What is Folk Music?
Folklore music is a genre of traditional, ethnic music that is passed down from generation to generation. Folk music is usually taught and learned through hearing rather than reading.
Have you ever heard a folk song and noticed that the most prominent instrument is an accordion? The accordion has been a staple in folk music for centuries, so it’s no surprise that it’s still a popular choice today.
Let’s look at why this small instrument has made such a big impact on folk music worldwide.
Unique Sound of the Accordion
The accordion is unique because it’s both a melodic and harmonic instrument. The left-hand side produces bass notes, chords, and other accompaniment sounds while the right-hand side plays melodies and solos.
This combination of sounds allows for more complex arrangements than most instruments can achieve with just one or two hands. Additionally, its bellows give it a distinctive “breathing” sound that many find pleasing to hear.
Accordions as part of Sacral sounds
Accordions have a timeless quality that has been widely appreciated in sacred and religious music settings for over a century. The instrument has a distinctive, accordion-like sound that is quite difficult to recreate even with advanced musical knowledge.
From accordionists skilled in musical theory to gospel church choirs, accordions have captivated audiences with their soulful melodies as an accompanying voice to religion’s greatest stories. In many cultures, its melodic tones bring us back to our places of folklore heritage and serve as an emotional reminder of what binds us all together spiritually.
Portability and Durability
Like we mentioned in our article on the history of the accordions, various free-reed instruments were quickly adopted by folk musicians worldwide because of their ease of use and transport. Accordions are musical instruments that most folk musicians learned to play by ear, and this made them very popular amongst young musicians in rural areas where folk music was dominant.
Portability and durability definitely contributed to proliferation of the accordion. It’s relatively light compared to other instruments like pianos and harpsichords, so musicians can easily transport them wherever they go.
Also, because they are built with metal reeds, they tend to last longer than most other instruments too! So if you have an accordion in your collection, chances are you won’t need to replace it anytime soon!
Another factor contributing to the popularity of the accordion is its versatility. It can be played solo or as part of an ensemble, making it easy to fit into any musical style or genre.
Its range also makes it suitable for use in various types of music; from classical to jazz to pop and more! That means that an accordionist can easily transition from playing traditional folk music to modern styles without missing a beat.
From Russia to Africa and China to Latin America, accordions became an integral part of folk music. Nowadays we’ve got Russian, French, Chinese, American, Italian, and various accordion folk music.
A few final words
The accordion’s versatility, durability, portability, and unique sound make it an ideal instrument for folk music worldwide. From its ability to produce both harmonious accompaniment and melodic solos simultaneously -allowing for complex arrangements-to its ability to transition between different musical styles with ease.
It’s no wonder why this small instrument has made such a big impact on folk music around the world! Whether you’re looking for something upbeat or something somber -the accordion has got you covered!
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.