The 200-Year History Of The Accordion

Inspired by the sheng, a bowl-shaped mouth organ that a French Jesuit missionary brought back from China in 1777, various hand-powered free-reed instruments that became the accordion and concertina were being developed in Europe by the 1820s. They made it to the New World in fairly short order and, by the 1880s, had reached Japan. For about half a century, there were even “player accordions” that used rolls of punched paper the way pianolas did. Laura Stanfield Prichard offers a brief history of the much-loved and -hated instrument. – Early Music America

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