Scenes and stories from a small town in the hills of Italy's Le Marche region

"Shepherd farmer son" continues...

The success of their Scandalli Brothers factory grew, and by 1946, the Scandallis joined forces with Soprani and an accordion-maker from Numana to form Farfisa. The factory became one of the world’s largest musical instrument factories.

Among his innovations, Scandalli’s greatest accomplishment was probably the invention of the Scandalli Super VI, devised with the help of Farfisa’s finest technicians in 1951.

“The Super VI inspires every modern accordion producer to imitate its sound. Yet no one has been able to. It is the best accordion in the world. It is like a piece of art,” says Sandro Strologo, who has written about the regional accordion industry and about Scandalli.

A Scandalli accordion from Camerano, on display in the City Hall, July 13, 2006. Photograph by Cassie Echer

By the 1960s, Farfisa had branched into the production of guitars, pianos, electric organs and electric accordions. Eventually, an American company, Lear Siegler, assumed control but had trouble meeting Japanese competition. The company was also in need of financial assistance, but the local banks were reportedly unwilling to help.

The crisis led to the breakup of Farfisa and Scandalli’s separation from the companies.

Scandalli was a “great lover of work and music,” who wanted the best from his accordion music, Strologo says. This “simple, self-made, hard-working man,” as Strologo calls him, developed good relationships with employees and tried to help solve their problems.

He was so involved in his work that he walked around the factory at night to make sure everything was in place, and sometimes gave tests to his employees to make sure their performance was the best.

He served as mayor, or podesta, of Camerano for a time in the 1930s, during the Fascist period, and gave money for construction of a new steeple on the San Francesco Church.

street sign

Via Silvio Scandalli street sign in Camerano, Italy, July 18, 2006. Photograph by Cassie Echer.


He was so appreciated for his contributions to Camerano that the town awarded him a plaque, now hanging in the San Francesco church. A collection of Scandalli accordions is also on display in Town Hall, and the town hopes to extend the collection.

Scandalli married twice, to two sisters: first, to Maria Perugini, and after her death in 1960, to her sister Elvira. Although he never had children of his own, he adopted his sister’s daughter, Silvana to be able to help her financially.

Scandalli at one point in his career had moved to Ancona but always maintained a second home in Camerano. He died in 1977 at the age of 88.

When asked how long Scandalli’s legacy would endure, Strologo replied, “As long as accordions will be produced, Scandalli will be remembered. Many other manufacturers will be forgotten, but not Scandalli. No one else could do the same with a single instrument.”

accordian keys

Scandalli accordions on display in Camerano's City Hall, July 13, 2006. Photograph by Cassie Echer.

accordian display
Vittorio Di Stazio walks by the Scandalli accordions on display in Camerano's City Hall on July 20, 2006. Photograph by Cassie Echer.


Sandro Strologo shares his knowledge on Silvio Scandalli in Camerano's City Hall on July 13, 2006. Photograph by Cassie Echer.


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