The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument played by stretching and squeezing the hands in order to work its bellows.
The accordion’s trademark sound is produced by tapping its keys while simultaneously working the bellows.
Types of Accordion
- Piano Accordions - equipped with a keyboard similar to a piano. Compared to a regular piano keyboard, these black and white piano accordion keys are smaller and easier to press. To play a particular note you simply press the respective key associated with it.
- Button Accordions - equipped with a group of buttons rather than the piano-styled keys of the piano accordion. Compared to piano accordions, button accordions play notes by pressing all of the buttons on that respective note’s row.
- Diatonic Accordions - also known as a melodeon, this is a type of button accordion on which the keyboard contains buttons that produce diatonic scale notes. This type of accordion is popular in many European countries.
- Chromatic Accordions - a type of button accordion whose rows of buttons are arranged chromatically.
- Concertinas – are bellow-driven musical instruments similar to accordions. A concertina’s buttons, however, are located on the sides of the bellows, which is where concertina players hold their hands.
Which accordion should I buy?
It will depend on the sound you’re looking for. If you are interested in playing music similar to jazz or rock and roll, you’re likely to want a piano accordion, while chromatic accordions are fitting for more classical pieces.
- With diatonic accordions, you will get a different note when you expand the bellows, compared to when you squeeze them.
- Chromatic accordions are not affected by this, as its reeds are all tuned to the same note.
- Piano accordions are harder to play if you are not used to the piano keyboard. Compared to button accordions, piano accordions are usually louder.
- Button accordions are most commonly used in folk music.