VERSION : 1.19
AUTHOR : CHRIS TIMSON
DATE : 6 October 2002
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
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.
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
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
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.
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...
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
Warminster BA12 0EA
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.
West Yorkshire BD19 6LD
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.
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
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.
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
Marches 4 Concertinas 20 marches arranged in four
arr. Clifford Bevan parts for concertina group
Piccolo Press The tunes range from easy
E-mail picco...@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
Handbook of the Concertina - Fred Quann, 75 pp, repair book for all
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
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
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
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:-
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
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
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 squ...@buttonbox.com WWW pages at:-
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
in...@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:-
Connor Concertinas Repairs and makers of new
30 Eastbury Avenue concertinas.
Essex SS4 1SF
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:-
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
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:-
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.
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 ang...@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 h...@scott.net has been very good). WWW page at:-
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
David Leese Will tune and do most repairs.
"Foty'r Mynach" Does a lot of work for Chris Algar.
Phone 01341 280092
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:-
Sussex TN22 3NR
Phone 01825 713551
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:-
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:-
Microvox Make specialist microphones for
Westfield Music miking awkward instruments -
Westfield Villa including concertinas. We use
Belgrave Mount them ourselves. WWW pages at:-
Phone 01924 361550
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:-
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.
Phone (708) 656-8884
Nigel Sture Concertina repairer recommended
Church Gate House by Ron Marks of West Country
Higher Town Concertina Players.
Phone 01548 561975
West Country Cases Maker of instrument cases,
Barry Wallace but specialises in cases
18 Whitebrook Terrace for concertinas.
Somerset TA21 0PY
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/
Phone 01449 615523
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
Phone 01782 851449
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 squ...@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.
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 po...@hobgoblin.co.uk Also has several shops across England
and in Minnesota in the US. WWW for
both UK and US at:-
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 h...@scott.net store teaches concertina and has
his own WWW page at:-
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
Lark In The Morning Dealers in new and second-hand
PO Box 1176 instruments. Has WWW page at:-
Phone (707) 964-5569
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/
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
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
Association Francaise pour Now has upwards of 30 members,
le Concertina and a newsletter entitled
Contact Gilbert Carrere at L'Hexagone.
183, rue Championnet
Phone 01 42 28 42 41
Bay Area Concertina Players Describe themselves as: "Not a
Email Daniel Hersh at formal organization, but more of
hrsh...@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.
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.
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
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:-
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:-
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
Midland Concertina Group
A & R Davies
42 Patricia Drive
Nottinghamshire NG5 8EH
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 tkoo...@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:-
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.
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
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
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".
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
Phone 46(18)557103 and (05)
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
63 Wrenbeck Drive
West Yorkshire LS21 2BD
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.
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.
Chemnitzer FAQ Created by Ted Kloba, this site is a good
starting point for people interested in
the Chemnitzer concertina.
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
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.
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.
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.
Concertina! Maintained by Toby Koosman, contains
links to many sites of direct and
peripheral interest to concertina
Concertina FAQ This FAQ in HTML format with
Bob Tedrow maintains a US mirror
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.
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.
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
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
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
Hayden Duet Concertina Page As its name says, a site created by
Jack J Wohr particularly for this
most rational of duet concertinas.
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
Le concertina anglo Irish en France
A very comprehensive site in French
dedicated to playing the anglo for
Le concertina en France A personal site created by Gilbert
Carrère, president of the Association
Française pour le Concertina.
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
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
or online at
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
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!
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.
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:-
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:-
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.
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
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
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
v1.19 6 October 2002 Lots of minor amendments.
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
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
--- End of FAQ ---