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Accordion [accordeon, accordian, squashbox, squeezebox] (Fr. accordéon; Ger. Akkordeon, Handharmonika, Klavier-Harmonika, Ziehharmonika; It. armonica a manticino, fisarmonica; Russ. bayan, garmonica, garmoschka)locked

  • Helmi Strahl Harrington
  •  and Gerhard Kubik


A term applied to a number of portable free-reed aerophones. Their common features include a mechanical keyboard under each hand, manipulated by the fingers to select pitches. The keyboards are connected by folded bellows which induce air to flow through the reedplates; these move horizontally and are controlled by arm-pressures that in turn regulate the loudness of the sound emitted. An air-button or -bar on the left-hand end, operated by the thumb or palm, is used to fill and empty the bellows without sounding a note. Straps hold the instrument in the hands or on the shoulders. The casework around the keyboards and covering the reedplates is usually of a style and decoration that has become associated with the type of accordion and is sometimes identifiable with its company of origin. Accordions are related historically, organologically and technologically to the ...

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Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart