The accordion in France!

Just watched Monty Don and french gardens on television and it always makes me giggle to hear an accordion playing in the back ground and of course the 2CV; I have been living in france now for nearly 50 years and I have never seen any one playing the accordion and I thing there are more 2CVs in England than in France

People also slag off the harmonica, but have a listen to Toots Tielemans...magic!

What a fascinating piece of video....thanks for sharing Andrew

That must have taken somebody years to make.........

Have a look on Youtube at Art Van Damme, Frank Marocco,Frederic Schlick,Alain Musichini,Astor Piazzolla,Richard Galliano,Cory Pesaturo & Eddie Monteiro, and you might re-think the humble accordion.

I managed to listen to a whole 2 minutes.......thanks Maria ;o)

I may be able to contribute to the debate on rare instruments:

And a bit of publicity for a friend of mind who uses said instrument in a rather cool and modern way:

Vive la Bourgogne !

ah...but he doesnt live here does he still do concerts in France?

You obviously havent come across 'Storming Norman' from St. Germain who seems to be at every Vide Grenier in the summer!

He's also played right in front of me at at least two gigs whilst I was actauly playing!

Ahem. I have an accordion, a button one. It's all I was left by my father (who was not French). Coals to Newcastle for me too now I'm in France but I've forgotten how to play it. I was taught Lady of Spain by ear from my father who could not read music and am disappointed there's nowhere to learn this instrument- not near me. The piano accordions have a very different sound.

About Union Jack mugs and that...picked up an Edinburgh mug in the local supermarket...partner and stepdaughter spent lots of time in Scotland. Very strange.

And what about French supermarket t-shirts -- perm two words from English for the slogan, which results in nonsensical stuff like "New York Blues", "Getting down", anyway you get the picture, stranger than fiction, when you try to make them up you can't, so strange they are. Supermarket own brands.

On a broader level, the mutual fascination between the French and the English would be worth investigating -- faraway, so close!


As a musician I come across loads of accordeon players. Also I see publicity for village bals that have accorcdeon players leading the band all the time. So I reckon it must be a regional thing, (I'm in Aquitaine). Perhaps the Parisians think of it as too provincial?


Inasmuch as one can be said to "invent" something that is bits and pieces of other things, well, yes, but more like "systems management": it started life as a kiddie's short-scale "Stratocaster". I added 4 machine heads, used ⅚ of a 12 string bridge plus a new base, and modified the 6 pole pickups to be 5 pole ones. It's got as near as I could get it to an acoustic mandolin jangle.

I can play a mandolin but these extra two strings are busy frying my brain when it comes to creating chords.

Ah well! It keeps the little grey cells from atrophying too soon.

Cheers Norman. And bring back the steam car, I say - stoked with logs.

I like.

Sorry I got the comments mixed up someone else mentioned Paris lacking accordions. Apologies.

I stand stunned - a 10-string hybrid of a mandolin! Does it run on electricity and/or steam with some pretrol thrown in like a hybrid car?

Sounds (sic) a bit special? Did you invent it?

you're right I should get out a bit more but work keeps me at home most of the time and actually I live in Sevres and never take the metro only my car which is why mr delanoé is not my favourite person but as said above Paris isn't really France like London not very english and to top it all husband is from corsica

Of course not, Norman, I'm not a (very) heavy metal merchant; more balladic and soulful modern folk - but that's NOT a guitar you see me holding, it's a 10 string hybrid of a mandolin, tuned to 5ths.

And I quite like the accordion when it's played well. A favourite in my repertoire is my version of "Nana's Song" by Ralph McTell. It's about a romance in Paris, and it could really do with an accordion making Parisian noises in the background.

But it's still a good joke! :-)

Neither do I?

Another is someone who doesn't tell this joke?

Ah, dangerous thing do do with my almost MOST hated instrument I see in your arms! There is nothing that has been more abused than people thinking they can play the guitar, electric or otherwise.

Played well - brilliant from Joe Pass to Django, Chet Atkins to Mark Knopfler, and Chris Rhea to Gary Moore, but most people I hear are total noisy garbage with the volume up to the maximum and the same hammer-blows on the strings.

I am SURE this doesn't apply to you though does it, Kent?