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Squeeze-box


      In spite of the fact that squeeze-box is a pneumatic keyactuated instrument and the player does not blow it, squeeze-box is considered a wind-instrument, since its sound is created by air flow, created by expansion and compression of furs, and by fluctuating metallic reeds. Usually squeeze-box has buttons or keys for melody playing on the right side, but on the left - for bass-chord accompaniment.
    Squeeze-box appeared in Germany in the beginning of XIX century and very quickly expanded throughout the whole Europe. In Latvia it becam popular in the second half of XIX century.

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Ievina with two rows, begining of XX century

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Ievina with three rows, 20-ties of XX century

    At the first place single-row squeeze-boxes of German construction came to Latvia, on which sample in the beginning of XX century A. Ieviņš has created an original system of squeeze-boxes with two and three rows. They were very popular almost in all Latvia (except Latgalia), and consequently squeeze-boxes of such type have nicknamed derivative from his surname - ievina.

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Petrogradka, end of XIX century

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Petrogradka, begining of XX century

    In Latgalia, in turn, Petersburg squeeze-boxes (petrogradka) were very popular already from the end of the XIX century. In difference from ievina they had the keys on both sides, instead of buttons, and they had minor chords.
    Ievinas and petrogradkas at compression and stretching of furs produce a different sound. It allows to economize buttons (keys) - to have the greater range on their smaller number, and it is more convenient to play some, basically simple, melodies. However, more complex melodies are not at all played on such squeeze-boxes.Therefore squeeze-boxes have been created, at which every button corresponds to a constant sound irrespective of the direction of the air flow.

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Hromka, 60-ties of XX century

    Hromka was created in Russia at the end of XIX century. It was very popular on territory of the Soviet Union, since the factories of the USSR were producing only hromkas, bayans and accordions. It has the name "hromka" due to their chromed reeds.
    In spite of the fact that hromka sounds equally in both directions, it, as well as ievina and petrogradka, is a diatonic instrument - it is possible to play it only in one (using additional keys - in two) tonality. Therefore, to play any tune in any tonality, chromatic squeeze-boxes - bayan and accordion were created.

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Bayan, beginning of XX century

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Bayan, 50-ties of XX century

    Bayan (named after a legendary Russian folk singer) was created in Russia in the end of XIX century. On the right side it has the chromatic buttonboard, at the left - basses and chords. In Latvia it expanded during the first half of the XX century.

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Accordion, 70-ties of XX century

    Accordion is created in Germany at the end of XIX century, in Latvia was expanded in the first half of XX century. On the right side accordion has chromatic keyboard, on the left - basses and chords as at bayan.


Copyright © 1998-2016, Ansis Ataols Bērziņš
Questions, comments and suggestions are welcome to ansis_N@N_folklora.lv

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Last time modified
26 January 2006



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