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Accordion Revolution: The Annotated Version

December 5, 2019

Working on Accordion Revolution, I struggled with two contradictory goals: I wanted an enjoyable, readable book for music fans—whether accordionists or not. But I also hoped to include detailed annotations to inspire future research. The idea of splitting off the popular and academic versions of the book, each sharing the same main text but one with many more footnotes and annotations, sprang from this conflict.

Here’s how the versions would compare:

For those with visual impairments, an annotated version of the text shown repeatedly in these screenshots should be downloadable here (as of Dec 2020). It’s important that the complete annotated version be accessible as possible, so let me know if that’s not usable.

Nicely designed and laid out page 317 from the print book of Accordion Revolution. "Another America: Folk Music's Missing Midwest." (See the end of this post for link to .doc version.)
Nicely laid out text as it appears in the book.

The print book is nicely illustrated and laid out, and about 400 pgs long. (The ebook also looks nice and has all the same text and classy photos.)

The annotated version of the text will contain 200+ pages of footnotes and a detailed bibliography. It won’t have the illustrations (to save on relicensing all the art and, as a bonus, keep the fancy print version enticing). It will most likely be free for scholarly use.

Unformatted version of Accordion Revolution. The page numbers are different for different versions, but it show much of the same section, "Another America: Folk Music's Missing Midwest." (See the end of this post for link to .doc version of this page.)
Unformatted “ugly” text from Word, with many footnotes. You can see my conflict. If I’d included the 200 pages worth of notes, few people would want to buy or read the 650 pg brick just for fun. But the notes add many layers of detail and bread-crumbs to follow for Further Research. So I hope to release a version with all these annotations and the much more obsessive bibliography, with 1,200 works instead of the printed book’s “Selected Bibliography” of about 100.

If you are interested in “beta-testing” the annotated version, please contact me here or in the comments below, or on any of my @AccordionBruce social media.

I still need guidance on figuring out the right Creative Commons license to make a free version available while keeping the commercial one in print. If anybody has expertise, I’d love to hear from you.

Finally, below is an image of how the book appeared while I wrote it in Scrivener (see applause below)*, which allows for in-line annotations I then organized in Bookends and stored in DevonThink. It’s a bit of a mess, but the grey blocks with “#Identifier@page” codes turn into formatted footnotes that print with my text comments and asides included. [The footnotes are fairly amusing I think, just not “add 200 pages to the book” amusing.] The red notations here don’t appear in the finished versions, but show me the reference names, with links from my Scrivener working-text to thousands of digitized files I have of original sources.

Scrivener version of the text that when processed becomes the .doc version mentioned above. A hopefully readable .doc version is linked to at the bottom of this page.

*One of the reasons I was attracted to Scrivener for writing was because of this amazing page where they objectively compare their own software and the uses and positive traits of a helpful list of competitors. Who does that? Only very cool people who are making very good stuff.

So that’s a bit of vision of the drafting process and my hopes for the expanded version for the benefit of other Accordion Historians.

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