An accordion is a musical instrument that makes sound because a bellows moves air along metal tongues.
How does an accordion work?
The accordion is counted among the aerophones: musical instruments that need an air flow to produce sound. In fact, an accordion is a keyboard instrument and a wind instrument in one.
There is only sound when the accordionist pulls or pushes the bellows and simultaneously presses a key or button. Then the “breath” of the instrument brushes against metal tongues that are vibrated and thereby produce a tone. The longer the tongue, the lower the pitch.
An accordion has bass and chord buttons on the left, and “piano keys” on the right for the melody.
The characteristic accordion sound is created by beats: two vibrating reeds together produce one tone, which floats due to mutual mood differences. If two tongues vibrate at the same time with a difference of a few hertz, you will hear “wa-wa-wa -…”, instead of the “waaaaa …” of a tight tone.
French musette accordions usually have even three reeds per tone, with both a lower and an upper beat. French and German accordions often have a greater beat than Italian-made accordions.