Accordion History in Portugal
Accordion History


The accordion is thought to have arrived in Portugal at about the same time as it arrived in Spain. The harmonica was popular in the 19th century, until the diatonic took over. This was especially popular in the Estremadure region, where it rivalled the bagpipes. The accordion was often played solo, or with flutes, pipes, violas, or percussion.

The chromatic accordion was most popular in the Ribatejo region, especially in the 1930s, where most bands had an accordion player. There were many stars from the 1950s and 60s.

Vitorini Matono founded the Matono Musical Institute in Lisbon in 1950, and students included Anibal Leao Freire, Jose-Antonio Anselmo de Sousa, Antonio Faca Rosada and Arlinda Marais. In 1976, he founded the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, and was chairman of the National Conservatory in Lisbon.
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