Piano Accordion vs. Button Accordion

It hasPiano Accordion always been a controversy as to which type of accordion is the best. Some prefer the piano-styled modern accordion while other accordion players go for button accordions. But the entire concept of the question actually depends on the kind of accordion which best suits an individual player.

There are some major differences between the two primary accordion types:

(1) A piano accordion is straightforward owing to the fact that each key of it represents one and only one particular note. The arrangement of the notes is such that at every half-step, the player has to move down or up by one step. But in a button accordion, the buttons have a uniform arrangement and to play a single note, one has to play the buttons on the row associated with that note.button_accordion

(2) A piano accordion cannot have more than forty five notes. But in the right hand register of a button accordion, there can be a maximum range of sixty four notes.

(3) In a button accordion, two different chords can be played using the same fingering pattern. But in a piano accordion, playing a chord requires the same technique employed by a pianist. Therefore it is easier to learn how to play a button accordion than a piano accordion.

(4) All the keys provided in a piano accordion can be played upon by the user. But same is not the case with the button accordion. Sometimes, a button accordion can have dummy buttons which are generally used for cosmetic reasons.

(5) On a button accordion, it is easier to play notes that are far apart which reduces the risk of playing the wrong notes. Playing a piano accordion usually requires a lot of practice and precision, because the player can mistakenly play a white

key that is not part of the note due to lack of reach.

(6) A piano accordion is often larger in size than a button accordion. Also, the keyboard is more protruding in a piano accordion than a bu

ttoned one. The small size of the button accordion, however, doesn’t affect its range.

(7) Transposition is not easy on a piano accordion. This becomes a major problem when accompanying a singer unable to sing at a specific range. But a button accordion with its duplicate rows allows the player to use the same pattern of fingering which facilitates easier transposition.


(8) Due to the wider surface area of piano keys, it is more comfortable to play on a piano accordion. Whereas, a button accordion sometimes requires the player to twist his/her fingers and wrist to press the buttons.

8 thoughts on “Piano Accordion vs. Button Accordion

  1. i always knew accordions with buttons, i saw a pinao accordion today and wondered what’s the difference. The difference is nicely explained! I’d still prefer the button one for both the higher amount of notes and mostly to me it looks a lot more authentic.

  2. The difference between the two types of accordian is brilliantly explained. It leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader about the same. Else, they were presumably believed to be the same. Yet, the fact remains that, the layman reader continues to be alien to the exact meaning of the terms from the science of music used in the description. However, it can be helped by none except the reader who will have to first learn to play the accordian of either connotation to know all such concepts from his Master, because, mere reading cannot be a substitute for learning in every faculty of knowledge.

  3. A very interesting article, one of several here about music that inform in areas I have not previously explored: so, thank you for visiting and following my blog, and I am honoured to reciprocate.

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