Small businesses account for more than 70 percent of Italy's gross domestic product. But they haven't been growing. One example is the country's famed accordion industry, which has enjoyed a resurgence — but also wants to stay small.

Even in a global economy, something as small as Italy's accordion industry can have an impact. The work of its craftsmen has reached millions of ears.

For instance, the accordion you hear in The Decemberists' "Mariner's Revenge Song" was handmade in the central Italian town of Castelfidardo, where seaside workshops helped pioneer the modern squeezebox 150 years ago.

Today, the likes of Bjork, Calexico and Gogol Bordello come to the town for what's considered the Ferrari of accordions.

"It's a very special job," says Genuino Baffetti, who runs the Dino Baffetti accordion company. "It takes passion to want to make the best accordions."

The air inside Baffetti's workshop is thick with sawdust and glue. At one end of the shop, a worker adjusts some out-of-tune reeds.