Accordion Tuning Types

Written by michelle tapire
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Accordion Tuning Types
Tuning has a big impact on an accordion's sound quality. (an accordion. image by Alexander Lukyanov from

Accordions sound different from one another as a result of tuning the remaining set of the middle octave reeds. The reeds are tuned in order to have a beat note or a tremolo effect, which is also referred to as wetness, the basis of accordion tuning type. It is not easy to tune an accordion. It requires talent, practice, time and effort. The first way to master accordion tuning is to know the different types of accordion tuning. There are basically four accordion tuning types: French Musette, Slovenian style, German style and Italian style.

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French Musette

Compared to other accordion tuning types, French Musette accordion tuning has the greatest amount of wetness. Its tuning has set #3 of the reeds tuned flat and set #2 tuned sharp, resulting in non-suppressed-carrier of amplitude or a single tremolo applied to each note instead of a blend of different tremolos.


Slovenian-style accordion tuning typically has a dry sound. However, this type varies a lot depending on the tuning of the third musette set. Most tuners tune the accordion sharp, but there are others who tune them flat. Flat tuning is said to be better since it helps keep the accordion from creating an out-of-tune sound.


German-style accordion tuning is half as wet as the full French Musette tuning. This type is also referred to as Continental tuning or Polka tuning.

Scottish Musette

Instead of using three reeds per note, Scottish Musette accordion tuning uses only two reeds, one with a higher note and one with a lower note. This combination of high and low notes creates a beautiful and rich tone, making it the most common type of accordion tuning.

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