Reply To: Meazzi Accordietta Gigante

Alan Brinton

I don’t know this particular melodica, but Meazzi Accordietta is an Italian musical instrument company that made a version of what we know here as the Chordiana (also under the name Sorrento). These brand names, along with several others, appear on some of the same particular Italian melodicas and a variety of others that have some of the same or closely related design features. All of them, including 25-27 key models and 34 key models, have individually mounted reeds. I have worked on quite a few of them and have posted about them in this forum.

One is the 34 key Silvertone Orgamonica (also branded as the Implisonic Claviata), for which I have posted photos and even a sound sample. The problem I have with the Silvertone Orgamonica is its awkward shape. It’s very uncomfortable to hold in the hand. Another is the Juliett Pianola, abut which I posted a detailed description, with photos, of my restoration project. My guess is that inside the Gigante, one would find the same or similar reeds and mechanisms as in the Silvertone Orgamonica as the Juliett Pianola, which has a beautiful sound. The Pianola has a beautiful sound and is much more comfortable to hold than the Orgamonica. I’m not quite done with it, as I ran into some complications and got waylaid by other projects.

My guess is that the Gigante is the same as, or very similar to, the Juliett Pianola. In good playing condition, the Pianola is a very fine instrument. I’m unsure about the dating of these Italian models, but I think 1970s. I have quite a few of them, and every one I’ve seen has needed work, some relatively easy fiddling with the mechanisms, but especially replacement of gaskets and other strips (though probably not replacement of the pads that cover the key holes). The materials that were used have not stood the test of time. When you get one, it usually leaks like a sieve, and it’s common that one or more notes do not play. This is usually fixable by bending one or more soft metal keypad arms to get the pads lined up with their holes. The reeds are almost always okay, though a failed reed is, of course, a possible reason for the note not playing.

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