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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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162339 videos foundNext > 

The Chromatic Button Accordion Explained

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645 news items


Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:02:30 -0800

These Dubliners have been taking traditional Irish music to the masses since the early '60s. Sure, they've had some lineup changes through the years, but Paddy Moloney is still at the wheel, playing tin whistle, Uilleann pipes, button accordion and ...
Helena Independent Record
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 05:05:02 -0800

Comprised of five versatile musicians and singers playing a wide selection of instruments -- from banjo to fiddle, guitar to bodhran and tin whistle to button accordion -- the band has captured the essential qualities of traditional Irish music and ...

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:22:30 -0800

The band is comprised of five versatile musicians and singers who play a wide selection of instruments, from banjo to button accordion. "Our music is mostly traditional Irish," O'Meachair said, "although we have two newly-composed songs in our ...
Tucson Weekly
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:01:56 -0800

Hailing from County Clare—famed for the slow, ornamented fiddling style of Martin Hayes—Socks is made up of brothers Shane and Fiachra Hayes, who play fiddle, banjo and button accordion, and Aodán Coyne, who sings and plays guitar. Named best new ...

Billings Gazette

Billings Gazette
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:00:00 -0800

They play a wide selection of instruments, including banjo, fiddle, guitar, bodhran, tin whistle and button accordion. The group captures the essential qualities of traditional Irish music while balancing the traditional music with innovative ...

Quad City Times

Quad City Times
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 01:46:08 -0800

He learned to play the button accordion as a young boy, and after retiring, played many years with the "Highway 30 Band," entertaining at nursing homes and senior centers. Elvis and Evelyn enjoyed traveling, especially to Germany and Mexico, and on ...

The Press, York

The Press, York
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:33:07 -0800

Moira, on all manner of recorders and a button accordion, and Paul, on mandolin and cittern, were enthusiastic and lively accompanists throughout, linking each chapter of Kitty's story with a dance tune. They then brought the night to an energetic ...
Bemidji Pioneer
Sat, 21 Feb 2015 23:07:30 -0800

The opening act will be Patty and the Buttons, a Minneapolis-based band known for their unique style of creating hot rhythms and "happy feet" with their button accordion, clarinet, guitar and bass as their core instruments. Tickets are $20 for general ...

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