Squeeze This! by Marion Jacobson
A Cultural History of the Accordion in America (Folklore Studies in Multicultural World)

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Ms. Jacobson sounds naive when she observes that "published music was part of a controlled capitalist system of production, consumption, and reproduction." Well, duh!
-WSJ online

Synopsis

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 the accordion-infused pop parodies by "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.
 

About Marion Jacobson

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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.
 
Published February 21, 2012 by University of Illinois Press. 294 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Ken Emerson on Apr 13 2012

Ms. Jacobson sounds naive when she observes that "published music was part of a controlled capitalist system of production, consumption, and reproduction." Well, duh!

Read Full Review of Squeeze This!: A Cultural His... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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