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Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America, by Marion Jacobson

November 29, 2011

link to Marion's book in the Univ. Illinois Press catalogSqueeze This!

A Cultural History of the Accordion in America

By Marion Jacobson

Coming in the month of March!  The first book on the history of the accordion in the United States since The Golden Age of the Accordion in 1992, and before that you had to go back to Toni Charuhas’ The Accordion in 1955!

I am greatly looking forward to getting ahold of Marion’s book.  Hopefully she hasn’t written everything on the subject, and I’ll be able to tailor my own writing to cover some of “the rest” from here on.  You can order 40,000 books on guitars online, plenty of room for more on accordions – so get writing all of you!

Author:  Marion Jacobson
Pub Date:  March 1st, 2012
Dimensions:  6.125 x 9.25 in. /  304 pages
34 color photographs, 34 black & white photographs, 1 line drawing, 3 tables

Everything you wanted to know about accordions in America–but were afraid to ask

No other instrument has witnessed such a dramatic rise to popularity–and precipitous decline–as the accordion. Squeeze This! is the first history of the piano accordion and the first book-length study of the accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon.

Ethnomusicologist and accordion enthusiast Marion Jacobson traces the changing idea of the accordion in the United States and its cultural significance over the course of the twentieth century. She focuses on key moments of transition, from the introduction of elaborately decorated European models imported onto the American vaudeville stage and the instrument’s celebration by ethnic musical communities and mainstream audiences alike, to its later denigration and novelty performances by the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic as well as a recent revival within contemporary cabaret acts and pop groups such as They Might Be Giants.

Loaded with dozens of images of gorgeous instruments and enthusiastic performers and fans, Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America represents the accordion in a wide range of popular and traditional musical styles, revealing the richness and diversity of accordion culture in America.

“An excellent book about the piano accordion’s evolution, a number of major accordionists, and the many musical genres where it has been used, from polka and zydeco to rock ‘n’ roll and classical music. Fascinating reading not only for accordionists, ethnomusicologists, and folklorists, but especially also general readers interested in ethnic music and cultural history.”–Deborah Anders Silverman, author of Polish-American Folklore

Marion Jacobson holds a Ph.D. in music and ethnomusicology from New York University. An accordionist herself, she has performed with klezmer bands and accordion bands, and in old-timey jam sessions, but her favorite spot for gigs is the New York City subway.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2011 7:41 pm

    Hi Bruce and greetings to the Canadian blogosphere. I’m glad my book is about to see the light of day after two years of fieldwork and a year of writing. I think you’ll find that my vantage point and the story I tell about the accordion is very different from Golden Age. Happy reading–and writing!

  2. January 7, 2012 10:47 am

    link to Marion's book in the Univ. Illinois Press catalogSqueeze This!

    Marion’s book is the cover of the University of Illinois Press spring book catalog! Very classy.

  3. January 11, 2012 1:58 pm

    I hope it’s available on Kindle too perhaps?….or if not…where can one order it?

  4. Edward Touchstone permalink
    March 30, 2021 9:27 am

    Great book that I look forward to reading. However, there is a glaring error on p. 54, it says this is an Excelsior from the 1930s. That model Excelsior is from c. 1960 onward I have an Excelsior Multi Concert Grand from the late 30’s played by the Magnante Quartet at the 1939 Carnegie Hall concert. It probably should have been pictured there.

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