What's a Concertina?

A concertina is a compact bellows-driven free-reed musical instrument, in the same family as accordions. It has buttons on each end. When pressed, the buttons move in the same direction as the bellows, unlike accordion buttons which travel at right angles to the bellows movement.

The English concertina (which I play) was invented in 1829 by Sir Charles Wheatstone, a famous engineer and scientist (also inventor of the electric telegraph). It is a fully chromatic instrument with a range the same as that of the violin.

There is another common kind of concertina known as an Anglo (originally Anglo-German), which has less keys and produces different notes on push and pull (like a mouth organ or harmonica). There are also Duet concertinas with many more buttons for two independent hands. For more information see The Concertina FAQ Home Page.

Paul Hardy's English Concertinas

#1 Lachenal Excelsior 58748

Lachenal Lachenal Excelsior 58748. My first concertina - a steel-reeded good-quality instrument that possibly started life in the Salvation Army.

#2 Wheatstone Treble 8461

Wheatstone Tutor Wheatstone Treble 8461. An older brass reeded tutor instrument that I use for practice around the house (less strident than the Lachenal). Hear a sample of me playing Sun Asembly on this (in three parts!).

#3 George Case Baritone

George Case baritone George Case Baritone. A brass-reeded baritone instrument, an octave lower than a usual English concertina. Good for lower parts in bands, and for voice accompaniment.

#4 Lachenal Edeophone Tenor/treble 57970 (sold)

Lachenal Edeophone Tenor/Treble Lachenal Edeophone Tenor/Treble 57970. The Edeophone was Lachenal's top of the range instruments. This is a Tenor/Treble and hence has one more row of four keys on each side lower than a usual English concertina. I sold it in March 2011.

#5 Lachenal Treble 30566

Lachenal Treble Lachenal Treble 30566. Another English tutor instrument, bought in bad condition and restored by me, but not really playable, so then converted to MIDI - see next instrument.

#5 reincarnated - MIDI conversion of Lachenal 30566

MIDI concertina MIDI conversion of Lachenal 30566. This is the same instrument, but converted to be a MIDI electronic instrument.

#6 Wheatstone Aeola 34801

Wheatstone Aeola Treble Wheatstone Aeola 34801. The Aeola was the name of Wheatstone's top of the range instruments. This is my current favourite for playing in groups.

#7 John Connor English #2

Connor English Treble John Connor 2. John Connor worked in the Crabb factory when it closed, and set up on his own. This is one of very few English by Connor - he made mainly Anglos. It is a very loud fast instrument, good for outdoor leading.

#8 Lachenal Treble 52313

Lachenal Treble Lachenal Treble 52313. An English tutor instrument, bought on eBay from John Sheehy in condition "for parts or not working", so spent many years in my intermittent process of restoration. Now retuned to modern concert pitch, is quite playable.

#9 George Case Black Treble 3087

George Case Black Treble George Case Treble 3087. A quality English treble instrument from one of the lesser-known makers, bought from Simon Skelton in Devon. This is still in old pitch, and I'm leaving it that way.

#10 Lachenal Treble 57544

Lachenal Treble Lachenal tutor 57544. A tutor English treble instrument from about 1929, bought from an auction in Devon. The bellows split apart on first use, but I mended them sufficiently for a few year's play. This instrument had been out on loan, but the bellows were leaky, so I replaced the bellows. Now a fair instrument, and out on loan again.

#11 George Case Amboyna-ended Treble 2760

George Case Walnut Treble George Case Treble 2760. A quality English treble instrument from one of the lesser-known makers, bought from eBay. I've restored and retuned it, and it has become a favourite round the house instrument.

#12 Lachenal Treble 36733

Lachenal Treble Lachenal Treble 36733. A tutor English treble instrument from about 1897, bought via Facebook. I've restored and retuned it, and it is available for loan to a beginner.

#13 Lachenal Treble 27590

Lachenal Treble Lachenal Treble 27590. A tutor English treble instrument from about 1880, badged as "John G Murdoch". I bought it from another Chiltina. I have restored it and retuned it to a meantone tuning.

#14 Lachenal treble 15584

Lachenal Treble Lachenal Treble 15584. A tutor English treble instrument from about 1865, bought from a neighbour. I have restored and retuned it to concert pitch. Currently on loan to a beginner in Cambridgeshire.

#15 Lachenal New Model 57494

Lachenal New Model Lachenal New Model 57494. A quality English treble instrument from about 1919, bought from a contact on A nice fast machine in excellent condition.

#16 Lachenal Treble 32801

Lachenal Treble Lachenal Treble 32801. Another English tutor instrument, bought unseen from web auction. It was mechanically sound, but steel reeds in old pitch and out of tune. It has undergone restoration and retuning, and is now quite playable.

#17 Lachenal Paragon Treble 29781

Lachenal Paragon Lachenal Paragon 29781. A mid-quality English treble instrument from about 1890, bought from a contact on A restoration project in progress.

#18 Wheatstone Concert Treble 11689

Wheatstone fine treble Wheatstone Treble 11689. A fine nickel-silver reeded instrument in historic condition.

#19 George Case Ebony Concert Treble 2420

George Case Ebony Treble George Case Treble 2420. A quality English treble instrument from one of the lesser-known makers, bought from an email contact in Cornwall. Awaiting restoration.

Paul Hardy's Anglo Concertinas

#1 Riccordi Anglo

Riccordi Anglo Riccordi anglo. A cheap and cheerful anglo, with no serial number visible. Aquired in USA from a hiking friend. Was in unplayable condition (key rubbers rotted), and I restored it to working order. However, I still can't handle the concept of different notes on push and pull!

#2 Lachenal Anglo 167221

Lachenal Anglo Lachenal Anglo 167221. A basic Anglo-German instrument from, bought from a trader. I have done some restoration and retuning, so it's now playable.

Paul Hardy's Not-quite Concertinas

#1 Melodeon JJ

Melodeon Melodeon JJ. A basic German melodeon (diatonic accordion) from France. Acquired from a cousin who found it in an outhouse at an old farmhouse they bought. Dismantled, woodworm killed. Slightly refettled, and rebuilt. Not really playable without major work, so returned to owner as a display item.

Paul Hardy's Concertina Miscellany

My Tunebooks

My tunebooks of hundreds of tunes are available in my tunebook page.

My Recordings and Videos

Concertina Links

To send me an email message, use paul at paulhardy dot net

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