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"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
NMM 2663. Accordion attributed to M. Busson, Paris, ca. 1830. Concertinas and little accordions like this one were free-reed instruments that developed in the 1830s. Provided with a hand-operated bellows and keys, they did not require the player to blow into them, as did the harmonicas. Such modest instruments, as well as the larger versions that were popular in the United States between World Wars I and II (children from rural areas, in particular, took accordion lessons through the 1950s, if their families could not afford a piano or there was not a school band program in which they could participate), are still popular in European cities, whether it's somebody playing sentimental tunes in the Paris métro or on a fishing pier in Helsinki. Film directors are fond of them, as well, to underscore melancholy scenes in black and white. Ex coll.: Frederick Crane, Iowa City. Board of Trustees, 1980.
Source: André P. Larson, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, with essay by John Koster, exhibition catalog, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 12-November 2, 2003 (Vermillion: National Music Museum 2003), p. 72.
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