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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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130705 videos foundNext > 


The Chromatic Button Accordion Explained

My detailed explanation of this instrument is designed for anyone who is thinking of starting to play it. Although I play a B system instrument, most of what I say in the video is applicable...

Jacqueline's Waltz (Tom Anderson) - Button Accordion

This is a lovely waltz entitled 'Jacqueline's Waltz' by Tom Anderson (not the Will Starr version which I am hoping to upload soon). I hope you enjoy my interpretation of this lovely melody...

♫ ♪ ♫ Irish Traditional Music ♪ ♫ ♪ ~ Damien Mullane on the Button Accordion

Box player Damien Mullane plays two reels. The first reel is called "Clais An Adhmid" by Finbarr Dwyer The second tune is by Billy McComiskey and it is called "Mac's Reel" I got this...



SERGEI TELESHEV J. S. Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor on Accordion

SERGEI TELESHEV Bayan (Button Accordion) Сергей Телешев Баян Buy CD at http://triovoronezh.com/TrioVoronezh/Buy_CD.html www.triovoronezh.com.

Walter Ostanek Button Accordion

The diatonic button accordion has been a part of Walter Ostanek's life since the age of 9 years. Here Walter demonstrates the unique qualities of this instrument, and even plays a short polka.

Whiskey in the jar on button accordion

Aussie boy Hector gives his version of the Irish tune 'Whiskey in the jar'. It is played on the Hohner button accordion.

Beginner Irish Button Accordion Free Lessons No.1 of 6 - with Derek Hickey - OAIM.IE

http://www.oaim.ie/bc-accordion-basics Six free beginner accordion lessons onsite | Please post any questions you have about this Irish accordion lesson, or, Irish music in general in the...

How To Play The Chromatic Button Accordion - Lesson One

"Getting Strapped In And Playing Your First Tune" Music sheet to "Frere Jacques" can be downloaded from my website www.daddylongles.com Go to "Chromatic Accordion". "Basic Music Theory ...

130705 videos foundNext > 

710 news items


Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:56:15 -0700

Added Pertulla: "Previously the KORPIKLAANI albums were played with a piano-accordion and now I play with a traditional button-accordion which was more widely used in Finland anyways. In the arrangements you can hear more tonal harmonies and folky ...

Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe New Mexican
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 03:52:30 -0700

On a range of instruments including the hurdy-gurdy, Irish bouzouki, diatonic button accordion, and jaw harp, the musicians play a mix of traditional Quebecois songs and original pieces, singing in French. The music is reminiscent of joyful open ...
Leinster Express
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 02:22:30 -0700

Karen McCormack teaches button accordion, flute, tin whistle, keyboard and fiddle from 4:15-8 pm. Maria Hearnett teaches beginners from 6-8 pm. Tin whistle, banjo, mandolin, concertina, fiddle and button accordion. If your child has an interest contact ...

The Telegram (subscription)

The Telegram (subscription)
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:07:30 -0700

0 Comment; Send to a friend; Print. By Erich Engert Special to TC Media St. John's Art Stoyles, a well-known accordion player who delighted many with his skill on his diatonic button accordion, died April 6. He was 72. © Submitted photo. Art Stoyles.

Peninsula Daily

Peninsula Daily
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:30:00 -0700

Admission is $10 at the door. Mojito is Vickie Townsend on the button accordion; Michael Townsend on the Cuban tres guitar; Bill Kiely on percussion; Dirk Anderson on bass; and Kurt Festinger on various saxophones. For information about the group ...

Port Townsend Leader

Port Townsend Leader
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 03:18:50 -0700

... Quintet at Manresa Castle on Friday evening, April 24. These Port Townsend musicians have been playing their blend of folk, Cajun and Latin styles for more than 20 years. Michael is to play the Cuban tres guitar, and Vickie, the button accordion ...

The Newtown Bee

The Newtown Bee
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 05:22:30 -0700

The trio is comprised of Máirtín O'Connor on two-row button accordion, Cathal Hayden on fiddle and tenor banjo, and Seamie O'Dowd on guitar and vocals. Each is a master of his instrument and a veteran of numerous other well-known Irish traditional ...

DC Metro Theater Arts (press release) (blog)

DC Metro Theater Arts (press release) (blog)
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 08:45:00 -0700

Buddy Connolly played button accordion and piano. Greg Anderson played acoustic guitar. Lindsey Horner played upright and electric bass and the occasional harmonica lick. Dave Markow played drums and sang. And Deirdre Brennan played tenor banjo ...

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