This introductory chapter discusses the cultural and historical significance of the accordion as an instrument and as a musical movement. It considers how accordionists and bands with accordions symbolized an appealing and popular manifestation of alternative musical cultures in the postpunk area. Here, the chapter delves into the author's own experiences with the accordion movement, before turning to a brief historical analysis of the history and documentation of musical instruments as tools for making culture. In addition, the chapter provides an overview of the particular instrument under study—the piano accordion. It is a chromatic, bellows-driven, free-reed instrument that produces multiple chord tones with buttons on the left side manual and a piano keyboard on the right.
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