Statewide Afternoons broadcast live from the Royal Adelaide Show, and were joined by accordion player Ron Pearce, who spoke about accordions, and also performed live on the show.

Ron plays a ‘Sonola’, which is a 40-year-old accordion that isn’t manufactured any longer. An accordion, according to Ron, “is like a mouth organ with bellows on it, instead of blowing it with your mouth, you blow it with the bellows”. Like a piano, an accordion is played using both hands, the right hand plays on the piano-like keys, and the left hand plays similarly, but with buttons to press for different notes.

Ron has played with the South Australian Symphony Orchestra several times in the past, and says that it sounds fantastic, “especially with the backing of 50 or 60 other musicians, with violins and all the other orchestra instruments.”

Ron’s been playing accordion for about 50 years. Ron wanted to learn the piano-accordion while he was a child, but Ron says his parents, “bought a piano because they said it made better furniture”. But at the age of 13 or 14, Ron picked up one of his friends accordions and decided he’d really like to play it. Ron performed a variety of musical tunes while on the show.

  • ABC News Australia Excerpt from ABC Adelaide Show Report 2002
  • Presenter Stan Thomson
  • Researcher Trixi Oldfield
  • Date Monday, 9 September 2002