Brief History of the Accordian

Posted By admin on March 12, 2009

The accordion is a potable acoustical musical instrument that is box shaped, and is derived from the hand held bellows-driven family of free-reed aerophone instruments. The accordion is sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays this particular instrument is known as an accordionist. The accordion is played by compressing or expanding the bellows while pressing keys or buttons which causes valves known as pallets to open, allowing for air to flow across brass strips known as reeds. These reeds vibrate in such a way that it allows sound to be produced from inside the body. The accordion instrument is often known to be a one man band because no single accompanying instrument is needed for an accordionist to play an entire song. The performer is usually responsible for playing the melody of the song using the buttons or the keys on the right hand, and the accompaniment of the song is played through the use of pre set and bass chord buttons on the left hand.

The accordion is an instrument that is often used in folk music, especially in South America, Russia, North America and in Europe. The accordion is commonly associated with busking, and it is also popularly included in many popular musical acts. The accordion also often finds it way into classical music performances including both solo and orchestral performances.

The oldest name that is used for this particular group of instruments is Harmonika, which comes as a mixture of the words “aer” and “monos”, Greek words for air and unit, and “Cassa” meaning box. Native versions of the accordion name are used more often today, which are references to the type of accordion that was patented by Cyrill Demian as an accordion that automatically coupled chords on the bass side of the instrument.

Accordions are crafted in a large number of different types, styles and configurations. There is no single standard accordion. For this reason, things that may be possible to do with one type of accordion may not be possible at all to achieve with another. Some accordions, for example, are bisonoric which means that they are capable of producing different pitches depending on what direction the bellows are moving in. Other accordion instruments are unisonoric which means that they produce the same pitch no matter which way the bellows are moving in. Some accordions make use of a chromatic button board for the right hand manual, while others make use of a diatonic button board for the right hand manual.

Some accordions are capable of playing in different registers than others, and some use piano style musical keyboards for the right hand manual. Additionally, different accordion craftsmen and technicians can tune similar registers in slightly different manners, personalizing the end result to best suit their needs. The boundaries of what can define an accordion are quite broad. The accordion is an interesting and versatile instrument that can be utilized in many genres of music from orchestral solos to rock music.

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