One-Row Goodness

Castagnari Max, One-Row

Diatonic Accordion players speak affectionately of the warmth or lift generated by the push/pull action of their boxes. It’s better for dancing, they might say, or, it has a character to it that’s different from (read better than) chromatic or piano accordions. I don’t believe that this is always true — Patrick Lefebvre’s chromatic playing has plenty of lift, rhythm, and character — but when played well … wow … one-row, pushing/pulling accordions can really get a little somethin’ somethin’ going.

Andy from Vermont recently posted three recordings of himself playing Quebecois tunes on his Melodie one-row in D and I find myself completely besotted. Go see for yourself. Wonderful.

3 thoughts on “One-Row Goodness

  1. Thanks for kind words!

    Gilles Poutoux, a French player who used to play 2-row boxes, now plays one-rows, exclusively. He has commented that he appreciates the reduction of “choices” when he is playing tunes. (He's playing mostly Irish tunes as far as I can tell.) Poutoux has posted dozens of one-row tunes on YouTube.
    I don't think that I could go “100% one-row” — I appreciate the challenge and flexibility (and basses!) of multi-row boxes. But there certainly is a place for one-row melodeons, and for me, the particular style of playing one-row accordions in Quebec will always be important, because it is what hooked me, and how I learned my first tunes.


  2. I get what he's saying about “choices.” I feel that reduction of stress when I go from 2.5 to 2 row. The important thing your recordings remind me of is that, for those styles of music (cajun also), the stylistic effect of playing the one row is not incidental, but essential to the sound. It would be a different tune on a two row.


  3. And on three-row, especially the standard “quint” system — there are so many choices for many passages, because some of the basses/chords are also available as reversals.


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