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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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694 news items


Wed, 23 Sep 2015 06:41:15 -0700

A man is offering a reward for anyone who can return his Mikus button accordion, which he lost after performing at the Czech Club of Dayton on Sept. 13. The accordion in its case may have dropped onto the roadside along Ohio 4 because it was placed in ...


Sun, 04 Oct 2015 05:01:35 -0700

“It dawned on me that while I'd been learning a lot about bluegrass and blues and early jazz and those traditions, the stuff I grew up with was a folk tradition,” said March, who plays the button accordion. “It was considered an outrageous statement ...
Tucson Weekly
Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:45:00 -0700

CONJUNTO BLUES follows the migration of the diatonic button accordion, first introduced to Texas by German settlers and appropriated by Xicano communities along the US/Mexico border that, combined with the 12-stringed bajo sexto, has become the heart ...
Columbus Telegram
Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:03:45 -0700

The program, Nebraska's Musical Smorgasbord: Music from Various Ethnic Groups in Nebraska, will explore the diversity of folk music that has been a part of Nebraska's history. Sayre will be performing on the button accordion, concertina, dulcimer ...
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:45:00 -0700

His singing is accompanied with guitar, button accordion and Anglo concertina, and supported by a stage presence blending relaxed expertise with charismatic good humor. He has performed widely at festivals in the UK and beyond, and has made many ...

Irish America

Irish America
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 21:52:30 -0700

Trad musician Patty Furlong accompanied Maura on button-accordion. Megan O'Donnell read several poems. An award-winning fiction and non-fiction writer, she is a recent CCNY graduate who studied with IAW&A board member Brendan Costello. Among ...

The Sunday Dispatch

The Sunday Dispatch
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 11:22:30 -0700

Jolin, who has been performing since 1978, specializes in the hammered dulcimer, banjo, button accordion and harmonica. He also is a highly-skilled instrument builder, crafting hammered dulcimers, mountain dulcimers and bowed psaltries. He delighted ...

Limerick Leader

Limerick Leader
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:52:30 -0700

He continued a long family farming history and had run a top-class silage harvesting operation, while maintaining all his own machinery to an impeccable standard. John could turn his hands to anything. A gifted musician, he could play the button ...

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