17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (2023)

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (1)

The term "accordion" is derived from the German word "akkord", which means "accordion".musical chordorsolid agreement. The accordion is a family of Squeezebox, Free-Reed,aerophonic instruments. these instrumentscontain a reed placed in a frame over an opening. When air flows through the opening, it vibrates the reed, producing musical sounds.

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (2)

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History of the Accordion

The accordion evolved from free-reed instruments, which are believed to have been first made in China sometime in the 2nd century.ndmillennium BC The instrument was called "sheng" and looked like a mouth pipe organ. It is still played to this day.

The contemporary form of the accordion was probably created in 1822 by Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann in Berlin; However, there is some controversy about it. Russian researchers claim that the first simple accordion was made by Timofey Vorontsov in Tule in 1820 and by Ivan Sizov in 1830.

The first instrument called the accordion was patented by Austrian-Armenian inventor Cyrill Demian in Vienna; However, unlike the modern versions in common use today, this accordion only had buttons instead of a keyboard, and the right hand operated the bellows.

In 1828 the accordion was introduced to Britain from Germany; Initially, it was not well received by the British public, but soon became very popular. Driven by the Industrial Revolution, accordion construction quickly spread throughout Europe. In the 1840s, accordions were not only made in Germany and Austria, but also in Russia, France and Italy.

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As the accordion grew in popularity, its makers sought to change its perception from a popular instrument to a more "respectable" instrument. In the 1920s, Hohner, a leading accordion manufacturer in Germany, began releasing classical sheet music and successfully developed the accordion from a popular to a classical instrument. He also opened an accordion school and formed an orchestra that toured Germany and other neighboring countries, showing the accordion in a new light. Today, the company has relocated its manufacturing facilities to China, making the country the largest accordion manufacturer in the world.

Nowadays, the accordion is used not only for playing ethno or folk music, but can also be heard in pop, rock and pop-rock music, and even in sophisticated classical concerts.

Types of Accordion

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (3)

Accordions come in many shapes and sizes. Some contain piano keys, while others feature knobs. Depending on the manufacturer and the year of manufacture, accordions can be made of different materials, have different reeds and the number of keys. Because of this, its design and musical sound can vary from instrument to instrument. Some vintage varieties feature ornate embellishments, while newer models represent technology.

Here are some of the most popular types of accordions.

Button accordions

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (4)

AButton accordion, as the name suggests, is a type of accordion where the treble or melody side of the board consists of buttons instead of piano keys. This is one of the two main types of accordions. It is believed that the first button accordion was made by Franz Walther in Vienna in 1859. These accordions come in a variety of configurations and styles; However, all button accordions have a single note button on one side and bass and chord buttons on the other.

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Button accordions are used in a number of European countries and other countries where Europeans have settled.

Piano Accordions

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (5)

The second main type of accordion is the piano accordion and as the name suggests it has a piano style keyboard. The right treble keyboard has the same layout and design as a regular piano. A full size accordion has 41 treble keys and approximately 3+ octaves of notes. The left side consists of a key panel for the bass accompaniment. A full-size piano accordion has 120 buttons, but there are some variants that have 140 buttons. The bass system can be Free Bass, Stradella or French 3-3. Usually, however, the bass keys are constructed in the stradella style.

Students learning to play the piano accordion begin with a "12-bass" accordion, which has 12 bass buttons for the left hand and a two-octave keyboard for the right hand. The most common full-size piano keyboard has a range from a low “F” to a high “A”.

The great advantage of the piano accordion is that it is very flexible and adaptable to any style of music. In the United States, the piano accordion is popularly used in folk music, although it is now being used increasingly in contemporary popular music as well. In Brazil, the accordion is even more popular than the guitar, and is used in forms of popular music such as forró and sertanejo. It is also popular in Italian, German and Balkan music.

Unisonic Accordions

Another major difference between accordions is their unison or bisonor nature. These terms refer to how the bellows creates tones and pitches by moving air through the reeds. On a unison accordion, a key or button produces the same tone or note no matter which way the bellows is moving. Accordion tuning also depends on the size of the instrument.

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bisonoric accordions

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (6)

A bisonor accordion, unlike a unison accordion, produces two distinct tones or pitches when a button is pressed, depending on the direction of the bellows. When the bellows are pulled out they produce a different sound and when they are pushed in they produce a different sound.

chromatic accordion

chromatic accordionsThey have knobs for the right side of the treble and the left side of the bass. These accordions have a bass button configuration similar to that of a piano accordion, which is usually stradella or free bass. This gives the instrument a wider pitch range, with the Treble side containing a 3, 4, or 5 row button configuration. The treble side usually has a C chord or B chord, although the notes are arranged on the keyboard in a slightly different style - with C being in the first row of the C system and the third row of the B staff.

System C is great for playing chords, while System B is great for classical music. Although chromatic accordions are used in a variety of musical styles, it depends on how the accordion's reeds are tuned. Today they are most commonly used in classical music in free or converter bass accompaniment, as well as in Balkan and Russian folk music. Although these instruments are not very common in the United States, they are very popular in Europe.

Some variants of the chromatic accordion include the Russian garmon and the Finnish C system. Both variants have a slightly different style and keyboard layout, but are not as common as the chromatic of the B and C systems.

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diatonic accordion

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (7)

These types of accordions are widely used in folk and ethnic music. Most diatonic accordions are button accordions that have one or more rows of buttons. The main difference between a chromatic and diatonic accordion is that the reeds for diatonic accordions are bisonoric. This means that the sound will be different when you pull or push the bellows. The same applies to bass tones and chords, which differ depending on the direction of the bellows.

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Because of their diatonic style, these accordions can only play a few keys. A model with three rows of keys can be supplied with keys C, F, G or Eb, B and F. Other keys are also available.

Single-row diatonic accordions are very popular in Celtic music, and Northern and Cajun musicians use this accordion shape almost exclusively. The diatonic accordion is also used in zydeco music.

Digital Accordions

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (9)

With advances in technology, accordions have also jumped on the microchip bandwagon. Digital accordions come with built-in electronics, while complimentary picks may or may not be present. But even these accordions have the appearance of traditional accordions. The big advantage is that they can now create many more types of sounds, include effects like chorus and reverb, and are MIDI compatible.


While not a "real" accordion, the accordion has enough characteristics to be classified as a variant accordion. Accordions are small, hands-free reed instruments unique to the earlier accordion. Their compact size makes these accordions great for travel and are often associated with sailors taking the musical instrument with them on their voyages.

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Concertinas have several types of systems, including English, English, German, and duet concertinas. This instrument is very versatile and can be unison, like the chromatic accordion, or bison, like the diatonic button accordion. Concertinas are very popular in Europe, especially Ireland, for playing traditional folk music.

Special type of hybrid accordions

There are several unique and unusual types of hybrid accordions used in different countries.

Russian garmon

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (10)

ÖRussian garmonis a button accordion with two rows of buttons on the treble side playing notes in the diatonic scale and at least two rows of buttons on the left side playing primary chords and relative harmonic minor keys. Many instruments have extra keys on the right side for accidentals and extra chords for playing related keys, and a row of extra free bass keys for bass melodies.

In addition to traditional Russian music, garmon is popularly used by Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Ossetians, Cherkess, Georgians and the Mari people of the Ural and Volga regions. It is also an important tool in Slovenia. Some modern songs can also be played on the Garmon and have gained popularity in the United States and Europe.

Schrammel accordion

This accordion has a high side of a chromatic button accordion and a low side consisting of a 12-key diatonic and bisonoric keyboard. This accordion is named for the traditional combination of two fiddles, clarinet or accordion and string guitar known as the Schrammel Quartet.

Styrian accordion

17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (11)

That is abisonoric diatonic button accordionpopularly used in the traditional music of the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, Bavaria and Italian South Tyrol. This accordion is notable for its richer bass tones and the presence of a single key per scale line that produces the same tone whether the bellows is in or out.

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17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (12)

Also known as the Swiss organ, the Schwyzerörgeli consists of a treble side with three rows of diatonic buttons and 18 unison bass buttons on the bass side. This instrument is used almost exclusively in Switzerland and is very difficult to find outside the country's borders.


Also known as a trikiti, this accordion is a two-row diatonic instrument typical of the Basque people. It contains a bisonoric treble and a unisono diatonic bass with 12 buttons. This is the national musical instrument of the Basque Country.


That is aRussian chromatic button accordionDeveloped in the 20'sºCentury and named after the 11th century minstrel Boyan. Bajans have wider, more rectangular reeds than western button accordions. The melody-side keyboard is stuck in the middle of the body and the reeds are not tuned with the tremolo. There are other stylistic differences that give the bayan bass a much richer sound than its western counterparts.

British Chromatic Accordion

This is the most popular accordion in Scotland. The left hand follows the stradella system while the right hand is bisonoric. This accordion has an elite type considered to be the "Shand Morino", a German made accordion manufactured by Hohner.

Harmonia tun Pedal

This particular type of accordion is often used in traditional Polish music. It has a pair of distinctive pump organ-like bellows.


17 Different Types of Accordions Explained - VerbNow (13)

ÖBandoneonit's kind of an accordion. The bandoneon looks much larger than its smaller, more compact accordion relatives and must rest on the knees during performance. Unlike the regular accordion popularly used, the bandoneon was created by the Heinrich Band for use in 19th-century religious and popular music.ºCentury. Bandoneons are often used in tango music as they produce a distinctive sound that is perfect for tango music.

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One of the most famous bandoneon players is Astor Piazzolla, who revolutionized tango by incorporating elements of classical and jazz music into his musical style.

The accordion is used all over the world but there are many different styles and forms. Therefore, it is very versatile and can be used in different music genres. In America it is often used in jazz music, in France it is used in the musette waltz, in Ireland and Scotland it is used in uplifting Celtic music, and in Russia it has been elevated to classical music. Wherever you go, the accordion can offer a unique, fun and versatile style of music.

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