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An accordion player in a street in the historic centre of Quito, Ecuador. The instrument is played by compressing or expanding the bellows to generate a flow of air, while pressing buttons or keys to open valves (called pallets). This directs the air across strips of brass or steel (called reeds) that vibrate to produce sound inside the body. The performer normally plays the melody on the right-hand keyboard, and the accompaniment, consisting of bass and pre-set chord buttons, on the left-hand one.