Chromatic button accordion

Chromatic button accordion
Chromatic Button Accordion
Classification Free-reed aerophone
Playing range

Right-hand manual: The Russian bayan and chromatic button accordions have a much greater right-hand range in scientific pitch notation than an accordion with a piano keyboard: five octaves plus a minor third (written range = E2-G7, actual range = E1-C#8). [1]

Left-hand manual

List of accordionists
More articles
Accordion, Chromatic button accordion, Bayan, Diatonic button accordion, Piano accordion, Stradella bass system, Free-bass system, Accordion reed ranks & switches

A chromatic button accordion is a type of button accordion where the melody-side keyboard consists of rows of buttons arranged chromatically. The bass-side keyboard is usually the Stradella system or one of the various free-bass systems. Included among chromatic button accordions are the Russian bayan and Schrammel accordion. There can be 3 to 5 rows of horizontal treble buttons. In a 5 row chromatic, two additional rows repeat the first 2 rows to facilitate options in fingering.

Chromatic button system (type C)
Chromatic button system (type B)

Comparing the layout to the piano accordion[2], the advantages of a chromatic button accordion is the greater range and better fingering options[notes 1]. On the other hand, some fingering positions require twisting of the wrist and the aspect of alternative fingering patterns may stunt one in sessions of difficult sight reading.[2]

Throughout the former Yugoslavia a 6-row chromatic button layout is used based on the B system. It is referred to as dugmetara.


  1. ^ The uniform layout allows for uniform fingering and making of chords; meanwhile, the chromatic button layout also allows for alternative fingerings. As the buttons are closer, it is also easier to reach notes that are far apart, such as two octaves apart.


  1. ^ Ricardo Llanos and Inaki Alberdi, "Accordion for Composers" (Spanish publication: 2002), 2-5).
  2. ^ a b Dan Lindgren, Piano Accordion vs. Chromatic Button Accordion Online PDF

See also

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