Russian Doll House

History of Russian Things

The Bayan Russian Accordion – A Sound With History

Written by Vadim on April 13, 2011 – 6:01 pm -

Traditional Russian Bayan Button Accordion

If you have ever listened to Russian folk music, you have heard the distinctive sound of the bayan. Comparable to the accordion that Westerners are so familiar with, this musical instrument provides a similar sound with unique Eastern European flair.

The bayan may look like an accordion in many ways, but there are key differences as well. Most notably, this instrument uses buttons rather than the piano keys seen on Western accordions. The bayan also has much less tremolo, but instead a clear, unwavering note. The reeds are attached to the plates in large groups rather than in pairs, and they are attached with screws rather than wax. These reeds are a different shape as well, giving a slightly different sound. The bass in particular has a unique tone that is usually described as sounding deeper and fuller than that of the classical accordion.

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