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What kind of accordion did Sean Ardoin use for "Zydeco Happy"?

I've been teaching accordion to an 11-year-old. Sometimes he learns traditional French stuff, but I've also been teaching him all kinds of pop music to help maintain his interest. I figure that's better than having him give it up entirely. Please no hate mail from traditionalists.

We've just started learning a new song (see the videos posted below). Sean Ardoin turned the well-known 2013 R&B song "Happy" into "Zydeco Happy."

The question is: What kind of accordion did Sean play this song on? It's in B minor, so if it's a single-row (which is what he's playing in the video), it would have to be in "D" (Dorian) position on an A accordion, or in "A" (Aeolian) position on a D accordion. My problem is that the blends and octaves don't seem to come out right in either position.

Is it possible he actually played this on a triple-row in the recording studio?

Re: What kind of accordion did Sean Ardoin use for "Zydeco Happy"?

Hi Henry,

I'll have to look into that song later on and see what I can figure out.

But, to answer one of your questions, I am certain that it was not recorded using a triple row. It just has that recognizable sound that only a Cajun accordion can make. Plus, he's got one in the video - why bother to record it with a triple and do the video with a single?


Re: What kind of accordion did Sean Ardoin use for "Zydeco Happy"?

He's using a Cajun accordion in the key of G.

The 2nd position (pull) in G is D. The song is in Bm, which is the relative minor of D. The notes and playing position stay more or less the same for the pull key and its relative minor, so you might as well say he's playing on the pull.

For the young generation, G is a widely used accordion. When played in the 2nd position (D), it's a very good key for males to sing in a relaxed, soulful style.

Re: What kind of accordion did Sean Ardoin use for "Zydeco Happy"?

Thanks, David, you've totally solved the mystery.

Jamey Hall's most excellent Cajun Accordion Music Theory

Brett's all new Cajun Accordion Music Theory for all keys!

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