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High reed vs three middles revisited

Elizabeth

Active member
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Location
Fairbanks alaska
So what is the deal with high reed accordions falling out of favor, and three middle reed accordions replacing them in popularity?
 
I must have been missing out on the news. What is the deal?
 
less people playing Rock'n Roll or pop or straight power polka's
less people playing full size powerful accordions and needing to be
proficient in all genre's professionally on Gigs

more people playing niche ethnic music in ensembles
more people wanting smaller lighter more specifically voiced instruments

times change

while i have a couple true musette accordions, for me they are niche
instruments. Since i could afford to have many accordions for various types of
Gigs and Music (professionally speaking) and they all made money and paid for
themselves, they were justified. I could have gotten by with general purpose
LMMH but the clients and audiences were worth the extra effort and investment.

Most people are more limited in the accordions they have available to use,
excepting wealthy collectors of course, so they need to have the "right" one
for the kind of music and usage they envision. Few accordionists make a living
at it to justify the extensive equipment and variety one needs at that level,
and many fewer than last century supported
 
I also wonder if the availability of high quality condenser microphones and wide frequency response amplification also allows for better (or even boosted) reproduction of the higher transient components of the M reeds than in the past when double octave was preferred.
 
I also wonder if the availability of high quality condenser microphones and wide frequency response amplification also allows for better (or even boosted) reproduction of the higher transient components of the M reeds than in the past when double octave was preferred.
My experience with a shallow three-reed tremolo (MMM all direct, no cassotto) from a good instrument recorded solo is that

a) large diaphragm condenser microphone from close up (here: Røde NT1) sounds surprisingly bad, presumably because of the diaphragm falling into partial vibration modes.
b) MP3 bitrates below something like 160kbps sound surprisingly bad. Vorbis or Opus work better at comparable rates.

So typical modern technology doesn't appreciate the MMM of my instrument. I tend to use small diaphragm omnidirectional condenser from close up, and I need to be careful with compression.
 
less people playing Rock'n Roll or pop or straight power polka's
less people playing full size powerful accordions and needing to be
proficient in all genre's professionally on Gigs

more people playing niche ethnic music in ensembles
more people wanting smaller lighter more specifically voiced instruments

times change

while i have a couple true musette accordions, for me they are niche
instruments. Since i could afford to have many accordions for various types of
Gigs and Music (professionally speaking) and they all made money and paid for
themselves, they were justified. I could have gotten by with general purpose
LMMH but the clients and audiences were worth the extra effort and investment.

Most people are more limited in the accordions they have available to use,
excepting wealthy collectors of course, so they need to have the "right" one
for the kind of music and usage they envision. Few accordionists make a living
at it to justify the extensive equipment and variety one needs at that level,
and many fewer than last century supported
Thank you!
 
So what is the deal with high reed accordions falling out of favor, and three middle reed accordions replacing them in popularity?
It is quite the opposite here. Accordions with LMMH are much higher in demand than LMMM accordions. The local on-line marketplace is swamped with offers of LMMM accordions for sale and they stay for sale for a long time. LMMH accordions go much more quickly.
And especially if the accordions have cassotto then an LMMM accordion is a very hard sell whereas LMMH accordions with cassotto sell like hot cakes.
 
Interesting, why do they sell like hotcakes?
I didnt know where “here” is, but after pressing things, I see its the netherlands.
 
Hi Elizabeth

Greetings to Fairbanks. from (almost) the other side of the world 😀.
I cannot perfectly answer on Paul's behalf, but as from your perspective we're neighbours I perfectly agree to Paul.
A "real" accordion is regarded a 41/120 (though 96 bass knobs is enough) instrument with LMMH configuration.
That's - I guess almost - true for entire Europe.
 
In the last week, I've looked around a lot and If one just does a social media searches for "accordion" there is a big push for higher end instruments. It seems much easier for me to find more videos and ads of Pigini, Bugari, Siwa-Figli, etc, than lower and mid-range accordions (eBay seems to be the exception here where you can find lots of low/mid range boxes). I've had fully 15-20 emails/PMs from people asking me if my Gola or Morino were for sale in the last couple months (super good for the ego, but I would never sell, of course), but none for any of my other accordions.

Here is my impression and guess just based on what I am seeing on the computer screen.. we are possibly seeing one of the biggest rises in accordion popularity since the big dropout but its not happening everywhere, it's mostly happening in Europe and Asia. South America to a smaller extent is a stronghold for the accordion too but they are less financially endowed and take the lower end of the high-end spectrum, but te interest is strong there. We are also seeing the biggest demands for higher level instruments with Cassotto and more converter models.

More people today are looking than in the last 2 decades or more and they're actually spending money for accordions and these boxes are the more expensive ones with options like full-sized or greater keyboards, LMMH/LMMMH, Cassotto and converters, etc.

Where we are not seeing this as much... North America. Like usual, the stigma of the accordion stands firm and strong. In Canada we have tiny pockets of hope like Victoria and Toronto, but as bright as they are, they are tiny and are more like the hard work of a couple dozen people doing the biggest amount of work. The USA is filled with many more small pockets than Canada, but there too, we are looking more at handfuls of people nation-wide, but with no great increase in general acceptance. It is still a basic question of image and lack of acceptance.

In Europe and Asia there is a far greater acceptance of the accordion compared to North America. There are conservatories where they are taught, it is in the curriculum where music is taught in public schools and the accordion often appears on the up rise even faster than anywhere else.

I am super happy to see this, but man, I wish it was more popular on this side of the world.
 
Interesting, why do they sell like hotcakes?
I didnt know where “here” is, but after pressing things, I see its the netherlands.
I tell you, that part of the world is little hotbed of accordion action, it's where I also just picked up my Gola from... I definitely wasn't surprised after I found out how popular it is there!
 
It
In the last week, I've looked around a lot and If one just does a social media searches for "accordion" there is a big push for higher end instruments. It seems much easier for me to find more videos and ads of Pigini, Bugari, Siwa-Figli, etc, than lower and mid-range accordions (eBay seems to be the exception here where you can find lots of low/mid range boxes). I've had fully 15-20 emails/PMs from people asking me if my Gola or Morino were for sale in the last couple months (super good for the ego, but I would never sell, of course), but none for any of my other accordions.

Here is my impression and guess just based on what I am seeing on the computer screen.. we are possibly seeing one of the biggest rises in accordion popularity since the big dropout but its not happening everywhere, it's mostly happening in Europe and Asia. South America to a smaller extent is a stronghold for the accordion too but they are less financially endowed and take the lower end of the high-end spectrum, but te interest is strong there. We are also seeing the biggest demands for higher level instruments with Cassotto and more converter models.

More people today are looking than in the last 2 decades or more and they're actually spending money for accordions and these boxes are the more expensive ones with options like full-sized or greater keyboards, LMMH/LMMMH, Cassotto and converters, etc.

Where we are not seeing this as much... North America. Like usual, the stigma of the accordion stands firm and strong. In Canada we have tiny pockets of hope like Victoria and Toronto, but as bright as they are, they are tiny and are more like the hard work of a couple dozen people doing the biggest amount of work. The USA is filled with many more small pockets than Canada, but there too, we are looking more at handfuls of people nation-wide, but with no great increase in general acceptance. It is still a basic question of image and lack of acceptance.

In Europe and Asia there is a far greater acceptance of the accordion compared to North America. There are conservatories where they are taught, it is in the curriculum where music is taught in public schools and the accordion often appears on the up rise even faster than anywhere else.

I am super happy to see this, but man, I wish it was more popular on this side of the world.
It’s really interesting, Jerry. At the local level, the interest here (in the upper Midwest, USA) is great, among all age groups. As you may recall, last summer I sold 4 accordions in one day, totally unadvertised. And I get great response at the farmers market. Yes, there is mostly a polka mentality, but the negative “Lawrence Welk effect” has largely died out imho. I believe there are two things keeping accordion out of the “mainstream” here.

1. The accordion is ill suited to the pop music of the day. Pretty hard to channel Taylor Swift or the latest rap/hip hop/pop star. Interestingly enough, the youth seem to gravitate to video game themes, which is hardly surprising. View the success of Jackson Parodi, possibly the most viewed US accordionist on YouTube these days. Then, of course there are the niche markets which we tend to consider independent of “pop” success, such as texmex, Cajun/zydeco and old time/polka.

2. The accordion is too hard to play for the youth of today. Americans want instant gratification. Give them a beat box and melody app they can run on their phone. No one wants to spend 100 hours learning stradella bass. Too hard.

Us old fa*ts are retired (or close) and care about the quality of our stuff. Many of us have worked hard all our lives and feel we deserve the best. And have the cash to buy up those vintage cassotto/converter/a mano/LMMH beauties you mention.
 
The accordion is too hard to play for the youth of today.
I don't know how true that is or not, but it did remind me of the time I sold my Ross 16-channel mixer. The kid that bought it introduced himself as a musician. I was like cool, what instrument do you play? Turns out he picks up chunks of sounds, puts them together and makes samples. To him that was a musician, someone that had no musical instrument, could not even read music, and did everything via the internet and a computer.

Wow... impressed I was not, but kept my thoughts to myself. :D

I kinda want to say that it is no harder to play today when I was a youth than it would be for the youth of today, but I do agree that in today's society of desire for instant gratification, there are fewer youngsters that would be interested in learning accordion... but there are some, as evidenced by Ed's latest challenge of having a young student that is completely new to the accordion. :)
 
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I tell you, that part of the world is little hotbed of accordion action, it's where I also just picked up my Gola from...
Nevertheless it's not accordion paradise here.
We also lack young talents.
I tend to agree Tom's statement "The accordion is too hard to play for the youth of today." - exceptions of course, as always.
Much less hassle if you just take a Steirische - that's a bit in competition to accordion, in addition to cellphones, tablets, and so many other distractions which simply didn't exist in Lawrence Welk era.
 
A year so ago my sister informed that my twin nephews each wanted a guitar and drums respectively. I said I would buy a snare drum for the one that wanted to drum and if he learned some fundamentals I would buy him a complete drum set. He has a drum set now and I didn’t have to buy it. Maybe someday he will actually learn to play something, but they each have a real aversion to struggling through anything that is actually a challenge.
 
Hi Elizabeth

Greetings to Fairbanks. from (almost) the other side of the world 😀.
I cannot perfectly answer on Paul's behalf, but as from your perspective we're neighbours I perfectly agree to Paul.
A "real" accordion is regarded a 41/120 (though 96 bass knobs is enough) instrument with LMMH configuration.
That's - I guess almost - true for entire Europe.
Bavaria! Ooh! Other side of the world!
I already have one three middle reed accordion, and one 2 middle reed,so it should be s no brainer that my third and last should be different!
I find it an interesting topic, and there is no shortage of people who like to talk.
Thanks!!
 
I don't know how true that is or not, but it did remind me of the time I sold my Ross 16-channel mixer. The kid that bought it introduced himself as a musician. I was like cool, what instrument do you play? Turns out he picks up chunks of sounds, puts them together and makes samples. To him that was a musician, someone that had no musical instrument, could not even read music, and did everything via the internet and a computer.

Wow... impressed I was not, but kept my thoughts to myself. :D

I kinda want to say that it is no harder to play today when I was a youth than it would be for the youth of today, but I do agree that in today's society of desire for instant gratification, there are fewer youngsters that would be interested in learning accordion... but there are some, as evidenced by Ed's latest challenge of having a young student that is completely new to the accordion. :)
Where is ed’s latest challenge? I got one of those, a young student completely new to the accordion.

Good for you keeping your mouth shut. New definition of “musican”. More like a “sound mechanic”
 
1. The accordion is ill suited to the pop music of the day.
The accordion can fill in a good part musically of what you'd use a Hammond organ for, and your roadies will love you for it. Probably works better for rock than pop as a core instrument, but it will be "atmospheric filler" for pop as well.

Like this Deep Purple cover where Jon Lord is replaced by an accordion.
 
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