English Folk Music players love the English Concertina. There are many great English concertina players who play Irish Music. It isn’t a fixed fact that it is an English Concertina. There are both 30 and 48 key models. The instrument is chromatic, meaning that the player will hear the note on push or pull regardless of how the bellows move. It’s similar to a piano accordion. The Book ‘Handbook for English Concertina, Roger Watson’ is a great place to start. But don’t forget to check out all of Eagle Music’s other materials.
The English concertina has a fully chromatic design. Each button plays the same note when the bellows are pulled and pushed. It is easy to play fast runs by using alternating notes at each end of the scale. The buttons align exactly with written music, with the stave lines on one hand and the spaces on the other. This system is best suited for musicians who can read music.
If you aren’t sure which use you want to make, it is worth exploring the following: Classical/Regondi, Folk revival/Alf Eds, Amazing virtuosos today/A. Anderson, S. Thoumire and others. Many Concertina.net members, as well as other modern players, are skilled in these styles.
Note on my experience and perspective: I came to the English system after a long time in the Anglo concertina industry, which has a clear three-fold division into Chinese and Italian entry level models, lower-quality accordion-reed instruments, and high-quality vintage and traditional concertinas. Anglo players found the English system fascinating and I wanted to experience it. I must admit that I was aware that money is more valuable when you have an older example of the English system. The demand for these items is not as high as the supply in the anglo world.
Although I don’t know much about the English system, I have had great fun with it and I’m glad that I tried it.
Paul’s Anglo Buyer’s Guide proved so helpful to me and many others that it is time to do something similar for English concertina. Thank you to all who helped me learn and what follows: Jay Lamsa, Jay Lamsa, Don Nichols (Don Nichols), Juliette Daum (Jim Lucas), Tom Hall, Jeff Warners, Ed Delaneys, Ken Sweeneys, Don Nichols, Jay Lamsa). All contributions are welcome.
Which model should I buy? It is harder to choose than anglos because many vintage models that are worth playing can be bought for less than a Stagi. You can buy a new accordion-reeded instrument or a vintage model for progressively less money. The internal design of traditional-reeded instruments is less varied than anglos. This may be because the English concertina design has not changed much from Wheatstone’s original. A radial reedpan layout, 48 buttons, or keys are typical. Many dealers can rent cheaper concertinas. If you are new to concertina, this is a great way to get started.