The contemporary accordion, part of the wind family, was patented in Austria by
Cyril Demian in 1829. The typical accordion has a small keyboard and free-vibrating
metal reeds that sound when air is generated by pleated bellows. They are hot sellers
online; vintage models made of celluloid do particularly well. There are three basic
types of contemporary accordians: the piano accordion with a piano-like keyboard
mechanism, the concertina, (hexagonal, with pistons or buttons, also called ‘touches’,
at the end of each bellows), and the button accordion. The Button and Piano accordions
are chromatic instruments that became popular after World War I. During recent years
the development of electronics has also had its influence; transistors were first
introduced into the accordion in 1960.
Accordions Worldwide has a glossary and diagrams of accordion parts. Visit the website
The Accordion Yellow Pages have over 16,000 listings of accordion-related items,
plus a stolen accordions list. Visit the website at http://www.accordionworld.com/.
Look for these signs of wear and tear:
Ask the owner how often the accordion was used, and whether it was ever serviced
or repaired. If you don’t know how to play the instrument, ask them for a demonstration;
have them point out any problems with the sound or playability of the instrument.
Keep accordions in a well-ventilated room, away from children, pets, smoke, water
and cooking odors. Don’t place them in direct sunlight. Do not place instruments
next to heating vents or air conditioners either, since temperature/humidity changes
can cause damage.
Accordions should be stored and shipped in hard cases designed to hold the specific
instrument. Lay the instrument in its case and place packing material around any
loose spots around the instrument. Be careful not to over-pack and force the case
cover down onto instrument. Put instrument packed in its case into a corrugated
shipping carton. Use foam, crumpled paper or bubble wrap (~3 inches of packing material)
all around the instrument so it cannot move or rattle inside the carton.
If the instrument is too heavy for the carton, reinforce the interior with a second
layer of cardboard. Take care to insure the instrument whether you ship by UPS,
FedEx, or Post Office. If an instrument case is not available, consider having a
crate made for the item.