Published: April 18, 2006 in All About Jazz

“ Much like American jazz, blues and country, musette was born of a world of rough and shifty ne’er-do-wells, a volatile tableau of killers, prostitutes, pimps and gangsters. ”

Watch any old movie that’s set in Paris and the soundtrack is sure to be musette, the charming, accordion-fueled music so identified with the city’s romantic aura. But before it became clichéd Hollywood shorthand for a location change, it was the social music of Paris’ unsavory criminal underclass. Much like American jazz, blues and country, musette was born of a world of rough and shifty ne’er-do-wells, a volatile tableau of killers, prostitutes, pimps and gangsters. And the musicians themselves were frequently just as colorful, as ready to pull a knife as play a waltz.

The word musette was originally the name for a bagpipe-like instrument played in the courts of France’s upper classes during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Eventually it fell out of favor with the privileged population and was picked up by the country’s rural peoples, especially those in the central Auvergne region. When the Auvergnats moved to Paris in search of work in the early 1800s, they brought their folk music to town, many of them opening cafés that catered to factory workers and their families. It was in these cafés that Sunday dances, or bals musette as they came to be known, began to be held.
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Sound Box Cavagnolo et FR1b Roland

Connexion midi between Sound Box Cava and the Fr1b Roland Demonstration of the flûte and strings. More details on CavaDigit :

Maugein musette accordionsEver wonder why Chromatic Accordions sound different from Piano Accordions?


It will be somewhat difficult to demonstrate without the help of graphics, why chromatic accordions sounds different from piano accordions .  I will try anyway to explain it with plain words, read on… Read more

Jean Louis Noton – “La Dent Blanche”

Jean Louis Noton playing at “Dent Blanche” – 4.357 mts. (Alpes — France) 21.07.1997. Video extract from “Passions” (DVD) “La dent Blanche” is composed, arranged and played by jean Louis Noton with CAVAGNOLO ODYSSÉE 3 Accordion.

Nuits de Nacre 2011 – 14/09 – Rue de la Muette

NUITS DE NACRE is an accordion festival held each year in September in a town called Tulle in the Corèze province in France.

This festival is a must go for any accordion enthusiast.

Here is the group called “Rue de la Muette” and is typical French cafe music of today with Éric Rohmer.

Noticed the accordion?  Maugein

Maugein is one of the few typical French musette accordion makers in France.  They are in Tulle, Corèze.  A very good squeezebox.


Flambée montalbanaise – Gus Viseur

“Flambée montalbanaise” from Gus Viseur is one of my favorite musette classic.

Tony Murena – Indifférence

A French musette “classic” played by Tony Murena with the Ferret bros.

Check Tony Murena’s fill at 1:15 and check the double octave pass at 2:15.  Very impressive.

Jean-Louis Noton, 1998: Medley on the “Odyssee”

In 1998, Noton, from France, came to USA for the first time to show off the reedless-wireless Cavagnolo “Odyssee” accordion. Since he is a computer expert, he helped in designing this model. He is a talented musician with a super memory. This was a great 15 minute medley, but due to YouTube restrictions, the poster of this entry had to butcher it down to under 10.

Today the Reedless Odyssee is no longer in production and has been moved to the CAVA-DIGIT

Les Primitifs du Futur -Webster Hall #1

French group “Les Primitifs du Futur” at Webster Hall on January 21,2007 for GlobalFest with my good friend the accordionist Daniel Colin.

jacques BOLOGNESI at the accordina

LE QUATTRO – GAP Jacques BOLOGNESI accordina:  the accordina is a kind of melodica but with buttons instead of piano keys to accomodate the chromatic accordion players.  With Marc FOSSET guitar, Pierre-Yves SORIN doublebass, Jean-Luc PONTHIEUX doublebass and electric bass, Patrick FABERT trumpet, Jacques RAULET Presentation.

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