Consisting of reels and waltzes, the region’s traditional repertoire of accordion music encompasses a wealth of sublime and vibrant dance tunes. Like their counterparts elsewhere in Quebec, Montmagny’s accordionists play a mix of widely known tunes (like “St. Anne’s Reel” and “The Farmer’s Reel”) and local pieces.
The unique personality associated with traditional accordion music played in Montmagny was shaped by early greats like Joseph and Marcel Messervier. Joseph Messervier’s own style incorporated elements borrowed from Alfred Montmarquette and Théodore Duguay.
Marcel Messervier and other local musicians of the same era were influenced by 1960s American rock ’n’ roll. They integrated its rhythms into their own compositions, much to the delight of audiences. As dancers would say at the time, the music had more “swing.”
Listen as accordionist Raynald Ouellet talks about the sharing of knowledge among musicians:
Interview with Raynald Ouellet. Subtitles available (EN and FR). Watch the interview with transcript (EN).