When my aunt mentioned in a recent blog post that she used to play her accordion for dances and earn one dollar per hour back in 1940, it started me thinking about an accordion I once had. Unlike hers, it wasn’t new when I acquired it, and I could never play it well enough for anyone to even tap a toe, let alone dance to any of my tunes, but at the time it satisfied my adult longing to tinker with a keyboard.
The accordion didn’t come with a case so during one of our early moves it was packed into a box. Soon after, we bought a piano and I took lessons along with our children. Through the years my two daughters overtook my modest ability and I gained a lot of pleasure just listening to them play.
The piano made several moves with us, but I lost track of the accordion. Eventually we decided the piano would be better used by our younger married daughter (her sister already had a piano), and it made the journey to her home carefully wrapped and strapped into the back of our truck. Now one of her daughters also plays it. (It’s the granddaughter’s hands I photographed for a post earlier this spring.) Music plays a major role in the lives of both our daughters, providing for creative and emotional self-expression, and I’m delighted to see the piano helping another generation start along a similar path.
I mused about the old accordion during a visit with my aunt last Thursday, wondering whatever became of it. Then, last night, my husband came upstairs from the basement bearing none other than my old 12 bass Camerano accordion! He went looking for the box and found it. (What a blessing he is!) Other than testing it out, I haven’t dared to try playing it. That will wait for a time when I’m alone in the house!
One of the questions it brought to mind is how often novelists give their characters musical instruments — not just guitars to be played around campfires in a western setting, or a pianoforte in historical fiction. There have to be many other opportunities. Using all the senses brings our stories alive, but too often we limit sensory experiences to what is seen, when sounds, smells, touch and taste would also enrich.
Do you play a musical instrument? Do any of the characters in your stories play? How does it impact the character or scene?
“Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.”
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