Diatonic News reports the release of a new monograph by Gorka Hermosa, The Accordion in the 19th Century. Hermosa, from Urretxu, Basque Country, is a classically trained player of the chromatic button accordion, who performs everything from folk music to Bach to avant garde. This book, his fourth, is even more expansive than his repertoire. Focusing on accordion music of the 19th century — almost all of it for diatonic instruments — Hermosa casts his scholarly net far enough so that, by the end of the 93 pages, the reader has a remarkable understanding of all metal free reed instruments of the day. The book culminates in its discussion of diatonic accordion, concertina, and harmonium after giving a thorough review of predecessors to these free reed instruments, and discussing their organology. On top of its thoroughness, though, the book is a fun, brisk read, at least for those of us fascinated by such things. This is extraordinary writing, and scholarship.
Best of all, The Accordion in the 19th Century, and Hermosa’s other three books, are available for free download. Bravo.