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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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1365 news items

The Lake Country Echo

The Lake Country Echo
Sun, 14 Feb 2016 08:18:45 -0800

Friday, April 1: Dave Moore is known for his songwriting and instrumental prowess on blues guitar, button accordion and harmonica. Friday, April 15: David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter. He has released 10 albums, won ...

Seward County Independent

Seward County Independent
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 04:00:00 -0800

Barak continued with his lessons for two years when Barak's cousin, Don Pracheil, introduced Barak to the button accordion. Barak soon frequented venues where other local players such as Glen (Gunner) Prochaska, Lumir Smith and Adolph Vacek were ...


Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:26:15 -0800

He sings and accompanies himself on a variety of instruments including guitar, banjo, concertina, mandolin, dulcimer, and button accordion. He is recognized internationally as an authority on the history and presentation of traditional sea music and ...

Wicked Local Scituate

Wicked Local Scituate
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:33:45 -0800

In addition to Egan and Horan, the current lineup includes long time members Eamon McElholm on guitars, keyboards, and vocals, and Mick McAuley on button accordion, and vocals. Vocalist and banjo player Moira Smiley is the newest member. Solas has ...

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:50:39 -0800

... anniversary anchored by founding members Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), longtime members Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and Mick McAuley (button accordion, ...

Limerick Post

Limerick Post
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:26:15 -0800

Fiddle, flute, an uilleann piper from Italy, button accordion, bodhrán and guitar combine with the emotive voice of Marianne Knight to unleash a potent mix of traditional with a modern day edge. “The blazing energy they possess is matched with ...
The Messenger (subscription)
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 05:52:30 -0800

For two decades, Danú's virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, bouzouki, and vocals (Irish and English), have performed around the globe and recorded seven critically acclaimed albums. Tickets are $20/$16 (All students: half ...

Orillia Packet & Times

Orillia Packet & Times
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:37:30 -0800

Anne Lederman and Ian Bell are known both for their dynamic reinterpretations of traditional Canadian music and their original songs and tunes. Virtuoso performers on fiddle, harmonica, guitar, mandolin, button accordion and voices (with a little jaw ...

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