Accordion Tuning

Talk about accordions (digital and acoustic), amplifiers, straps, and any related musical equipment.
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Pete R
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:51 pm

Accordion Tuning

Post by Pete R »

Hi, all,

I have 2 accordions, a Czech made Delicia 5-row chromatic (bayan) and a Hohner Hohnica keyboard style. Both seem to be tuned to A 441. Is there a reason why? Do you have to specify A 440 when ordering?


Pete Rivard
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 05, 2023 11:19 pm

Re: Accordion Tuning

Post by bren077s »

I don't have a direct answer, but I have a few guesses. Maybe one of these will be correct:

1. A lot of instruments are tune with wet or musette tuning. This means that for a pair or reeds, one is tuned high and one low. This leads to a fuller, more pleasing sound (though a little discordant). That also may confuse anything you are using to check the frequency. One reed may be 441, and the other 439 to average 440.

2. The instruments could be just slightly out of tune. This could be for a number of reason. Could just be from shipping, could be it was never fully tuned, could be old and slowly going out of tune. I only have guesses here, but there are multiple possibilities. Theoretically it could even just be due to the temp it was tuned at vs the temp you play it at (though that probably wouldn't count for a whole frequency). Could even be that the tuner just thought 441 sounded better or was close enough.

3. 440 isn't exactly a standard. I mean it kinda is, but plenty of orchestras tune to 441, 442, or 443. Some people tune all the way down to 432. Beethoven's tuning fork was at 455ish as another example. As long as the relative to other notes is correct, the exact frequency doesn't matter (except, of course, when playing with others and too far off tone).

Not sure this is still useful to you or if you got this figured out already given your post was quite a while ago. If you really need it tuned perfectly, you could try to tune it yourself (there are videos on youtube), but I would advise taking it to an accordion shop.
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