“The accordion is a portable, freely vibrating reed instrument. It consists of a keyboard and bass casing that are connected by a collapsible bellows. Within the instrument are metal reeds, which create sound when air, generated by the movement of the bellows, flows around them and causes them to vibrate. The accordion is constructed from hundreds of pieces, and much of it is hand assembled. First constructed in the early nineteenth century, the accordion continues to evolve into an ever more versatile instrument.
Development of the accordion is generally thought to have been inspired by the Chinese cheng, the first known instrument to use a free vibrating reed to create sound. This instrument was invented approximately 5,000 years ago. It consists of a series of bamboo pipes, a resonator box, a wind chamber, and a mouthpiece. It has a shape that resembles a phoenix and was introduced to European musicians in 1777.
The first accordions were invented in the early nineteenth century. In Germany, Christian Buschmann introduced and patented an instrument called the “Handaeoline” in 1822. It had an expandable bellows, a portable keyboard, and a series of free vibrating reeds inside. Seven years later, Cyrillus Damian refined the instrument by adding four bass keys that produced chords. He was awarded a patent for this instrument, which he called an accordion.”