Compiled by Jeroen Nijhof.
Please let me know if you find any errors, or if you know of a link that should be included!
Please let me know if you find any errors, or if you know of a link that should be included!
- Nic Alexandrescu has started writing accordion lessons for beginners
- Jim Allen's Button Accordion Site has some information about maintaining the accordion, and a large page about playing (diatonic) accordions, in particular one-row and three row (Tex-Mex) accordions.
is Tony Errico's blog
(He's the musician on the CD that accompanies the
Grandpa's Magical Accordion
Amongst others his blog contains a series of posts about
disassembling and repairing the bass mechanism of an accordion.
- A video in which Dave Evans shows and explains various kinds of bellow shake
- Big Nick and the Cydecos is a band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Tom Nickel a.k.a. Big Nick on accordion. "Cydeco" is the result of the industrial Mid West meeting the = Cajun and Zydeco genres. His website includes a cajun button box tutorial, with amongst others dozens of video and audio clips, fundamental information about the instrument, play-along audio clips, fundamentals of playing style, microphone techniques, purchasing information, and links to other places.
Jim Cottingham, Associate Professor of Physics at Coe College,
Cedar Rapids, wrote number of papers on the
Acoustics of free reed instruments
- A downloadable version of the 1905 Paul de Ville: The Concertina and How to Play It, a method for Anglo concertina, "including 250 Patriotic and Sacred Songs and well known Melodies". An article about The Concertina and How to Play It by Randall C. Merris. Jaques Delaguerre's Musician's Guide to the Club System Accordion, a free online web book. Its purpose is "to introduce experienced musicians to the Club System accordion. This book is not a graded tutorial, nor does it teach a particular style of music. Instead, it is an exposition of what the musician must know to get started playing his or her own repertoire on the Club System accordion." Within those limitations it is fairly complete, covering amongst others the layout (and a comparision with the 'international' three-row system), technique, scales, and maintenance. Jacques "Jax" Delaguerre plays accordion in Colorado Folk-Rock Band Xavano.
Bob DeVellis describes
how to patch concertina bellows
- L'accordéon Diato des amateurs () is an extensive site about the diatonic accordion by Anicet Le Marre, for amateurs in both senses of the word: non-professionals and enthusiasts. It contains tablature for various tunes, a beginner's course for the diatonic accordion (starting from how to hold the instrument), information about courses, history, some music theory, and a lot more.
- Gerard Gerritsen has created a free diatonic accordion video course ()
Russian accordion course
by Leonid Gurulev
- De harmonica die harten raakt / The accordion that touches the hearts, is an illustrated essay by Hans van Helden, which was published in the Dutch "Algemeen Dagblad" newspaper. It is an impression of his visit to the Castagnari factory. (it looks like it's going to be a part of a book, "Het trekzakboek")
- Gilbert Hoek van Dijke wrote an essay on Pitch, Tuning, and the Physics of Musical Tone
a collection of how-to essays, tips and tricks articles, and various
other writings of revelation for the accordion enthusiast,
by amongst others Charles Magnante, Guy Klucevsek and Gary Dahl
- Peter Landmann's essay Das Akkordeon, a 16 page paper about how the accordion works, history etc (written for an organology course at university).
- A brief (4 page) instruction on Learning to play the accordion, and in particular on how to play "Lady of Spain" -- provided for the Guinnes record attempt for the largest accordion band, which was held during the 1998 Sand Hill Challenge (some kind of soap box race).
is a blog by Thomas Fröjd about learning the accordion,
with articles about how to get started, buying a second hand accordion,
left hand technique, chord combining, etc.
- Fifteen Tips for Accordion Health
- Squeeze Play is a 1999 essay by Stuart Miller, about the accordion making a comeback.
The House of Musical Traditions' Wendy Morrison wrote
The Pretty Complete Guide to Squeezeboxes,
with articles about
How to check out the condition of a used accordion,
and with lists of
names for squeezeboxes in various languages,
brand and model names,
(who are famous for something else),
squeezeboxes on the tube.
The squeezebox is heavily used in commercials!
The latest addition is an article on
Accordions and Back Pain
- A piano accordion tutor () by Antonio Nil. Five example tunes are given (with fingering): "Merrily we roll along", "Oh when the Saints", "I Wish I Was Single Again", "O'Keefe's Slide" and "Slieve Russel".
- Hoe werkt een accordeon?, () How does an accordion work?, by Dominique Paats.
describes how he builds an accordion.
He has built a diatonic accordion with a system inspired by
the Steyrische and Schrammelharmonika, with 3 and a half rows on the
right hand side and 4 rows on the bass side.
Two pages are available in English as well: one on
The building of a diatonic accordion
and one on
Both contain various diagrams and detail photographs; the latter
also contains two videos (.avi) of how reeds are riveted and removed
(4GB and 5GB respectively).
- Essays by Goran Rahm about ergonomics of the English concertina and possible improvements: The English Concertina - in Sickness and Health; An Ergonomic Handle For English, Anglo And Duet Concertinas; Holding the Concertina; and Supporting the Concertina
- A mini course for accordion () by Fathima Rodrigues
Registers of the Standard Stradella Keyboard
by Donald Balestrieri
- Bob Tedrow has a few well-illustrated pages on the repairing of various parts of the concertina: A procedure for correcting warped, broken, bent, stripped concertina endscrews, a page on reed tuning, one one bellows repair and restoration, one on proper disassembly of a Marcus concertina one on installing new pads, and one on A correction for loose strap adjusters on Stagi concertinas
- Neil Wayne's history of Wheatstone concertina [the top few links below "Concertina History" don't work, but the links to the actual article below "the Wheatstone English Concertina" do] was published originally in the Journal of the Galpin Society. On Donald Nichols's site there is another copy of the History of Wheatstone concertina, this time in all in one.
- Accordion Trainer is a shareware program, written by Philippe Beckers, for training the Stradella button layout: it shows the bass buttons, and you either have to press the chord / fundamental bass button that is named (with the mouse), or name the chord/bass that is highlighted. A trial version can be downloaded for free, the full version can be downloaded for €11.
- An article by Hugh Barwell about French Stradella system
The downloads at the same site include
Chemnitzer keyboard charts and scales
- Loren Schaeffler's Chemnitzer concertina information, with amongst others the button layout of the keyboards at both sides. In the Mid-West of the USA, 'concertina' usually means Chemnitzer, and it is often found in polka bands there. It is a close cousin of the bandoneon
- Chromatic button accordion layout and chord patterns at www.thecipher.com, for both B and C systems. Also: layout of the wholetone = Janko = Reuther keyboard
from various places on the net; amongst others, he has copies of Marc Lamb's
(disappeared) layouts for the Crane, Hayden and McCann concertinas.
He also has a page about the
- chords for duet concertina players (or anyone who needs to build them from single notes, really)
- A brief Wikipedia article on Free bass systems,
On his website
has information about the Steyrische accordion,
the tablature system used for them (Rosenzopf's "Griffschrift"),
and keyboard layouts for Steyrische accordions and the club accordion
(Club IIb). He's also got the dots for a few of his own compositions,
- Dutch Bandoneon and concertina maker Harry Geuns. Apart from building them, he also repairs and tunes bandoneons. On his website, he has got layout diagrams of a few types of bandoneons: so far Zademack, Kusserow, and Gabla. [MR]
- A melodeon FAQ by Hobgoblin, with fingering charts for various two to three-row instruments.
Jeffries 38 key Anglo concertina
with its keyboard layout
- Johnk Kirkpatrick's article on How to Play Chords on an Anglo, originally published in the Free Reed magazine.
- Dan Lindgren's Nydana's accordion resources includes a chord combination chart, showing how to create jazz chords on Stradella basses, as well as an article on tuning the accordion to pure fifths.
How to play chords on any MacCann Duet Concertina
by Robert Gaskins, which contains a 51 page PDF file that
explains how to play chords to accompany folk songs on MacCann Duet concertinas of any size and from any period.
It shows the chord shapes, as well as the layout for a large number of `standard'
as well as actual MacCann models.
- The button layout for the Childley modification of the McCann Duet
- melodeon.net is a site about melodeons (diatonic accordions), founded by John Spiers, and now maintained by Theo Gibb. It has a large collection of layouts for different melodeon types, a section where players can review their instrument for the site, as well as links to melodeon makers, (UK) shops, players, and general links.
On Hans Palm's pages, the
a comparison between the
treble keyboard layouts
for the piano accordion, the five-row chromatic button accordion
(C and B system) and the uniform keyboard,
Stradella bass diagram
- Duckmandu has provided accordion register symbols in JPG, Adobe Illustrator and EPS formats
- Das Akkordeon () is an explanation of how it works, its parts, the laout of the keys and the bass buttons on the piano accordion, and registers.
Information about and a history of the
by Walther Soyka.
These instruments have a three-row chromatic right hand,
but the bass side is diatonic.
- Soinu Ttiki () is an association for traditional Basque music, based in Espelette, France. Amongst others they organise workshops and exchanges. Their website contains a comparison between the trikitixa and the standard 2-row diatonic accordion, () with keyboard layouts. The main differences are that the trikitixa has unisonorous basses (same note on push and pull), and more buttons.
- Andy's Front Hall from Voorheesville, NY, (re)publishes "The Anglo Concertina Demystified" by Bertram Levy and "Concertina Workshop Tutor For The English Concertina" by Alistair Anderson.
- Allan W. Atlas wrote the scholarly study The Wheatstone English Concertina in Victorian England.
Баяное и Аккордеонное Искусство
(The art of the bayan and the accordion)
by Arkadi Basurmanov (Kifara, Moscow, 2003)
is an encyclopedic work about the accordion in Russia,
with extensive biographies and discographies.
- Thierry Bénétoux has written a few books about the accordion, and accordion repair in particular, available from the author directly or via musicforaccordions.com: firstly Comprendre et réparer votre accordéon, () also available in English as The Ins and Outs of the Accordion, about how the accordion works, possible problems, how to diagnose them and their solutions. As a follow up he wrote L'accordéon et sa diversité sonore () (with DVD), or in English translation Sounding Out The Accordion, about why different accordions sound differently.
- Geoff Berner from Vancouver, Canada. One review has the tagline "visualize a younger, wackier Lou Reed who plays accordion". In 2006 he wrote an unconventional instruction booklet, How To Be An Accordion Player. A Wikipedia article on Geoff Berner. An interview with Geoff Berner.
from Leuven, Belgium has published Hubert Boone:
`Het accordeon en de voetbas in België',
also available in French as
`L'accordéon et la basse aux pieds en Belgique'
- Mick Bramich has published an Irish Concertina style tutor (for the Anglo)
- Dave Elliot wrote The Concertina Maintenace Manual, which is available from the author and through Mallinson Music. In the US, Homewood Musical Instrument Company sells (an older edition of?) the repair manual. Bayside Press also sells The Concertina Maintenance Manual
David DiGiuseppe wrote
THE MIGHTY ACCORDION - The Complete Guide to Mastering Left Hand Bass/Chord Patterns,
for beginners through to advanced players.
- Bill Funkhouser developed a set of Stradella bass accordion flash cards, with the motto "read it, say it, play it". Versions are available for 12 bass accordions and for full size Stradella bass, either bass or treble clef. He developed them after finding that for a pianist, getting the hang of the basses wasn't quite as easy as he thought...
- The book The Golden Age of the Accordion (by Ronald Flynn, Edwin Davison, and Edward Chavez) covers the early days of U.S. accordion history from the 1900's through the 1950's. And it does so pretty comprehensive.
from Edensor Park, New South Wales, Australia, can play just about any style:
Pop, rock, ethnic, Old Time, ballroom, easy listening, etc.
Enzo Giribaldini's Accordion Course for Beginners
is an e-book (downloadable, of course), incorporating sound and video.
He has recorded a CD,
Enzo Giribaldi: My favourite songs,
which is available for sale from musicforaccordion.com.
- Anton Gmachl: Die diatonische Harmonika, subtitled "Ein typisches Instrument der alpenländischen Volksmusik" (a typical instrument of the Alpine folk music) is his master thesis with which he graduated from the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Chapter one discusses the position of the diatonic accordion in the (Austrian) folk music, chapter two the development of the instrument, chapter three 3 musicians: Hermann Schittenhelm, Anton Mooslechner and Matthias Häusler, and chapter four discusses teaching of the diatonic accordion.
- Gorka Hermosa has written a few accordion books, () available for download in PDF format: "El Repertorio para acordeón en el Estado Español", with a list of compositions and a biographical dictionary of composers, and a 2 part "Oposiciones para acordeonistas", aimed at musicians who want to become a teacher at a Spanish conservatory.
from Auckland is currently teaching music in schools.
He was commissioned by the New Zealand Accordion Association to
research and write the book titled
The History of the Accordion in New Zealand,
and he is the moderator of the
Accordions Worldwide Celebrity Interviews.
- "An A to Z of the Accordion" is a 256 page reference book dedicated to the accordion in Great Britain and beyond, written/edited by Stockport accordionist Rob Howard. It includes short biographies of accordionists like Jack Emblow, Jimmy and Gary Blair, Pietro and Guido Deiro, and general articles about for instance "Accordion Champions of Great Britain/UK", accordion clubs, tuning, and various styles. The book is available from Rob Howard ( firstname.lastname@example.org) for £15 + p&p (£4 UK / £8.50 overseas). In November 2005 he published Volume 2, with 200+ new and archive articles plus 250 photographs and pictures.
- Elias Howe: The Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon, published in New York City in 1843. Henry Doktorski found this book in the Music and Art Department of the Carnegie Public Library in Pittsburgh PA, and scanned it. The book contains diagrams of scale for a two diatonic single-action accordion (early types, without basses!), and 86 songs written in traditional staff notation for single-line melody in treble clef, with tablature.
Mikhail I. Imhanitsky
is professor of history of the bayan at the Gnessin Academy in Moscow.
He is the author of more than 200 books and articles,
История исполнительства на русских народных инструментах
(History of the performance on Russian folk instruments, 2002),
Музыка зарубежных композиторов для баяна и аккордеона.
(Music by foreign composers for bayan and accordion, 2004)
История баянного и аккордеонного искусства
(History of the art of the bayan and the accordion, 2006),
all published by the Gnessin Academy.
- An Accordion biography with "sources recommended by a professor who specializes in the study of the accordion"
- Komponisten schreiben für Akkordeon (ISBN: 978-3-9802675-4-0) by Klaus Kronibus contains short biographies of some 2000 composers. The 737 page book is published by Deutschen Harmonika-Verband, Trossingen.
Sander Neijnens wrote and produced
a 40 page leporello folded book
which contains interviews with five accordionists:
Bart Lelivelt, Wim Ruis, Henk Vos, Michaël Breukers and Oleg Fateev.
Included is a CD with contributions by those accordionists.
In 2008 this was followed by
The Giuliettie Sound,
in Dutch and English editions, about the history of his own accordion,
a Giulietti -- again with a CD.
- Canadian classical accordionist Joseph Macerollo has been a member of Quartetto Gelato since 1998. He wrote a book, the Accordion Resource Manual, published in 1980, which contains amongst others an extensive list of classical compositions for accordion.
- Not a book but a CD-ROM: madfortrad have produced CD-ROM tutorials for traditional Irish music, for various instruments. That includes one for button accordion with Derek Hickey (of De Dannan) as tutor, one for piano accordion with Karen Tweed, and in May 2002 one will come out for concertina, with Niall Vallely. The CD-ROMs combine video (MPEG), text (HTML), photographs and music notation, and will work on most computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux -- i.e. it works for me). You can download a sample video clip to check whether it works for you. Other than the tutorials, they also sell CDs.
Pedagogical works by Tito Marcos Crehuet
(online, in PDF format) includes a 4 part Método de Accordeón
which seems to be aimed at accordion teachers:
part 1 methodology (about amongst others anatomy and the Spanish
educational system), part 2 excercises (articulation, fingering, rhythm, etc.),
part 3 etudes for free bass accordions, part 4 etudes for accordions
with standard basses.
- The first issue of Metamorfosis () is online, in PDF and in HTML format -- appearing nine years after the zero issue. It contains amongst others essays about accordion education, extracts from the Spanish education law that deal with music education, tables of contents of books such as Pierre Monichon's "L'Accordéon" and Friedrich Lips' "The Art of Bayan Playing", interviews, and literature (as in stories and poems). Issue number 2 is available as well (in PDF)
- Alfred Mirek has written amongst others Гармоника : Прошлое и настоящееo () (Accordion : past and present), an encyclopedic history of the accordion, producers, who's who in accordion, accordion associations, and sources (bibliography, discography, etc.), and и звучит гармоника () (And the accordion sounds)
contains a lot of material about the accordion, with amongst others
the complete text of
"L'Accordéon" (the one published in 1985 by Payot, Lausanne),
biographies of (French) accordionists,
- Der Musikwinkel und die Harmonika () by Dr. Kurt Kauert, about the history and the current situation of the accordion industry in the "Music Corner", the German Vogtland area around Klingenthal.
- The Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course is being published again, by the family of Bill Palmer.
Accordion Repairs Made Easy
by John Reuther is one of the few English language books about
- Gilbert Reyes Jr wrote a book "Conjunto/Norteño And The Three Row Diatonic Accordion in GCF" about the differences between Conjunto vs. Norteño, his grandfather, the accordion, and the basics on playing the three row diatonic accordion in GCF.
- Accordion Jazz Chords / Akkordeon Jazz Akkorde by Norbert Seidel is a dual language German/English instruction book for beginning and advanced players that describes in an easily understandable and yet extensive manner a method for playing free harmonics on the standard bass accordion.
Vsi najboljsi musikanti
(Our greatest musicians) is a book by Ivan Sivec, about Slovenian musicians
(the picture on the front cover is a piano accordion / Steyrische).
- Pauline de Snoo from the Netherlands teaches the English concertina in various workshops. She has also published a tutor for the English concertina (volume 1). See concertina-academy.com, for more info, amongst others about a DVD "Playing the concertina" by Bernd Out, an 80 minute documentary about the history of the concertina.
- "The Accordion Project" was an ethnomusicological research project conducted by Maria Sonevytsky, a Ph.D. student in ethnomusicology at Columbia University. For the project she interviewed various contemporary New York accordionists, like Alan Bern, Rachelle Garniez, Bill Schimmel, etc. She plays accordion and piano herself, in pop/indie/religous band "The Baby Pool", composer/performer collective "Anti-Social Music" and country duo "Grits and Harmony", and "Dvi Zhinki". She has studied accordion with Bill Schimmel.
Jazz Theory and Improvisation Studies for the Accordion
is endorsed by Frank Marocco. Ralph Stricker has also written a
Study of the Accordion: Beginner and Intermediate
- The PHD's of The Button Accordion by "Uncle Billy" is an instruction book (plus CD) designed for those who do not read music but want to learn to play or increase their skill in playing the button accordion. There is also a series of tune books to go with them.
- Das Akkordeon oder die Erfindung der populären Musik () by Christian Wagner is an interesting cultural history of the accordion, and of various styles of music it features in.
- Draagbaar, Meerstemmig, Expressief - Het accordeon en zijn verwanten () is a book by Johan de With; it is a collection of articles that he wrote for "Klank" Magazine. A review of Draagbaar, Meerstemmig, Expressief ()
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