There are times we hear a certain type of music and wonder how does this instrument produce such a beautiful sound? There is one musical instrument that is not so mainstream nowadays, at least in America it’s not, but when you hear it you will be astonished. I am talking about the Concertina. Based on an historical account this is what they say about the concertina. The Anglo-German concertina is so popular to the Irish people as it is part of their traditional musical circle. From about 1834 to the 1930’s almost every Irish home had one concertina, hence why I call it the Anglo-Irish Concertina. It was usually kept in the chimney corner for easy access. However, the heyday popularity of this instruments goes down by the 1960’s. Historians have written a lot about it. Most historians base their information on living sources and stories past from generation to generation. By the twentieth century, only a little information was written about it. Most sources came from County Clare.
They say, “Play good music and it will last a life time”. Like other small instruments the Concertina which is much similar than an accordion because it is opened and closed by the hands and the pressure make the metallic reeds vibrate and produces harmonic sounds. The concertina, with its hexagonal ends and studs, produces a bisonoric sound.
The Anglo Concertina which was designed by Carl Friedrich Uhlig in 1834, and German Concertina developed in Germany for its local market and intended to be larger than the English or Anglo concertinas.
Any of the three types will do as long as it is played with harmony and passion. There are now many different kinds of concertinas available in the market for your preferences. Choose which one will suit your desire.
There are lots of things we must learn and understand about playing the concertina. First We must take into consideration that concertina is not just an ordinary musical instrument.
Concertina magnifies the ability of our great grandfathers on how they love music and make something out of nothing just to enhance their skill and improve the quality of instrument they are using.
Since the concertina was an Irish traditional musical instrument invented by Charles Wheatstone way back 1825 and has been patented as "Symphonium" in 1829. This small musical instruments typically polygonal in form produced tone by the use of free reeds. This chromatic instrument more likely of an accordion but unlike to an accordion the bellows were attached to an hexagonal blocks having handles and buttons (finger pistones). The Method of producing tone is by stretching and squeezing between the handle (top and bottom) to work as a central bellows that blows over the reeds. Opening or closing in multifields, each note being sounded by button.
Traditionally concertina's produces diatonic sounds (greek word - diatomaceous) producing tones with seven pitches F-C-G-D-A-E-B. Each buttons produces different musical notes depending on whether the bellow is opening or closing and the pressing of the finger to the buttons.There wa a time when the Concertinas was mandatory equipment for a Salvation Army Officer. During this days almost anyone could learn to play with it just an hour's tutor. The Most popular Concertina's band are the Bristol Citadel Concertina Band (1923) and the Bedford Concertina band (1912) that lasted for three years.
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