Why are accordions popular again?
Once considered a status symbol instrument, that was forgotten for a few decades and now they are making a comeback internationally. If you are older than 35, you might still believe that the accordion is a musical instrument only used to play folk music.
No, that is not the case any longer. Accordions spread across the globe like wildfire right after they were 100 years ago and found themselves in big cities, villages, opera houses, streets, and theatres. They were reigning in the music scene because of their portability and ease of transport. They were truly a one-man band back then just like they are today.
The popularity of Rock and Roll music shunned the accordion for almost four decades. The domination of synthesized music and electric guitars completely replaced the sounds of an accordion up until a few years ago. Pop musicians are now beginning to understand the appeal and the capacities of this underrated instrument.
Various music bands across Europe and the US are incorporating the piano and button accordion sounds into their songs. Phrases like “Make the Accordion Great Again” is often seen on merchandise in various online stores. Famous musicians like John Lenon, Elvis Presley, Krist Novoselic, and many other musicians started their musical journey on an accordion.
As Seattle’s native Shenandoah Davis said in an interview with The Atlantic “Davis believes the rise in popularity of the accordion has a lot to do with today’s anything-goes music industry, enabled by the Internet and the waning of major labels’ influence.”
The popularity of Accordion music in North America is on the rise
Accordions are experiencing a rise in popularity particularly across the United States and Canada. The North American continent is home to many Italian, German, Slavic, Asian, and various immigrant groups who still nourish the sympathy for accordion music.
In fact, during my recent visit to my Bosnian friend in California, his grandfather’s accordion sitting on a shelf top in the living room, remained engraved in my mind. He told me that “Even though I am a second-generation American, and I don’t play the accordion, I will arrange accordion lessons for my son as he turns seven years old.”
The newly released documentary film “Accordions Rising” talks about this exciting phenomenon and the revival of accordion music. You can see the film in its entirety below.
Can I play any kind of music on an accordion?
Yes. With an accordion, you can play any genre of music. From bluegrass and country to Rock and Roll and classical music. Many parents are now taking their kids to accordions lessons or hiring a virtual tutor because they have learned that teaching kids how to play the accordion will help them build that musical ear better than any other instrument.
Accordions are considered “one-man-band” instruments and can teach beginners to not only play piano but also develop an exceptionally good ear for bass, musical octaves, scales, and rich organ and treble sounds. Listening to various covers of the world’s famous hits performed on an accordion is a great experience and it can teach you a lot about the capacity an accordion has.
Video courtesy of Ruslan Manin
Dino is a hobbyist accordionist who loves music, photography, architecture, design and a slew of other fun things. He decided to launch this blog due to an increasing popularity of the accordion. He learned how to play the accordion by ear as a child and then progressed on to keyboards and eventually a drum set. He grew up in the Balkans and now lives in California where he occasionally plays the accordion at birthday parties and NYE celebrations. He now shares his love for the accordion through this blog.