The sound of the accordion can bring to mind beer steins, lederhosen and Oktoberfest, though in recent years it has spread beyond its German cultural beginnings. With composers such as Astor Piazzolla writing famous works for the instrument, the accordion has firmly established itself as a favorite folk and pop instrument.
The accordion is also called the "squeeze box" as well as the "one-man band," since it can cover both the harmonic and melodic functions of a song.
The accordion was believed to be invented by Christian Buschmann in Berlin in 1822, though earlier prototypes have recently been discovered and dated to 1816 or earlier.
Accordions can play chords as accompaniment and play single notes as a solo instrument.
The heavy-metal band Korpiklaani uses the accordion in its music, which is unusual as the accordion is usually used in folk, polka or classical music.
Accordions have three main features: the bellows, which are squeezed to push air through the reeds, the keys, which are pressed to produce different notes, and the reeds, which vibrate inside the body to produce sound.
The accordion was originally used in traditional German music such as the polka, though it can now be found in folk and pop music in America and the tango in Argentina.