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accordion

accordion

The History of the Accordion
The accordion was invented in the early 1800s in Europe drawing from the concept of older Chinese instruments and only taking shape in its modern form later in that century – The cheng. It is in fact the first known instrument to use the free vibrating reed principle, which is the basis of the accordion’s sound production. The Cheng attracted the attention of European musicians and craftsmen after being taken to Russia around the year 1770. Assertions that this marked the introduction of the free-vibrating reed principle in Europe are debatable. Among the earlier variations on this design in the West was the portative, which was widely heard in England during the 12th and 13th centuries. The portative consisted of a small keyboard, bellows, and reed pipes, and was strapped onto the player:
  • 1822 – F. Buschmann invented small portable keyboard, with free vibrating reeds inside the instrument itself, He dubbed it the hand-aeoline
  • 1829 – Cyrillus Damian, a Viennese instrument make design featured two to four bass keys that produced chords within a range of an octave
  • 1829 – Sir Charles Wheatstone was awarded the British Patent No. 5803 for his concertina
  • 1832 – The first music book featuring both music and arrangements was written by A. Reisner
  • 1850 – The chromatic accordion, which produced the same note on the press and the draw of the bellows
  • 1877 – Schrammel accordion had 52 treble buttons arranged in three rows that produced the same notes
reference: www.encyclopedia.com, Lieberstraum No3 F.Liszt  Diamond Accordion Band

image: accordion – project stamps 2015

In 1909 Pietro Deiro, brought his custom built piano accordion to the United States and, thanks to a successful New York concert at the Washington Square earned a reputation for accordion. Matthias Hohner was to the accordion what Henry Ford was to the automobile and enterprising figure who made his product available to a great number of people at reasonable prices. A clockmaker in Trossingen, Germany, Hohner had begun building accordions at his workshop in 1857, but  20 years after his death the business he had founded was creating them by mass production.

The parameters of performance have grown in recent years. Music for piano, celeste, harpsichord, harmonium, and organ may now be played on the free bass accordion without having to alter a note of the score, thanks to the greater freedom allowed for the left hand. Repertoire of works specifically written for accordion include such composers as Tchaikovsky, Berg, Paul Creston, Henry Cowell, Walter Riegger, Alan Hovhaness, Tito Guidotti, Lukas Foss, James Nightingale & William Schimmel. The accordion has also made inroads into the field of popular music. accordion was able to produce such a loud sound [ amplification hadn’t been invented yet), it became quite popular, especially for dance music.

The modern accordion has three primary sections, the expandable bellows and the two wooden end units called the treble and bass ends. The treble end of the accordion has a keyboard attached. The bass end contains finger buttons that play bass notes and chords. The reeds and electronic components are located on the inside of the bellows.
The accordion is called a free reed instrument because it uses free-standing reeds to produce sound, similar to the harmonica. The reeds are made up of metal strips that are riveted to either side of a rectangular metal plate.  When air passes through this slot in the appropriate direction the reed vibrates, producing the characteristic accordion sound. There are three main styles of accordion: diatonic, chromatic and keyboard.
One of recent invention is an accordion attachment that allows the musician to modify notes by bending the tone. Future instruments will be also more refined in the areas of tone and acoustic projection of sound, as well as in the areas of playability and handling
t-penned by iter-cursus
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