accordion, General, irish music, traditonal music

Learn about Accordions

accordion parts
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There are many types and styles of accordions. Each one has its own parts and structure. There are some common components to all accordions. Understanding the various parts and their functions is essential to understand accordions as a whole. Just to get yourself familiar with the parts of accordion. Here are the list of components you should know of.

Keys and Buttons

As stated above, the reed block connects to a set piano keys on one side and buttons on another. Although most accordions have both buttons and piano keys, there are some accordions that only have the bass buttons. These types of accordions only have one side with buttons.

The valves that cover the reeds on the treble side will open when you press a piano key. The bellows allow air to flow through the reeds when they are open. The reeds vibrate and produce the sound. The bass side uses valves instead. Instead of using levers, it uses rods and rods that attach to buttons to control the reeds.

The air button, which is a special key in accordions, is present. The air button allows you to move the bellows, without making any sounds. The air button is useful because compressing or expanding the bellows creates a different sound.

During instrument play, the piano key side of an accordion can be clearly seen. The buttons, unlike the keys, are not visible to the musicians’ eyes. One must be able memorize the buttons to be an accordionist. Although tactile clues are available for buttons, this can be difficult for beginners.


The most prominent part of an accordion is its bellows. The bellows are made from pleated cardboard or cloth and reinforced with metal and leather. The middle of the bellows connects the bass and treble casings. The bellows are compressed to create air pressure. Expanding it creates a vacuum. Both cases allow air to pass through the free-reeds, causing it vibrate and sound.

The bellows, which are similar to a violin’s bow and the main instrument for articulation, work in a manner similar to a violin’s bow. They are the “lungs of the accordion.” They control the tone of each note, as well as the length, control and fade. For example, a rapid and forceful use of the bellows can produce loud sounds while a slow, smooth bellowing will produce soft sounds.


An accordion also has a switch that is located on the bellows. Each switch can be clicked to adjust the accordion’s “voice.” Each switch connects with a single reedblock. An accordion’s number of reed blocks determines how many switches it has. What are the switches? Every reed block within the accordion has a different register or octaves.

A switch can be clicked to open a reedblock, allowing you to play that specific octave. The switches allow musicians to mix and match reed blocks of different octaves or registers to create various sounds. One can play both the lowest and highest timbres or octaves simultaneously. They can create sounds that are unique and different than playing just one octave.

Some accordions use blocks with similar tunings. Although they have minor differences, when combined, they produce a unique sound effect. It produces unique vibrations on a timbre called the tremolo effect when it is combined with switches. This effect is used in French music. This effect is also used in folk music from Italy, Germany, Ireland, and Mexico.


Reeds are used to produce accordions’ sounds. The casings of accordions contain these reeds. The casing, which is the rectangular part of the accordion with buttons or keys attached, is what you see. You can find the casings on either side. The accordion’s casing contains reed blocks. An accordion can have up to six reed block.

Reed blocks can be made from wood or metal. Each reed block within the treble case has a series reeds that are covered by valves. The valves are made of leather and reeds are made from steel and brass. The treble casing, which is often located on the right side or accordion’s right, has piano keys. The reed blocks’ ends taper from wide to narrow, creating a harmonica-like structure. The bass casing, or the bass machine, is located on the opposite side to the accordion. It uses reed block sound to produce sound, just like the treble casing.

You can use both the bass and treble sides of the accordion to play the melody and chords simultaneously. The accordion is a versatile musical instrument. An accordionist can be described as a one-man band.

Bass Button Placement

The Stradella Bass system is the most popular for accordions. The standard bass system layout is also known as the standard layout. It features columns of buttons that are arranged in a circle with fifths (C-G-D-A-E-B – F). 120 buttons are arranged in six columns, which is the most common layout. Although smaller accordions may have fewer rows or columns, the layout is similar.


If you are keen to learn accordion . Check out this blog on best accordion tunes for beginners.

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