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Subject: [rec.music.makers.squeezebox] Concertina FAQ

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CONCERTINA FAQ -------------- VERSION : 1.19 AUTHOR : CHRIS TIMSON chris@harbour.demon.co.uk DATE : 6 October 2002 CONTENTS 1 ................................... Introduction 2 ................................... History 3 ................................... Types of Concertina 4 ................................... Buying Advice 5 ................................... Tutors and Other Books 6 ................................... Repair Techniques 7 ................................... Miking Concertinas 8 ................................... Makers and Repairers 9 ................................... Shops and Dealers 10 ................................... Clubs and Organisations 11 ................................... Magazines 12 ................................... The Internet Appendix 1: Wheatstone and Lachenal Dates of Manufacture "Concertina ... the result of an accident between two moving vehicles" English - Thai dictionary 1 INTRODUCTION This document is a brief introduction to the concertina. It attempts to answer some of the questions I have seen in rec.music.makers.squeezebox plus others which would have been helpful to me when I first picked up this fascinating, frustrating and delightful instrument. It is not a true FAQ in that it is not in question-and-answer format, but I have never found that a conducive form in which to write. As I am a UK player this document will unavoidably have a British bias. I would welcome any information from players elsewhere in the world that I can incorporate into later versions. Please e-mail me with any corrections, additions and comments. I myself play the anglo concertina. My partner in crime, Anne Gregson, plays the English. Thanks are due to various people who reviewed this document, and in particular Colin Dipper of C & R Dipper Concertinas who made many helpful suggestions, and Phoebe Sengers who produced the hypertext version. All opinions not directly credited are, however, my own. 2 HISTORY The concertina belongs to a class of instruments known as Free Reed instruments, which also includes accordions and harmonicas. It was developed in 1829 and 1830 by Sir Charles Wheatstone of Wheatstone bridge fame after several years of building prototypes, a few of which still exist (in 1829 he patented its direct predecessor, the Symphonium, but he did not actually patent the concertina itself until 1844). The already-existing family musical instrument firm of Wheatstone & Co switched over to manufacturing concertinas, each one expensively hand-made by highly skilled craftsmen, and at first the concertina was very much an instrument of the middle and upper class drawing room. Its fully chromatic range was suited to classical pieces, with its fast action lending it to "party pieces" such as The Flight of the Bumble Bee. In due course other firms such as Lachenal and Jeffries were founded (several by ex-Wheatstone employees) the cost of concertinas lowered, and the instrument moved out of the drawing room and into the world of popular music. It became popular with music hall performers, several of whom, such as Percy Honri (who billed himself as "A concert-in-a turn") and "Professor" J. H. MacCann, were musicians of the highest virtuosity. The Salvation Army liked it for its portability and strident tone. Concertina bands were formed, playing marches and other popular pieces (and commemorated to this day by the Concertina Brewery, who brew in the cellar of the old Mexborough Concertina Band Club in South Yorkshire). It also became a favourite of traditional musicians throughout the British Isles. In the 20th Century the instrument gradually fell out of favour, and one by one the makers closed or went out of business. Wheatstone's themselves (by this time owned by Boosey & Hawkes) closed in 1968, the last survivor being Crabbe & Co of Islington who closed in the late '80s. What saved the instrument from gradually dwindling away into obscurity, as far as the UK was concerned, was the Folk Revival from the '60s onward. Performers looking for a different sound from the ubiquitous guitar were drawn to the concertina for all its old virtues of versatility and flexibility combined with portability. In addition the concertina permitted song accompaniments that were free of the rhythmic straitjacket that the guitar in unskilled hands tends to impose upon everything. For folk and morris dance the anglo concertina and its accordion cousin the melodeon proved ideal. People started making concertinas again, many of a quality to equal anything made by the old companies. 3 TYPES OF CONCERTINA There are several distinct types of concertina, all sharing the same basic design of folding bellows with buttons at each end, and anything from 6 to 12 sides in cross-section. Where they vary is in the layout and function of the keys. The variation is so great between the types as to effectively render them different types of instruments - the player of one type or "system" will almost certainly not be able to pick up a concertina of a different system and play it without starting almost from scratch to learn it. Concertinas come in various sizes which govern the range of notes they can play. The most common are treble concertinas. The range of a standard 48 key English concertina is from G below middle C to C 3 octaves above middle C (i.e. the same as a violin). Below them are baritone concertinas which play one full octave below the treble, and the bass which plays one octave lower again. Also fairly common are tenor-trebles which cross the range of the treble and baritone. VERY occasionally you find piccolo concertinas which play one octave above the treble. The main types are the English, the Anglo and the various systems of Duet concertina. ENGLISH CONCERTINA This is the original concertina as invented by Wheatstone. You can recognise one by the 4 parallel rows of buttons and by the supports for thumb and little finger on each end. (There is quite a good picture in Microsoft's Encarta encyclopaedia, except that it is upside down!). The larger baritone and bass English concertinas frequently have wrist straps as well, to help with the greater weight of the instrument. The two centre rows on each side are in the key of C, the accidentals are distributed between the outside rows. Playing a scale involves alternating between the left and right hands. The layout of buttons is very logical and fully chromatic, and permits very high speeds to be achieved when playing melody (e.g. the Flight of the Bumble Bee mentioned above), but is more restrictive if you want to play melody with low accompaniment, e.g. ragtime. Normally the English concertina has 48 keys, but some models had 56. The extra 8 keys are at the high end of the scale and are thus not so useful on the treble, but they can be helpful in tenor-trebles and baritones. ANGLO CONCERTINA The anglo concertina (or to give it its original name, the Anglo-German concertina) was developed soon after the English, using as a model the diatonic German instruments which were also the ancestors of the melodeon and harmonica. It can have two or three curved rows of buttons on each side and a wrist strap for support. Some of the duet systems described below can look a bit like an anglo, but the firm diagnostic test is "if I press a button, do I get the same note when I close the bellows as when I open them". If the answer is "no, I get different notes" then it is an anglo. Only the anglo of all the main types of concertina plays different notes on the push and on the pull. (It has been pointed out to me that occasionally English and duet concertinas can be so horrendously out of tune as to play very different notes on the pull from the push, and thus fool the unwary into thinking that they are anglos. This is, fortunately, very rare). On two-row anglos each row is in a different key, so the instrument is capable of playing in two keys only. The three row is the same, except that the third outside row is a collection of assorted accidentals that enable the skilled player to play in other keys. Anglos are referred to by the 2 keys. The most common is the C/G anglo, where the outside row (or middle row on a three row) plays the key of C and the inside row plays the key of G. Also fairly common are G/D instruments, mainly used for folk dance music. Occasionally you find C/C#, which are chromatic between the two main rows, and a whole variety of odd tunings made to the request of the purchaser. Anglos are also referred to by the number of keys (here meaning buttons!) they have:- a 20-key is a two-row, a 30-key is a three row, a 40-key is also a three row but with additional buttons dotted around to make playing in different keys or more smoothly a little bit easier. You can play good music on a 20-key instrument, but it is limiting - you have to fudge any accidentals you encounter. 30-key concertinas are fine for all normal use. When you get into the expert bracket look for a 40-key. The low notes on all anglos are on the left hand side, and the high notes on the right, which brings us on to the last type of concertina... DUET CONCERTINAS In fact there are several systems of duet concertina, each as separate from each other as an anglo is from an English, but all set out to cure the same perceived problem: how to give an accompaniment to a melody without going schizoid. The answer is the same in all cases: put the low notes on the left hand side, and the high notes on the right hand side. The player can then play the melody on the right hand, with an accompaniment on the left, thus the name of "Duet". The main duet systems are: MacCann: the key layout looks fairly illogical, but it was apparently designed for speed rather than logic and there are certainly some very fine players around! Fairly easy to get one. Sometimes can be huge instruments with up to 80 buttons and the range of a piano! Crane: also known as Triumph by the Salvation Army who used it a lot. Much more logical system, I'm told, and again some very good players around. Fairly easy to obtain one. Jeffries: designed for anglo players to convert to. Has a "home key" such as G and is apparently difficult to play chromatically, thus players tend not to stray far from the home key. Somewhat rarer than the first two. Hayden: a modern system. Much the most logical, easy to learn and straightforward duet system, with some ingenious characteristics that make key transposition easy, but quite hard to get because it's modern. I once asked Brian Hayden how many Hayden duets there were in the world, and after some thought he said "Oh, about 60". However this situation is changing markedly for the better, as Stagi have started making accordion-reeded Haydens, a Russian bayan maker has made prototypes and intends to go into production with a potentially excellent instrument (the fabled Haydenovskaya), and now that The Button Box (see section 8) have started making anglos and Englishes they intend to return to their long-held plan to makeHaydens. Other- wise the only option is to get one built to order by C & R Dipper or Steve Dickinson. CHEMNITZER CONCERTINAS These should be included in that, even though they have a totally different evolution to Charles Wheatstone's invention, their players refer to them as concertinas. Indeed many of them have the word "Concertina" designed into the fretwork on the ends in very large letters! In fact the Chemnitzer concertina was invented in 1834 in Chemnitz in Germany by Carl Friedrich Uhlig. He called his new instrument the "Conzertina". It is related to the bandoneon, being approximately the same size and shape, square or slightly rectangular; the treble end of a Chemnitzer concertina usually has three rows, and in layout is not unlike an anglo. The bandoneon however has several different layouts, both chromatic and diatonic; the treble end probably has five or six rows. I know of only one player in the UK, though there are many more in North and South America. The construction appears to be accordion like, as is the sound. The Chemnitzer concertina is particularly popular among players of polka music originating in Poland. Steve Litwin's Home Page (see section 12) has lots of additional information about this instrument. There are probably other systems around - concertina makers and players of the 19th century were a very inventive lot. 4 BUYING ADVICE In theory, before buying a concertina you would consider what you want it for and decide which type you need from the list above. For instance here are a few guidelines you may hear on the uses to which you might put the various types of concertina:- If you want to play in groups or ensembles of concertinas, go for an English. For folk or morris dance the in-out pattern of the anglo scale gives a "lift" to the music. It is also a good band instrument. For song accompaniment or for solo instrumentals duets are ideal. For fast flowing melody lines the key layout of an English gives it an edge. If you intend to play from music or to compose music for the instrument, choose an English or a duet. If you intend to learn to play by ear the anglo is significantly easier to learn than the other two, and in fact is surprisingly easy to get started with. Unfortunately life is never that simple. The English is widely used for song accompaniment. Alistair Anderson has shown how successful the English can be for dance music and band work. I, like quite a few other people use the anglo for song accompaniment. The anglo is the concertina of choice for many Irish musicians, who get round its inherent "bouncyness" by dexterous cross-fingering between the rows. At the end of the day all you can do is try the various systems as far as possible and see which suits you best. If you can, talk to other players about why they chose their instruments and listen to what they play. When buying a concertina you have two choices: buy new or buy used. If you buy used then TAKE SOMEONE WITH YOU WHO KNOWS CONCERTINAS. I cannot stress that too strongly. You will likely be buying an instrument that is 60 or more years old. There is nothing wrong with that per se - many of the finest instruments around are of that age or older (we have a beautiful baritone that is 100 years old), but an old concertina may have faults not immediately apparent that will be expensive to fix. In particular check that it is in concert pitch and not "old" pitch if you intend to play with other musicians. Retuning a concertina is a specialist job, and expensive to boot. If you are seriously considering a particular concertina don't be afraid to ask the dealer to take the ends off and let you look inside. After all, you may find anything up to and including woodworm. It is only fair to state that some dealers disagree with people doing this! Old concertinas come with steel reeds most commonly, or brass reeds. Brass reeds have greater sweetness of tone than steel reeds, and brass reeded instruments tend to be cheaper, but if played forcefully (e.g. in band or outdoor work) they can go out of tune more quickly. The "best" name in second-hand English concertinas is undoubtedly Wheatstone. (Be aware though that instruments made after they were taken over by Boosey & Hawkes in the 1950s are generally regarded as being of poorer quality than before). Other good makers include Jones, Crabb and also Lachenal, who made instruments ranging from the cheap-and-cheerful to the excellent. Their Edeophone range (distinctive for having 12 sides and rolling off tables if you aren't careful) matched the very best Wheatstone Aeolas. The leading name in anglos was Jeffries. Again Lachenal also made a wide range of instruments. It is quite common for players to start with a mid-range Lachenal, graduating when time, expertise (and money!) allow to a Jeffries. Crabb also made many fine instruments, as did Wheatstone with their Linota range. With concertinas, you get what you pay for. There are few bargains around, but you have the consolation that if you have an instrument of reasonable quality or better it will hold its value and you will have no trouble selling it if you decide it is not for you. Up until recently the market for English and anglo concertinas was fairly similar, with Wheatstone Englishes and Jeffries anglos, for instance, fetching similar prices. Unfortunately for some reason the prices of good anglos, especially 30-button C/Gs as used in Irish music - and in particular anything bearing the magic imprint of Jeffries - has gone through the roof! I have heard of people offering to pay over UKP3000 for a Jeffries SIGHT UNSEEN! This is plain silly in my opinion, and biases the market heavily against the new or poorer player. Fortunately there are now makers who are producing new anglos based on accordion reeds but still very playable at a more reasonable price (see below). For a first class treble Wheatstone English in excellent condition expect to pay from UKP1500, US$3000. A mid-range Lachenal may cost you UKP700, US$1000. Duets and the larger sizes of English and anglo tend to be cheaper. It is a quite reasonable strategy to buy a cheaper concertina that needs some work and then get it renovated. If you are offered a modern mass-produced instrument such as a Stagi (formerly Bastari) second hand check it very carefully. The method of construction owes much more to accordions than concertinas and as such they tend to degenerate with time in a way that true concertinas do not. (Note that I am not disparaging accordions here. Concertinas are small and the interior is cramped compared to accordions, and each has its appropriate construction techniques). I used to say that buying new means either buying a mass-produced concertina from Stagi and others, or commissioning a hand-made concertina from the likes of Steve Dickinson or C & R Dipper. For anglo players, there is a further option in the shape of Harold Herrington, The Button Box, Homewood, A.C Norman and Marcus Music. In the UK Bastari/Stagi apparently rarely sold their better instruments in the past, and mass-produced concertinas in general are sometimes quite hard work to play with a fairly coarse tone. I have been told that Stagi have a significantly better name in the States. Hohner concertinas are, I believe, badge-engineered Stagis. If funds allow you may prefer a mid-range second-hand instrument. Note that (especially in the UK) you can rarely resell a mass-produced instrument once you have outgrown it. However it may be the only option open to you if funds are low or you have no access to second-hand instruments - and you could always give it away and spread the addiction when you upgrade. (Pete McClelland of Hobgoblin (see section 9, Shops and Dealers) has since emailed me to say that they are "very keen to buy secondhand Bastaris, Stagis, Gremlins & Hohners", which may help UK players). Buying a hand-made instrument from the quality makers (Dipper, Dickinson, Suttner and others) means being prepared to wait years and pay well in excess of UKP1500. For that, though, you will receive a concertina that is made precisely to your requirements and probably among the finest concertinas ever made. Harold Herrington, Bob Tedrow (Homewood Music) and The Button Box in the US, and A. C. Norman and Marcus Music in the UK have all recently started making 30-button anglos using Italian accordion reeds, but otherwise following normal concertina construction techniques fairly closely (e.g. mounting the reeds in a reed pan for a more authentic sound than, say Stagis achieve). This has enabled them to produce very playable instruments at a reasonable price (of the order of UKP850, US1400). I think these new instruments are ideal for beginners, and for more experienced players too, in that they will look good and last well and not hold them back the way mass-produced instruments can. I only wish there was something similar for English and Duet players(in this regard, keep an eye on Button Box! - nudge nudge). 5 TUTORS AND OTHER BOOKS Here is a list of tutors and other books that have been published for the concertina. It is not exhaustive and I would welcome further information for this list. The number of available tutors for the concertina has been increasing by leaps and bounds recently, however some of the older books may now be out of print. ENGLISH CONCERTINA Concertina Workshop Now out of print but Tutor for the English Concertina excellent if you can by Alistair Anderson get it. Folk oriented. Topic Records Ltd Accompanying record 50 Stroud Green Road used to be available, but London N4 3EF not necessary. (Authorised) England photocopies available from Andy's Front Hall, Voorheesville, NY The Concertina: A handbook and I do not have an address, tutor for beginners on the but it should be obtainable English concertina from Hobgoblin. Classically by Frank Butler oriented. Recommended Oak Publications by those who've seen it. The Concise English Concertina A new tutor with a folk by Dick Miles emphasis (and some amazing Cooragurteen photographs) by a man with Ballydehob a long history as a performer. Co. Cork Well produced, very clear Eire and with a section on song accompaniment. Conquering the Concertina Another new tutor, this time by Les Branchett with a much more mainstream Sherborne House Publications approach to music. Also well 25 Spa Road produced and clear, would Gloucester GL1 1UY suit people with wide musical England horizons. Handbook for English Concertina Specifically aimed at by Roger Watson the Hohner concertina, Wise Publications but applicable to other Distrib. by Music Sales Ltd makes. Rather perfunctory 8/9 Frith Street but covers the essentials. London W1V 5TZ England ANGLO CONCERTINA The Anglo Concertina Demystified This is still in print, by Bertram Levy and is excellent. Comes Front Hall Enterprises, Inc with two cassettes. Voorheesville, New York Distributed in UK by C & R Dipper West End House High Street Heytesbury Warminster BA12 0EA England The Anglo Concertina Subtitled A Handbook of by Frank Edgley Tunes and Methods for Irish 2346 Meldrum Traditional Music, this Windsor tutor is accompanied by a CD Ontario N8W 4E4 of the tunes, and is written Canada by a man who can both play Phone (519) 948-9149 and build anglos very well. The Irish Concertina Published this year (1996), by Mick Bramich an excellent tutor for the ISBN 1 899512 25 X C/G Anglo in the Irish Dave Mallinson Publication style. Optional cassette 3 East View of tunes. Moorside Cleckheaton West Yorkshire BD19 6LD England Phone 01274 876388 Handbook for Anglo-Chromatic Concertina Specifically aimed at by Roger Watson the Hohner concertina, Wise Publications but applicable to other Distrib. by Music Sales Ltd makes. A bit perfunctory 8/9 Frith Street but covers the essentials. London W1V 5TZ Good chord list. England First Steps Concertina Anglo-Chromatic Still in print, but in International Music Publications attitude seems from an Southend Road earlier age. Classically Woodford Green oriented. Essex IG8 8HN England DUET CONCERTINA Salvation Army Tutor for This is no longer avail- Triumph (Crane) Duet Concertina able from T & J Pearson. If anyone knows of another source please let me know. OTHER BOOKS Concertina Maintenance Manual Very useful repair manual, SRFN especially for concertinas 24 Chapel Street of "English" construction. Mosborough S20 5BT Cost UKP8.00 (UKP9.00 England overseas), cheque payable to SRFN. Marches 4 Concertinas 20 marches arranged in four arr. Clifford Bevan parts for concertina group Piccolo Press The tunes range from easy E-mail piccowinch@aol.com to intermediate in standard. It is based on Cliff Bevan's well-known Marches 4 Brass. The following books are available from House of Musical Traditions (see section 9) and are almost certainly available elsewhere. I have not seen them myself and would be grateful for feedback on them. I quote from HMT: Best Concertina Method Yet - Bob Kal, for 20 button Anglo $8.95 Concertina & How to Play It - Paul DeVille, 79 pp, 264 tunes for 20 button Anglo $6.95 Concertina Book - Frank Converse, 52 pp, 49 tunes English Concertina & an Introduction to Music - Oliver Heatwole, 63 pp, includes useful fingering charts and reed diagrams for 48 key Italian made instruments in treble, tenor, and baritone ranges $4.00 Handbook of the Concertina - Fred Quann, 75 pp, repair book for all concertinas $13.95 In parentheses, if you are in Holland and play the English concertina, you might like to know that the instrument is taught in three music schools. FFI contact Wim Wakker of The Concertina Connection. 6 REPAIR TECHNIQUES This section only describes repairs on a conventional concertina. Bastari/Stagi type concertinas that are derived from accordions require different techniques that are described in the accordion FAQ (see section 12). Don Nichols Home Page (also section 12) has much useful information. The South Riding Folk Network have (as of December 1997) published the Concertina Maintenance Manual, written by Dave Elliott. Well produced, clearly laid out and nicely illustrated, there is, so far as I know, nothing else like this book around at present time. It should be widely purchased, especially by those not in reach of one of the established repairers. However, it does contain a few errors and should carry a large health warning: unless you have the requisite skills to carry out some of the tasks described you could end up doing some damage to your concertina. Send a cheque for UKP8.00 (UKP9.00 overseas) payable to SRFN, to 24 Chapel Street, Mosborough S20 5BT, England. First, a couple of dos and don'ts. Don't try and tune a concertina unless you are *absolutely* certain of what you are doing. It is very easy to ruin a reed. It is very much a specialist job. Don't touch the two screws that hold a reed in place in its metal frame. Don't leave a concertina dismantled overnight. The screws keep the wood clamped into shape. If left too long the wood can warp and the repair will be expensive. Work on one end at a time and reassemble it before starting work on the other end. There are an awful lot of screws in a concertina, sometimes hand-turned, so keep careful track of where they come from. If you have a concertina with leather baffles fitted to sweeten the tone think very carefully before removing them. The spacers inside the end of the concertina sometimes assume their presence and you can cause the wood to distort when you reassemble it. Personally I prefer to fit baffles in our concertinas - I like the sweetness for song accompaniment and it is an easy job with double-sided tape! Many of the makers in section 8 will supply spare parts such as pads, valves and springs if requested. If you remove the screws round the endplate of the concertina you can remove the end containing the action (i.e. the buttons, levers and pads which control the air flow). This exposes the reed pan which is held in the end of the bellows. Remove the screws one at a time from opposite sides of the endplate so as to distribute the strain, and replace them the same way when you are reassembling the instrument (do not overtighten as you may cause the ends or reed pans to warp). The reed pan has reeds on both sides as a reed is only designed to play in one direction. Reeds on the inside play when the concertina is being pushed or closed, and reeds on the outside play when the concertina is being pulled or opened. Small leather flap valves on the opposite side of the pan from their corresponding reeds control the air flow. If you look on the inside of the end then you will see the holes through which air passes as you play. Press on a button and you will see the corresponding pad lift to allow air through. If you are having a problem with a reed then to identify it press the button on the end corresponding to the note of the problem reed. This will show the hole for that reed, which you can then tie up with the reed pan. Sometimes the reed has the note it plays stamped on its frame. The pan is not normally screwed in and can be removed by careful pulling with one finger hooked through the centre hole. Make sure before you remove it that you know which way round it must be to go back in! (Frequently matching numbers are stamped into the reed pan and frame to help with this). There are two repairs that can be carried out easily on reeds:- silent reeds and buzzing reeds. Silent reeds are frequently due to a small piece of dirt or fluff lodged in the reed, and can be cleared by gently twanging the reed with a Stanley (US X-acto) knife, or by gently sliding a piece of thin, clean, stiffish paper under the reed and over the frame to dislodge the offending object. A buzzing reed can be due to the reed having shifted slightly in its frame. You should be able to see or feel the reed snagging on the frame. Gently ease it straight with your knife or a thin steel shim A note sounding when not being played in one direction only may be due to a flap valve getting stuck out of position. This can sometimes also prevent a note from playing (again in one direction only). Ease the valve back and all may be well. Reed frames can come loose within the pan. This sometimes manifests itself as a sort of mournful mooing sound. Remove the reed frame, cut a thin, short piece of masking tape and wrap it round the top and side of the frame before easing the frame back into the reed pan. Don't force it - if you have to force it you have put on too much tape and you may cause the reed to jam in its frame. Try removing some tape from the side of the reed frame. If the spring breaks on a button or a pad gets dislodged causing a note to sound continuously in both directions you have to get inside the end to expose the action. The way you do this differs for English and anglo concertinas. For an English there are normally two screws that need to be removed, one in the middle of the thumb strap and one in the middle of the little finger support. Remove these and the whole faceplate should come off the end, exposing the action. On an anglo there is normally a screw on the inside of the end which you can remove. There may be additional screws in the centre of the outside on some instruments which will also need to be removed. The action looks quite complex but is quite logical in its layout and you should be able to work out the required repair by comparing the action for the broken button with a working one. You may need a new pad or replacement spring from one of the makers or repairers in section 8, however I have heard of cut-down safety pins being used in an emergency! 7 MIKING CONCERTINAS ...is frankly a bit of a bugger. The problem is of course that sound comes from both ends of the instrument, and those ends move around. Usually sound men aim a mike somewhere at the middle of the bellows and hope for the best. A little better is to use two mikes, one for each end, but this feels limiting somehow to the player though the sound is much improved. In the studio life is much easier as you don't have to cope with ambient sound and can thus use an omni- directional mike some way back from the instrument. Use the best mikes you can lay your hands on - the timbre of a concertina will defeat cheap mikes. I have used an AKG C1000S mike with some success. There are manufacturers who make a living from devising mikes for awkward instruments - some are listed in section 8. As an example we use Microvox kit. Their system consists of two close mikes which you attach one to each end of the concertina using Velcro. Each mike has a lead which runs into a small box you clip on your belt. From this one single lead runs to the DI box. The advantage is that since both mikes are held in proximity to the concertina you can move freely, and the sound quality is quite good too. It is worth considering in any situation whether you can get away without miking at all. The tone of a concertina is quite penetrating and sometimes in smaller venues where PA is in use we have used mikes for our voices but not for our concertinas. I asked the concertina maker Colin Dipper whether it would be possible to fit mikes permanently within the body of a concertina, but he advised that this would probably have a detrimental effect on the overall sound of the instrument. Having said that, Howard Jones has fitted internal mikes to his anglo concertina, apparently without harmful effects, and has put instructions up on the net at:- http://www.hjcjones.freeserve.co.uk/music/concertina/mike.htm 8 MAKERS AND REPAIRERS If sending your concertina through the post for repair or tuning (e.g. from the US to one of the UK repairers) PLEASE make sure it is properly packed first. Please contact the repairer in question before dispatch - they may have moved! This list is not exhaustive and I would welcome further information. I have only expressed opinions where I am familiar with the instruments. Accusound Make specialist microphones for 19 Bitteswell Road miking awkward instruments - Lutterworth including concertinas. Probably LE17 4EL have the edge on Microvox for England quality, but Microvox are cheaper! Phone 01455 552306 Mike Acott Repairs. Recommended by Colin Cater. 33 Kelvin Road Ipswich Suffolk IP1 5EH England Phone 01473 743080 The Button Box Repairs and their own very good 9 East Pleasant Street accordion-reed based anglos Amherst MA 01002 (also see sec 9). Also organise USA the Northeast Squeeze-In in Phone (413) 549 0171 Massachusetts every September. E-mail squeeze@buttonbox.com WWW pages at:- http://www.buttonbox.com Steve Chambers/ Jason O'Rourke says "As far as I know Micheal O Raghallaigh they're the most widely used in MacNeill Music Ireland...The only problem with them 140 Capel St is that they tend to be very busy, Dublin and as a result can be slow with Phone 01-8722159 repairs." Malcolm Clapp Malcolm used to do repairs and had a NSW good reputation. However he has closed Australia his workshop for the time being while he does some travelling. Concertina Connection A company dedicated to the reintroduction 5709 AM Helmond of the concertina into classical music. The Netherlands Repair/restoration of vintage concertinas Phone +31 492 513611 and makers of the new Geuns-Wakker Email concertinas in cooperation with bandoneon info@concertinaconnection.com maker Harry Geuns (see below). Publishers of new and original Victorian repertoire for the concertina. Give lecture recitals, workshops etc. Has WWW page at:- http://www.concertinaconnection.com/ Connor Concertinas Repairs and makers of new 30 Eastbury Avenue concertinas. Rochford Essex SS4 1SF England Phone 01702 546745 C & R Dipper Concertinas Repairs and makers of West End House concertinas of all systems. High Street Make outstanding anglos - Heytesbury I have just got a baritone Warminster BA12 0EA anglo made by them. It is a England miraculous instrument. Phone 01985 840516 Frank Edgley Something of a concertina Renaissance Complete Concertina Repair Man, Frank has always had an excellent 2346 Meldrum reputation for repairs and retuning. Windsor Now he makes very well-regarded anglos Ontario N8W 4E4 using accordion reeds, has produced an Canada anglo tutor and has a CD of nice Irish Phone (519) 948-9149 music with his son. Has web page at:- http://netcore.ca/~cbraz/index.htm Richard Evans Recommended by Bob McKay, who says Lot 5 "anglo maker and general free reed Sandham Rd repairer (and also all-round nice guy)". Bell Former editor of the late and excellent NSW Concertina Magazine of the 1980s, he Australia makes the well-regarded Kookaburra anglo. Geuns-Wakker Concertinas The Dutch maker Harry Geuns (previously known for his bandoneons) is now making English and anglo concertinas in conjunction with Concertina Connection (see above) using accordion reeds. I have not met one of these yet, but there is a full WWW page at:- http://www.concertinaconnection.com/geuns_concertina.htm Paul Groff Recommended by Greg Bullough, who says: 14 Cushing Street "He's a very good reed fixer and restorer Cambridge, MA 02138 for both concertinas and accordions", USA and John Gunnell, who says: "A person Phone (617) 499-9928 of great ability and integrity". WWW page at http://www.groffsmusic.com Christy Hengel Maker of reputedly very high quality 403 N Minnesota St Chemnitzer concertinas. Has a long New Ulm, MN 56073 waiting list. USA Phone (507) 354-6525 Harold Herrington Makes 30-button anglos. Based on 1004 Paintbrush St accordion reeds, but with a very Mesquite, Texas 75149 fine and playable action. Hexagonal Phone (972) 288-7007 and (unusually) square designs with E-mail anglo30@flash.net German silver ends. I have just acquired a fine square G/D and I am very happy with it. Nice web site with great URL:- http://www.concertinas.com Holmwood Concertinas Makers of English tenor treble (Hamish R Bayne), concertinas to their own design. 134 Pitt Street One owner (Don Nichols) says "It Edinburgh EH6 4DD is a visual work of art, as well U.K. as being wonderful to play". Phone 0131 554-6663 Homewood Musical Instrument Co Does a lot of repair work, and 3027 Central Avenue Bob Tedrow's web site has some nice Birmingham pictures of some of his practices - Alabama indeed the web site goes from USA strength to strength. Now makes his Phone (205) 879-4868 own anglos! (initial reaction to these E-mail hmi@scott.net has been very good). WWW page at:- http://hmi.homewood.net House of Musical Traditions Repairs (also see section 9). 7040 Carroll Ave Have recently been joined by a Takoma Park MD 20912 concertina repair specialist USA called Clifton Hoyt. Phone (301) 270-9090 E-mail hmtrad@hmtrad.com David Leese Will tune and do most repairs. "Foty'r Mynach" Does a lot of work for Chris Algar. Llanaber Road Barmouth Gwynedd Wales LL42 1RF UK Phone 01341 280092 E-Mail concertina_man@tiscali.co.uk A.C. Norman & Co. Maker and repairer. Has been making "Old Stables" 30-button C/G and G/D anglos since Nursery Lane 1980, using hand-tuned Italian reeds. Nutley WWW page at:- Uckfield http://www.acnorman.co.uk Sussex TN22 3NR Phone 01825 713551 E-mail andrew@acnorman.co.uk Jurgen Suttner Concertinas Maker of English and anglo Albert-Noll-Str. 78 concertinas. I recently had the D-57078 Siegen chance to play a Suttner anglo (a Germany Jeffries copy) and found it a very Phone +49-271 8706939 nice instrument. WWW page at:- http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/ E-mail juergen@suttnerconcertinas.com Marcus Music Recently started making 30-button Tredegar House anglos based on Antonelli reeds. Newport Well worth searching out if you are Gwent on a budget. Also deals in concertinas Wales (see section 9). Phone 01633 815612 WWW pages at:- http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk Microvox Make specialist microphones for Westfield Music miking awkward instruments - Westfield Villa including concertinas. We use Belgrave Mount them ourselves. WWW pages at:- Wakefield http://www.microvox.demon.co.uk WF1 3SB England Phone 01924 361550 E-mail alan@microvox.demon.co.uk Stagi Brunner Musica make Stagi (formerly Brunner Musica S.R.L. Bastari) concertinas, easily the Zona Ind.le Squartabue most widely sold in the world.     I-62019 Recanati (MC) WWW pages at:- Italy http://www.brunnermusica.com/ Phone 0039-071-7506077 E-mail brunner.musica@iol.it Star Concertina & Accordion Make the "Star Beauty Quadruple 5808 West 35th St Reed Concertina", which is a Cicero Chemnitzer concertina. Will Illinois 60650 also repair Chemnitzers. USA Phone (708) 656-8884 Nigel Sture Concertina repairer recommended Church Gate House by Ron Marks of West Country Higher Town Concertina Players. Malborough Devon TQ7 3RW England Phone 01548 561975 E-mail Nigel@sture.fslife.co.uk West Country Cases Maker of instrument cases, Barry Wallace but specialises in cases 18 Whitebrook Terrace for concertinas. Holcombe Rogus Wellington Somerset TA21 0PY England Phone 01823 673021 C Wheatstone & Co Ltd Repairs and makers of concertinas of (Steve Dickinson), all systems. Excellent instruments, 21 Bridge Street I would hate to have to choose Stowmarket between Dickinson and Dipper for Suffolk quality! WWW pages at:- IP14 1BP http://www.wheatstone.co.uk/ England Phone 01449 615523 E-mail concertinas@wheatstone.co.uk 9 SHOPS AND DEALERS This list is not exhaustive and I would welcome further information. Barleycorn Concertinas Carries a very good range of second Chris Algar hand concertinas, and also sells 67 Little Chell Lane new Button Box and other concertinas. Tunstall Has a reputation second to none. Stoke on Trent WWW pages at:- ST6 6LZ http://www.concertina.co.uk England Phone 01782 851449 E-mail barleycorn@concertina.co.uk The Button Box Dealers in new and 9 East Pleasant Street second-hand instruments. Amherst MA 01002 Particular interest in duets. USA Good people. (Also see section 8). Phone (413) 549-0171 WWW pages at:- E-mail squeeze@buttonbox.com http://www.buttonbox.com Concertina Connection Probably the only dealer in the Wim Wakker Netherlands. Also publish many reprints Jan de Withof 15 from the Victorian repertoire, do 5709 AM Helmond repair work and are involved in Netherlands education and many other pies. See Phone +31 492 513611 section 10 for more details. Email wwakker@tref.nl Hobgoblin Music Probably the biggest dealer in new 17 The Parade and second-hand concertinas in the Northgate UK. Own brand Gremlin concertinas Crawley mostly contain Stagi-made reed-pans, West Sussex RH10 2DT though some anglos are made by A. C. England Norman using Antonelli accordion Phone 01293 515858 reeds, and are significantly better. E-mail post@hobgoblin.co.uk Also has several shops across England and in Minnesota in the US. WWW for both UK and US at:- http://www.hobgoblin.com/ Homewood Musical Instrument Co Sells a good range of concertinas, 3027 Central Avenue including Stagi concertinas and a Birmingham surprising number of fine English- Alabama made instruments. The Stagis are USA frequently substantially rebuilt and Phone (205) 879-4868 improved. Bob Tedrow who owns the E-mail hmi@scott.net store teaches concertina and has his own WWW page at:- http://hmi.homewood.net House of Musical Traditions As well as buying and selling, they 7040 Carroll Ave also teach concertina. Takoma Park MD 20912 WWW page with some excellent info and USA concertina buying advice at:- Phone (301) 270-9090 http://www.hmtrad.com E-mail hmtrad@hmtrad.com Lark In The Morning Dealers in new and second-hand PO Box 1176 instruments. Has WWW page at:- Mendocino http://www.larkinam.com California 95460 USA Phone (707) 964-5569 E-mail larkinam@larkinam.com Marcus Music Usually has a good range of second- Tredegar House hand instruments. Sometimes has a Newport stand at UK folk festivals. Also Gwent makes anglos (see section 8). Wales WWW pages at:- Phone 01633 815612 http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk The Music Room Formerly Dave Mallinson Music. 35 Bradford Road Specialises in folk instruments Cleckheaton and usually have a good stock of West Yorksire new and second-hand concertinas BD19 3JN Sometimes has a stand at UK folk England festivals. WWW pages at:- Phone 01274 879768 http://www.the-music-room.com/ E-mail post@the-music-room.com SqueezinArt Produce T-shirts, mugs and all sorts of P.O. Box 2001 things related to squeezeboxes, including Rockville, MD 20847-2001 concertinas. Phone (301) 279 8716 E-mail squznart@laser.net Windband Specialise in woodwind, brass and folk 9 Greyfriars Road instruments. Say that they usually Shrewsbury have 15 - 20 concertinas in stock and SY3 7EN the proprietor Mike Dutton plays the England English concertina. WWW page at:- Phone 01743 367482 www.yell.co.uk/sites/windband-instruments 10 CLUBS AND ORGANISATIONS This list is not exhaustive and I would welcome further information. The Horniman Museum in London has purchased Neil Wayne's concertina collection, and apparently intends to make it the centrepiece of a display devoted to the concertina. Watch this space for more info. Alabama Concertina Support Described as "a support group for Group southern players". Has WWW page at:- 315 Laplaya Place http://hmi.homewood.net/concertina Homewood Alabama 35209 USA Association Francaise pour Now has upwards of 30 members, le Concertina and a newsletter entitled Contact Gilbert Carrere at L'Hexagone. 183, rue Championnet 75018 Paris France Phone 01 42 28 42 41 Email ggg_concertina@net-up.com Bay Area Concertina Players Describe themselves as: "Not a Email Daniel Hersh at formal organization, but more of hrshsand@netcom.com a mailing list of all the local players we can find." Have occasional informal gatherings. Center for the Study of CSFRI is "a resource for scholarly Free Reed Instruments research on all aspects...of all Graduate Center/CUNY free-reed instruments". The Director 365 Fifth Avenue is Allan Atlas, author of The New York NY 10016-4309 Wheatstone Concertina in Victorian Phone (212) 817-8590 England. Email aatlas@gc.cuny.edu Chiltern Concertina Group Meets once a month at Maulden Contact Jon McNamara on Church Hall in Bedfordshire on 01279 656664 Sundays. Has as many as 30 attendees. Email jonmacnamara@usa.net Concertinas Anonymous Meets once a month at 8pm on Mondays. The Lewes Arms Also an irregular series of workshops, Mount Street such as the all day one on 14th October Lewes 2000 with Andy Turner on playing Anglo England for dance. Has WWW page at:- Phone 01273 474389 http://members.aol.com/lewesarmsfolk/concanon.html Email Bryancreer@aol.com Concertina Contact Germany Organises an annual meeting for Mario Kliemann concertina players (English and Am Bach 17 anglo) on the second weekend in D-33602 Bielefeld May in Bielefeld. Phone +49521 170536 Concertinas at Witney Witney is in Oxfordshire UK. J Cox C@W is an intensive weekend 26 Hill Grove course for concertina players Bristol held annually with tutors of BS9 4RJ the calibre of John Kirkpatrick England and Simon Thoumire. Next course Phone 0117 9629931 29 - 30 September 2001. Has WWW page at:- http://typhoon.rdg.ac.uk/~chapman/witney.html International Concertina Has been around since 1953. Association Has an extensive library of 1A Virginia Road music. Newly revitalised and Gillingham useful newsletter. Subscriptions: Kent ME7 1PB UK UKP13 England Europe UKP14 Phone 01634 855738 Rest of the world UKP15 (or UKP1 less by standing order) Has WWW page at:- http://www.harbour.demon.co.uk/ica/ Konzertinanetz South German concertina club that Jochen Riemer meets twice a year in spring and Wiesenweg 2 autumn, all systems are welcome. 83561 Reitberg Their web site has a (German) Germany mailing list, URL:- Phone 08039 908463 www.konzertinanetz.de.vu E-mail info@musizierschule.de Midland Concertina Group A & R Davies 42 Patricia Drive Arnold Nottinghamshire NG5 8EH England Noel Hill Irish Concertina An anuual event which this year School (1999) has a new home. An intensive Putnam Valley NY 1 week course in playing Irish music USA on the anglo, led by Noel Hill and E-mail tkoosman@utk.edu intended for all skill levels from beginner to expert. Runs from August 8 to 13 1999 and costs $425 for tuition and meals. WWW page at:- http://web.utk.edu/~tkoosman/nhics.html North East Concertina Players Restarted having found a new home: Alan Alden monthly on the 2nd Sunday 2 - 5 p.m. 2 Church Street Mews at Ceddesfield Community Centre (opp. Guisborough parish church), Sedgefield. TS14 6HG England Northeast Squeeze-In A major annual weekend event for all Bucksteep Manor free-reed players in the States, but Washington MASS always has a large contingent of USA concertina players. Reviews I have For info/tickets contact read make it sound a great weekend. The Button Box 1997 dates 19 - 21 September. 9 East Pleasant Street Has WWW page at:- Amherst MA 01002 http://www.buttonbox.com/s-i.html USA Phone (413) 549-0171 North Western Concertina Monthly meetings (second Saturday Players afternoon) at The Ship & Mitre, Bob Dawson Dale Street, Liverpool Phone 0151 726 0110 Brian Leach E-mail leachbrian@yahoo.com South German Concertina Weekends Held every 6 months. Martin Doering Wasserburg writes "All kinds of instruments are Bavaria, Germany welcome. It is a smaller meeting - Jochen Riemer last time around 10 people. We like to Phone 08039 908463 play and sing together and exchange experiences of any kind". E-mail riemers.musizierschule@gmx.de or musizierschule@web.de Swedish Concertina Society Or in Swedish Svenska Concertina (Secretary Goran Rahm) Sallskapet. Established in 1983 they Bruksvagen 11 b currently have about 20 members. S-752 41 Uppsala Sweden Phone 46(18)557103 and (05) E-mail concertina@telia.com West Country Concertinas A flourishing group. They have a Ron Marks series of workshops during Sidmouth 48 Brantwood Drive Festival week which is inspirational: Paignton hundreds of concertina players! The Devon next Annual Concertina Weekend is in TQ4 5HY March 2002 at Kilve Court, Somerset. England Tutors include John Kirkpatrick Phone 01803 529497 and Alistair Anderson. Yorkshire Concertina Players J Edwards 63 Wrenbeck Drive Oxley West Yorkshire LS21 2BD England 11 MAGAZINES Currently the only specialist magazine, Concertina & Squeezebox, seems to be in abeyance. The Center for the Study of Free Reed Instruments (see Section 10) will be producing The Free Reed Journal. Vol. 1 contained several articles on concertina-related subjects (e.g. an article on Louis Lachenal, one on concertina and accordion in African folk traditions and a review of reprints of Victorian concertina repertoire). This level of commitment is promised to continue and vol.2 is due out soon. The cost will be $20 in USA, $25 elsewhere. Contact Pendragon Press, 41 Ferry Road, Stuyvesant, NY 12173 USA. The International Concertina Association has a quarterly newsletter for members which I find both interesting and informative. 12 THE INTERNET This list is not exhaustive and I would welcome further information. The International Concertina Association has an active mailing list, but this is restricted to its members only. has an Internet mailing list Anglo Concertina Excellent page produced by Dave Glenn. Good info (and one or two inaccuracies) and diagrams and some very useful hints on how to finger various keys on the anglo. http://www.soltec.net/~daglenn/conc_90.html Boermusiek Konsertina Some very interesting pages about the concertina as played by the Boer community of South Africa, maintained by Sean Minnie. Well worth a read. http://mzone.mweb.co.za/residents/sminnie/ Chemnitzer FAQ Created by Ted Kloba, this site is a good starting point for people interested in the Chemnitzer concertina. http://www.geocities.com/heytud/faq.html Concertina.net New name (formerly Anglo Concertina Resources) and new address for a fine site. Good photos, info, links and interviews with Herrington and Suttner, and a message board. What more could you want? http://www.concertina.net/ Chords This page is given over to an explanation of chord symbols. The author, Gavin Atkin, is a Jeffries duet player, and has devised the page for other duet players. http://home.clara.net/gmatkin/chords.htm Concertina Descriptions of three anglo concertinas owned by Bob DeVellis - A Jeffries, a Lachenal and a Dipper. Beautifully photograped and written, I like to look in on this since this particular Lachenal was the first concertina I ever owned. http://members.directvinternet.com/devellis/ip1conc.htm Concertina History An article written by Neil Wayne for the Galpin Society and profusely illustrated. A *must* for the budding concertina guru. Maintained by the UK Anglo player Howard Mitchell. http://www.hgmitchell.fsnet.co.uk/g0.htm Concertina! Maintained by Toby Koosman, contains links to many sites of direct and peripheral interest to concertina players. http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~tkoosman/boxlinks.html Concertina FAQ This FAQ in HTML format with pictures. http://www.concertina.info/ Bob Tedrow maintains a US mirror at http://hmi.homewood.net/tinafaq/ ConcertinaMusic.com A site dedicated to the Chemnitzer concertina, with many resources for this instrument and stacks of free sheet music notated for the Chemnitzer. http://www.concertinamusic.com/sbox Concertina Spotters Guide Maintained by Nick Robertshaw, a larger-than-life individual who plays Jeffries Duet. This site has a fine collection of photos of the different types of concertinas. http://www.clark.net/pub/bignick/indentina.html Die Deutsche Konzertina A site devised by Martin Doering and dedicated to the anglo concertina. The site used to be solely in German, but has now acquired some English translation. http://www.mucl.de/Home/mdoering/konzertina/index.htm Don Nichols Home Page Very knowledgeable gentleman when it comes to the interiors of concertinas, his home page has some fascinating info and diagrams. Also carries the text of Neil Wayne's magnificent article on the history of the concertina. http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html Duet Concertina Fingering This site has well set-out fingering Charts charts for all the main Duet systems: MacCann, Crane(Triumph) and Hayden. Maintained by Marc Lamb, it fills a real need. http://www.his.com/~mis/fingeringcharts.html Hayden Duet Concertina Page As its name says, a site created by Jack J Wohr particularly for this most rational of duet concertinas. http://www.well.com/~jax/rcfb/hayden_duet.html Hayden Concertina mailing List Also maintained by Jack Wohr, this mailing list is intended specifically for players of the Hayden concertina. To subscribe send a blank email to hayden_duet-subscribe@softwoehr.com Le concertina anglo Irish en France A very comprehensive site in French dedicated to playing the anglo for Irish music. http://concertina.free.fr/ Le concertina en France A personal site created by Gilbert Carrère, president of the Association Française pour le Concertina. http://perso.net-up.com/gilbertcarrere/ The MacCann Duet Concertina A comprehensive guide to the MacCann duet concertina, ostensibly written by the Good (and long dead) Professor MacCann himself. Other interesting info includes pdf's of all the important concertina patents. Well worth visiting. http://www.maccann-duet.com/ Squeezebox mailing list Formerly the Accordion mailing list. Has a 2-way gateway with the squeezebox news group (see below). To subscribe, send an email to squeezebox-subscribe@egroups.com or online at www.egroups.com/group/squeezebox/info.html rec.music.makers.squeezebox Also formerly the Accordion mailing list! Covers all aspects of free reed instruments including the concertina. A very friendly, helpful and welcoming community of players. Steve Litwin's Home Page Steve is the polka editor of the Polish American Journal, and Chemnitzer concertina player. He has assembled some good stuff about this instrument. http://www.polamjournal.com/polka/ Virtual Wheatstone Concertina This Flash demo takes a few seconds to load on a modem, but once it arrives it shows a very elegant Victorian Wheatstone English concertina which you can play with your mouse. No, really! http://www.id-werbeagentur.com/concertina/ Writings - John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick ("The Guv'nor") has within his site three articles on how to play the anglo. Links to them are on this page. Look at the rest of the site while you're there. http://www.johnkirkpatrick.co.uk/writings.htm APPENDIX 1 Wheatstone and Lachenal Dates of Manufacture Wes Williams has written an excellent article on this subject which, if you have access to the Internet, can be read at:- http://www.concertina.net/wes_williams_dating.html His article is particularly helpful if you have a non-Wheatstone concertina, and is probably rather more accurate on Lachenals than the information I present below. A major project has been started to try and create some sort of master list of Lachenal dates, by Chris Algar, Bob Gaskins, Randy Merris and Wes Williams. If you own a Lachenal concertina you can help! Send Chris Algar of Barleycorn Concertinas (see section 9) a note or an email giving a brief description of your Lachenal concertina and its number. If you still have the original bill of sale or any other way of dating its purchase with certainty so much the better! If you have a Wheatstone concertina and you can identify the serial number (it is normally on one end) then this list will tell you the year of manufacture. Sometimes, if the label has been lost from the baffle in the older instruments, it can also be found stamped inside the bellows frame, in the treble-most slots of the reed pan, and on the reed-pan side of the action-box. Serial no Year Serial no Year 1 - 499 1830/42 23500 - 23999 1904/06 500 - 999 1842/45 24000 - 24499 1906/08 1000 - 1499 1845/48 24500 - 24999 1908/10 1500 - 1999 1848/49 25000 - 25499 1910/12 2000 - 2499 1849/50 25500 - 25999 1912/13 2500 - 3499 1850/51 26000 - 26499 1913/14 3500 - 3999 1851/52 26500 - 26999 1914/16 4000 - 4999 1852/53 27000 - 27499 1916/17 5000 - 6999 1853/54 27500 - 27999 1917/19 7000 - 7999 1854/55 28000 - 28499 1919/20 8000 - 8999 1855/56 28500 - 28999 1920/21 9000 - 9999 1856/57 29000 - 29499 1921/22 10000 - 10999 1857/59 29500 - 29999 1922/24 11000 - 11999 1859/63 30000 - 30499 1924/25 12000 - 12999 1863/65 30500 - 30999 1925/26 13000 - 13999 1865/67 31000 - 31499 1926/27 14000 - 18499 1867/70 31500 - 31999 1927/29 18500 - 18999 1870/73 32000 - 32499 1929/30 19000 - 19499 1873/77 32500 - 32999 1930/33 19500 - 19999 1877/82 33000 - 33499 1933/35 20000 - 20499 1882/86 33500 - 33999 1935/36 20500 - 20999 1886/89 34000 - 34499 1936/37 21000 - 21499 1889/92 34500 - 34999 1937/38 21500 - 21999 1892/95 35000 - 35499 1938/45 22000 - 22499 1895/98 35500 - 35540 1945/51 22500 - 22999 1898/01 35541 - 36400 1951/57 23000 - 23499 1901/04 36401 - 36680 1957 This list was originally prepared by Nigel Pickles and published in Concertina & Squeezebox, and is reproduced by permission of Joel Cowan, editor of Concertina & Squeezebox. Until recently I believed that Wheatstone concertinas with numbers in the 50,000+ range were very late poor quality instruments. Not so. Bob Gaskins has done much research in this area, and he summarises his conclusions as follows:- In a nutshell: it seems that between 1938 and 1974 Wheatstone & Co. manufactured concertinas in two parallel series of serial numbers; Englishes and Duets were given numbers #3XXXX, and Anglos were given numbers #5XXXX. During these 37 years Wheatstone manufactured about 2,129 Englishes and Duets, with serial numbers from about #34955 through #37083, and some 9,498 Anglos, with serial numbers from #50001 through #59498. Yet, for unknown reasons, this vast population of late Wheatstone Anglos with #50000+ numbers are not seen nearly as often as one would expect. If you have access to the Internet, you can read the full article at:- http://www.harbour.demoon.co.uk/tina.faq/conc-ap1a.htm Dating Lachenal concertinas is unfortunately very hit and miss. I have been told that when Wheatstone took Lachenal over they burnt all their records - an act of real vandalism when seen from a modern perspective. However, an attempt has been made to derive formulae (based on known production figures over the life of Lachenal & Co) giving the year of manufacture as follows:- For the English system: (serial number divided by 769) + 1850 For the Anglo system: (serial number divided by 4176) + 1850 For the Duet system: (serial number divided by 111 ) + 1873 These formulae were devised by Geoff Wooff and originally published by the Concertina Magazine (an Australian publication which in its time produced some excellent material) in their Spring 1983 edition. Nowadays I consider these formulae to be flawed to the point of unusability, but see Wes Williams' article for greater accuracy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- DOCUMENT HISTORY v1.0 11 Feb 1995 Initial release v1.1 3 March 1995 Various amendments and updates following feedback on v1.0 v1.2 8 April 1995 Minor amendments, additions and updates v1.3 6 May 1995 Quote at head of introduction added: found by Alan Clarke of Manchester Morris and quoted in Concertina World, the ICA newsletter. Other minor amendments and additions. v1.4 1 July 1995 New Internet section. Address for Frank Edgley (at last!). Substantial rewrite of text on Chemnitzer concertinas. v1.5 28 October 1995 Minor amendments, additions and updates. Another rewrite for Chemnitzers (I promise I'll get it right one day). Wheatstone dates of manufacture added in an appendix as it is of minority interest. v1.6 28 December 1995 Record change of accordion mailing list to rec.music.makers.squeezebox. One other minor tweak. (1.6a new URL for Bob Tedrow). v1.7 1 April 1996 Minor amendments, additions and updates. A few corrections of historical fact in sec. 2. v1.8 - v1.12 (June 1996 - February 1997) Further minor amendments, additions and updates. v1.13 25 January 1998 Addition of Lachenal dating formulae. Addition of Concertina Maintenance Manual details. Other assorted amendments. v1.14 30 May 1998 Major rewrite of Buying Advice section. v1.15 29 August 1999 *Lots* of minor amendments, plus the new Button Box concertina. v1.16 12 April 2000 8 months since the last version, many minor amendments. v1.17 18 February 2001 10 months this time, many minor amendments and some re-organisation. v1.18 1 November 2001 Some significant additions to clubs, makers and Internet sections. New home on the web at www.concertina.info. v1.19 6 October 2002 Lots of minor amendments. COPYRIGHT STATEMENT The text in this document is copyright (c) 1995 - 2002 Chris Timson. This document may be freely distributed. You may even add things provided you make clear which text is your addition. Please do not delete anything, however. You may quote from it as extensively as you wish, but please give credit. I have done the best I can to make this document accurate. However addresses change, information becomes out of date, and I can accept no liability for any problems however caused which may arise from this document. I welcome updates, comments and advice about this document. I would also be interested in knowing where it ends up! You can e-mail me at chris@harbour.demon.co.uk --- End of FAQ ---