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Use of the accordion as "portable organ"

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  • #16
    Originally posted by andijah View Post
    I've started practising the pieces for the next "organ-less" service. And I might get to play the accordion on some additional Sundays, too, since in one of our churches the organ will get restored and thus will be unplayable for a few weeks. Will keep you updated if that happens.
    In my church, the Pipe Organ is RARELY used at all, but I still do school and Sunday masses. But if they use the Pipe Organ, I try to compliment it.


    • #17
      Is it not in use because there's no one who can or wants to play it, or is it because the accordion traditionally plays a bigger role in your church?


      • #18


        • #19
          Originally posted by andijah View Post
          Is it not in use because there's no one who can or wants to play it, or is it because the accordion traditionally plays a bigger role in your church?
          No one at the moment is playing on the organ on Sunday masses but there is on on Saturdays. Currently I'm taking organ lessons so that I may be the Organsit. By the way, apparently the seniors choir really likes me to use my accordion with their church service...


          • #20
            Portable organs

            Originally posted by andijah View Post

            does anyone use accordions in (Sunday) services?
            I've started playing the accordion when I was 14 and I own three accordions, all Hohner, one 72 bass and two 96 bass instruments. I use the accordions regularly in my protestant congration, for example when we have our yearly summer event in the church garden, or on other special occasions like the eucharist on maundy Thursday when we all sit together at the table and have the service and a nice meal afterwards. Here, the accordion comes in very handy as "portable organ" and what I like most is that it suits both classical and modern chorals and hyms as it is so versatile.

            Best regards
            Hello Andrea,
            Accordions are indeed portable organs. They are definitely useful in church. They are playable anywhere since they do not require electricity. I have played mine for Christmas caroling, Easter sunrise services, evening services, etc.

            In Christ,
            Bill McIntyre


            • #21
              Thanks for your response, Bill.

              It's good to see another active accordionist here.


              • #22
                Yesterday was another service where I used the accordion. The congregation was small, maybe 16 people, and we all sat around tables. As introduction piece, I played a prelude by Joseph Lederer (1733 - 1796) in g minor, originally written for organ (manuals only). I have a collection of manuals-only organ music for beginners and I find that many of these pieces work rather nicely on the accordion.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Doddy.van.Straaten View Post
                  No place for this in church then?
                  Not any church I am acquainted with. Certainly not actually during a Worship Service. "I Left My Heart in San Francisco? Sorry, no, just no.


                  • #24
                    Last Saturday, I accompanied a singer at a wedding ceremony with the accordion. She had chosen "I'll know" (I think it's from the musical Guys and Dolls?) and we decided to use the accordion instead of the organ and the result was rather agreeable and the congegration (plus bride and groom) loved it. One person later asked if the accordion had been amplified since they had heard it so well - but I had actually played softly, and it's amazing what the instrument can do.
                    Yesterday, we had the first "summer service" in our parish. It took place in our garden so we didn't have an organ nearby. I played the accordion for this service, too, and it was great. As prelude, I played an aria by Valentin Rathgeber, which was originally composed for organ (manuals only) and the postlude was a melody from Brasil which had been used for the opening song at a Christian festival in 1988 and obviously works wonderful on the accordion.
                    A lot of people came to me afterwards, saying how much they enjoyed hearing the instrument.


                    • #25
                      Thanks for sharing, Andrea. I guess your Summer starts after ours. I think, perhaps, the accordion experiences much more appreciation in Germany than it does in certain areas of America. Time will tell.

                      Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                      • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                      • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                      • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos


                      • #26
                        Well, some people say the summer's already on its way out.
                        We didn't want to have the service during the school holidays and they just ended last weekend.


                        • #27
                          Like many children of Italian parents growing up in NY, accordion was my first instrument at the age of 9.

                          Brought to a music store, they picked the accordion. I didn't question the choice. I was up for the challenge.

                          The accordion is used in rock and punk music. Not just polka's ala Myron Floren and Lawrence Welk.

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                          Weird Al used his as a gimmick as he's a comic more than he's trying to make serious music.
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                          Naturally the accordion is a featured instrument more than a mainstay as the organ has taken its place in rock.

                          We Can Work It Out

                          Sandy-Bruce Springsteen

                          How can I Be Sure-The Rascals

                          Lucky-Jason Mraz

                          Bail You Out-Dave Edmunds

                          Boy In The Bubble- Paul Simon


                          • Admin
                            Admin commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Pretty sure that a harmonium was used on the original Beatles "We Can Work It Out" track. Of course the accordion is used in music genres other than Polkas. Pretty much a staple in Zydeco and Mexican music, including TexMex rock.

                            Like the organ today, accordions get a bad rap due to their association with music genres no longer in style, and less capable amateur performers.

                          • SubBase
                            SubBase commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Widor Toccata on accordion(s) https://youtu.be/9VW_EcV4j0w

                        • #28
                          a harmonium was used on the original Beatles "We Can Work It Out" track.
                          This video shows John playing one.


                          • #29
                            Originally posted by Goff View Post

                            This video shows John playing one.
                            Or at least acting like it...


                            • #30
                              In the "dark ages" of the 60's and 70's before "keyboards", I used an accordion regularly for religious jail services and street meetings. However, never used one in a regular church service.

                              Happily retired organist/pianist from the Church of the Brethren...Allen ADC-4300-DK.
                              Home...Wurlitzer (ES) Orgatron Series 20 Serial #11608 (retrofitted with MIDI and VPO-Hauptwerk) with Leslie 44W (shorty).
                              Hammond BC Serial #5070 with Leslie 31A (tallboy) tone cabinet
                              A.L. Swan antique pump organ (C.1852) Cherry Valley NY
                              Member of the Lutheran Church (LCMS): traditional worship. Cleveland Clinic Spiritual Care volunteer with the chaplain's office.