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Musical Instruments of Brittany: The Accordion

Beginning in the early 20th century, the Diatonic and later the Chromatic accordion gained popularity throughout Brittany, with particular use in eastern Brittany and in coastal areas where maritime traditions have remained strong. As in other countries of Europe, the accordion has often replaced bagpipes, but it has also developed a tradition all its own. While this instrument brought with it a repertoire from outside of Brittany to replace local styles, it has also been adapted by Breton musicians to uniquely Breton styles.


«Traditions populaires et industrialisation--le cas de l'accordéon» Yves Defrance. Ethnologie française. XIV(3). 1984:223-236.

«L'accordéon en pays Fanch» Bernard Lasbleiz & Aristide Bernard. Musique bretonne 105 (septembre 1990):3-8.

«Accordéons chromatiques et jazz bands dans les Monts d'Arrée» Bernard Lasbleiz. Musique bretonne 109 (mars 1991):4-8; 110 (avril 1991):3-7.

«Souvenirs d'un bouezou» André Lecoq. Ar Men 63 (novembre 1994):26-33.

Tune collections

An Ton hag ar Pardon. Bernard Lasbleiz. Coop Breizh. 2005. 104 pages.
Music for solos, duos and trios of button accordions featuring a variety of dances in 84 selections. Also includes nice photos.

See also recordings by Yann Dour below which include pedagogical material


Jean Barbelivien.
Airs a danser du pays de Chateaubriant. Chanteurs et musiciens de Bretagne no. 6. Dastum DAS 116. 1992.
Cassette and 50-page booklet on traditional diatonic accordion player from area of Chateaubriant in eastern Brittany.

Michel Beaujet
Chansons populaires pour accordéon diatonique. Carhuel. 2004.

Jean Coateval.
Dañs tro Menez Arre. Dastrum Kreiz Breizh 03. 1999.
Older master of accordion and the repertoire of western Brittany.

Cocktail diatonique.
Cocktail diatonique; Accordéons diatoniques en Bretagne. Keltia Musique KMCD 63. 1992.
Arrangements and compositions by Jacques Beauchamp, Patrick Lancien, Yann-Fanch Perroches, Ronan Robert.

Yann Dour.
Musiques pour accordéons diatoniques. Escalibur 812.
Booklet and lp/cassette with 30 selections showing 10 styles.
Musique pour la danse bretonne. Editions Caruhel. 1988 (75-page booklet and cassette).
Bal Gallo. Coop Breizh CD936. 2002.
Kenavo. Carhuel. CAR 037.2003.
Several recordings among other by diatonic accordion player who has also produced pedagogical materials for the instrument.

Meriadec Goriou
La boite du diable. Coop Breizh. 2002.
Member of band called Gwenfol.

Etienne Grandjean
Journal des rêves.. Avel-Ouest CD EG 01-0. 2005.

Etienne Grandjean & Pierrick Lemou.
Musiques Celtiques. Sony Music. 1996. Accordion and fiddle.

Fred Guichen.
La Lune noire. Ciré Jaune  188. 1998.
Former accordion player with hot fest noz band Ar Re Yaouank.

Régis Huiban Quartet
Sans-sommeil. Avel Ouest. 2005. 
Accordion featured in a variety of styles, accompanied by guitar, bass fiddle and percusion.

Bernard Lasbleiz & Jean-Michel Corgeron.
Boest an diaoul--l'accordéon en pays de gavotte. Anche Libre/Dastum.1987
Cassette with 104 page booklet of music and notes.

Patrick Lefebvre.
Accordéon Gavotte. Arfolk CD 431. 1995.

Pierrick Lemou & Patrick Lefebvre.
Seizh hun. Keltia Musique KMCD 90. 1998.
Accordion (Lefebvre) and fiddle.

Jean-Louis Le Vallegant & Patrick Lefebvre
Swing noz. Coop Breizh CD949. 2003.
Accordion and saxophone.

Bernard Loffet
Moteur. BL 1-05. 2005.
Solo accordion and song.

Alain Pennec.
Alcoves Keltia Musique KMCD51. 1995.
With guitar and keyboard.
Turbulences. Keltia Musique KMCD 101. 1999.
With harp, guitar and percussion.

Alain Pennec Quartet
Bacchanales. Keltia Musique KMCD 155. 2004.
Accordion with harp, percussion. Chapman stick and other instruments.

Yann-Fañch Perroches.
An droug hirnez. Keltia Musique KMCD 79. 1997.

Yann-Fañch Perroches and Fañch Landreau.
Daou ha daou. Keltia Musique. KMCD 111. 2000.
Accordion in pair with fiddle.

Ronan Robert.
Réunion en concert. Pixie/Déclic Communication/Blue Silver. 1996.

Various performers.
Accordéon diatonique en Haute-Bretagne. Rikou Soner RS 185. 1982l reissued in 2001 by Keltia Musique KMCD 116.
CD featuring diatonic accordion and music from traditional repertoire of Upper Brittany; includes F. Delaunay, V. Coignard, Ch. Le Mouee, E. Grandjean, Ch. Anneix, J. Rousseau.
Accordéon diatonique en Tregor: Bro Dreger V. Kreizenn Sevenadurel Lannuon. BD 005. 1993. Reissued in 1998 as a CD.
Fest deiz accordéons. Arfolk CD 427. 1995.
Includes Jean Coateval, Jean-Yves Le Corre, Yves Le Guennec, Regis Huiban, Patrick Lefebvre, Eric Richard; various dances.
Accordéons en Haute-Bretagne, Pixie/Déclic 50 500-2. 1999.
Accordéons de Bretagne. Coop Breizh CD 190. 2000.
Features best of Brittany with a variety of dance tunes.
Bretagne attitude. Keltia Musique KMCD 141. 2003.
14 young accordion players with «attitude»