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Main article: Accordion
Diatonic button accordion (German make, early 20th century).

A button accordion is a type of accordion on which the melody-side keyboard consists of a series of buttons rather than piano-style keys. The first button accordion is credited to Franz Walther in 1850.[1]

Types of Button Accordions[edit]

A wide variation in keyboard systems, tuning, action and construction of these instruments exists. The two main examples of this are the chromatic button accordion and the diatonic button accordion. The single row button accordion, also known as the Cajun accordion to scholars, is another version of the button accordion.[2]

Diatonic Button Accordion The diatonic button accordion has two or three rows of buttons, each row tuned to a certain key. They are usually seen in music genres such as Cajun and Norteño music. Also considered Bisonoric, meaning that the same button can produce two sounds. Another feature is that accidentals are not included, usually there will be a third row of buttons to represent the accidentals (which in turn makes it a chromatic diatonic).

Chromatic Button Accordion The chromatic button accordion is unisonoric meaning that the same button produces one sound. This accordion also has 3-5 rows of buttons and are not limited to one specific key as are the diatonic button accordions. This type of accordion is very popular in French music.[3]

Main Components[edit]

There are four main components of any accordion: the reeds, bellows, buttons or keys, and the switches. The accordion has a treble side, which usually encases the reeds, and a bass side, which usually has the buttons and/or keys. The buttons or keys control the pitch which is on the treble side, and there are usually buttons on the bass side that are harder to see but can be tactfully identified with something like a gem or crosshatch pattern. The bellows are considered the life of the instruments as they are the ones expanding and contracting air into the reeds, and are usually made out of paper. Lastly, the switches control the timbre or voice of the instrument.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Strahl Harrington, Helmi; Kubik, Gerhard (2001). "Accordion". Grove Music Online (Oxford Music Online ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  2. ^ Sexton, Rocky L. (January 1, 2001) [1st. Pub. 2000]. "Chapter 14: Zydeco Music and Race Relations in French Louisiana". In Kivisto, Peter & Rundblad, Georganne. Multiculturalism in the United States: Current Issues, Contemporary Voices. SAGE Publications. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-452-25174-5. 
  3. ^ a b "Squeezebox stories". The Arhoolie Foundation. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button_accordion — Please support Wikipedia.
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The Chromatic Button Accordion Explained

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699 news items

Times Colonist
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:00:00 -0700

Upon meeting her, she was amazed Bracewell could play such a sub-standard instrument so well (Bracewell now plays a quality Pigini button accordion). Milojevic recognized her talent and innate musicality. Most importantly, she took note of Bracewell's ...
Times Colonist
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 05:56:15 -0700

Upon meeting her, she was amazed Bracewell could play such a sub-standard instrument so well (Bracewell now plays a quality Pigini button accordion). Milojevic recognized her talent and innate musicality. Most importantly, she took note of Bracewell's ...

Huddersfield Examiner

Huddersfield Examiner
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 23:03:24 -0700

They have been appearing in Huddersfield for the past 12 years, wowing audiences with their button accordion playing. “They are absolutely amazing,” says Geoffrey, “they do their own arrangements of classical pieces and particularly like arranging ...

The Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Statesman
Sat, 25 Jul 2015 23:11:15 -0700

Local Basque folk/pop band Amuma Says No, pictured in 2010, takes traditional Basque music and plays it with its own high-energy style. Its members are Sean Aucutt, left, Jill Aldape, yellow shirt, Dan Ansotegui, Spence Martin, Rod Wray and Micah Deffries.

Morristown Green

Morristown Green
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 18:02:32 -0700

... Poland and Romania, accompanied by live music on instruments such as the balalaika and the garmoshka (folk button accordion). Dancers from Barynya have performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Institute, and the United Nations.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 09:18:52 -0700

Jack Badcock (guitar and vocals) called me from his Edinburgh home to chat about his band (that features Jani Lang on fiddle, Ciaran Ryan on banjo, mandolin and fiddle, Paddy Callaghan on button accordion and Balazs Hermann on double-bass) and their ...
Baltimore City Paper (blog)
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 10:37:30 -0700

He played his music on the bandoneon, a kind of button accordion. But on her new album, "Soledad," Alcorn has transplanted Piazzolla's compositions to the pedal steel guitar. In the process, she has completely reimagined not only Piazzolla's catalog ...

Topeka Capital Journal

Topeka Capital Journal
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:04:22 -0700

The band features virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion and bouzouki and vocalists who sing in both Irish and English. Tickets are $33 and $28. □ 7:30 p.m. March 12: The Second City, the famed improvisational comedy troupe ...

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