Compiled by Jeroen Nijhof.
Please let me know if you find any errors, or if you know of a link that should be included!

Educational Material & Essays

Educational essays

Keyboard and Button Layouts

  • 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
  • Theodore Kloba's Chemnitzer FAQ. 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
  • Noel Cragg has collected keyboard layouts 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 Uniform Keyboard.

  • 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 Pether Ganther (in German) 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, in tablature.

  • 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.
  • Joe Kesselman's 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 uniform keyboard, 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, and a Stradella bass diagram

  • Duckmandu has provided accordion register symbols in JPG, Adobe Illustrator and EPS formats
  • Das Akkordeon (in German) 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 Schrammelharmonika (in German) by Walther Soyka. These instruments have a three-row chromatic right hand, but the bass side is diatonic.

  • Soinu Ttiki (in French) 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, (in French) with keyboard layouts. The main differences are that the trikitixa has unisonorous basses (same note on push and pull), and more buttons.

Books

  • 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, (in French) 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 (in French) (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.
  • Peeters Publishers 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.
  • Midi accordionist Enzo Giribaldi 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, (in Spanish) 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.
  • Wallace Ligget 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 ( robaccord5@hotmail.com) 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 (in Russian) is professor of history of the bayan at the Gnessin Academy in Moscow. He is the author of more than 200 books and articles, amongst which 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) and 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 Leporello, (in Dutch) 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 (in Spanish) (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 (in Spanish) 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 (in Russian) (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 (in Russian) (And the accordion sounds)
  • Accordion Resourses (in French) contains a lot of material about the accordion, with amongst others the complete text of Pierre Monichon's (in French) book "L'Accordéon" (the one published in 1985 by Payot, Lausanne), biographies of (French) accordionists, etc.

  • Der Musikwinkel und die Harmonika (in German) 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 accordion repair.

  • 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 (in Slovenian) (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.
  • Ralph Stricker's 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 (in German) 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 (in Dutch) 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 (in Dutch)