That time, the topic was the role of accordions in different musical styles, genres, traditions. To this ethnomusicologists, comments such as these are to the point:
I think one of the reasons squeezeboxes are central to traditional music of Mexico, Ireland, Eastern Europe, Brazil, Argentina, and everywhere in between is because the instrument is loud, portable, and can sustain notes for a long time. They can take to the streets relatively easily, their tuning is fixed, meaning they can take a beating and that won’t affect their sound. But squeezeboxes are by no means limited to traditional music. The Indie Rock, Electronic, and Avant-Garde scenes have all embraced the instrument. It works equally well as a solo instrument or as accompaniment. (12:15-12:54 in original episode, 1:20-1:58 in segment)
In this segment, Adam also describes the instrument through organological classification and a few technical details.
Of course, this isn’t deep analysis of the effects of the accordion on the development of music cross-culturally. But it does help to think about the accordion in a new way.
As it turns out, several ethnomusicologists are working on accordion music, including my good friend Sydney who’s currently in the Dominican Republic for her fieldwork research on accordion music. As it turns out, Sydney has a cool blog.
Again, isn’t there a novel somewhere about an accordion being played by different across the globe? The accordion’s arguably a better basis for that type of story than a violin… 😉