Despite the fact that accordions are often considered as second-class musical instruments in the realm of mainstream music, they have made a huge comeback in the recent years in Ireland. In fact, the significance of accordions has been witnessed in popular works ranging from the albums of famous rock stars to the productions of Cirque du Soleil.
Whenever the term ‘accordion’ is pronounced, the picture of a squeezebox with reeds, bellows, buttons and two sides boxes for contracting and expanding the bellows comes to the average mind. But most people might still be unaware of the different types of accordions in Ireland such as diatonic, chromatic, piano, Paolo Soprani, etc. that have been developed over a span of several years in order to suit specific types of Irish music. A squeezebox usually works due to the air flowing over its reeds when the bellows are pulled in and out – the source of the music. Some of these squeezeboxes have buttons, such as the chromatic and diatonic types, while the piano variants have a keyboard in place of the buttons. The ones with buttons can be further divided into three sub-categories – the ones having single row of buttons, those with two rows and still others having three rows.
Accordions having buttons arranged in a single row are typically capable of playing the diatonic scale. They can also be tuned as often as required for playing different types of music. Two brilliant examples of this accordion type are the Hohner Concertina and the Hohner Ariette, the latter having four treble reed sets, three bass reed sets, and ten and two buttons for treble and bass respectively, and used for playing Quebecois, Zydeco, Irish folk and Cajun music
The ones with two rows of buttons have 21 links of treble, two sets of of treble reeds and eight chord/bass buttons. They are usually available in key combinations such as AD, CF, DG and GC.
Accordions with three rows of buttons like the Hohner Corona come with two treble reed sets and 31 buttons for treble alone. The third row shows key combinations like GCF, EAD, ADG and FBE.
A piano type accordion is typically chromatic, different variants of it having different number of keys according to size of the instrument.
The most unique thing about accordions is that they can be assembled as well as mass-produced, and their handmade components are what makes them produce their exuberant audio.