AccordionOne musical instrument not mentioned very often is the accordion.

Why? I don’t know for sure but here is some info about accordions by an avid player.

I hope you will enjoy this and add it to your musical studies.

One great thing about music is the variety of instruments and types of music that each culture around the world enjoys.

The accordion was developed in Europe in the 19th century and is still played today.

Three Types Of Accordions

This unique instrument uses bellows and carries the nickname of squeezebox.

The first one, used by musicians in Vienna looked quite different from the modern instruments that are played today. There are three main versions; the piano accordion with keyboard, the button and the concertina.

The Accordion Comes To America

Vaudeville performers in America and Britain made the accordion a familiar sound. French society has a long association with the instrument, often heard at formal balls.

It also became popular in French songs of the 1950s and street players are feted by tourists.

Holiday makers will also be familiar with buskers and waiters playing accordion music in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Cajun Accordions ?

Cajun music also uses the instrument, as does the bands playing polka dance music in various European countries.

Brazilian musicians play their dance music with it and a lot of Celtic music is written for it.

The Button version has been adapted in different countries around the world and is especially favored in Russia.

Electric Guitars, Accordions And Rock & Roll

Today, rock bands looking for a distinctive sound or who have some ethnic connection, use the accordion on their records. Celebrated grunge band, Nirvana took advantage of the instrument in their famous unplugged session.

Bass player Krist Novoselic, who has Croatian roots, is an accomplished player. Garth Hudson, Canadian session musician and member of The Band, is a classically trained musician who studied musical composition and also likes to play the accordion.

Folk rock fusion band, The Pogues blend the instrument with rock arrangements, in the hands of James Fearnley.

Other Musicians Embracing The Accordion

Another band to feature the instrument is They Might Be Giants, famous for the theme song of comedy show, Malcolm in the Middle, called Boss of Me. John Linnell is one half of the duo and he plays accordion on occasion.

The E Street Band is famous for backing Bruce Springsteen. Their keyboard player Danny Federici, also plays the instrument. The instrument is so versatile that it can be incorporated into most genres including jazz and new age music.

Digital Accordions

There is a digital version of the instrument, which makes it an appealing prospect to modern performers. As long as today’s performers take an interest in the instrument, its unique sound will never die. When cool rock stars play, the instrument becomes cool as well.

A Personal Accordion Story

It is strange to see an instrument as traditionally ridiculed as the accordion enjoying a resurgence among young people.

These days, you can buy accordions and accordion sheet music in almost any music store and what was once the subject of jokes is now virtually challenging the guitar for musical predominance.

My Plight With Learning To Play Accordion

I started learning how to play the accordion myself when I was just ten years old. Those days, I had to hide my accordion sheet music from friends, because if they saw me carrying it along with my school books, they would laugh at me.

Everyone thought that learning how to play the accordion was an occupation for ridiculous old men from France, and that the squeezebox was for squares.

So while they were all playing guitars in bad hard rock bands that sounded virtually identical, I was playing my squeeze box studying polkas, waltzes, Cajun zydeco, and old European folk melodies.

Higher Education Embraced My Accordion

When I got to college, though, things started to change.

My skinny, geeks demeanor suddenly was hip and cool to my compatriots. No one wanted to hear the standard lead guitar, rhythm guitar, drums, bass rock power lineup any more.

People were looking for something different, something new, or perhaps a new incarnation of something really rather old. I was in the perfect position to put my accordion playing to work.

I would do open mikes at first, then as I became more confident, I would start to play accordion shows.

I had a band backing me up consisting of mandolin, violin, doumbek, and electric bass, and we’d play the most strange melange of haunting old world music and modern funk this side of San Francisco. It was one of the best times of my life.

The Accordion Hobby

Of course, the band didn’t ever completely work out, but it has remained a hobby of mine since then, and we recently took a small tour after completing our most recent album.

As I have refined my accordion and song writing skills, and my band mates have grown in their abilities as well, our music has done nothing but improved.

I also recently played the accordion at the wedding of my best friend, Arthur, taking a moment to get up on stage with the other musicians and perform his favorite song.

Life is perfect when there is time to do what you most love! Don’t play the accordion? No matter what musical instrument you play, always remember, if you’re too busy to play music, you’re just too busy!

Filed under: Strickly Music