Sunday June 13, 2021’s Smile of the Day: The Accordion
On this Day:
In 1854, Anthony Faas, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, patented the 1st US accordion, having made improvements to both the keyboard, and to enhance the sound (Patent No. 11,062). However, the accordion had been squeezed into producing music for a long time before this.
Accordions are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist. The concertina and bandoneón are related. The harmonium and American reed organ are in the same family, but are typically larger than an accordion and sit on a surface or the floor.
The accordion is played by compressing or expanding the bellows while pressing buttons or keys, causing pallets to open, which allow air to flow across strips of brass or steel, called reeds. These vibrate to produce sound inside the body. Valves on opposing reeds of each note are used to make the instrument’s reeds sound louder without air leaking from each reed block. The performer normally plays the melody on buttons or keys on the right-hand manual, and the accompaniment, consisting of bass and pre-set chord buttons, on the left-hand manual.
The accordion is widely spread across the world because of the waves of immigration from Europe to the Americas and other regions. In some countries (for example: Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama) it is used in popular music (for example: gaucho, forró and sertanejo in Brazil, vallenato in Colombia, merengue in the Dominican Republic, and norteño in Mexico), whereas in other regions (such as Europe, North America and other countries in South America) it tends to be more used for dance-pop and folk music and is often used in folk music in Europe, North America and South America.
In Europe and North America, some popular music acts also make use of the instrument. Additionally, the accordion is used in cajun, zydeco, jazz music and in both solo and orchestral performances of classical music. The piano accordion is the official city instrument of San Francisco, California. Many conservatories in Europe have classical accordion departments. The oldest name for this group of instruments is harmonika, from the Greek harmonikos, meaning “harmonic, musical”. Today, native versions of the name accordion are more common. These names refer to the type of accordion patented by Cyrill Demian, which concerned “automatically coupled chords on the bass side” (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
Accordion to a recent survey, replacing words with the names of musical instruments in a sentence often goes undetected.
Second, a Song:
The B&B project (Bandura and Button accordion) are Ukrainian musicians who have popularized folk instruments. Bandura is a traditional Ukrainian instrument, but it has somewhat fallen out of attention nowadays. B&B Project seeks to return the popularity of this fine instrument! This group was created on March 1, 2015. They play a very diverse collection of songs: cover versions, classical music and original compositions. The musicians have received more than 50 millions views on Facebook and YouTube (per https://www.patreon.com/bbproject).
The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, marked Quasi una fantasia, Op. 27, No. 2, is a piano sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. The popular name Moonlight Sonata goes back to a critic’s remark after Beethoven’s death.
The piece is one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano, and it was a popular favorite even in his own day. Beethoven wrote the Moonlight Sonata in his early thirties, after he had finished with some commissioned work; there is no evidence that he was commissioned to write this sonata.
Here is B&B Project’s version of Ludwig van Beethoven’s – Moonlight Sonata (1st part) set to an amazing sand animation. B&B state that they very much love the music of Beethoven, and when they saw this sand animation, in their minds they saw Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Ludwig created it for his girlfriend and they feel his true love for his lady in this music. B&B Bandura states that they hope you enjoy this combination of classical music and beautiful sand animation and they would be very grateful if you can share this video. We wish you all the best! (from YouTube.com).
Here is B&B Bandura performing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“Conversation didn’t seem necessary when I put the accordion down and swung some young lady around the floor.” – Lawrence Welk
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky