Accordion vs Concertina
The difference between an accordion and a concertina can be difficult to identify for those who are not familiar with musical instruments. Many people know what an accordion looks like, but the term “concertina” is less familiar. Although the concertina is part of the accordion family, the two instruments are not the same.
- The accordion is a rectangular-shaped instrument with a small keyboard, buttons, metallic reeds, and bellows, while the concertina is smaller, hexagonal in shape, and has stud-type buttons on the side.
- Notes on the accordion are produced by both the keyboard and buttons simultaneously, while the concertina’s notes are sounded by the buttons only.
- When pressed, the buttons on the accordion travel in a 90-degree direction to the bellows, while the buttons on the concertina travel in the same direction as the bellows.
What is an Accordion?
An accordion is a musical instrument that belongs to the reed organ family, typically rectangular in shape but often referred to as box-shaped. It has a small keyboard on the right-hand side, buttons on the left-hand side, metallic reeds, and bellows. The distinctive wheezy sound of the accordion is produced by stretching and pressing the bellows together, causing air to flow through the reeds, which vibrate as a result. The movement of the bellows is accompanied by the player pressing the keys and buttons located on either side of the accordion. It is a hand-held instrument with straps attached to the back, allowing the player to use their hands to operate the bellows, keyboard, and buttons. The melody line is played on the keyboard, while the bass notes or chords are produced by the buttons. The accordion’s bellows, with their pleated appearance, are its most distinguishing feature. The instrument originated in the early 19th century and is used worldwide, although it is particularly popular in folk music in various parts of Europe, America, and South America. It is colloquially referred to as a “squeeze box.”
What is a Concertina?
A concertina is a reed instrument that looks similar to an accordion but is smaller and hexagonal in shape. It shares many features with the accordion, including bellows in the center, metallic reeds, and stud-type buttons on the side. Invented in the 19th century, the concertina is primarily used for classical music and in various parts of Ireland and England, as well as in polka music. Like the accordion, it is a hand-held instrument and uses the same stretch-and-press action to produce sound. The notes are sounded by the stud-type buttons located on the side of the concertina.
What is the difference between Accordion and Concertina?
• The accordion is a rectangular-shaped instrument, while the concertina is smaller and hexagonal in shape.
• Notes on the concertina are sounded by buttons, whereas notes on the accordion are produced by both the keyboard and buttons simultaneously.
• The buttons on the accordion, when pressed, travel in a 90-degree direction to the bellows, while the buttons on the concertina travel in the same direction as the bellows.