The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument played by stretching and squeezing the hands in order to work its bellows. 

The accordionโ€™s trademark sound is produced by tapping its keys while simultaneously working the bellows.

Types of Accordion

  • Piano Accordions  - equipped with a keyboard similar to a piano. Compared to a regular piano keyboard, these black and white piano accordion keys are smaller and easier to press. To play a particular note you simply press the respective key associated with it.
  • Button Accordions - equipped with a group of buttons rather than the piano-styled keys of the piano accordion. Compared to piano accordions, button accordions play notes by pressing all of the buttons on that respective noteโ€™s row.
  • Diatonic Accordions  - also known as a melodeon, this is a type of button accordion on which the keyboard contains buttons that produce diatonic scale notes. This type of accordion is popular in many European countries.
  • Chromatic Accordions - a type of button accordion whose rows of buttons are arranged chromatically.
  • Concertinas โ€“ are bellow-driven musical instruments similar to accordions. A concertinaโ€™s buttons, however, are located on the sides of the bellows, which is where concertina players hold their hands.

Which accordion should I buy?

It will depend on the sound youโ€™re looking for. If you are interested in playing music similar to jazz or rock and roll, youโ€™re likely to want a piano accordion, while chromatic accordions are fitting for more classical pieces.

  • With diatonic accordions, you will get a different note when you expand the bellows, compared to when you squeeze them. 
  • Chromatic accordions are not affected by this, as its reeds are all tuned to the same note.
  • Piano accordions are harder to play if you are not used to the piano keyboard. Compared to button accordions, piano accordions are usually louder. 
  • Button accordions are most commonly used in folk music.