The concertina, along with other accordions, belongs to the free-reed family of musical instruments. Invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1844, it is designed with several buttons in a distinctive pattern on each end. It differs from an accordion in the direction its buttons go when pushed. The buttons in a concertina go in the same direction as the push, while those in an accordion go in direction perpendicular to the push.
Types of Concertinas
Kinds of Concertinas include the following:
The Anglo concertina is made with buttons positioned in several curved rows matching the finger movements.
It usually has two rows, where each row is made up of ten buttons.
It is bisonoric, which means each button can produces two different tones—one tone when the bellows is compressed and another when it is expanded.
It is made with a leather strap where the two hands are placed to hold it properly and securely.
The palms rest on the bar, while the thumbs are placed outside the strap.
The English concertina is made with the buttons arranged in four rows with a rectangular pattern.
It is unisonoric, which means each button produces the same note when pressed or drawn.
It is made with thumb straps where the thumbs are placed and metal finger rests where the little fingers are positioned, leaving the three fingers of each hand free.
The duet concertina is made with a button layout where the the treble or high notes on the right overlap with the bass or low notes on the left.
It is also unisonoric like the English concertina.
It is fully chromatic.
Choosing Concertinas (Buying tips)
Reed: To produce a richer sound, choose a concertina with two or three reeds over one with only one reed per note.