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The Accordion in the AmericasKlezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More!$
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Helena Simonett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037207

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037207.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Accordion in the Americas
Author(s):

Helena Simonett

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037207.003.0001

This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the inner workings and cultural significance of the accordion. It then sets out the book's purpose, which is to reevaluate the accordion and the many musicultural traditions associated with this instrument. It considers the specific histories and cultural significance of a variety of accordion traditions to shed light onto the instrument's enigmatic popularity in the New World. Because power relations between the social elites and the working class—often immigrants or marginalized ethnic communities—have shaped the accordion's histories across the Americas, issues that emerge as pivotal include identity, discourses of inclusion/exclusion, marginality, and cultural agency; music's capability to engender community; sound aesthetics; and the accordion's place in mainstream and “world music.” An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   accordions, musical instruments, New World, immigrants, identity, marginality, cultural agency, sound aesthetics, world music

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