accordion, irish music, traditonal music

Difference between Concertina and Accordion

types of accordions
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Many definitions of accordion and concertina exist, many of which were written by people who have no idea about the differences or what they are. Squeezeboxes can be described as portable, bellow-driven, free-reed musical instrument. I refer to “portable” as “can be played while being moved (being ported). Harmonias, rocking melodeons, and reed organs are all bellows-driven, free reed musical instruments. However, they are not portable, so they cannot be squeezeboxes.

Squeezebox family consists of accordions and concertinas. There are two types of accordions (unisonoric or bisonoric) on each side. There are many subtypes of each of these subtypes. Some subtypes are so amazing that they transcend the boundaries of the original two branches.

Let’s get back to the original question: What is the distinction between a concertina or an accordion? Concertinas use keys that operate parallel to the bellows movement, while accordions use keys that are perpendicular. There are some squeezeboxes that are so interconnected it is difficult to peg, but if one understands the underlying design of the box (or origin/basis), it can be easily pin it.

Let’s talk more about the various types of accordions. One should choose an accordion based on style, configuration, purpose.

Types of Accordions

Button Accordions : There are many styles and configurations of button accordions, but all have single notes on one side and bass and chords on the other. The British Chromatic button accordion was popularized by Sir Jimmy Shand, a Scottish legend.

Piano Accordions: The most popular accordion system is the piano accordion. They are often preferred by organists and pianists who love the simplicity of the keyboard. The instrument gained fame with Guido Deiro’s Vaudeville performances in the early 20th Century.

Digital accordions: Thanks to the inclusion of electronic circuitry, squeezeboxes can now be pushed and pulled into the Age of the Microchip. Although the free reeds are gone, the instruments still feel the same as traditional accordions. They also have many more sound options, MIDI compatibility and effects like chorus and reverb.

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