Accordion History

It is commonly known that the accordion was invented in Austria, where the instrument was used in traditional folk music. The diatonic accordion was used in all village fairs and parades, and nearly every family had one. The traditional stronghold of the accordion was in the Alps, especially in Styrie. The date of its appearance in folk music is unknown, but it did bring a certain colour to folk music.

In the 19th century, Vienna was the capital of Austria, which was also the world capital of classical music. This developed into blues and jazz, from the United States. This traditional urban music was later baptised "the Viennese Blues". This tradition was continued from the 1920's to the 1940's by orchestras recording records in which the accordion played a major role.

Purists cried scandal, and for a while there was great debate. The guitar style accordion was well liked by the public and many duos flourished, performing in the streets and for tourists in the suburbs of Vienna. The years following have produced many notable Austrian accordionists, including Hermi Kaleta, who won the 1958 Coupe Mondiale World Championships. Today there are many well known and respected Austrian accordionists.

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