The Schrammel Accordeon
The schrammel accordeon is a Viennese creation and the precursor of the modern chromatic button accordeon. It has 52 treble buttons, arranged in three rows in the chromatic B griff system, which means that the note B is on the first row, C on the third. These buttons produced the same notes on pressing or drawing the bellows. The twelve basses are bisonoric, they produce different tones on pressing or drawing the bellows. The bass keyboard is placed parallel to the bellows.
The fact that there are only twelve bassnotes is not a limitation for the player, because it is possible to combine two or more buttons at the same time. This allows to obtain a great variety of chords, including seventh and diminished chords.
In most occasions the instrument has two or three reeds that are tuned in unison configuration. Because the instrument is smaller and lighter than the modern instruments, the sound is quite different. The handmade reeds may also contribute to the different sound.
The name schrammel accordeon refers to the fact that the instrument is used in combination of two violins, an accordeon and a contrabas, known as a schrammel-quartet. Since 1870 the brothers Schrammel, two violinists, performed in Georg Dänzer's quartet in Vienna, together with A. Strohmayer on the contraguitar and Dänzer on the G-clarinet. They played ländlers, polkas and other old dances.
When Dänzer died in 1890 A. Ernst joined the quartet. He was the first schrammel accordeon player. He arranged the music for the quartet and wrote a tutorial for the instrument. Within no time this combination of instruments was known as the "schrammelquartet", their music was called "schrammelmusic".
The popularity of the schrammel accordeon is limited, because of its small range of notes and the difficulty with which it is mastered.
In order to have an idea on how the schrammel accordeon sounds, click here
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrammel_accordion; http://www.accordions.com/index/his/his_acc_his.shtml;