Tag Archives: piano accordion

The Magic of Musical Memory

24 Apr

After a break of many months, last night I played my piano accordion.

In the intervening time, I’d scarcely, if at all, given it a thought: so occupied I was with writing and publishing ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’, our sixth book.

Does it surprise you that I played at an approximately equal level of competence to my previous performance?  To be honest, I expected as much.  Past experience has backed this up.

Yet, on reflection, it  seems a little puzzling. Let me conjecture.

Our brains appear to be so remarkably wired that, at least where music is concerned,with minimal prodding we are able to execute relatively difficult tactile actions. Anyone who has ever played a piano accordion will vouch that, for the bass, tactile memory is critical.

Without exception, everything I played last night had a catchy, well known tune, and I strongly suspect this greatly assisted me. Yet it happens in many other, unrelated activities.

With music having such a deep effect on our moods and emotions, is it little wonder that we tend to remember how to play what we love?

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Why I Like to Play the Accordion

21 Aug

Statistics suggest that the Piano Accordion runs a distant last behind the piano as a popular keyboard instrument. Let me say a few words in its favour.

Firstly, unlike its big brother the harmonium or reed organ, the Piano Accordion is portable. You just pack it in its case, and off you go! Live music is at your fingertips!

Secondly, and arguably more relevant, the Piano Accordion is capable of producing music of an extraordinarily happy nature.  There’s something quite unique in the tones that it can produce. Because the instrument is smaller and lighter than a harmonium, and with thinner reeds,  it therefore has a brighter, more engaging tone.  The display of an  especially enthralling type of  musical extroversion is possible, and with minimal effort!   Simply use the bellows to vary the pressure instantly, and in an expressive manner!  In addition, most models have a choice of voices, so, by flicking a switch, you can produce widely differing and evocative variations.

Sure, the Piano Accordions have a down-side. The larger models, particularly, are quite heavy, which can be quite challenging for some individuals. The other issue is that the bass buttons are out of sight, and therefore, their positions have to be learned primarily by touch. It is possible, however, to cheat a little by using a mirror.

So, why not become a fan of the Piano Accordion, or at least, consider their virtues?

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