The term squeezebox is one that has irritated some players of instruments that are considered to be members of the class. Unfortunately, there is no single English word to describe the entire class; saying hand-held bellows-driven free-reed ærophone gets cumbersome. So until something better is coined, we have squeezebox.

For our purposes the squeezebox universe is divided as follows:

  • Concertinas have buttons which move parallel to the direction of the bellows motion, and produce only single notes.
  • Accordions have buttons or keys which move perpendicular to the direction of the bellows motion, and may have buttons that produce chords. They take their name from the ability to produce chords with a single button, but the free-bass instruments have precluded the use of that as a strict criterion.
  • Hybrids combine some features of accordions with some features of concertinas. Also included in this category is the Flutina, which is technically an intermediate step between concertinas and accordions.