Leslie Thompson BA(hons), AIMIT,
I set up Accordions South West in 2001 realising there were few people capable of repairing and tuning accordions in the country, let alone the South West.
I studied and qualified in musical instrument technology 1971-1974 and subsequently worked as a technician for the BBC and Dartington College of Arts where I was responsible for electronic music and sound for ten years.
In the early19th Century someone had the bright idea of using bellows as an air supply for a harmonica and keys to operate the notes. The first instruments had buttons and gave different notes depending on whether pushing or pulling. Soon a piano keyboard was used which needed two reeds for each note one sounding on pull the other on push. Then more reeds were needed for different effects and many instruments have 8 reeds for each note. Large accordions have 41 treble notes so that's 328 reeds and often 96 reeds in the bass section
I currently play in two bands: AMBER FIRE CEILIDH BAND which does a lot of weddings and similar celebrations, and LVOV AFFAIR playing East European & klezmer music for parties, concerts and festivals.
I also play French accordion music either solo or with a guitarist at restaurants, hotels and French theme functions