Origin and History of the Accordion
The Accordion was invented by Friedrich Buschmann in 1822 in Berlin, Germany and was called the Handäoline. Cyrill Demian (1772–1847) of Vienna created another version of the accordion with buttons in 1829. His patent of the name 'Accordion' was officially granted in May 1829 and many credit Cyril Demian with the invention of the accordion while others give credit to Friedrich Buschmann's invention. Today there are many variations of the accordion, some with buttons and others with keyboards, essentially they are all constructed in a similar manner, two boxes separated by a bellows.
Accordion Irish Symbol
The accordion is very popular in modern Irish folk and traditional music and is available in different forms. The two row button accordion as shown in the picture above is popular with modern Irish accordion players. There are several types of accordions available, for example the Melodeon and Concertina versions are also popular in Irish music as well as the piano accordion which is often played by marching bands popular all across Ireland. Traditionally the accordion was popular with the lower classes as opposed to the harp which was played more by the upper classes. The accordion comprises three components, these are:
The Bellows. These are squeezed which in turn pushes air through to the reeds
The Keys or Buttons. These are pressed producing the notes
The Reeds. The reeds vibrate inside the body of the accordion and make the sound
Accordion Irish Symbol - Music Genres
The accordion is popular in many different music genres. In Ireland it is very popular in folk music, marching bands and céilí bands and is often played to accompany traditional Irish dancing. The piano accordion is usually played in marching bands whereas the Concertina is more popularly played in traditional Irish music setting such as Céilís.
Fairy Tale Image of a Concertina
Accordion Irish Symbol - Festivals
The piano accordion is a popular instrument in marching bands. Marching bands form a major role in every St Patricks day parade! In Ireland, competitions are held across the country each year and bands from many towns across Ireland strive to win these competitions. The 'Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann' (Festival of Music In Ireland) held annually attracts tens of thousands of people for a week long festival of traditional Irish music, competitions and parades. Marching bands form an important part of this event. In fact, worldwide, particularly in the US, marching bands are extremely popular and an essential ingredient in any celebration of Irish music or event.
Facts about the Accordion Irish Symbol
The Piano Accordion became popular in Ireland in the 1950's and is commonly played in marching bands which are still very popular today
An accordionist is the name given to a person who plays the accordion!
The concertina, Melodion and Melophone are all variations of the Accordion
The Accordion is often nicknamed the 'one-man band' or the 'squeeze box'!
The accordion is comprised of three main components, The Bellows, The Reeds and the Keys or Buttons