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History of the accordion

History of the accordion

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Introduction

Compared to most of the other instruments, especially in classical orchestras, accordions are relatively young. They had been steadily evolved and are used in all musical genres. Concerning their sound als well as their external appearance they are at the highest level of development.

The accordion belongs to the family of box shaped musical

An accordion generates it's sound via so called free reed. For generating the reeds oscillation there is an air stream necessary which is also called playing wind. It is induced by moving the bellow.

The first description of a free reed that is no longer cut out from the corresponding pipe stem, but that is fixed as a stand-alone piece above the slot, is from 1618.
First this reed was used in an organ register – today's accordions and it's forerunners didn't yet exist at that time.

The first accordion

In 1829 an organ and piano manufacturer from Vienna called Zyrill Demian applied for a patent (back then called "Previleg") for a hand bellow instrument which he named accordion. Demians patent ended in 1834 and so did his exclusive right to produce accordions. From that moment on the number of production facilities increased permanently and the tonal development of the accordions progressed lots.

Matthäus Bauer who was also an instrument manufacturer from Vienna evolved the piano harmonica – an instrument possessing a piano keyboard on the treble side. In 1870 the chromatic dry tuned bass accompaniment with four button rows was realized. The name „accordion“ can be explained by adoption and currency of the chromatic and tonality-independent bass part. It included a chromatic, unisonoric melody side.  

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