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Categories of Accordions

    Piano Accordions - by far the most popular accordion in the United States.   As the name implies, there is a piano type keyboard for the right hand.  For the left hand there are a field of buttons for the bass accompaniment.  A full size accordion has 41 treble keys  and 120 buttons for the bass; some have 140 buttons.  The most common full piano keyboard ranges from a low "F" to a high "A".  There are other variations for the piano keyboard.  Also, many lesser configurations exist for the piano accordion with fewer treble keys and fewer bass buttons.   Most commonly the bass buttons are arranged in a "stradella" bass configuration; some accordions have a "free bass" configuration for the bass buttons.   Many young beginning students start with a "12 Bass" accordion which, as the name implies,  has 12 bass buttons for left hand and a two octave keyboard for the right hand.

chromatic accordion.gif (50263 bytes)    Chromatic Accordions - very common in Europe but not very common in the United States.  These accordions have buttons for both the right hand (treble side) and the left hand (bass side).  The arrangement of the bass buttons is similar to the arrangement for the bass buttons for the piano accordion, i.e., either "stradella" or "free bass".  For the right hand the button configuration has either 3, 4, or 5 rows of buttons.  Whereas the hand can span a little over an octave for the piano keyboard, the hand can easily span more than two octaves for the chromatic accordion.  For the 5 row instrument, there is an advantage in that the same fingering may be used as music is transposed to various keys.  Two of the more popular arrangements for the treble buttons is the "B Grif" and C "Grif".  The "B Grif" configuration is better suited for classical music, whereas the "C Grif" configuration is better suited for playing chords. 

concertina1.jpg (31987 bytes)   Concertinas - whereas the piano accordion and chromatic accordions have straps to fasten the accordion to the player, the concertina is held and played with two hands.   The concertina has buttons for both the right and left hands.  There are many variations of the concertina.  For more detail go to: Widipedia - Concertina  For additional information go to:

    Diatonic Accordions - there are many variations of the diatonic accordion.  Generally there are buttons for the left hand and for the right hand.  The significant distinction for the diatonic accordion is that for a single key the pitch of the note changes as the bellows is pushed or pulled.  More information on diatonic accordions at: Accordion Heaven


More accordion information at: Wikipedia- accordions, Accordion Heaven 


Some Accordion Manufacturers/ Makes

Armando Bugari -





Castiglione established in 1932, by Vincent Castiglione after he immigrated from Italy.  The Castiglione company customizes, repairs, sells and distributes accordions.
Owner: John Castiglione.   Located at 13300 E 11 Mile, Suite A. Warren, MI 48089-1367
 Telephone: (800) 325-1832 or (586) 755-6050          More Info














La Melodiosa




Paolo Soprani - started production in 1863 in Castelfidardo, Italy More Info


PetosaMore Info

Pigini - On 6th June 1946 Filippo Pigini registered the company "F.lli PIGINI di filippo" at the Chamber of Commerce in Ancona, Italy. The first deliveries made in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Argentina, Egypt and Pakistan showed PIGINI's international spirit right from the start. The company was run for many years by Gino Pigini, who, at the age of 14 was already an expert "vociarolo" (reed maker). He believed in young people with new ides and the desire to learn. He soon formed a team of exceptioinal craftsmen and even today his work and philosophy lie behind PIGINI's top quality products.   Pigini manufacturing is located in Castelfidardo, Italy   More Info


Scandalli - Located in Castelfidardo, Italy, began production in 1926.  Received patents for various innovations.  More Info 








Zero Sette


History of the Accordion
For an interesting history of the accordion click  Petosa