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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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612 news items

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:35:42 -0800

Ybarra taught herself to play the two-button accordion at age 4 by listening to the radio. Her mother pushed her to play the piano too. “I learned to read music because of her,” she said. But Ybarra's father would remind her that “on the accordion, you ...
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:07:30 -0800

While Josie played the trumpet and the piano, Larry played the concertina button accordion. Josie also taught some of the children the piano. Their children best recall special celebrations, and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with their ...

Dallas Observer (blog)

Dallas Observer (blog)
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:56:15 -0800

Jiménez and Max Baca and Los TexManiacs are pioneers of conjunto tejano, a Latin American genre of music that features a button accordion, bajo sexto, electric bass, and drum kit. Grammy award winning tejano legends, what else could you want? HDB.

Green Bay Press Gazette

Green Bay Press Gazette
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:10:56 -0800

Jerabek (who also sings and plays keyboards and sousaphone) received his first 3-row button accordion from his grandfather when he was 9 years old and taught himself how to play a few Czech and German songs for his family. Later inspired by Don ...

Ithaca Journal

Ithaca Journal
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 08:05:20 -0800

Members of Toivo include Richard Koski, playing button accordion, Jason Koski, mandolin; Stefan Senders, banjo; Jim Reidy, guitar; Harley Campbell, upright bass; and Annie Campbell, snare drum. Suggested donation at the door is $5. To learn more about ...

Santa Barbara Independent

Santa Barbara Independent
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 23:52:30 -0800

Christmas is not likely the first association you make when you hear traditional music from the great green isle of Eire. “We've been doing a kind of Irish Christmas for the past five years,” said Benny McCarthy, band manager and button accordion ...

Ithaca Journal

Ithaca Journal
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:17:04 -0800

Toivo includes Richard Koski, button accordion; Jason Koski, mandolin; Stefan Senders, banjo; Jim Reidy, guitar; Harley Campbell, upright bass; and Annie Campbell, snare drum; they play also sorts of dance styles: waltzes, tangos, schottisches, polkas, ...


Fri, 05 Dec 2014 13:54:19 -0800

... and shoemakers, into the world of mythology and out again; singing that spins itself out of the mists and into the familiar 'Silent Night,' 'Little Drummer Boy' and 'Carol of the Bells,' and superb music of the pipes, flutes, fiddles, button ...

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