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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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688 news items

Bangor Daily News

Bangor Daily News
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:30:00 -0700

The Dardanelles comprise Rich Klass on bodhran and percussion, Matthew Byrne on vocals, bouzouki and guitar, Aaron Collis on button accordion, Emilia Bartellas on fiddle and, of course, Power. Their traditional music, with strong narrative threads and ...
Times Colonist
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:00:54 -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 ...

Ballymoney and Moyle Times

Ballymoney and Moyle Times
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:00:00 -0700

Classes will be offered in tin whistle, flute. fiddle, banjo, mandolin, button accordion as well as traditional Irish singing. Dunloy Comhaltas is part of the larger network of Comhaltas branches which form Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE). Dunloy ...
The Missourian
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 06:41:15 -0700

Several pieces in the exhibit represent Latin American countries, including a double-chamber water flute from Peru, and a Mayan whistle from 500 to 800 B.C.E. Also on view will be a selection of European folk instruments like a German button accordion, ...

Madison County Carrier

Madison County Carrier
Mon, 17 Aug 2015 21:07:30 -0700

... a tightly-knit, vibrant band with its origins deeply rooted in the Southern counties of Ireland, features five versatile musicians and singers playing a wide selection of instruments – from fiddle to banjo, guitar to bodhran and tin whistle to ...
My Eastern Shore
Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:52:30 -0700

Sean McComiskey soars through the tunes and fills the gaps with his soulful playing on the Irish style button accordion. His innovative harmonic style has earned him recognition far beyond his native Baltimore. He is the son of legendary button ...
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 08:58:19 -0700

... session's founder, alternating among button accordion, concertina, and tenor banjo. Deirdre Cunningham, the mando player and sometime correspondent for the Ithaca Times, said that players were coming up from Vestal and Binghamton for the session.


Thu, 13 Aug 2015 10:03:45 -0700

One of the bands we had in the studio this year during Irish Fest is the Scottish band Dallahan. The band is made up of Balázs Harmann (double-bass), Paddy Callaghan (button accordion), Ciarán Ryan (banjo/mandolin/fiddle), Jani Lang (fiddle), and Jack ...

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