The Accordion

The accordion is a member of the free-reed aerophone family. It originates from Berlin and Tula, and was invented by Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann in 1822. It is sometimes referred to as Squeezebox

Necz0r, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Accordion player
Ben Francis, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The accordion is one of several European inventions of the early 19th century that use free reeds driven by a bellows. An instrument called accordion was first patented in 1829 by Cyrill Demian, of Armenian origin, in Vienna. Some of the first to become proficient on the accordion were French speaking Creoles in or near New Orleans, Louisiana, shortly after the instrument was invented. The accordion was portable and loud enough to be heard from front porches, at weddings, social gatherings, dances and as entertainment in theaters and taverns

The manufacture of an accordion is not a completely automated process. In a sense, all accordions could be called 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
Hundreds of different parts are used to make an accordion. These can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and others. The larger parts of the instrument, such as the frame, pallets, and reed block are typically made of poplar wood. This wood is useful because it is sturdy and lightweight. The bellows are made of strong manilla cardboard which is folded and pleated. Leather gussets are put on each inner corner, and metal protectors are fashioned on the outer corners to strengthen and protect the bellows. The treble grill is a fretted metal cover. It is often decorated with the manufacturer’s logo and is vented to allow greater sound production.
Annatsach, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Accordion players
17 Hippies by Paul Hudson, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

In North America the accordion is used to play dance-pop and folk music. But it in other countries like Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, it is used to play pop music.

It is usually played in a band

How do I play the instrument?

Hold the instrument to your chest with the keys facing away from you. Use backstraps to secure the accordion to your chest. Position your wrist parallel to the keys. Push down on the air valve and use the keys to play a song or melody.

Are there any instrument similar to this one?

Concertina is similar to the accordion.

How long does it take to learn?

It can take 6 to 8 weeks to learn to play basic songs. To reach an intermediate level, it might take 2 years. For advanced, it can take 3-5 years. To be considered an expert, it can take upto 10 years.

Is there special equipment needed for the instrument?

Does not require special equipment to play.

Accordion being taught
A Girl Playing an Accordian by Yan Krukau, via Pexels

Rock with a Star!

Let’s enjoy the sound of this instrument through this wonderful performance by Lawrence Welk and Myron Floren

Lawrence Welk and Myron Floren are playing “Stumbling” together. They are both famous accordion players.