Accordion

Accordion

Overview
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 of the bellows
Bellows
A bellows is a device for delivering pressurized air in a controlled quantity to a controlled location.Basically, a bellows is a deformable container which has an outlet nozzle. When the volume of the bellows is decreased, the air escapes through the outlet...

-driven free-reed aerophone
Free reed aerophone
A free reed aerophone is a musical instrument where sound is produced as air flows past a vibrating reed in a frame. Air pressure is typically generated by breath or with a bellows.- Operation :...

 family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox
Squeezebox
The term Squeezebox is a colloquial expression referring to any musical instrument of the general class of hand-held bellows-driven free reed aerophones such as the accordion and the concertina...

. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist.

It is played by compressing or expanding the bellows whilst pressing buttons or keys
Musical keyboard
A musical keyboard is the set of adjacent depressible levers or keys on a musical instrument, particularly the piano. Keyboards typically contain keys for playing the twelve notes of the Western musical scale, with a combination of larger, longer keys and smaller, shorter keys that repeats at the...

, causing valve
Valve
A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. Valves are technically pipe fittings, but are usually discussed as a separate category...

s, called pallets, to open, which allow air to flow across strips of brass or steel, called reeds
Reed (instrument)
A reed is a thin strip of material which vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument. The reeds of most Woodwind instruments are made from Arundo donax or synthetic material; tuned reeds are made of metal or synthetics.-Single reeds:Single reeds are used on the mouthpieces of clarinets...

, that vibrate to produce sound inside the body.For the accordion's place among the families of musical instruments, see Henry Doktorski's Taxonomy of Musical Instruments (The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.) Also on this page is Diarmuid Pigott's The Free-Reed Family of Aerophones

The instrument is sometimes considered a one-man-band as it needs no accompanying instrument.
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Encyclopedia
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 of the bellows
Bellows
A bellows is a device for delivering pressurized air in a controlled quantity to a controlled location.Basically, a bellows is a deformable container which has an outlet nozzle. When the volume of the bellows is decreased, the air escapes through the outlet...

-driven free-reed aerophone
Free reed aerophone
A free reed aerophone is a musical instrument where sound is produced as air flows past a vibrating reed in a frame. Air pressure is typically generated by breath or with a bellows.- Operation :...

 family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox
Squeezebox
The term Squeezebox is a colloquial expression referring to any musical instrument of the general class of hand-held bellows-driven free reed aerophones such as the accordion and the concertina...

. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist.

It is played by compressing or expanding the bellows whilst pressing buttons or keys
Musical keyboard
A musical keyboard is the set of adjacent depressible levers or keys on a musical instrument, particularly the piano. Keyboards typically contain keys for playing the twelve notes of the Western musical scale, with a combination of larger, longer keys and smaller, shorter keys that repeats at the...

, causing valve
Valve
A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. Valves are technically pipe fittings, but are usually discussed as a separate category...

s, called pallets, to open, which allow air to flow across strips of brass or steel, called reeds
Reed (instrument)
A reed is a thin strip of material which vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument. The reeds of most Woodwind instruments are made from Arundo donax or synthetic material; tuned reeds are made of metal or synthetics.-Single reeds:Single reeds are used on the mouthpieces of clarinets...

, that vibrate to produce sound inside the body.For the accordion's place among the families of musical instruments, see Henry Doktorski's Taxonomy of Musical Instruments (The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.) Also on this page is Diarmuid Pigott's The Free-Reed Family of Aerophones

The instrument is sometimes considered a one-man-band as it needs no accompanying instrument. The performer normally plays the melody on buttons or keys on the right-hand manual
Manual (music)
A manual is a keyboard designed to be played with the hands on a pipe organ, harpsichord, clavichord, electronic organ, or synthesizer. The term "manual" is used with regard to any hand keyboard on these instruments to distinguish it from the pedalboard, which is a keyboard that the organist plays...

, and the accompaniment
Accompaniment
In music, accompaniment is the art of playing along with an instrumental or vocal soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner...

, consisting of bass and pre-set chord buttons, on the left-hand manual.

The accordion is often used in folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. It is commonly associated with busking
Busking
Street performance or busking is the practice of performing in public places, for gratuities, which are generally in the form of money and edibles...

. Some popular music acts also make use of the instrument. Additionally, the accordion is sometimes used in both solo and orchestra performances of classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

.

The oldest name for this group of instruments is actually harmonika, from the Greek harmonikos, meaning harmonic, musical. Today, native versions of the name accordion are more common. These names are a reference to the type of accordion patented by Cyrill Demian, which concerned "automatically coupled chords on the bass side".

Construction



Accordions are made in a large number of different configurations and types. What may be technically possible to do with one accordion could be impossible with another:
  • Some accordions are bisonoric, meaning they produce different pitch
    Pitch (music)
    Pitch is an auditory perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds on a frequency-related scale.Pitches are compared as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies,...

    es depending on the direction of bellows movement
  • Others are unisonoric and produce the same pitch regardless of the direction of bellows movement
  • Some accordions use a chromatic buttonboard for the right-hand manual
  • Others use a diatonic buttonboard for the right-hand manual
  • Yet others use a piano
    Piano
    The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

    -style musical keyboard
    Musical keyboard
    A musical keyboard is the set of adjacent depressible levers or keys on a musical instrument, particularly the piano. Keyboards typically contain keys for playing the twelve notes of the Western musical scale, with a combination of larger, longer keys and smaller, shorter keys that repeats at the...

     for the right-hand manual
  • Some accordions are capable of playing in register
    Register (music)
    In music, a register is the relative "height" or range of a note, set of pitches or pitch classes, melody, part, instrument or group of instruments...

    s different from others
  • Additionally, different accordion craftsmen and technicians may tune the same registers in a slightly different manner, essentially "personalizing" the end result, such as an organ technician might voice
    Voicing (music)
    In music composition and arranging, a voicing is the instrumentation and vertical spacing and ordering of the pitches in a chord...

     a particular instrument

Bellows



The bellows
Bellows
A bellows is a device for delivering pressurized air in a controlled quantity to a controlled location.Basically, a bellows is a deformable container which has an outlet nozzle. When the volume of the bellows is decreased, the air escapes through the outlet...

 is the most recognizable part of the instrument, and the primary means of articulation
Articulation (music)
In music, articulation refers to the musical direction performance technique which affects the transition or continuity on a single note or between multiple notes or sounds.- Types of articulations :...

. Similar to a violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

's bow, the production of sound in an accordion is in direct proportion to the motion of the player. It is located between the right- and left-hand manuals, and is made from pleat
Pleat
A pleat is a type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place. It is commonly used in clothing and upholstery to gather a wide piece of fabric to a narrower circumference....

ed layers of cloth and cardboard, with added leather and metal. It is used to create pressure and vacuum, driving air across the internal reed
Reed (instrument)
A reed is a thin strip of material which vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument. The reeds of most Woodwind instruments are made from Arundo donax or synthetic material; tuned reeds are made of metal or synthetics.-Single reeds:Single reeds are used on the mouthpieces of clarinets...

s and producing sound by their vibration, applied pressure increasing the volume.

The keyboard touch is not expressive
Keyboard expression
Keyboard expression often shortened to expression is the ability of a keyboard instrument to respond to the dynamics of the music or change the tone of the sound in response to the way that the performer depresses the keys of the musical keyboard...

 and does not affect dynamics
Dynamics (music)
In music, dynamics normally refers to the volume of a sound or note, but can also refer to every aspect of the execution of a given piece, either stylistic or functional . The term is also applied to the written or printed musical notation used to indicate dynamics...

: all expression is effected through the bellows: some bellows effects as illustrated below:
  1. Bellows used for volume control/fade
  2. Repeated change of direction ("bellows shake")
  3. Constant bellows motion while applying pressure at intervals
  4. Constant bellows motion to produce clear tones with no resonance
  5. Using the bellows with the silent air button gives the sound of air moving, which is sometimes used in contemporary compositions particularly for this instrument

Body


The accordion's body consists of two wood boxes joined together by the bellows. These boxes house reed chambers for the right- and left-hand manuals, respectively. Each side has grille
Grille
A grille or grill is an opening of several slits side by side in a wall or metal sheet or other barrier, usually to let air or water enter and/or leave but keep larger objects including people and animals in or out.-Spelling:In the United States, "grille" is used to differentiate the automotive...

s in order to facilitate the transmission of air in and out of the instrument, and to allow the sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 to better project. The grille for the right-hand manual is usually larger and is often shaped for decorative purposes. The right-hand manual is normally used for playing the melody and the left-hand manual for playing the accompaniment, however skilled players can reverse these roles.Guido Deiro
Guido Deiro
Count Guido Pietro Deiro was a famous vaudeville star, international recording artist, composer and teacher. He was the first piano-accordionist to appear on big-time vaudeville, records, radio and the screen. Guido usually performed under the stage-name "Deiro"...

 claimed to be the first accordionist to play a solo with the left hand: Sharpshooter's March (1908) Guido Deiro, Guido Deiro's Own Story of Sharpshooters March, The Pietro Musicordion, Volume 6, Number 2 (May–June 1948)


The size and weight of an accordion varies depending on its type, layout and playing range, which can be as small as to have only one or two rows of basses and a single octave
Octave
In music, an octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequency. The octave relationship is a natural phenomenon that has been referred to as the "basic miracle of music", the use of which is "common in most musical systems"...

 on the right-hand manual, to the standard 120-bass accordion and through to large and heavy 160-bass free-bass converter models.

Pallet mechanism


The accordion is an aerophone
Aerophone
An aerophone is any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes, and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound...

. The manual mechanism of the instrument either enables the air flow, or disables it:Illustration made with reference from a similar illustration that can be found in both Det levende bælgspil (p. 9) by Jeanette & Lars Dyremose (2003), and Harmonikaens historie (p. 35a) by Bjarne Glenstrup (1972, The University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Music)


Variable components


There is a wide range of instruments that are called accordion. The different types have varying components. All instruments have reed ranks of some format. Not all have switches. The most typical accordion is the piano accordion, which is used for many musical genres. Another type of accordion is the button accordion, which is used in Conjunto and Tejano music
Tejano music
Tejano music or Tex-Mex music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Mexican-American populations of Central and Southern Texas...

.

Right-hand manual systems



Different systems exist for the right-hand manual of an accordion, which is normally used for playing the melody. Some use a button
Button (control)
A push-button or simply button is a simple switch mechanism for controlling some aspect of a machine or a process. Buttons are typically made out of hard material, usually plastic or metal. The surface is usually flat or shaped to accommodate the human finger or hand, so as to be easily depressed...

 layout arranged in one way or another, while others use a piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

-style keyboard. Each system has different claimed benefits by those who prefer it. They are also used to define one accordion or another as a different "type":
  • Chromatic button accordion
    Chromatic button accordion
    A chromatic button accordion is a type of button accordion where the melody-side keyboard consists of rows of buttons arranged chromatically. The bass-side keyboard is usually the Stradella system or one of the various free-bass systems. Included among chromatic button accordions are the Russian...

    s and the bayan
    Bayan (accordion)
    The bayan is a type of chromatic button accordion developed in Russia in the early 20th century and named after 11th-century bard Boyan.-Characteristics:The bayan differs from western chromatic button accordions in some details of construction:...

    , a Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    n variant, use a buttonboard where notes are arranged chromatically. Two of these systems exist
  • Diatonic button accordion
    Diatonic button accordion
    A diatonic button accordion or melodeon is a type of button accordion where the melody-side keyboard is limited to the notes of diatonic scales in a small number of keys...

    s use a buttonboard limited to the notes of diatonic scales in a small number of keys. The keys are often arranged in one row for each key scale available
  • Piano accordion
    Piano accordion
    A piano accordion is an accordion equipped with a right-hand keyboard similar to a piano or organ. Its acoustic mechanism is more similar to that of an organ than a piano, as they are both wind instruments, but the term "piano accordion"—coined by Guido Deiro in 1910—has remained the popular...

    s use a musical keyboard
    Musical keyboard
    A musical keyboard is the set of adjacent depressible levers or keys on a musical instrument, particularly the piano. Keyboards typically contain keys for playing the twelve notes of the Western musical scale, with a combination of larger, longer keys and smaller, shorter keys that repeats at the...

     similar to a piano
    Piano
    The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

    , at right angles to the cabinet, the tops of the keys inward toward the bellows
  • 6-plus-6-accordions use a buttonboard with three rows of buttons. The chromatic scale consists of two rows. The third row is a repetition of the first row. So there is the same fingering in all twelve scales. These accordions are produced only in special editions.

Left-hand manual systems



Different systems are also in use for the left-hand manual, which is normally used for playing the accompaniment. These almost always use distinct bass buttons and often have buttons with concavities or studs to help the player navigate the layout despite not being able to see the buttons while playing. There are three general categories:
  • The Stradella bass system
    Stradella bass system
    The Stradella Bass System is a buttonboard layout equipped on the bass side of many accordions, which uses columns of buttons arranged in a circle of fifths; this places the principal major chords of a key in three adjacent columns...

    , also called standard bass, is arranged in a circle of fifths
    Circle of fifths
    In music theory, the circle of fifths shows the relationships among the 12 tones of the chromatic scale, their corresponding key signatures, and the associated major and minor keys...

     and uses single buttons for chords
    Chord (music)
    A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. These need not actually be played together: arpeggios and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords...

  • The Belgian bass system is a variation used in Belgian
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     chromatic accordions. It is also arranged in a circle of fifths but in reverse order. This system has 3 rows of basses, 3 rows of chord buttons allowing easier fingering for playing melodies, combined chords, better use of fingers 1 and 5, and more space between the buttons. This system was poorly traded outside of native Belgium
  • Various free-bass systems for greater access to playing melodies on the left-hand manual and to forming one's own chords. These are often chosen for playing classical music
    Classical music
    Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...


Reed ranks and switches



Inside the accordion are the reeds that generate the instrument tones. These are organized in different sounding ranks, which can be further combined into registers producing differing timbre
Timbre
In music, timbre is the quality of a musical note or sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. The physical characteristics of sound that determine the...

s
. All but the smaller accordions are equipped with switches that control which combination of reed ranks will be brought into operation, organized from high to low register
Register (music)
In music, a register is the relative "height" or range of a note, set of pitches or pitch classes, melody, part, instrument or group of instruments...

s. Each register stop produces a separate sound timbre. See the accordion reed ranks & switches
Accordion reed ranks & switches
A reed rank inside accordions refers to a single full set of the reeds that are the means to achieve the instrument's sound range. These reed ranks are located in the reed chamber...

 article for further explanation and audio samples.

All but the smallest accordions usually have treble switches. The larger and more expensive accordions often also have bass switches.

Classification of chromatic and piano type accordions


In describing/pricing an accordion, the first factor is size, expressed in number of keys on either side. For a piano type, this could for one example be 37/96, meaning 37 keys (3 octaves plus one note) on the treble side and 96 bass keys. After size, the price and weight of an accordion is largely dependent on the number of reed ranks on either side, either on a cassotto or not, and to a lesser degree on the number of combinations available through register switches. Typically, these could be announced as Reeds: 5 + 3, meaning 5 reeds on the treble side and 3 on the bass, and Registers: 13 + M, 7, meaning 13 register buttons on the treble side plus a special "master" which activates ALL ranks like the "tutti" on an organ, and 7 register switches on the bass side.

Straps


The larger piano and chromatic button accordions are usually heavier than other smaller squeezebox
Squeezebox
The term Squeezebox is a colloquial expression referring to any musical instrument of the general class of hand-held bellows-driven free reed aerophones such as the accordion and the concertina...

es, and are equipped with two shoulder straps to make it easier to balance the weight and increase bellows control while sitting, and avoid dropping the instrument while standing.

Other accordions, such as the diatonic button accordion
Diatonic button accordion
A diatonic button accordion or melodeon is a type of button accordion where the melody-side keyboard is limited to the notes of diatonic scales in a small number of keys...

, have only a single shoulder strap and a right hand thumb strap. All accordions have a (mostly adjustable) leather strap on the left-hand manual to keep the player's hand in position while drawing the bellows. There are also straps above and below the bellows to keep it securely closed when the instrument is not playing.

Unusual accordions



Various hybrid accordions have been created between instruments of different buttonboards and actions. Many remain curiosities — only a few have remained in use:
  • The Schrammel accordion
    Schrammel accordion
    A Schrammel accordion is an accordion with a melody keyboard in the chromatic B-Griff system and a twelve-button diatonic bass keyboard...

    , used in Viennese
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

     chamber music
    Chamber music
    Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

     and klezmer
    Klezmer
    Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations...

    , which has the treble buttonboard of a chromatic button accordion and a bisonoric bass buttonboard, similar to an expanded diatonic button accordion
  • The schwyzerörgeli
    Schwyzerörgeli
    The Schwyzeroergeli is a type of diatonic button accordion used in Swiss folk music. The name derives from the town/canton of Schwyz where it was developed. Oergeli is the diminutive form of the word Orgel...

     or Swiss
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

     organ, which usually has a 3-row diatonic treble and 18 unisonoric bass buttons in a bass/chord arrangement – actually a subset of the Stradella system – that travel parallel to the bellows motion
  • The trikitixa
    Trikitixa
    The trikiti , trikitixa or eskusoinu txiki is a two-row Basque diatonic button accordion with right-hand rows keyed a fifth apart and twelve unisonoric bass buttons...

     of the Basque people
    Basque people
    The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

     has a 2-row diatonic, bisonoric treble and a 12-button diatonic unisonoric bass
  • In Scotland, the favoured diatonic accordion is the instrument known as the British Chromatic Accordion. While the right hand is bisonoric, the left hand follows the Stradella system. The elite form of this instrument is generally considered to be the German manufactured Shand Morino, produced by Hohner
    Hohner
    Hohner Musikinstrumente GmbH & Co. KG is a company specialising in the manufacture of musical instruments. Founded in 1857 by Matthias Hohner , Hohner is identified especially with harmonicas and accordions. The Hohner company has invented and produced many different styles, and most of the...

     with the input of Sir Jimmy Shand
    Jimmy Shand
    Sir James Shand MBE was a Scottish musician who played traditional Scottish dance music on the accordion.-Early life:...


History


The accordion is a free reed instrument and is in the same family as other instruments such as the sheng
Sheng (instrument)
The Chinese sheng is a mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes.Traditionally, the sheng has been used as an accompaniment instrument for solo suona or dizi performances. It is one of the main instruments in kunqu and some other forms of Chinese opera...

 and khaen. The sheng and khaen are both much older than the accordion and this type of reed did inspire the kind of free reeds in use in the accordion as we know it today.
The accordion's basic form is believed to have been invented in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 in 1822 by Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann
Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann
Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann was a German musical instrument maker, often credited with inventing the harmonica and sometimes the accordion.-Thuringia:Buschmann was born in Friedrichroda, Thuringia...

,There is not a single document to back up this belief, Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann was 16 years old at that time and we do have some handwriting of C.F. Buschschmann and his Father, but without any related notice within. First time of mentioned a aeoline was in a writing dated 1829. although one instrument has been recently discovered that appears to have been built earlier. This is the accordion owned by Fredrik Dillner of Sweden which has the name F. Löhner Nürnberg engraved (stamped) on it. The instrument was given to Johannes Dillner in 1830 or earlier
The accordion is one of several European inventions of the early 19th century that used free reeds driven by a bellows. An instrument called accordion was first patented in 1829 by Cyrill Demian
Cyrill Demian
Cyrill Demian made his living as an organ and piano maker, with his two sons Karl and Guido, in Mariahilfer Straße No. 43 in Vienna, Austria. On May 6, 1829, Cyrill and his two sons presented a new instrument to the authorities for patent - the accordion...

, of Armenian descent, in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

A summary and pictures of this patent can be found at www.ksanti.net/free-reed/history/demian.html (Version of 20 Okt 04 - 19 Jun 09 Using Way Back Machine to Display:
The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.)


Demian's instrument bore little resemblance to modern instruments. It only had a left hand buttonboard, with the right hand simply operating the bellows. One key feature for which Demian sought the patent was the sounding of an entire chord by depressing one key. His instrument also could sound two different chords with the same key; one for each bellows direction (a bisonoric action).

The piano accordion was first played in German-speaking regions, and then spread over Europe. Some early portable instrument with piano keys had been invented in 1821, but it started to actually be played much later, and built its reputation from there.
At that time in Vienna, mouth harmonicas with Kanzellen (chambers) had already been available for many years, along with bigger instruments driven by hand bellows. The diatonic key arrangement was also already in use on mouth-blown instruments. Demian's patent thus covered an accompanying instrument: an accordion played with the left hand, opposite to the way that contemporary chromatic hand harmonicas were played, small and light enough for travelers to take with them and used to accompany singing. The patent also described instruments with both bass and treble
Wiktionary
Wiktionary is a multilingual, web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in 158 languages...

 sections, although Demian preferred the bass-only instrument owing to its cost and weight advantages.German Text: "Mit den Dekel des Balges, läßt sich das ganze Instrument verdoppeln, so daß man dadurch die Accorde vermehrt, oder auch mit einzelne Töne spielen kann, in diesem Fall, muß ein zweyter Einsatz mit Federn, und auch eine 2te Claviatur dazu kommen, der Blasebalg bleibt in der Mitte, jede Hand dirigirt abwechselnd, entweder die Claves, oder den Balg. Durch eine obengenannte Verdoplung des Instruments oder durch Vermehrung der Accorde, würde niemand etwas verbessern, oder was neues liefern, weil nur die Bestandtheile dadurch vermehrt, das Instrument theurer und schwerer wird."
Translation of this snip: With the Cover of the bellows the instrument can be duplicated, so the amount of Chords or single notes can be enlarged, or one can sound single notes, in this case a second part with springs (free reeds) and also a second keyboard has to be added, the bellows will be in between this two parts, every hand will be used to push buttons and push and pull the bellow at the same time or alternatively. Trough such a doubling or increasing of chords within the instrument nothing new will be invented or improved by someone else, because only the amount of similar parts will be increased and the Instrument will be heavier and more expensive.German full text


By 1831 at least the accordion had appeared in Britain. The instrument was noted in The Times of that year as one new to British audiences and not favourably reviewed, but nevertheless it soon became popular. It had also become popular with New Yorkers by the mid-1840s at the latest.


The musician Adolph Müller described a great variety of instruments in his 1833 book, Schule für Accordion. At the time, Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 had a close musical relationship, with musicians often performing in both cities in the same year, so it is possible that Wheatstone was aware of this type of instrument and may have used them to put his key-arrangement ideas into practice.

Jeune's flutina
Flutina
The flutina is an early precursor to the diatonic button accordion, having one or two rows of treble buttons, which are configured to have the tonic of the scale, on the "draw" of the bellows. There is usually no bass keyboard: the left hand operates an air valve . A rocker switch, called a...

 resembles Wheatstone's concertina
Concertina
A concertina is a free-reed musical instrument, like the various accordions and the harmonica. It has a bellows and buttons typically on both ends of it. When pressed, the buttons travel in the same direction as the bellows, unlike accordion buttons which travel perpendicularly to it...

 in internal construction and tone color, but it appears to complement Demian's accordion functionally. The flutina is a one-sided bisonoric melody-only instrument whose keys are operated with the right hand while the bellows is operated with the left. When the two instruments are combined, the result is quite similar to diatonic button accordions still manufactured today.

Further innovations followed and continue to the present. Various buttonboard and keyboard systems have been developed, as well as voicings (the combination of multiple tones at different octaves), with mechanisms to switch between different voices during performance, and different methods of internal construction to improve tone, stability and durability.

Use in various music genres



The accordion has traditionally been used to perform folk or ethnic music, popular music, and transcriptions from the operatic and light-classical music repertoire. Today the instrument is sometimes heard in contemporary pop styles, such as rock, pop-rock, etc., and occasionally even in serious classical music concerts, as well as advertisements.

Use in traditional music


Invented in 1829, its popularity spread rapidly: it has mostly been associated with the common people, and was spread by Europeans who emigrated around the world. The accordion in both button and piano forms became a favorite of folk musicians and has been integrated into traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

 styles all over the world: see the list of traditional music styles that incorporate the accordion.

Use in popular music


The accordion appeared in popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 from the 1900s-1960s. This half century is often called the "Golden Age of the Accordion." Three players: Pietro Frosini
Pietro Frosini
Pietro Frosini was one of the first famous "stars of the accordion." He was born in Catania, Sicily, in 1885 and began to play the chromatic button accordion at the age of six...

, and the two brothers Count Guido Deiro
Guido Deiro
Count Guido Pietro Deiro was a famous vaudeville star, international recording artist, composer and teacher. He was the first piano-accordionist to appear on big-time vaudeville, records, radio and the screen. Guido usually performed under the stage-name "Deiro"...

 and Pietro Deiro
Pietro Deiro
Pietro Deiro was one of the most influential accordionists of the first half of the 20th century. Born in Salto Canavese, Italy, the younger brother of Guido Deiro, he emigrated to the United States in 1907 to live with his Uncle Frederico and work in the coal mines of Cle Elum, Washington.Pietro...

 were major influences at this time.

Most Vaudeville
Vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

 theaters closed during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, but accordionists during 1930s-1950s taught and performed for radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

. During the 1950s through the 1980s the accordion received great exposure on television with performances by Myron Floren
Myron Floren
Myron Floren was an American musician best known as the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show between 1950 and 1982...

 on the Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show is an American televised musical variety show hosted by big band leader Lawrence Welk. The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years , then nationally for another 27 years via the ABC network and first-run syndication .In the years since first-run syndication...

. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the accordion declined in popularity.
In popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

, it is now generally considered exotic or old-fashioned to include the accordion, especially in music for advertisements. Some popular acts do use the instrument in their distinctive sounds. See the list of popular music acts that incorporate the accordion.

In 1981, Nonesuch Records released the Digital LP, The Tango Project, featuring the accordionist Dr. William Schimmel. It became a number 1 hit on the classical music charts and won the Stereo Review Album of the Year Award and Grammy nominations in various categories. It later was released in CD form with two follow up albums, Two to Tango and Music from the Palm Court. The Tango Project later released a CD, White Rabbit, on the Newport Classic label. The Tango Project appears in the movie Scent of a Woman starring Al Pacino, can be heard in the films True Lies, All the Kings Men, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (trailer), HBO Sex and the City, Real Sex as well as Sesame St. The Tango Project is responsible for ushering in the Tango revival in America.

Dr. William Schimmel is also the featured accordionist on Tom Waits Raindogs (Island Records) and also performs on Tom Waits Frank's Wild Years (Island Records) and also was featured in the 1985 production of Frank's Wild Years at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Dr. Schimmel also appears with Tom Waits in a recording of the music of Kurt Weill (Lost in the Stars - A+M Records).
Schimmel also recorded a remake of As Tears Go By (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards) with Marianne Faithful in 1986 on Island Records.
The album title is Strange Weather - the title of a Tom Waits song on the same album.

In 1993, during their MTV Unplugged
MTV Unplugged in New York
MTV Unplugged in New York is a live album by the American rock band Nirvana. It features an acoustic performance taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993 for the television series MTV Unplugged. The show was directed by Beth McCarthy and first aired on the cable television...

 performance, Nirvana
Nirvana (band)
Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987...

's Krist Novoselic
Krist Novoselic
Krist Anthony Novoselic II is a Croatian-American rock musician, best known for being the bassist and co-founder of the grunge band Nirvana. After Nirvana ended, Novoselic formed Sweet 75 and then Eyes Adrift, releasing one album with each band...

 used accordion while covering The Vaselines
The Vaselines
The Vaselines are an alternative rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. Formed in 1986, the band was originally a duo between its songwriters Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, but later added James Seenan and Eugene's brother Charlie Kelly on bass and drums respectively from the band Secession. McKee had...

 song Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam.

Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder is an American musician and singer-songwriter who is best known for being the lead singer and one of three guitarists of the alternative rock band Pearl Jam. He is widely considered a cultural icon of alternative rock.He is also involved in soundtrack work and contributes to albums...

 plays the accordion in the song "Better Man", on Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Eddie Vedder , Jeff Ament , Stone Gossard , and Mike McCready...

's 1994 album Vitalogy
Vitalogy
Vitalogy is the third studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, released on November 22, 1994 through Epic Records. Pearl Jam wrote and recorded Vitalogy while touring behind its previous album Vs....

.

The New York band They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants is an American alternative rock band formed in 1982 by John Flansburgh and John Linnell. During TMBG's early years Flansburgh and Linnell were frequently accompanied by a drum machine. In the early 1990s, TMBG became a full band. Currently, the members of TMBG are...

 extensively use the accordion in many of their recordings, especially on earlier albums such as Apollo 18
Apollo 18 (album)
Apollo 18 is They Might Be Giants' fourth studio album. It was released in 1992 and named after the Apollo missions, the last of which was Apollo 17....

.

Perhaps the most famous accordionist in popular music is "Weird Al" Yankovic
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic is an American singer-songwriter, music producer, accordionist, actor, comedian, writer, satirist, and parodist. Yankovic is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and that often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts...

, who has used the accordion in every album he has recorded, most extensively on his debut album. The accordion also features prominently in the folk metal
Folk metal
Folk metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that developed in Europe during the 1990s. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal with traditional folk music...

 genre.

Comedienne Judy Tenuta
Judy Tenuta
Judy Tenuta is an American entertainer, actress, comedienne, author, producer and accordionist.-Early life:...

 frequently uses an accordion in her act.

Julieta Venegas
Julieta Venegas
Julieta Venegas Percevault , known professionally as Julieta Venegas, is a Mexican singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and producer, who sings pop-rock in Spanish. She speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish fluently. She has a twin sister, Yvonne, who is a photographer...

 is an American-born (but of Mexican ancestry) musician who commonly uses an accordion to produce a unique and special effect on listeners. The unique flair of the accordion is used some of her most popular songs, such as El presente, and Me Voy.
Arcade Fire features an accordion in a few of their songs, notably in Wake Up
Wake Up (Arcade Fire song)
"Wake Up" is an indie rock song by Canadian rock band Arcade Fire. It was the fifth and final single released from the band's debut album, Funeral. The single was released as a one-sided 7" vinyl record on November 14, 2005.-Reception:...

 and Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)
Neighborhood 2 (Laïka)
"Neighborhood #2 " is the second single by Canadian rock band Arcade Fire from their debut album Funeral. Released on 28 March 2005, the single reached number 30 on the UK Singles Chart, and was released on the Rough Trade Records record label...



Panic at the disco frontman Brendon Urie
Brendon Urie
Brendon Boyd Urie is an American musician and the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, pianist and singer-songwriter of Panic! at the Disco. He also plays drums, bass guitar, accordion, organ, cello, violin, and trumpet.-Early life:...

 plays the accordion, and the instrument features on their 2011 album Vices & Virtues
Vices & Virtues
Vices & Virtues is the third studio album by American rock band Panic! at the Disco, released on March 22, 2011 on Fueled by Ramen. Produced by John Feldmann and Butch Walker, the album marks the debut of the band's two-man lineup, featuring vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brendon Urie and...

 in the song "Sarah Smiles".

NOFX
NOFX
NOFX is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California .The band was formed in 1983 by vocalist/bassist Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin. Drummer Erik Sandin joined NOFX shortly after. In 1991 El Hefe joined to play lead guitar and trumpet, rounding out the current line-up...

 guitarist Eric Melvin
Eric Melvin
Eric Scott Melvin is an American musician and the rhythm guitarist in the California punk band NOFX. He has been in the band from its beginnings in the early 1980s to the present day. Eric has been known for his dreadlocks that vary in color each time NOFX performs...

 plays accordion on several songs, most notably on the song "A Theme to a NOFX Album"

Team Me, an indie-pop band from Norway, uses accordion on several of their tracks, such as "Weathervanes and Chemicals" and "Dear Sister".

An accordion, played by Carl Fortina, was included in the instrumentation on the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (1966).

Use in classical music


Although best known as a folk instrument, it has grown in popularity among classical composers. The earliest surviving concert piece is , written in 1836 by Miss Louise Reisner of Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. Other composers, including the Russian Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский ; often "Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky" in English. His names are also transliterated "Piotr" or "Petr"; "Ilitsch", "Il'ich" or "Illyich"; and "Tschaikowski", "Tschaikowsky", "Chajkovskij"...

, the Italian Umberto Giordano
Umberto Giordano
Umberto Menotti Maria Giordano was an Italian composer, mainly of operas.He was born in Foggia in Puglia, southern Italy, and studied under Paolo Serrao at the Conservatoire of Naples...

, and the American Charles Ives
Charles Ives
Charles Edward Ives was an American modernist composer. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though Ives' music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, Ives came to be regarded as an "American Original"...

 (1915), wrote works for the diatonic button accordion.

The first composer to write specifically for the chromatic accordion was Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.- Biography :Born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, Hindemith was taught the violin as a child...

. In 1922, the Austrian Alban Berg
Alban Berg
Alban Maria Johannes Berg was an Austrian composer. He was a member of the Second Viennese School with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, and produced compositions that combined Mahlerian Romanticism with a personal adaptation of Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique.-Early life:Berg was born in...

 included an accordion in Wozzeck
Wozzeck
Wozzeck is the first opera by the Austrian composer Alban Berg. It was composed between 1914 and 1922 and first performed in 1925. The opera is based on the drama Woyzeck left incomplete by the German playwright Georg Büchner at his death. Berg attended the first production in Vienna of Büchner's...

, Op. 7. Other notable composers have written for the accordion during the first half of the 20th century American composer William P. Perry
William P. Perry
William P. Perry is an American composer and television producer.-Life and career:Born in Elmira, New York in 1930, he attended Harvard University and studied with Paul Hindemith, Walter Piston, and Randall Thompson...

 featured the accordion in his orchestral suite Six Title Themes in Search of a Movie (2008). The experimental composer Howard Skempton
Howard Skempton
Howard Skempton is a British composer and accordionist. Since the late 1960s, when he helped organize the Scratch Orchestra, he has been associated with the English school of experimental music...

 began his musical career as an accordionist, and has written numerous solo works for it. Russian Bayan virtuoso Stas Venglevski has premiered contemporary works by Yehuda Yannay
Yehuda Yannay
Yehuda Yannay is an American-Israeli composer, conductor, film maker and performance artist.Yannay moved from Romania to Israel in 1951, where he studied with Alexander Uriya Boskovitch , who influenced him greatly...

, Anthony Galla-Rini
Anthony Galla-Rini
Anthony Galla-Rini was a celebrated American accordionist, arranger, composer, conductor, author, and teacher, and is considered by many to be the first American accordionist to promote the accordion as a "legitimate" concert instrument.-Early life:Galla-Rini was born in Manchester, Connecticut,...

 and William Susman
William Susman
William Joseph Susman, born August 29, 1960 in Chicago, is an American composer of concert and film music as well as an accomplished pianist. He belongs to the generation of American composers that came of age in the late twentieth century, received traditional academic training while remaining...

.

Bosnia and Herzegovina


The accordion is a traditional instrument in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

. It is the dominant instrument used in sevdalinka
Sevdalinka
Sevdalinka is a traditional genre of folk music from Bosnia and Herzegovina.Sevdalinka is popular across the ex-Yugoslavia region, especially in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. The actual composers of many sevdalinkas are unknown....

, a traditional genre of folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 from Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is also considered a national instrument of the country.

Brazil


The accordion is a traditional instrument in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Used in the style known as baião and forró
Forró
Forró is a kind of Northeastern Brazilian dance as well as a word used to denote the different genres of music which accompanies the dance. Both are much in evidence during the annual Festa Junina , a part of Brazilian traditional culture which celebrates some Catholic saints...

 in the northeast,in traditional music in the south of the country, a famous accordeonist is Renatto Borghetti, and used in sertanejo and caipira music in the south-east and mid-west regions of Brazil. Luiz Gonzaga
Luiz Gonzaga
Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento was a very prominent Brazilian folk singer, songwriter, musician and poet. Born in the countryside of Pernambuco , he is considered to be responsible for the promotion of northeastern music throughout the rest of the country...

 is known as the king of baião, Mario Zan is the king of the accordion. Another famous player is Dominguinhos
Dominguinhos
Dominguinhos is a Brazilian composer and singer.He has performed with musicians such as Luiz Gonzaga, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa , Zé Ramalho, Toquinho, and Maria Bethânia. Some of his hits were recorded by Bethânia, Gil, Chico Buarque, Elba Ramalho, and Fagner...

.

Colombia


The accordion is also a traditional instrument in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

. Used in the style known as vallenato
Vallenato
Vallenato, along with cumbia, is currently a popular folk music of Colombia. It primarily comes from the Colombia's Caribbean region. Vallenato literally means "born in the valley". The valley influencing this name is located between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de Perijá in...

 and cumbia
Cumbia
Cumbia is a music genre popular across Latin America. The cumbia originated in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, where it is associated with an eponymous dance and has since spread as far as Mexico and Argentina...

 in the Atlantic Coast of Colombia. Recently the Accordion has been used by Tropipop musicians such as Bacilos, Carlos Vives, and Andres Cabas, as well as Rock musicians like Juanes and Shakira. Vallenato has come to symbolize the folk music of Colombia. The legend of the Accordion's arrival in Colombia comes from a story of a ship wreck that was coming from Germany to Argentina. The wreck happened over the Magdalena river in the Atlantic coasts.

Use in heavy metal music


Accordionists in heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 make their most extensive appearances in the folk metal
Folk metal
Folk metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that developed in Europe during the 1990s. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal with traditional folk music...

 sub-genre, and are otherwise generally rare. Full-time accordionists in folk metal seem even rarer, but they are still utilized for studio work, as flexible keyboardists are usually more accessible for live performances.

Notably, the Finnish symphonic folk-metal band Turisas
Turisas
Turisas is a Finnish folk metal band from Hämeenlinna. It was founded in 1997 by Mathias Nygård and Jussi Wickström and named after an ancient Finnish God of war....

 has always had a full-time accordionist, employing classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 and polka
Polka
The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia...

-style sensibilities alongside a violinist. Another Finnish metal band, Korpiklaani
Korpiklaani
Korpiklaani is a folk metal band from Finland who were formerly known as Shaman.-Biography:While other folk metal bands began with metal before adding folk music, Korpiklaani started with folk music before turning metal...

, invokes a type of Finnish polka called humppa
Humppa
Humppa is a type of music from Finland. It is related to jazz and very fast foxtrot, played two beats to a bar . Typical speed is about 220 to 260 beats per minute. Humppa is also the name of a few social dances danced to humppa music. All dances involve bounce that follows the strong bass of the...

, and also has a full-time accordionist. Sarah Kiener, the former hurdy-gurdy player for the Swiss melodic-death/folk metal band Eluveitie
Eluveitie
Eluveitie is a folk metal band from Winterthur, Switzerland. The band formed in 2002 and their first EP, Vên came out in 2003. The band then released a full-length album, Spirit in June 2006. In November 2007, Eluveitie was signed by Nuclear Blast....

, played a Helvetic
Helvetic Republic
In Swiss history, the Helvetic Republic represented an early attempt to impose a central authority over Switzerland, which until then consisted mainly of self-governing cantons united by a loose military alliance, and conquered territories such as Vaud...

 accordion known as a zugerörgeli, which could be a distant relative (in one way or another) to the Swiss schwyzerörgeli
Schwyzerörgeli
The Schwyzeroergeli is a type of diatonic button accordion used in Swiss folk music. The name derives from the town/canton of Schwyz where it was developed. Oergeli is the diminutive form of the word Orgel...

, as both are indigenous to and very rare outside of Switzerland.

Manufacturing process



The best accordions are always fully hand-made, especially in the aspect of reeds; completely hand-made reeds have a far better tonal quality than even the best automatically manufactured reeds. Some accordions have been modified by individuals striving to bring a more pure sound out of low-end instruments, such as the ones improved by Yutaka Usui, a Japanese-born craftsman.

The manufacture of an accordion is only a partly automated process. In a sense, all accordions are handmade, since there is always some hand assembly of the small parts required. The general process involves making the individual parts, assembling the subsections, assembling the entire instrument, and final decorating and packaging.

Famous centres of production are the Italian cities of Stradella
Stradella
-Places in Italy:Municipalities *Stradella, in the Province of Pavia, LombardyCivil parishes *Stradella , in the commune of Bigarello, Province of Mantua, Lombardy...

 and Castelfidardo
Castelfidardo
Castelfidardo is a town and comune in the province of Ancona, in the Marche region of central-eastern Italy.It is particularly remembered for the Italian victory over a "volunteer" army defending the Papal States, on September 18, 1860...

, with many small and medium size manufacturers especially at the latter. Castelfidardo honours the memory of Paolo Soprani who was one of the first large-scale producers. Larger scale production existed in Germany by Hohner
Hohner
Hohner Musikinstrumente GmbH & Co. KG is a company specialising in the manufacture of musical instruments. Founded in 1857 by Matthias Hohner , Hohner is identified especially with harmonicas and accordions. The Hohner company has invented and produced many different styles, and most of the...

 and Weltmeister, but these lost volume by the end of the 20th century.

Other audio samples






External links