The idea behind the accordion – a ‘free reed’, that is, a reed that isn’t placed in the mouth of the player as is the case with an oboe or clarinet – goes back to the Chinese sheng, which uses bamboo pipes inserted into a gourd. Similar reeds had been used in the regal, a Renaissance keyboard instrument, and in the harmonica or mouth organ, so the idea certainly wasn’t a new one. But it was probably the advent of industrial production methods which made the accordion a relatively inexpensive and popular instrument.
Learning to play the accordion can seem intimidating and complicated, but it does not have to be that way. With the right instrument, you can shorten the learning curve and make the process a lot easier. The accordion is one of the most versatile, and when played properly, one of the most beautiful, instruments in any band. Once you learn to play, you will wonder why you waited so long.