Moolodeon electric accordion

[Lee] wanted an electric Melodeon to use with his band. A Melodeon is a chromatic accordion and there are people who already make electric versions but they are a little too expensive for him. Instead, he bought a toy accordion and added electronics to it.

After being thwarted by forgotten PIC skills of yore, he went with an Arduino as the controller. Two pressure sensors are used to detect the squeezing and pulling of the instrument’s bellows. His did some solid work. The video above uses 8-bit sounds like we’re used to from video games and the one after the break sources more traditional accordion sounds.


  1. Jeff Wallin says:

    i want one so bad

  2. svofski says:


  3. Dan says:

    Quite possibly the coolest thing ever!

  4. Peter says:

    Friggin Awesome! Finally some altered music instrument that actually sounds cool!

    (unlike for example all that circuit bender crap)

  5. M4CGYV3R says:

    That’s cool that he used pressure sensors to trigger the notes rather than some sort of slide or bend pot. I’m curious if this requires any sort of skill to play or being a chromatic scale already, if you can just hit any series of notes you want and it will fall into some decent scale.

  6. The File Clerk says:

    Agreed, it always seems that electronic controlled music sounds like electronic control music, random and usually aggravating. This is just awesome.

  7. Skitchin says:

    Anybody know what song he was playing in the video after the break? Sounds really familiar.

    @M4CGYV3R: I’m sure you can set it up various ways, but something tells me he’s fairly skilled with this instrument.

  8. mars says:


  9. Adam Ziegler says:

    Wow… that was great!

  10. Lee says:

    Thanks everyone! :-) @Skitchin, it’s a folk tune called “Mr Moore’s Hornpipe” that I picked up in Sheffield

  11. Lee says:

    Oops, sorry – Mr Moore’s was the “8-bit” tune… The other is Robins by Jon Swayne (as recorded by Blowzabella)

  12. HIrudinea says:

    An electronic accordion? I don’t know whether its a cool hack or a crime against nature.

  13. supershwa says:

    Awesome HACK! Superb job Lee!

  14. MS3FGX says:

    Wow, that really is very nice. I have to agree with the others, electronic music is usually pretty terrible, but this comes off fairly naturally.

  15. rallen says:

    A cool hack against nature?

  16. Robb says:

    Incredible! Cant wait to see it in mad max 10

  17. Steven says:

    Damn, incredible indeed!

    That sounds just like the SID C64 Sound Module? :D

  18. sqzinfool says:

    Neat, Any chance of getting the pressure circuit wiring. I have the same sensors.
    Did the same thing to a concertina but the pressure thing put the breaks on.

  19. Hello, Mike

    Thanks for inspiration. Accordion project here

  20. Lee says:

    Actually, Mike wrote the Hackaday article.. The project is mine (Lee) but thanks for the shout anyway! :-)

  21. sqzinfool says:

    Thanks for the info.
    The problem I had was getting it to not to make a sound when there was not motion. I used Motorola MX4115 pressure sensors(I think, bad memory). I used two. One inside and one outside. The one outside was for compensating changes in atmospheric pressure. Had a problem with stability. It’s winter time and I am looking for things to do so my interest is up again.

  22. lyla says:

    hi lee !

    It would be soooo amazing if I could know how you did your hack like this I could try to play with my old small piano accordion ……
    Is there somewhere I could get some technical plans/codes ? ( the link up there dont work anymore )
    thank youuuuu so much great music by the way :)

  23. Lee says:

    For all interested, my site with the build details on is now at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,353 other followers