Irish accordion

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The Irish accordion is an Irish development of the diatonic accordion . Today it is mostly a two-row instrument like the traditional Viennese models or the organetto ; It is therefore often indistinguishable from other simple diatonic instruments on the outside.


The tone assignments per row are arranged as with the diatonic harmonica. The individual diatonic key rows are not in fifths, but in chromatic semitones, so that all chromatic tones are obtained. The instrument is therefore also tuned to the same temperature. Thus the instrument is no longer diatonic, but chromatic and alternating tones.

For comparison, the key assignment of a Viennese model :

Irish accordion Viennese model
  pressure train pressure train ...   pressure train pressure train ...
2nd row Cis Dis F. F sharp ...   F. G A. B. ...
1st row C. D. E. F. ...   C. D. E. F. ...

In addition to the C / C sharp tuning, there is also the B / C tuning or C sharp / D tuning. All moods are characterized by the fact that the two rows of buttons are only a chromatic semitone apart.

Otherwise there are hardly any differences to the Vienna model .


The assignment of the bass keys is often very different and usually does not match the chosen playing technique. It is alternating like with the Organetto . Very often the instrument is therefore only played on the treble side without accompaniment.

Playing technique

Irish music is usually played very quickly, so many individual notes follow one another very quickly. The playing technique consists of a rapid push-pull change and leads to the necessary accents in the music, which is only possible with very light instruments.