf Bussmann
I live in southern Germany, I am 42 years old, music teacher and play the accordion for 36 years now. I own a sheng and I am sad that this instrument is not a common instrument in Germany.
I tried to understand the sound generation of the sheng. But inspite I searched very long, there are no informations in the web about the sound generation of the sheng although this instrument is so old!
I want to build sheng pipes. Do you know where I can receive reeds for the sheng? Do you have an adress or a website where I can order sheng reeds?
I would be very glad to receive an answer from you.
Best regards


Dear Ralf,
At this time we do not have any information for you. However, perhaps one of our readers will have some suggestions.
Robert Stead

July 27, 2006
Nigel Ward
Good afternoon. In August 2000, Mike O'Regan wrote an item for you entitled Reminiscences, Gibraltar, 1953 about his band TocH. Can you put him in touch with me please. The piano player, Sgt Peter Longman, is pictured using a Maestrovox keyboard which my wife's grandfather designed and built. We have recently dedicated a page on her website to the Maestrovox and are researching this now very rare instrument for more information. Mr O'Regan might be able to help or put us in touch with Mr Longman's descendents.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Nigel Ward


Dear Nigel,
We'll see what we can do to get you two together.
Robert Stead

July 18, 2006
Ilya Kleyn
Do you know of any place I can get transcriptions for free bass accordion of the major symphonic works, prefferably of the Romantic era (Wagner, Tchaikovsky etc)?
Thanks alot.


Dear Ilya,
I don't know of a "one-stop-shop" for such transcriptions, but I have found the Ernest Deffner Publications and the Berben Publication (Italy) to be a good source for music. Another possibe source would be Trevani (UK). You might want to take a look at their offerings.
Robert Stead

June 27, 2006
Beverly Moreno
I have just started researching info on our style 2239 Mason & hamlin organ and I was glad to see your site. If you can lead me anywhere else I'd appreciate it!
Thans, Bev

June 27, 2006
Diana Maher
Thank you for this comprehensive and well-organized resource. I heard Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble play last night in Chicago and was curious about the sheng which was featured in the concert (played by Wu Tong). Your site has answered many of my questions and led me to others.

May 2, 2006
Janey Castro
I recently purchased at auction a beautiful wooden box with a hinged lid. The inside looks like an accordian keyboard and button pad. The inside of the hinged box says "Petromilli". There was a cord which came out of the bottom of the instrument and there may have been feet. Do you have any idea where I can get more information on this instrument? Thank you so much for any help you can provide. I just discovered your site and it's wonderful.


Dear Janey
If you could send a picture, this may help us identify the instrument. If our readers have any information, we will pass it on to you.
Robert Stead

NOTE: Janey has sent some images of her instrument. Below you will find buttons to view the instrument, the chord panel, and the company emblem that appears on the instrument. If any of our readers can give us some information on this instrument, please send us a note using our Contact Form.
Robert Stead

May 1, 2006
Steven Cole
I liked your site

April 25, 2006
Red Walmsley
Just discovered your page - good stuff. Does anyone know where I can get the sheet music of Diero's (Pietro) "Flight of the Angels"?


Dear Red
We suggest that you contact Henry Doktorksi through his web site: Henry is an expert on the Deiro brothers and may be able to help you in your search.
Robert Stead

April 24, 2006
Jeff Waggoner
Dear Editor:
I recently have read old articles about the so-called "harmoneon" which was invented by Pierre Monichon in 1948. I understand that a few accordion companies, including Fratelli Crosio, Maugein, Cavegnola and Busato were manufacturing the instruments a decade or so ago. It was basically a chromatic accordion with a free bass system, but the bass side buttons were larger than the standard accordion bass buttons. I heard that the bass-side was designed on some of the accordions, so the bass notes could be played with fingers and thumb. My understanding is that it had some fairly vocal proponents as recently as the early 1990s, and there was an organization -- (the Union for the Promotion of Concert Accordion) -- founded by Alain Abbott, which supported the instruments use. But, as far as I know, the instrument isn\'t being made any more. Can you tell me what happened to the movement and the instrument?
Many thanks


Dear Jeff
This sounds very interesting. Perhaps one of our readers can help. If so, they will send us the information through our comment box [ The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. Contact Form].

Robert Stead

Stefaan Walraet Replies:

Dear Mr. Jeff Waggoner,
The harmoneon was a very interesting idea to improve the use of the thumb of the left hand. The purpose was to use the thumb on all 3 (or 5) rows on the bass side of the free bass accordion. The design was quite bad. Mr. Don Severs of the USA tried to improve this. There are pictures on his website: This person has got some very interesting ideas. Unfortunately he told me it stayed with a prototype. I think the design of Mr. Don Severs can also be improved. The aim is to be able to reduce "brain" efforts, because the fingering for both hands would be identical.
I hope accordion manufacturers will take up these ideas.
Best regards,
Stefaan Walraet

April 4, 2006
Stefaan Walraet
I live in Belgium in Europe and I am trying to find Russian sheet music of Russian folk song variations for bayan or accordion solo. I know the Editor Muzyka from Moscow has published many books with sheet music from 1957-1992. Can someone sell me some of those books?
I am also looking for the books that Professor Alfred Mirek wrote on Russian bayan history, and also the Lexicon on Soviet bayanists by Mr. A. Bassurmanow. Does anyone has these books or sheet music books?

Best regards,
Stefaan Walraet


Dear Stefaan
Offhand, I do not have any contacts for you, but perhaps one of our readers can help. If so, they will send us the information through our comment box [ The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. Contact Form].

Robert Stead

REPLY from Paul Bender :

In response to Stefaan Walraet from Belgium who inquired about purchasing Russian bayan sheet music or books: On ebay, I have noticed that the member who goes by the name of "tritenichenko" frequently has such material for sale.
Best of luck!

March 21, 2006
Karein Goertz
Dear Robert Stead,
Terri Sarris, Shaun Williams and I are collaborating on a film project about accordion culture in the Detroit area. We are accordion players, with professional backgrounds in film, and are interested in documenting the history of this instrument within the ethnically diverse context of SE Michigan.

We were excited to learn about The Classical Free-Reed Inc and noted the Dearborn address. We would love to come and interview you about your perspective on the regional accordion scene.

Please let us know if you would be interested in contributing to this project. Also, we would greatly appreciate if you could suggest any other people in the larger SE Michigan area who are involved with the accordion.

We look forward to hearing back from you.

Karein Goertz, Lecturer in the Residential College, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Terri Sarris, Lecturer in Film and Video, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Shaun Williams, Filmmaker and Accordionist, Ann Arbor


Dear Karein
This sounds great. While I would be happy to talk to you, I think you might profit more by talking to Linda Marshall who can be reached through The Music Centre in Dearborn Heights, MI. Her sister, Lana Gore, (who died about 6 weeks ago) was a major force in the accordion world, both in Michigan and in the World. Linda is also an accordionist who has been active with the Michigan Accordion Society for decades. This very active group is involved in all aspects of the accordion--both classical and folk.

Also a native Detroiter (actually from Dearborn) is Peter Soave. Peter is world famous in the accordion/bandoneon world. He is on staff at Wayne State University. Peter has won major awards in Europe.

You might also want to talk to John Castiglione of the Castiglione Accordions and Distributing Company in Warren, MI [website:]. His father started the company in Detroit about 80 years ago. John has spent his whole life in the accordion world.

In regard to my background, I played accordion during my grade school years and then began playing flute in high school. I have a degree in Music Education from Wayne State University. I did not return to the accordion until the Spring of 2003. So, as you can see, I was out of the stream for a very long time. In April of 2004, Henry Doktorski (a classical accordionist from Pittsburgh, PA [website:] asked me to take over The Classical Free-Reed, Inc web site. In March 2005 I became the webmaster for the Michigan Accordion Society.

Good luck on your project.
Robert Stead

March 20, 2006
Richard Martin
The just name of the brand of the accordion "flutterbox" is "F.lli CROSIO" (like as Crosio brothers) and not "Croscio"

Thank you
Best regards


Dear Beltrami,
Thank you for the note about the CROSIO spelling. I will pass this information to the folks that provided us with the information about the "flutterbox" accordion.
Robert Stead

November 15, 2005
Hi. My name is Ryan, the director for Charity For Music, wondering if you or your organization can help us out with our charity. We help low income children, who can not afford musical instruments, receive quality musical instruments. We also want to better the musical programs in schools because most public schools have limited musical programs. We also help National Charities as well as local Charities around the area by our musical instrument drive. We help and donate to your favorite charity. You can donate various forms of musical instruments and items. Please take a look at our website @

Thank you!

November 14, 2005
Pierre Herbineaux
Do you have a magazine subscription for classical harmonicists like myself? I am a member of SPAH, a harmonica teacher, and a soloist.


Dear Pierre
Off hand I do not know of any magazines for classical harmonicists. However, you might want to contact Bruce Kurnow. Please visit our review of his latest CD (Holidays in Harmonicaland) for his website.
Robert Stead

November 10, 2005
Robert Coldwell
While searching for sites with information on Giulio Regondi I came across this one. I am very interested in the historical articles by Hilding Bergquist. He mentions photos or images that accompanied his articles. Would it be possible to get copies of the article pages?

Thank you.

November 1, 2005
Bruce Kurnow
Thanks so much for your great review. I just got back to town last night--otherwise, I would have written you sooner. I really appreciate all the time you took to listen and do such a nice piece of writing about the recording. Thanks, also, for including contact info. and the link to my website.
I'm glad you enjoyed the CD and appreciate your help! Happy Holidays to you, too.
[note: To read the review, please go to Holidays in Harmonicaland]

October 11, 2005
Terri Langley
I recall an incredible accordion player named Donald Hulme. He was NJ and played on the Ed Sullivan show. Do you know what became of him? Does he have recordings available? Thank you.


December 12, 2006
Rich Gennell writes:
My brother inspired Donald. Last I saw He resided in the Orlando Florida area playind at clubs and the like. He was at one time the worlds most accomplished acccordionist. I haven't kept tract of him so good luck in finding him....

September 18, 2005
Stephanie Adams
I play back-bellows harmonium (I have a Paul & Co. and a Bina) in our local Celtic band, and I am trying to achieve a concertina or accordion-like sound. I know I can't duplicate the sound of the chord buttons, but I think I can play chords and melody on the keyboard that can approximate the wonderful full sound of the concertina or accordion. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for keyboarding to achieve an accordion-like progression of chords and notes.
Thanks for your kind attention.

September 14, 2005
Thomas Anderson
Please advise me: how to find a high quality khaen

Thomas Anderson
Research Director
ICRL Acoustics Labs

From: Mark Petering
Subject: V. Zolotaryov
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 16:07:58 -0600


I am a PhD student at the U of Minn. interested in the Bayan for research purposes.

Thank you for your information regarding Vladislav Zolotaryov and Sofia Gubaidulina on the Free-Reed site. I wanted to ask you how I might get a hold of Mr. Zolotaryov's music (sonatas for Bayan etc. anything orchestral for bayan and orchestra)...Who might publish his music...Any recommendations for recordings of this music?

Thanks for your help. Great website.


Mark Petering

Visit composer Mark Petering at


Dear Mark,

Thank you for your letter. Many of Zolotaryov's compositions for solo bayan were published by MOCKBA MY3bIKA in the handsome hard-bound 10(?)-volume "AHTOJIOTNR JINTEPATYPbI JIJIR BARHA" in the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s. I believe the company died with the fall of the USSR. I don't know if any are in print.

Zolotaryov's works were also published by Centre Didactique de Musique Lacroix, Geneve in cooperation with INTERMUSIK SCHMULLING BERGKAMEN and MUSIKVERLAG HANS SIKORSKI, HAMBURG. I believe Faithe Deffner in New York sells these editions. I would try her company first. I believe you can find contact addresses via an Internet search.

Friedrich Lips has recorded some of Zolotaryov's pieces. He has his own website also.


Henry Doktorski, founder
The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.

For letters prior to January 2004, see:

Readers' Letters: 2003
Readers' Letters: 2002
Readers' Letters: 2001
Readers' Letters: 2000
Readers' Letters: 1999
Readers' Letters: 1997 & 1998

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