Please let me know if you find any errors, or if you know of a link that should be included!
Concertina | English | Anglo | Duet | Chemnitzer | Bandoneon | Other Free Reed Instruments
There are several types of accordions. Most people limit themselves to one or two types (actually, most people limit themselves to zero types, but they don't know what they're missing). If you don't know which one is the type for you, Wendy Morrison's article on how to pick a squeezebox might help.
The major distinction is between accordions proper and concertinas. For the accordion proper, the right hand keyboard is perpendicular to the body of the accordion, so you press the keys or buttons towards you; on a concertina the buttons are mounted on the body itself, so you press the buttons towards the bellows. (I hope this is somewhat clear).
- An explanatory page about the accordion ()
- Squeezeboxes in Latvia with pictures of various types: German diatonics, petrogradka, hromka, bayan and piano accordion
- squeezebox.wikia.com used to be Theodore Kloba's "Squeezebox 101"; it gives an illustrated overview of many types of concertinas and accordions.
- A short (piano) accordion FAQ by Hobgoblin
- The patent for the Luttbeg accordion with a piano keyboard both for the treble and the bass. It did not catch on because the bass keyboard is pretty much impossible to play
is an explanation of how it works, its parts,
the laout of the keys and the bass buttons on the piano accordion,
- Tom Tonon has invented an accordion on which you can bend pitches
- Hans Palm took his first accordion apart to give a look inside an accordion
- Information about and a history of the Schrammelharmonika () by Walther Soyka. These instruments have a three-row chromatic right hand, but the bass side is diatonic.
- Bayanist / accordionist Don Severs has a made a design for a modified, more ergonomical bayan. He has studied with Joan Cochran Sommers, and he won 1st place at the AAA festival in Miami in 1979.
- Another Japanese page on the diatonic accordion, () by Kiyoshi Akasaka
- Jim Allen's Button Accordion Site has some information about maintaining the accordion, and a large page about playing (diatonic) accordions, in particular one-row and three row (Tex-Mex) accordions.
Fernanod Ariza's site on
El acordeén diatónico,
with a short history, explanation of the instrument, information on
some players, courses, organisations, methods, etc.
sheet music with tablature for G/C accordions,
in PDF/midi format
- Eduard Bekker's pages on the diatonic accordion, de Harmonicahoek. ()
- Bordun e.V. () is a society for hurdy gurdy and bagpipes, but their workshops often include the diatonic accordion. The site also has some articles about the diatonic accordion
is a French discussion group about diatonic accordions
- L'accordéon Diato des amateurs () is an extensive site about the diatonic accordion by Anicet Le Marre, for amateurs in both senses of the word: non-professionals and enthusiasts. It contains tablature for various tunes, a beginner's course for the diatonic accordion (starting from how to hold the instrument), information about courses, history, some music theory, and a lot more.
- Jan Doumen's diatonic collection consists of a 2 1/2 row Van der Aa (with layout in PDF format), and a Castagnari Fazzy. The page has some (self-composed) tunes played on the Fazzy.
has got a site with some general information about the diatonic accordion,
as well as tablature for various tunes and songs -- including own transcriptions of a few Katie Melua songs.
He has also a written a 59 page TablEdit manual (in Dutch),
which is available on request.
- www.diatonisch-accordeon.tk () is a site by Kris Blomme for users and fans of diatonic accordeons, in particular in Flanders, with news, info, links to accordionists, makers, etc.
- The flutina is a very early type of accordion, without chords, invented in France
On his website
has information about the Steyrische accordion,
the tablature system used for them (Rosenzopf's "Griffschrift"),
and keyboard layouts for Steyrische accordions and the club accordion
(Club IIb). He's also got the dots for a few of his own compositions,
- Garmons, a.k.a. garmoshka or khromka are Russian diatonic accordions. They can be bisonoric, with different notes on push and pull, like western melodeons, but mostly they are unisonoric, with the same note on push and pull. Then the diatonic scale is played by alternating rows.
- A melodeon FAQ by Hobgoblin, with fingering charts for various two to three-row instruments.
an article at RamblingHouse (formerly irishmusicweb.ie)
- Ronan Nolan's Irish Melodeon page. The site also contains bibliographies of amongst other box players Joe Burke and Sharon Shannon and concertina players Mrs Crotty and Gerdie Cummane.
- Han Speek explains the Irish button box
The diatonic accordion in Languedoc-Roussillon
- The Livenksaya Garmoshka () is a Russian type of one-row accordion.
- melodeon.net is a site about melodeons (diatonic accordions), founded by John Spiers, and now maintained by Theo Gibb. It has a large collection of layouts for different melodeon types, a section where players can review their instrument for the site, as well as links to melodeon makers, (UK) shops, players, and general links.
is dedicated to the diatonic accordion,
with amongst others a short history,
a list of (links to) manufacturers, groups, sites with MIDI and tablature,
and some Italian and French tunes in MIDI format.
- Anne Niepold's pages about the diatonic accordion () with photos of the parts, explanations, etc.
- www.organetto.it () is a site about the organetto, the Italian diatonic accordion. It contains a short history, a "who is who" of Italian organetto players, articles about the construction of the instrument and keyboard layouts. It also has some MIDI files with tablature, as well as a list of music schools and teachers.
The diatonic accordion in Portugual,
confusingly called "concertina" in Portuguese. Apparently
the G/C tuning is most common in Portugal, and C/F in Cape Verde.
- russian-garmon.ru () is a website dedicated to garmons, a Russian type of diatonic accordions. The site has articles, information about accordionists, manufacturers, videos, etc.
- The Swiss Schwyzerörgeli () and Langnauerli
Volksmusik und Volkstanz im Alpenland
with sheet music and tablature for Steyrische (Griffschrift)
for Austrian folk dances and songs,
as well as information about the
- 'Trekharmonika - Startpagina', () a starting page for diatonic accordions by the "Stichting Trekharmonika Friesland", with links, information about courses, etc.
- Melodeon basics by Rod Stradling
Even if you can't read more than 'Hohner Erica', 'Castagniari Tommy',
the pictures are worth viewing!
- The trekharmonika group () is a mailing list in Dutch about the diatonic accordion (moderated by Andrys Stienstra). () Subscribe by sending email to email@example.com.
- The trikitixa is the Basque diatonic accordion. A trikitixa page at Rootsworld.
is an association for traditional Basque music, based in Espelette,
France. Amongst others they organise workshops and exchanges.
Their website contains a
comparison between the trikitixa and the standard 2-row diatonic accordion,
with keyboard layouts. The main differences are that the
trikitixa has unisonorous basses (same note on push and pull), and
- Yahoo group / mailing list diatonic, about diatonic accordions
- Christoph Zeiler's Diatonica, () information about the diatonic accordion, with a bibliography, a discography, a mailing list, links, and transcription of tunes for the diatonic accordion (in abc format).
- The Boeremuziekklub aims to collect, preserve and enhanceme Traditional Boer Music. It was previously founded as the "Concertina club of South Africa" -- the concertina is the main instrument of Boer Music.
- The main objective of The Concertina Connection is the reintroduction of the concertina in classical music. Amongst others it sells concertinas, and it publishes classical music for concertina. A recent addition are the Jackie and Jack models English Student Concertina, a cheap 30 key English concertina (with accordion reeds).
There's also a picture of a
-- one of the 8 that exist.
- Concertina Library a.k.a. concertina.com, edited by Robert Gaskins, contains an extensive collection of documents for the study of English, Anglo, and Duet concertinas: history, instruction books, sheet music, patents, technical papers, rare periodicals, and new research by many leading scholars. Contributing authors currently are Chris Algar, Allan Atlas, Margaret Birley, Barry Callaghan, Richard Carlin, Stephen Chambers, David Cornell, Roger Digby, Stuart Eydmann, Robert Gaskins, Randy Merris, Neil Wayne, Wes Williams and Dan Worrall.
- Dave Elliot wrote The Concertina Maintenace Manual, which is available from the author and through Mallinson Music. In the US, Homewood Musical Instrument Company sells (an older edition of?) the repair manual. Bayside Press also sells The Concertina Maintenance Manual
Bignick's Concertina Spotter's Guide,
with photographs of many types
A concertina FAQ by Hobgoblin (with a copy of Neil Wayne's history of the Wheatstone English Concertina)
- The International Concertina Association works to promote the music and playing of the various forms of concertina (Anglo, Duet and English)
Johnk Kirkpatrick's article on
How to Play Chords on an Anglo,
originally published in the Free Reed magazine.
- KonzertinaNetz () is a German-language site by Klaus Wenger about various kinds of concertinas, with amongst others a bibliography and some sheet music, some with tablature for C/G German concertinas. There is also a list of concertina meetings and workshops in Germany.
- The Concertina Nederland () site aims to link up Dutch and Flemish concertina players (English and Anglo) and to enthuse interested parties. Amongst others it contains a diary, informations about teachers, musicians, sheet music, etc.
Essays by Goran Rahm about ergonomics of the English concertina
and possible improvements:
The English Concertina - in Sickness and Health;
An Ergonomic Handle For English, Anglo And Duet Concertinas;
Holding the Concertina;
Supporting the Concertina
- The Scottish Concertina, is a collection of articles by Stuart Eydmann (and one by Simon Thoumire)
- Pauline de Snoo from the Netherlands teaches the English concertina in various workshops. She has also published a tutor for the English concertina (volume 1). See concertina-academy.com, for more info, amongst others about a DVD "Playing the concertina" by Bernd Out, an 80 minute documentary about the history of the concertina.
Neil Wayne's history of Wheatstone concertina
[the top few links below "Concertina
History" don't work, but the links to the actual article below
"the Wheatstone English Concertina" do]
was published originally in the Journal of the
On Donald Nichols's site
there is another copy of the
History of Wheatstone concertina,
this time in all in one.
The Horniman Museum in London houses the Neil Wayne collection of over 600 concertinas and related free reed instruments (plus a few others). They also own Neil Wayne's and Steve Dickinson's collections of Wheatstone Concertina ledgers. Amongst others, they make it possible to date most Wheatstones by their serial number. The Dickinson Archives, which cover 1910 to 1974 (and serial numbers 25000 to 37083 for Englishes and 55492 to 59498 for Anglos), are available online from the above link, or on CD-ROM. The Wayne Archives, which cover 1840 to 1890 with some gaps, will be made available at a later date.
- The concertina was invented by Charles Wheatstone.
- Allan W. Atlas wrote the scholarly study The Wheatstone English Concertina in Victorian England.
- Paul Hardy's Lachenal, Wheatstone and Case concertinas
- Donald Nichols shows drawings of the 'tina in his excellent tour of an English Concertina. It includes a copy (in one part) of Neil Wayne's history of Wheatstone concertina (see below)
- Die Deutsche Konzertina, () Martin Döring's pages about the German and Anglo-German concertina, history, notes on how to play it, ornamentation in Irish music, and sheet music for some Steyrische tunes.
- Joe Kesselman's Jeffries 38 key Anglo concertina with its keyboard layout
- Paul Schwartz' concertina net
- chords for duet concertina players (or anyone who needs to build them from single notes, really)
- Jack Woehr's Jax RCFB Free Reed Musical Instruments Page contains a large number of links and a page about the Hayden duet concertina (including an interview with Brian Hayden). He plays pop, ethnic and folk in a group "Jax and Sumi", which is stretchable from a duet to a six-piece band, in Colorado and the West.
- How to play chords on any MacCann Duet Concertina by Robert Gaskins, which contains a 51 page PDF file that explains how to play chords to accompany folk songs on MacCann Duet concertinas of any size and from any period. It shows the chord shapes, as well as the layout for a large number of `standard' as well as actual MacCann models.
- Dan Melander's Concertina and Stumpf Fiddle appreciation page in which a concertina is a Chemnitzer, of course.
- Theodore Kloba's Chemnitzer FAQ. The downloads at the same site include Chemnitzer keyboard charts and scales
Die Konzertina in Franken,
a documentation project of the ethnomusicology department of
the University of Bamberg,
with many pictures, biographies of players, sound clips,
and information about the
CD: Die Konzertina in Franken
- Loren Schaeffler's Chemnitzer concertina information, with amongst others the button layout of the keyboards at both sides. In the Mid-West of the USA, 'concertina' usually means Chemnitzer, and it is often found in polka bands there. It is a close cousin of the bandoneon
- Ken Yagelski's Chemnitzer Concertina Music Site with sheet music with special notation for Chemnitzers. (amongst others 'All I Want For Christmas is a Concertina'), as well as a history of the Chemnitzer, and a list of prices of recently sold instruments
- Carsfeld () in Germany is where the Bandoneon was invented -- on the site of its Tourist Information Bureau, there are a few pages a description and diagrams of the instrument, its history and a few sound clips. Also, there is a yearly Bandoneon Meeting in Carsfeld, which will next be held October 7 - 9, 2005.
- A lot of information about the bandoneon can be found on Jan Doumen's world of diatonics and bandoneons with amongst others pictures of bandoneons, both assembled and disassembled.
Bellows of love's lament
by Kevin Carrel Footer is an essay about the bandoneon in Buenos Aires,
past and present.
- A brief Bandoneon history
- The Birth of the bandoneon, by Keith Elshaw. That page is part of totango.net, which focuses on the tango in Montréal and Toronto.
Das letzte Tango im Revier
is an article by Richard David Precht and Till Unkel, about the bandoneon
in the Ruhr area of Germany.
- Christian Mensing's Tango and Bandoneon page
- (Sources for) bandoneon scores and tango sheet music
- An accordina site by Marcel Dreux
- The accordina, created by Laurent Jarry, is more or less a melodica with the keyboard of a chromatic button accordion.
is a mouth-blown free-reed instrument with a piano keyboard.
- The earliest free reed instrument is the Chinese sheng. Robert Garfias' page on Asian free reed instruments. A Wikipedia entry for the sheng
- Tunes of the Sheng is a site about the sheng by Chris Lim from Singapore, with amongst others information about and pictures of modern concert shengs.