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Squeeze This!A Cultural History of the Accordion in America$
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Marion Jacobson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036750

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036750.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 16 October 2019

Squeezebox Bach

Squeezebox Bach

The Classical Accordion

(p.50) Chapter Two Squeezebox Bach
Squeeze This!

Marion Jacobson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter tells of a moment when the artistic value of the accordion came into greater focus. From conservatories to concert halls to competition stages, the absence of the accordion was touted as evidence of injustice. What's more, the improvement of the accordion's repertoire, pedagogy, and physical construction were prescribed as an urgent undertaking—and as vital contributions to the elevation of American cultural sensibilities. This chapter discusses the work of some of the accordion's most outstanding midcentury practitioners and promoters and the importance of innovations such as the free-bass converter system—the accordion's bid to be recognized not only as a legitimate instrument but an artist's instrument, worthy of the concert hall. It then concludes with a profile of Guido Deiro's younger brother Pietro Deiro (1888–1954), the self-described “Daddy of the Accordion.”

Keywords:   midcentury, accordion practitioner, free-bass converter system, Pietro Deiro, artistic value, highbrow accordion culture, accordion industrial complex

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