How to Play the Concertina:
English, Anglo, German, and Duet Instruments
by J. H. Maccann, C.A.M.
A new document has been discovered, a booklet authored by John Hill Maccann. It is
reliably dated to 1902, and this copy was discovered in Australia where Professor
Maccann was making an extended performing tour during that year.
The text of the document consists of two parts: (1) a part of the "how to play"
text from Maccann's earlier publication
The Concertinist's Guide (1888); and
(2) an interview with Professor Maccann reprinted from The Era theatrical
newspaper of London, issue of 25 January 1902.
In addition to the text, the booklet contains some new photographs of Maccann,
including the first known photographs of him playing the concertina. There is a formal
portrait engraving of Maccann, inscribed "Yours ever, J H Maccann". There is a
one-page extract from Maccann's
tutor, a sample program of a recital by Maccann with
an advertisement of his offering lessons, a list of phonograph records for sale
recorded by Maccann, and a catalogue of some of Maccann's published music compositions.
There is an illustration of a trade mark (no. 164,303) registered by Maccann on 21 April 1892.
Physically, the booklet measures about 5 inches (125mm) by 7 1/2 inches (190mm). It
consists of four pieces of paper folded once and printed on both sides (16 pages),
plus one inserted sheet with an engraving of Professor Maccann (one-sided).
It is saddle-stitched with staples through the fold.
The account of Maccann's life is basically correct, but imprecise in details.
For example, Maccann says that he started performing in London in 1882, but newspapers
record his performances there in 1881. Maccann dates his first tour of
North America to 1889-90, but
mentions in the New York Times and the Brooklyn Eagle
establish that tour as taking place in 1890-91. The number for Maccann's trade mark
is published here as "104,303" but the original documents he deposited with his
application for registration are clearly marked "164,303". So the account here should be
treated with some caution; much more detailed documentation of Professor Maccann's
life, family, travels, and career will be published in the foreseeable future.
From the collection of the
National Archives of Australia:
Patent Library, Museum, and Art Gallery of South Australia;
AP476/4, Applications etc. for registration of copyright of
literary, dramatic and musical productions, pictures, etc.,
1 January 1878–31 December 1906;
B630/1995274, J H Maccann book How to play the Concertina, 1902.
[Australian copyright expired 50 years after the end of the
year of John Hill Maccann's death.]