Posted 01 January 2005

Guide to Concertinas on the Web

Robert Gaskins

Use the search boxes below to search for information on any one of the sites listed below, to search on all these sites together but not the rest of the web, or to search the entire world wide web. Searches for other websites will open in a new window; just close that window when you're finished with it. (A search box for the Concertina Library is at the very top of every page on the site, including this one.)

concertina-com-site Concertina Library
by Robert Gaskins
The Concertina Library (this site) is an online reference library for all concertinas, including the English concertina, Anglo concertina, and several kinds of Duet concertina systems, with particular strength in the Maccann Duet concertina. It contains instruction books, concertina sheet music, history documents, patents, technical papers, and new research articles by leading scholars, video and audio of concertina players plus links to other concertina websites. Read, download, print—all free.
Includes all articles and documents contributed by Concertina Library authors:
Chris Algar
Allan Atlas
Margaret Birley
Barry Callaghan
Richard Carlin
Stephen Chambers
David Cornell
Roger Digby
Stuart Eydmann
Robert Gaskins
Randall C. Merris
Neil Wayne
Wes Williams
Dan Worrall

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Posted 15 February 2001
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by Paul Schwartz
The discussion forum on this site is the most popular spot on the web for news, announcements, and general conversation about concertinas of all types. Other contributed articles focus especially on Anglo concertinas and the Irish music often played on Anglos, but there are historical essays and photographs dealing with concertinas of all types. Also a large database of tunes (sheet music and MIDI sound files), and reports of people's experiences in buying concertinas.

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Posted 15 November 2001
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concertina-faq-site Concertina FAQ
by Chris Timson
Itself a part of the history of concertinas on the internet, this FAQ dates back to 1995 and is updated once or twice a year. Its “Frequently Asked Questions” deal with basic questions that occur to anyone new to concertinas, and it offers generally reliable answers. There are mini-directories in several categories which are good starting points to look for further information, including postal addresses for a number of people and organizations not easy to find on the web.

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Posted 15 November 2001
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barleycorn-concertinas-site Barleycorn Concertinas
by Chris Algar
Barleycorn is a widely-trusted source to buy concertinas—Anglo, English, or Duet. Chris Algar has been in business for over 25 years, and has delivered many thousands of fully-restored vintage instruments. He numbers most serious concertinists worldwide among his regular customers, but also offers reliable buying advice to beginners, using email and export couriers for global delivery on approval. The site includes samples from his archives of historical documents.

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Posted 15 November 2001
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horniman-site Horniman Museum
the Horniman Museum
The Horniman Museum in London is home to the largest collection of concertinas (more than 600 instruments) and much related archival research material. A photographic directory of concertinas in the collection is available on the site. The Wheatstone Concertina Ledgers at the Museum have been digitized and are online at a separate website.

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Posted 15 April 2003
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horniman-wheatstone-concertina-ledgers Wheatstone Concertina Ledgers on the Web
by the Horniman Museum
Historical business records from C. Wheatstone & Co. are held at the Library of the Horniman Museum in London. The earliest ledgers from the Wayne Archives contain company sales records from the late 1830s to the 1860s (though with some large gaps) along with production records from the 1860s to the 1890s and some early records of wages and other payments. Later ledgers from the Dickinson Archives contain production records from 1910 to 1974, again with some gaps. All known ledgers have been digitized (some 2,300 pages in total) and made available free on this website for private research.

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Posted 15 April 2003; Updated 15 June 2005
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concertina-connection-site Concertina Connection
by Wim Wakker
With the goal of reintroducing the English concertina into classical music, this site features articles on playing skills (beginner to advanced) with music scores, sound files, and photographs. The site offers new Geuns-Wakker concertinas and restored vintage instruments, extensive restoration services and replacement parts, and re-published Victorian and contemporary sheet music. There are a number of MP3 sound files of older Wheatstone and Lachenal concertinas.

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Posted 15 November 2001
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csfri-site Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments
by Allan Atlas
The CSFRI, part of the Doctoral Program in Music at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, is a resource for the scholarly study of all free-reed instruments (sheng, harmonica, accordion, etc.) and contains much of interest to concertinists. The site has news of upcoming concerts, and a listing of books, articles, recordings, and research material available at the Center's archives. CSFRI published The Free-Reed Journal (four volumes, 1999–2003), and now co-publishes the Papers of the International Concertina Association (PICA) with the ICA (2004–  ).

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Posted 15 February 2003
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williams-concertina-history The Concertina History Resource
by Wes Williams
This site (still early in its development) contains historical information about concertinas and concertina makers. A timeline helps to organize information about the changes of name and address among the major makers as bits of data are discovered. One use for this information is to help in answering the question “when was my concertina made?” which is very difficult to answer for most makers.

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Posted 15 February 2003
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wheatstone-and-co-site C. Wheatstone & Co.
by Steve Dickinson
Professor Sir Charles Wheatstone’s original patent concertina manufactory, still in business and on the web. After many difficulties following World War II, the business was bought in 1975 by Steve Dickinson, who succeeded in restoring its pre-war reputation for making the finest-quality instruments. The site lists the current prices for Duets, Englishes, and Anglos, but potential purchasers also need to inquire about the waiting list—recently several years long.

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Posted 15 February 2003
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button-box-site The Button Box
by Richard Morse
The Button Box is a comprehensive dealer, and a leading source in the USA for new concertinas (especially its own R. Morse “Albion” English and “Céilí” Anglo) and vintage instruments, plus books, CDs, videos, and accessories. Services include rentals, purchases, consignments, and appraisals. The Button Box workshop is widely trusted to handle the restoration and repair of fine old concertinas. Organizers of the annual Northeast Squeeze-In Festival.

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Posted 01 April 2003
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don-nichols-site DoN. Nichols’s Home Page
by DoN Nichols
Personal webpages about many concertina-related topics, but mostly about English concertinas, with an extensive commentary on their internal construction (illustrated with many photographs and diagrams of parts), and with some detailed information about tuning and maintenance. There are keyboard diagrams for English and for some Duet concertina systems, and a number of informative contributed articles on concertina history and miscellany.

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Posted 01 April 2003
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ica-site International Concertina Association
by ICA
The ICA was founded fifty years ago as a club for Duet and English concertina players meeting in London. Over the years it has taken in members from throughout the UK including Anglo players, and more recently has used the internet to become at last as international as its name. The site includes lists of the ICA’s music library and document archive, from which copies are available to members only. New members are very welcome from any part of the world!

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Posted 01 April 2003
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varieties of concertinists
Some varieties of concertinists,
as seen on other websites.