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musical instrument consisting of a rectangular bellows expanded and contracted between the hands. Buttons or keys operated by the player open valves, allowing air to enter or to escape. The air sets in motion free reeds, frequently made of metal. The length, density, shape, and elasticity of the reeds determine the pitch. The first accordions were made in 1822 by Friedrich Buschmann in Berlin. Bouton added a keyboard 30 years later in Paris, thus producing a piano accordion. The accordion is frequently used in folk music. See concertinaconcertina
, musical instrument whose tone is produced by free reeds. It was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1829. It is a chromatic instrument similar to the accordion, but its bellows are attached to hexagonal blocks having handles and buttons (finger pistons), and it is
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) The general name, first used in 1829, for reed instruments with prepared ready chords for the left hand. When one button is pressed, a whole chord sounds.

(2) The name widely used in Russia to refer to the baian with a piano-type keyboard for the right hand.


Das Akkordeon. Leipzig, 1964.



a musical instrument with free-beating metal reeds which are vibrated by wind pumped by bellows.

The German master K. F. L. Buschmann invented the first manual accordion in 1822. In the 1830’s and 1840’s the production of accordions arose in Russia, in Tula. Russian masters developed varieties of two basic types of accordion. In the first type, every button emits a different sound depending on whether the bellows are compressed or expanded. Examples of the first type are the Tula, the Saratov, the cherepashka, the Bologoe, the Beloborodov, the Kasimov, the St. Petersburg (a forerunner of the baian), and the mariiskaia marla-karmon’. They have the usual sound distribution in the diatonic scale: C1, E1, G1, C2, E2, G2, C3 when the bellows are expanded, and D1, F1, A1, B1, D2, F2, A2 when they are compressed. In the second type of accordion the expanding and compressing of the bellows does not change the pitch of sounds. Some accordions of this type are the viatskaia, the livenka, the rusianka, the eletskaia roial’naia (a forerunner of the accordeon), the Siberia, and the khromka (chromatic accordion), as well as national accordions, such as the Tatar, the kubos, the pshine, the komuz and the selective Azerbaijan. Besides the accordions listed above, accordions with one or two rows of keys as well as Viennese and German ones have always been available in Russia. Accordions are known as the most common musical folk instrument.


Novosel’skii, A. Kniga o garmonike. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Blagodatov, G. Russkaia garmonika. Leningrad, 1960.
Mirek, A. Spravochnik po garmonikam. [Moscow] 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a portable box-shaped instrument of the reed organ family, consisting of metallic reeds that are made to vibrate by air from a set of bellows controlled by the player's hands. Notes are produced by means of studlike keys
2. short for piano accordion
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Through the various seminars and concerts being organised, attendees and participants will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the instrument -- and, of course, to listen to accordion music by some of the very best in the field.
Along with 17-year-old Martin, were his tutor Steven Carcary on accordion and Kevin Milne on drums.The trio performed two very polished performances of easy listening music, mainly comprising Scottish and Irish tunes.
"We love to share the beauty and wonder of the accordion with the public ...," said Joseph Natoli, president of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International.
Founded by accordion queen Karen Tweed in 2010, the No1 Ladies bring together passionate accordion players from all corners of the UK.
Bev Lovell, whose grandfather founded the company almost 90 years ago, told The Guardian that the thieves knew what they were doing as they "left all the cheaper accordions here".
The concert concluded with a pleasing collaboration of choir and accordions on the March of the Hebrew Slaves from Verdi's Nabucco.
Jacobson does well to outline its growth, rise, and celebrities, but her close advocacy for accordions, musicians, and accordion music sometimes leaves the reader wanting more critical analysis.
Warm tributes have been paid to the devoted couple, who had lived in the area most of their lives and were leading members of the Glendale Accordion and Fiddle Club, which meets every month in the town's Glendale Hall.
Yesterday the PSNI said the accordions were taken on Monday August 6.
Adam Zenk, 2, had waited excitedly for the band to strap on its accordions and play.
Among the hundreds of performers to appear on the programme was accordion player and singer, Steve Roxton who starred on the penultimate show in 1978.