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Rediscovering The Wonders Of Accordions

There seems to be fewer and fewer bands which include accordion in the list of instruments they play. Typical modern bands use drums, electric guitar, bass guitar, and keyboards but accordions? No. It is no wonder Generations X and Y generally regard accordion as a thing of the past. Although there are still one or two modern bands which proudly incorporate accordions in their music, it would still take a lot of convincing before several people buy the idea of listening to accordion-accompanied music on a regular basis. But those who are interested to discover the wonders of accordion can listen to bands like Those Darn Accordions (TDA), a rock-and-roll band with an exciting twist. In their website, TDA members Susan Garramone and Susie Davis assure listeners that the band would try its best to revolutionize people's view of the said instrument.

Wait, what exactly are people's understanding of the squeezeboxes (another term for accordion) that needs to be rearranged in the first place? Well, for one, accordions are bulky and lack the sleek sophistication of modern instruments. Squeezeboxes look like a much more complicated, 'pleated' version of keyboards. Though dating back from the eighteenth century, squeezeboxes have newer models which are more refined in appearance but somehow, accordion is still seemingly outdated in today's band standards. As a matter of fact, squeezeboxes are often the subject of ridicule in cartoons and sitcoms. On the brighter side, though, squeezeboxes are the choice instrument of famous musicians John Linnell, Boozoo Chavis and Beau Jocques.

Music-wise, the sound produced by accordions is incomparable. To be specific, music is derived when the 'pleats' of the squeezeboxes are alternately compressed and expanded. Button accordion, an older version of keyboard-like squeezebox, have buttons that a musician press to create distinct and pleasant melody, especially when appropriately accompanied by other instruments such as guitar and drums. For instance, four members of TDA play accordions while the other two play drums and bass guitar. The result? Well, let's just say that people love it. Long before TDA, the Ulster-Scots have already discovered the wonders of squeezeboxes, whether played alone or as an accompaniment to flute or harp. Accordion, indeed, has a niche in the rich musical culture of the Scots. But Scots or no Scots, many can appreciate squeezeboxes only if they give these underrated instruments a much-deserved chance. The younger generation, adventurous as they are, should make it a point to listen to modern accordion-playing bands to enrich their musical senses and add variety to their playlists.

By: Jason Murphy -

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