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Accordion Emoji: Coming in 2020!

January 30, 2020

The Accordion Emoji has just gone public! It took more than a year to be approved, so today is a happy day. ♬😻🎶 That’s right, a real-live Accordion Emoji will roll out onto digital platforms between now and Fall 2020. Exactly when will they be available? Twitter tends to update to the new emoji early, Apple Mac and iOS usually not until later in the year.

Red cartoony Accordion Emoji as seen on
The Accordion Emoji on Emojipedia
(there will be other versions)
(Emojipedia misspelled Accordion 🤣)

Setting the stage: this year has many great new emoji, but we dearly miss the Disco Ball that didn’t quite get accepted yet. I wanted to celebrate with a disco-accordion emoji party. Perhaps with tunes by our friends Hey, Wow! the greatest traditional French-Canadian disco-accordion band.
(Listen while reading:)

(If you want more, there’s like 1,800 accordion videos over here.)

The Accordion Emoji Process

Some have asked: Where do emoji come from?

We’d joked about an #AccordionEmoji for a while, but my Accordion Noir Radio co-host Rowan said the process was daunting, with lots of paperwork and bureaucracy. He wasn’t wrong, and it would have been much harder without help.

Emoji decisions are made by a combination of tech interests and community advocates who work together in the Unicode Consortium.” (I love saying that in a commanding voice.) Unicode sets standards so everybody’s fonts look the same on different computers and phones. They meet at least four times a year, with a few days spent on new emoji.

I started working on the project after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted something by Jenny 8 Lee. Jenny’s organization EmojinNation provided templates, sample proposals, and editorial advice. They connected me with emoji-artist Aphee Messer and basically made the long process as easy as possible. If you have an Emoji on your wish list, no need to start a petition, write it up and propose it!

How long does it take?

I started on the Accordion Emoji proposal while my book was in copy-edits last winter. It took about a week to put a draft together. It would be a lot longer, though, before the emoji would arrive on any phones.

It takes a remarkably long time for an emoji to be born. Usually more than a year. After exploring the idea in November of 2018, I submitted the final proposal in February of 2019. It then took until this week for the approved emoji to go public.

It will probably take up to six more months for the new emoji to be usable on everybody’s phones. Companies will update the emojis at different times over 2020. As I said, Twitter often comes first, and Apple usually doesn’t update them until the fall.

Each platform designs their own

Every emoji looks different on Twitter, Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, etc. Emojipedia will track different versions. It’ll be fun to watch each one come out.

Screenshot detail of Unicode site, chart showing four different designs for the accordion emoji, above four different "long drum" emoji with congas and djembe
Unicode has several different versions on their “Recently Added Emoji” page, including @Emojipedia‘s cartoony one, and the button version from the original @AccordionEmoji proposal

Highlights from the Emoji Proposal

Front page: "Proposal for Emoji: Accordion" with draft images, color and black and white

The Accordion Emoji proposal included ideas about how the accordion emoji might prove useful, and statistics on the frequency of the word “accordion” in online searches. We started, though, with some background on squeezeboxes around the world, and a run-down of the different instruments. Then a few more amusing arguments.

Why an Accordion Emoji?

Accordions have existed since the 1800s, and their popularity grew for more than a century. The instrument lost popularity in some English speaking cultures as amplification boosted new electric instruments, but the squeezebox remains part of the common culture and language. Since the 1980s the instrument has risen in popularity again and is widely recognized, with no sign of fading.

Piano accordion

Two photos of piano accordions. A nice black Victoria model, and a photo of a woman in Ia parade playing accordion, next to another woman playing fiddle

Common in many traditions including Brasilian forró, North American zydeco, Jewish klezmer, Egyptian Baladi and Korean trot music.
(For public-domain photo sources, click on photos and look for footnotes in the proposal. The one on the right is from Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin)

Diatonic button accordions

two photos of diatonic button accordions. A three-row Dino Baffetti, and Nigerian jùjú accordionist I.K. Dairo – black man playing a one-row button-box
R: Nigerian jùjú accordionist I.K. Dairo

Dozens of different types of these button accordions have unique names in different traditions. “Trikitixa” in Basque Music; “Melodeon” in Irish and English folk music; “Acordeón” in Colombian cumbia, vallenato, and Mexican norteño. They play Cajun music in Louisiana, Jùjú in Nigeria, Inuit music in the Arctic, merengue típica in the Dominican Republic, rake ‘n’ scrape in the Bahamas, and many other styles globally.

Smaller Concertinas

Two photos of smaller concertinas, a hexagonal Anglo-German model, and an octagonal English concertina

Several types of hand-held concertinas are played in various folk styles including Irish traditional music, and traditional Sotho and Afrikaans music in South Africa.

Bandoneons and Chemnitzer concertinas

two photos, one a man with longish hair, playing a black bandoneon, and a white, decorated Chemnitzer concertina
L: Bandoneon player Matias Rubino

The larger concertina-like bandoneon is used in tango and chamamé in Argentina and Uruguay. The related Chemitzer concertina is played in European folk styles and in polka bands in the United States.

Chromatic Button Accordions

Two photos, a large black concert chromatic button accordion, and Finnish metal accordionist Netta Skog with her face painted, playing a white five-row Finnish chromatic
That’s Finnish metal-accordionist 🤘🏽 Netta Skog

These larger button keyboard instruments are used for folk, popular and concert (classical) music. Notable designs include the Russian Bayan, the French musette accordéon, and the Finnish harmonikka.

The Multilingual Accordion

Accordions are central to traditional and popular music styles around the world, so an emoji would serve many regions and people. Similarly, an ACCORDION Emoji might stand in for related squeezeboxes played internationally. These include instruments called:

AccordionBayan / баянLootspill
AkkordeonGarmon / гармоника手風琴

Metaphorical and Other Uses

The “accordion” concept is often used metaphorically too. It describes articulated “accordion busses,” “accordion folders” and wallets, “accordion pleats” in clothing, “accordion menus” in digital GUIs, “accordion window-shades” and doors, “leporello” or “accordion-fold” books (Japanese, 折本; Korean, 折帖裝; Chinese, 摺子裝, 經摺裝), and the “accordion effect” in physics, traffic jams and collisions.

There is no other emoji that represents the instrument’s compressing / expanding action. Thus the Accordion emoji would be useful for both musical and non-musical users.

Other uses include the effect of expanding and contracting continents and mountain-ranges, the solar-panels on the International Space Station, and anything that gets squashed like a cartoon character.

The related “Concertina” is also used informally in English as the verb “concertinaed,” for compressing something, and as an adjective in descriptions like “concertina wire.”

Use in Sentences and Sequences

The accordion idea is often used as an adjective and could be combined as ACCORDION + 📖 BOOK, , 👗 DRESS, 🚌 BUS, 📂 FILE FOLDER, among others.

Regional and national traditions might add flags: Irish 🇮🇪, Colombian🇨🇴, Azerbaijani 🇦🇿+ ACCORDION. Various instrument types could be indicated using: Piano Keyboard 🎹+ Accordion, or Button 🔘+ Accordion.

Who Helped Make the Accordion Emoji Happen

"EmojiNation" logo, with a flag that looks like the United Nations' with olive-laurel leaves around a smiley emoji

The Accordion emoji wouldn’t have happened without lots of help and inspiration from the folks at EmojiNation, especially Jennifer Lee, and concept-artist Aphee Messer.

Working to increase multicultural representation, Emojination has shepherded many emoji through the complexities of the Unicode process. Their Slack and AirTable tools track and organize the process, with lots of tips and examples to take inspiration from.

Screenshot from page: "Emoji We've Helped Pass" with images of: Hijab, Sauna, Red Envelope, Dumpling, broccoli, and DNA emoji.

Who will adopt the Accordion Emoji?

"Official Gold Sponsor, Unicode Consortium, Adopt a Character" "Vinton G. Cerf" (Vulcan "live long and prosper" hand sign)

Unicode takes donations to help “sponsor” individual characters. People and organizations can then use these cool badges!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2020-01-29: Canadiana Emojiana

January 30, 2020

Yesterday was a big day for us! Not only did we air our annual SOCAN special of accordion music by Canadian songwriters, but our host “Accordion” Bruce Triggs’ proposal for the imminent adoption of an accordion emoji (a grave oversight, we must all agree) was announced through official sources and Twitter kind of lost its mind a little bit, extending credit to “Weird” Al, They Might Be Giants, and … just about anyone else who also didn’t put in the work.

But I’m sure their efforts at keeping the dim accordion flame lit during its uncoolest ’80s and ’90s served as distant inspiration somewhere to elevate the underdog instrument years earlier, long before the concept of an emojo was a glimmer on anyone’s phone. We can share the credit, that’s OK. We all have our roles to play. Anyhow, the emoji will automatically add itself to your device’s complement of emojis in a couple of months, as will last night’s radio episode if you have subscribed to our podcast on your Apple or Android device, but supposing you haven’t hooked yourself up that way yet, you can also just go and listen to it over here. Here’s its playlist!

AccNoir-2020-01-29, Canadiana Emojiana!

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle (in one week’s time). Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2010-01-22: Rowan’s Tribute To Kate McGarrigle & Co.

January 27, 2020


The Log Driver’s Waltz has been with me my entire life, so it was jarring to hear of Kate McGarrigle’s death when it happened… and doubly so to realise that now ten years have passed without her!  Really this playlist, episode 163 of our weekly radio program, was a companion piece to another tribute I made on the “Sound Resistance” radio program, telling the story of her turbulent marriage and the brilliant, offbeat children who resulted from the union … but only this one consisted exclusively of accordion tunes.  (Only the first half is devoted to this tribute; the remainder consists of worthwhile but unrelated music.)  At its original online home this episode clocked some 8243 listens, but going forward you can study this curated selection of her tunes at the Internet Archive.  Here’s the episode’s playlist:

AccNoir-2010-01-22, Rowan’s tribute to Kate McGarrigle (& Co.)

Kate McGarrigle & Co. – Hard Times Come Again No More (
Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Complainte Pour St. Catherine (
Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Blanche Comme la Neige – Dancer With Bruised Knees
Amber Lee Baker – Whaler’s Wife
Culann’s Hounds – Thousand Flowers
Bowerbirds – Olive Hearts
the Fugitives – Find Me
Julian Koster + Uncle Harlan – klezmer wire recording (
Naftule’s Dream – Gnossienne #1
Yann Tiersen – A Quai (
How Did I Get So – Ingrid Gatin – live at the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle, Jan 2010.
Ingrid teaches us another one, ditto.
Vancouver Squeezebox Circle, Jan 2010 – Adios
Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Log Drivers’ Waltz (

This week’s cover is: Kate McGarrigle (February 6, 1946 – January 18, 2010)

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2020-01-22: Danny Federici Memorial Special with Brian Regal

January 23, 2020
AccNoir 2020-01-22

Tonight’s episode of Accordion Noir radio featured special guest Brian Regal sharing with us his expertise over the oeuvre of Bruce Springsten and specifically the subset of his songs featuring the enchanting accordion stylings of the late Danny Federici. If you haven’t already been tipped off by your podcast subscriptions on your Apple or Android devices, you can go get an earful of it over here. In the meantime, here’s a special announcement by Bruce, followed by this episode’s playlist.

For listeners in Vancouver, Please join us for Unikkaaqtuat, a rare performance of Inuit artists from Nunavut! With a bit of Inuit accordion, it’s a show not to miss:

JAN 22–25, 2020 | Vancouver Playhouse

Bridging ancient traditions and contemporary forms, this multidisciplinary new work highlights the talents of Inuit artists at a national and international scale. Inspired by Inuit founding myths, this unprecedented creation will celebrate the Inuit culture, its traditions, and vision for the future, through a cross-cultural collaboration.

In an atmosphere shaped by video projections and a world of shadows, actors, live musicians, and acrobats will transport the audience to an ancient world when life had not known death, days had not seen light, and where Inuit had not met white people. Until…

Shaped by a culturally diversified cast of 11 circus artists, musicians, and similarly distinct designers and technicians, Unikkaaqtuat blends circus arts, music, theatre, and video in a groundbreaking performance.

And now here’s Accordion Noir’s:

Playlist for the Danny Federici Memorial Special
with Brian Regal, Bruce Springsteen fan/scholar!

*Artist – Song [with live recording info] – Album (release date)

  • Andy Fielding – Accordion Noir theme (short version) – (2010) – Vancouver, BC, Canada – recorded special just for our show! Get the sheet-music! :,%2004feb10%29.pdf
  • Bruce Springsteen – Mansion On the Hill [Recorded Live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – June/July 2000] – Live in New York City (2001)
  • Amadie Breaux, Ophey Breaux & Cleoma Breaux – Ma Blond Est Partie – American Epic: The Collection (1929) – Louisiana, USA –
  • Gary U.S. Bonds – Jole Blon – The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds (1996)
  • Gary U.S. Bonds – Angelyne – The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds (2004)
  • Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul – Princess of Little Italy – Men Without Women (1982)
  • Bruce Springsteen – 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) [Live in Indianapolis, IN – recorded March 2008] – Magic Tour Highlights – EP (2008)
  • Bruce Springsteen – The Last Carnival – Working On a Dream (2009)
  • Bruce Springsteen – Youngstown [Recorded Live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – June/July 2000] – Live in New York City (2001)

Danny Federici:

The Danny Federici Fund for Melanoma Research

Brian Regal was our guest tonight:

He has a monstrous website with info on his books, and if you’re at Keen University in New Jersey you can take his classes!

He’s our friend on Twitter!
(We didn’t mention that he also plays accordion. You can here about it here)

He has a wikipedia page!

Thanks for sharing your passion Brian

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2010-01-15: Play it again, Rowan

January 20, 2020


From ten years ago, here’s episode 162 of the weekly Accordion Noir radio program!  From the looks of things, for some undoubtedly very legitimate reason, Bruce was unavailable, so Rowan needed to swoop in on short notice and hold down an hour of accordion radio.  Rowan doesn’t have much of an accordion music collection — when he needs accordion music usually, he straps on his instrument and makes it — so this playlist is an eclectic mix of what he happened to have lying around topped up with a few bones he begged Bruce to send over.  At its original online home, it accumulated some 10874 listens, but you can enjoy listening to it today, tomorrow and on into the indefinite future courtesy of the Internet Archive.  Here’s its playlist!

AccNoir-2010-01-15, Play it again Rowan, while we step out.

I think we may have one more Accordion Babes Calendar,
and we always have Accordion Noir shirts!
Thank you for enjoying us at:

*Artist – Song
Story – Overwhelm
Olenka and the Autumn Lovers – Iron Pump
Vagabond Opera – New Year’s Eve In A Haunted House
Logan Whitehurst III – When Werewolves Collide
Vladimir Sidorov – Concerto d’Aranguez
Tosca Tango Orchestra – Lastima Grande
Dick Contino – Caravan
Magnetic Fields – Love Is Like Jazz
Jodri Rosen – Love Love
Gubbish – Crack In Space
Polka Dogs – Thirty Reasons
Bobby McFerrin & the Motion Trio – The Heart
Vladimir Denissenkov – Santa Russia
Miss Murgatroid – Hellhole
The Pogues – Worms

This episode’s cover is… Miss Murgatroid’s “Myoclyonic Melodies” album cover from 1996. Foreboding.


Support Accordion Noir, we love our supporters – even our detractors love our supporters!

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2020-01-15, Snow Day and Royalties

January 15, 2020
AccNoir 2020-01-15

This week’s episode of Accordion Noir radio, which airs weekly from 10-11 pm at CFRO 100.5 fm Co-op community radio, carried a torch for two odd little themes for accordion music, celebrating yesterday’s visit of HRH the Dutchess of Sussex to the DTES Women’s Shelter basically right next door to CFRO… and acknowledging the thick, cold blankets of the white stuff burying everything in town over the past couple of days. So songs about royalty and snow.

And Bruce is at pains to point out: “Especial notice of my 8 minute ‘Radio-Play Concertina Remix’ of the 1936 film The Princess Comes Across (starts on our episode at 20:55). Or check out the whole film for yourself at:

Fred McMurray in a tuxedo playing a big (fake?) concertina
Fred McMurray playing what appears to be a drier duct. The frame ends of this huge concertina are just bellows folds scrunched up, aren’t they? Hollywood trickery!

Thanks, Bruce! If you haven’t already been tipped off by your Apple or Google podcast subscriptions, you can hear this week’s episode courtesy of the Internet Archive. Here’s its playlist:

  • Shannon Kingsbury – Urban Princess Tango – LuminoCity (2010) – Guelph, Ontario, Canada –
  • They Might Be Giants – Snowball In Hell – Dial-A-Song: 20 Years of They Might Be Giants (Disc 2) (1989) – –
  • Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble – Snowflake – It’s A Mean Season For Silver Linings (2010) – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada –
  • Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys – Footprints In The Snow – The Essential Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys: 1945-1949 Disc 1 – Recorded in Chicago – With Sally Ann Forrester, acc!
  • Carole Lombard, Fred McMurray – The Princess Comes Across (Concertina Mix) – Bruce Triggs remix (1936) – –
  • Birdeatsbaby – Subtract – Accordion Babes 2020 Pin-up Calendar CD (2020) – Uk –
  • Gravity Engine – Caught In A Snowglobe – Accordion Babes 2015 Pinup Calendar Album (2014) – –
  • The Lifers – A Trial For The Coming Of Snow – Honey Suite (2018) – Guelph, Ontario, Canada – Liv Cazzola, acc.
  • Paul Friedman And Jody Kruskal – Rain and Snow – Paul & Jody (2010) – Brooklyn, New York (USA) –
  • Sam “Story” Wight – snowbanks – Integration (2010) – Halifax, Nova Scotia/Cardigan, Prince Edward Island, Canada –
  • The Vancouver Squeezebox Circle – Old Town Road (Lil Nas X) … played by lots of accordions! – Stupid Accordion Tricks (2020) – Vancouver, BC, Canada –
  • Eliza Carthy – The Snow It Melts The Soonest – Rice (1997) – Yorkshire, England, UK – Saul Rose, melodeon.

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2010-01-08: (Some of) Maria in the Shower

January 13, 2020


From ten years ago, here’s episode 161 of Accordion Noir radio, featuring the two charming young men — Jack and Martin — constituting the buzzing creative heart of East Van’s favorite cabaret band, Maria in the Shower.  At its original online home it charted some 8613 listens, and at its new forever home at the Internet Archive its numbers will slowly creep up to and surpass that total someday.  You can go listen to it there now (or indeed any time!) and if it helps to sell you on the idea, here’s the episode’s playlist:

AccNoir-2010-01-08, some of Maria in the Shower! (Jack and Martin, to be Specific).

I think we’re sold out of Accordion Babes Calendars,
but we always have Accordion Noir shirts! [2020 note: we have not had Accordion Noir shirts for nine and a half years.  Maybe we should make some more?] or email us:

*Artist – Song – Album (year) – Where they’re from – Contact info.

* Maria in the Shower (well, actually just Jack and Martin from Maria in the Shower, missing Brandon and Todd, but we hope to have them all back) – Amazing Grace – Vancouver, BC, Canada –
* Maria in the Shower – She Rises (live in the studio!) – (2010) – Vancouver, BC, Canada
* Aura, featuring Kepa Junkera – Ausencia – Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real,
Spain –
* Big Rude Jake – The Jelly Song (Stompin’ Mix) – Quicksand (2009) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada –
* Little Miss Higgins – Liar, Liar – Junction City (2007) – Nokomis, Saskatchewan, Canada –
* Pauliina Lerche – Delhi.Katrilli (Featuring Sarathi Chatterjee) – Katrilli (2002) – Finland –
* Dark, Dark, Dark – Flood – Minneapolis/New York/New Orleans, USA –
* Blackberry Wood – Cyrus the Great – live on Accordion Noir, May 2nd, 2008 –
* Bučan Bučan – Od Srca – Victoria, BC, Canada – With our friend Natasha on acc! –
* Bučan Bučan – 8 – Victoria, BC, Canada – With our friend Natasha on the phone!

This episode’s cover is… Jack Garton of Maria in the Shower’s busted old accordion. (Not the new shiny Blue One.)

We got several emails from around the globe this week, wow, that makes us feel good.
Support Accordion Noir, we love our supporters!

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!