Free Reeds Ancient and Modern

Stephen Chambers

Contributions to the Concertina Library by Stephen Chambers.

chambers-annotated-catalogue An Annotated Catalogue of Historic European Free-Reed Instruments from my Private Collection
by Stephen Chambers
A very important paper describing nineteen instruments which illustrate key points in the development of European free-reed instruments, with large color photographs. This paper was presented at the 20th Musikinstrumentenbau-Symposium at Stiftung Kloster Michaelstein, held 19–21 November 1999, to coincide with an exhibition of the instruments. As Published in Harmonium und Handharmonika (Michaelsteiner Konferenzberichte 62), edited by Monika Lustig, Michaelstein, 2002, pp. 181-194.
Posted 15 January 2004
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chambers-lachenal-part1 Louis Lachenal: "Engineer and Concertina Manufacturer" (Part 1)
by Stephen Chambers
Discussion of the sources of information available about Louis Lachenal, his early career and immigration to England, and his involvement with the design and manufacturing engineering of Wheatstone & Co. concertinas up to the year 1848. As published in The Free-Reed Journal, Vol. 1 (1999), pp. 7-18. There is also a scanned copy of the original publication in PDF format.
Posted 15 January 2004
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chambers-lachenal-production Some Notes on Lachenal Concertina Production and Serial Numbers
by Stephen Chambers
New evidence for the role played by Louis Lachenal in the early manufacturing history of C. Wheatstone & Co., and some points of reference to use in seeking to date Lachenal concertinas. As published in PICA [Papers of the International Concertina Association], Vol. 1 (2004), pp. 3-23. Better-quality colour photographs from the author's originals have been substituted for those originally published.
Posted 01 January 2005
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jeffries-man-and-family Charles Jeffries: the Man and His Family
by Chris Algar, Stephen Chambers, Robert Gaskins, David Lee, Randall C. Merris, and Wes Williams
New information about Charles Jeffries and all of his family that participated in the concertina making business. Contains the first known pictures of Charles and Mary Ann Jeffries, and reproductions of birth, marriage, and death certificates where known. Summary table of Jeffries descendants. Brief descriptions of the addresses where Charles Jeffries lived and worked, with maps of the Praed Street area, White Lion Passage, and the Kilburn area. Based on information from members of the Jeffries family.
Posted 15 November 2005
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worrall-hoeselbarth-german-tutor Earliest Known German Concertina Tutor: Höselbarth’s “Anweisung das Accordion zu spielen”
by Stephen Chambers and Dan Worrall
Johann Gottlieb Höselbarth published the earliest-known tutor for the German concertina in Chemnitz Germany, in the late 1830s or early 1840s. All of the music in this tutor is in the key of C, and several of the tunes in the Appendix include modulation between the keys of C and G. Chords are typically rich, with up to four notes played at once on the left hand. All of the tunes are in the so-called harmonic style, where the melody is played on the right hand, and the chorded accompaniment is played (mostly) on the left. This and an early tutor of 1846 published in London by Carlos Minasi (see elsewhere on this site) indicate that the harmonic style of playing dates back to the earliest days of the German concertina.
Posted 15 August 2005
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booth-salvation-army-concertina-1888-pdf Instructions for the Salvation Army Concertina (1888)
by Herbert H. Booth
The earliest known concertina tutor for the Salvation Army, compiled by Herbert H. Booth, son of Salvation Army founder William Booth. This booklet is devoted exclusively to chording on the Anglo concertina. The title’s phrase “Salvation Army concertina” refers to an Ab/Eb concertina with 26 keys, the Salvation Army’s standard issue into the twentieth century. The tutor provides I-IV-V chords (the “three chord trick”) for a number of keys; the chords are shown as played with two hands without the melody, presumably as an accompaniment for singing or for other instruments playing melody. (Scan from Stephen Chambers, description by Randall C. Merris.) London: Published by The Salvation Army Bookstores, 8 and 9, Paternoster Square, E.C., 1888. Price 3d. 16pp. including covers.
Posted 15 April 2007
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concertina-man The Concertina Man
Presented by Peter Day,
Produced by Neil Koenig
BBC programme on the history and music of the concertina, focusing on its inventor Sir Charles Wheatstone as a somewhat belated recognition of his bicentenary in 2002. In addition to the presenter, Peter Day, the program features (in order of appearance) Bob Gaskins, Brian Bowers, Margaret Birley, Stephen Chambers, Frank James, Douglas Rogers, Sean Minnie, and Steve Dickinson. The program was produced by Neil Koenig. BBC World Service programme broadcast 07 September 2004.
Posted 22 November 2004
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german 2-row octagon concertina
Unidentified concertinist
with German 2-row “octagon
concertina” c. 1860