Cajun accordion

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Cajun Accordion
AccordionFront.png
An Acadian brand Cajun Accordion
Other names diatonic button accordion, melodeon
Classification Free-reed aerophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 412.13
(Reeds vibrate within a closely fitting slot)
Developed 19th century
Related instruments
Accordion, Bandoneón, Harmonica, Harmonium
Musicians
Joe Falcon, Iry LeJeune, Amédé Ardoin, "Bois Sec" Ardoin, Nathan Abshire
Builders
Marc Savoy (Louisiana, USA), Eric Martin (France), Larry Miller (Louisiana, USA), Hohner (Germany)
More articles
Cajun Music, Cajun, History of Cajun Music

A Cajun accordion also known as a squeezebox is single-row diatonic button accordion used for playing Cajun music.

History[edit]

Many different accordions were developed in Europe throughout the 19th century, and exported worldwide. Accordions were brought to Acadiana in the 1890s and became popular by the early 1900s (decade),[1] eventually becoming a staple of Cajun music.

Many of the German factories producing diatonic accordions for the United States market were destroyed during World War II. As a result, some Cajuns, such as Sidney Brown, began producing their own instruments, based on the popular one-row German accordions but with modifications to suit the nuances of the Cajun playing style.[2] Since the end of World War II, there has been a surge in the number of Cajun accordion makers in Louisiana, as well as several in Texas.[3]

Construction[edit]

Shop in Iota, Louisiana where Larry Miller builds his Cajun accordions.

The Cajun accordion is generally defined as a single-row diatonic accordion, as compared to multiple-row instruments commonly used in Irish, Italian, polka, and other styles of music. The Cajun accordion has multiple reeds for every button and the number of reeds sounding is controlled by four stops or knobs.[4] Louisiana constructed accordions are usually built in small backyard shops like Marc Savoy's Acadian brand and Larry Miller's Bon Cajun brand.

Characteristics[edit]

The most common tuning utilized is the key of C, although the key of D is also relatively common.[5] Some rarer accordions are constructed to in the key of B flat.

Notable players[edit]

Although the instrument is called a Cajun accordion, both zydeco and creole musicians play the Cajun accordion with a zydeco and creole sound respectively. Each musician below is considered important in influencing accordion technique and image.

Manufacturers and builders[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Miller, Larry; Miler, Mike (1988). You Can Play Cajun Accordion: Designed For Beginners. Point Au Loup Pub. Co. ASIN B00071SMMA. 

Savoy, Ann (1986) [1984]. Cajun Music a Reflection of a People. Eunice, Louisiana: Bluebird Press. ISBN 978-0-930169-00-8.