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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Congratulations to all our young accordionists and Well Done!
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He is one of only four accordionists to win World Championships on both the acoustic and digital accordion and is the only person to also win a World Championship in Jazz.
Performing on the night, were accordionists Bill McMinn, Deryn Waitt, Robin Waitt, Susan Power, Newby Park, Norman Swainston, John Douglas, Kenny Jackson, James Frazer, John Waugh, Barbara Fisher and Andy Phillips.
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival wants accordionists from across the region to appear at this year's festival, which runs November 19-28, in a piece called Big Squeeze, Long Stretch which if you think about it, sounds perfect for an accordion player.
But Marzano and his fellow accordionists consider it - and virtually every other piece of music ever written - perfect for their chosen instrument.
The mystery though is just where all these accordionists are coming from.
The weekend saw about 200 musicians of all ages converge on the Coquetdale community from Friday night with a ceilidh in the Jubilee Hall before the main events on Saturday saw a Highland pipe band marching through the village and competitions for pipers, accordionists, fiddlers, flautists and dialect poets.
The group has hosted internationally renowned accordionists over the years, including Russian maestro Alexander Korbakov.
Gordon is well known in the Scottish music scene as one of the country's top accordionists. His talents have seen him travel the world sharing his music and performing with some of Scotland's finest entertainers in a career that has lasted more than 40 years.
I EXPECTED to be deluged by angry accordionists after I used "accordion music" as an example of an oxymoron, which is a phrase that appears to be contradictory.