The accordion is a portable box-shaped musical instrument of the hand-held bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist.

The instrument is played by compressing or expanding its bellows, while pressing buttons or keys, causing valves called pallets to open which allow air to flow across strips of metal called reeds that vibrate to produce sound inside the body, which then escapes through grilles.

There are three major types of accordion: the diatonic button accordion, the chromatic button accordion (sometimes called a bayan), and the unisoric chromatic piano accordion.

Although the accordion has a reputation in some circles of being cheap, wheezy instruments capable of playing only polkas and folk music, this is not always the case! A full-sized, properly-maintained accordion in the right hands can play almost any type of music, ranging from classical music like Bach and Chopin all the way to jazz and pop, and quite convincingly too. Indeed, many European conservatories and universities regard it as a serious concert instrument, and allow it to be studied at the same level as a piano or string instrument.

This book is currently only about playing the Piano Accordion, although there are many similarities in function to similar instruments, so playing skills such as Bellows, Stradella Bass and Register Switches will transfer to other instruments.

Not all parts will be introduced at first, only sufficient to get you started playing tunes.