Texas Music History: Accordion
After seeing the related video I have understood that it is hard to imagine tango, bal-mussetes, polka or czardas without the sound of the accordion. Another point is the folk sound of the instrument. It was rather interesting to learn that the prototype of an accordion was ancient Chinese fretted instrument. An organist from Austria, Cyrill Demain, gave an accordion its present shape. In the early XIX century, the instrument gained its popularity. It was brought to the United States from Europe.
Accordions’ influence on Texas music is closely connected with German migratory processes. German immigrants settled in New Braunfels, Fredericksburg and other states. Later on these territories became known as the “German belt”.
It is important to remember that the United States served as the melting pot for cultural traditions of different countries, as the settlers introduced the folklore of the community they originated from. Sr.Santiago Jimenez, Texan’s conjunto accordionist and songwriter, known for his use of the two-row button accordion, began playing this instrument at the age of eight. Narciso Martinez is said to be the father of Conjunto music. Velario Longoria continued Narciso’s work in nineteen-forties. Texas is known for the country music, which has been affected greatly by folk instruments. Adolph Hofner, swing musician, introduced accordion to his band. So did Port Arthur Jubileers.
East Texas and Western Louisiana were the places of French settlement. The history of the culture which is known as Cajun dates back to the XVIII century and is closely connected with the French migratory processes. The French musicians have accepted this culture together with the German and Mexican people. French Creole music, before the era of stride pianism, was a blend of French and African music culture. Zydeco developed in the 30’s and 40’s of the XX century as the mix of the American ground la-la, blues, and rhythm’n’blues. Accordion still remains an integral part of zydeco music.
Music is a sort of art that our ancient ancestors have learnt among the first. At the beginning, they imitated the sounds of nature with their voice. Later, with the development of their skills, an idea of imitation by means of special devices appeared. So it happened that Imagination of a Man created amazing harmonies of sound, committing it to their genius and hands. So, it is one more wonder in the Lone Star State.