Accordion Facts

Accordion Facts
The accordion is a musical instrument in the wind family. It was invented in the early 1800s by Friedrich Buschmann in Germany. In German the instrument was referred to as the Akkordeon, a name derived from the word 'Akkord' which means 'musical chord, concord of sounds'. The accordion has keys like a piano, but it is held by the accordionist while playing. Sound is created when the keys (or buttons as some designs have) are pushed while the accordionist expands or compresses the bellows. Keys or buttons are played on the left and right side. The accordion is popular in a variety of music styles around the world today.
Interesting Accordion Facts:
The accordion is used in pop music, folk music, cajun music, jazz, classical, zydeco, and dance-pop.
Accordion music can be found in Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, and many other places.
Accordions can be made with many different configurations.
A bisonoric accordion is able to produce different pitches. This is dependent on the direction the bellows are moved.
A unisonoric accordion will produce the same pitch regardless of the direction the bellows are moved. Size also plays a factor in the pitch.
Right-hand manual accordions can have a chromatic or diatonic buttonboard, or a keyboard that looks like a piano.
The bellows are the section of cloth, cardboard, leather, and metal located in between the two manuals (keyboards and buttons). The bellows are expanded and contracted by the accordionist, which creates vacuum and pressure and drives air through the reed chambers to create sound.
The accordion is able to sustain sound for a much longer time than most other instruments.
The first to play the accordion in New York City's famous Carnegie Hall were Gene von Halberg, Abe Goldman, and Joe Biviano, in 1939.
There were an estimated 75,000 people in the United States in 1990 that could be classified as accordionists.
Pietro Deiro, an Italy-born accordionist was known as the 'Daddy of the Accordion'. He had a career in San Francisco during the vaudeville era and was even signed to RCA Victor Records.
Several cities in the United States have designated the accordion as their official instrument including St. Paul, Skokie, and Detroit. San Francisco considers the piano accordion to be its official instrument.
Accordions are still made with a lot of human hands as opposed to by machinery. Some parts are made by machine but the best are mostly hand made by craftsman.
Weird Al Yankovic is a Grammy-winning parodist who incorporates polkas into his music with his accordion. He was trained as a child to play the instrument.
The accordion has also been referred to affectionately as the squeezebox.
In other parts of the world the accordion has different names including the 'Sun-Fin-Chin' in China, the 'bayan' in Russia, the 'trekspill' in Norway, and the 'Fisarmonica' in Italy.
In the Soviet Union there was once a television show called 'Play Your Accordion'.
The 1900s to the 1960s has been referred to as the 'Golden Age of the Accordion'.

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