Anglo Concertinas

Anglo Concertinas – Red Cow Music specialise in providing great concertinas such as the Anglo concertina or the Irish concertina. If you require any advice in selecting from our Concertina range please do get in touch.

Anglo Concertinas

It could not be easier to buy a concertina than here at Red Cow. We have years of knowledge to guide you through your purchase as well as a great back up service if in the unusual event things, well things do not go to plan, and sometimes it happens ,we are human too ! If you need advice on starting out on the concertina please call us on 07812064322 or send us an email and we will get straight back to you.



Small free reed instrument from England, usually hexagonal in shape. there are three common keyboard layouts, each completely different to play on. Anglo, English and Duet (McCann, Crane, Jeffries and Hayden are all types of duet).

Anglo Concertina
Introduction: The Anglo is commonly used for dance-music, particularly Morris, and Irish music. It’s also used to accompany songs, shanties etc. Each button produces a different note on the push and draw of the bellows (so there are TWO notes per button). The high notes are on the right-hand end, the low on the left. So you can play the tune with the right hand, and vamp chords with the left.

The concertina was invented by Charles Wheatstone, and the earliest examples, which he called the symphonium, were made in 1829. The general idea of the free reed instrument had been around for some time however, and in its earliest form, the Chinese Sheng, for thousands of years. At the time of the first concertinas, Harmonicas and Melodeons (or hand harmonicas) were already developing in Germany.

Wheatstone’s concertina was carefully designed to get the best out of the free reed system, and he published several scientific papers on the subject. Among other details, he established that a cylindrical shape would be most efficient, hence the six sided shape which approximates the ideal. Later 8 and 12 sided models got closer to perfection, Lachenal introduced the 12 sided Edeophone in 1890 and Wheatstones 8 sided Aeola came in 1901. All the early concertinas were English system ones, as designed by Wheatstone. His clever design gives the same range as a violin in a handy size, and it quickly caught on in the drawing rooms of Victorian England, where it was typically used to perform the classics. In fact a great deal of music, including concertos, was published specifically for the instrument.

The development of the Anglo system, around 1850, has been attributed to George Jones, who is known for other advances, such as his broad steel reeds. It may well have been that he simply brought the idea back from Germany. The system combines the German push-pull note arrangement of the harmonica, with the handy size, and refined sound of the concertina, and was originally known as the Anglo-German system. This new system brought the concertina to the masses, with Lachenal and Co. producing around a quarter of a million units over the years, most of them Anglos, until the factory closed in the slump of the thirties. The German factories in Saxony also made enormous numbers of cheap anglos but not many of these were well enough made to survive.

If Lachenal were the biggest concertina makers, then Charles Jeffries was considered to be the best, at least for Anglos. He had worked with Jones at one time, but soon he was producing superb concertinas, with reeds made from steel that seemed better than anyone elses. Charles Jeffries died in 1906, but his sons continued the business into the 1920s. Another concertina maker of note was Crabb, who started up about the same time as Jeffries, but whose company lasted the longest of all, sadly finishing in 1989 with the death of Neville Crabb. C. Wheatstone & Co stayed in business right up until the late 1960s latterly owned by Boosey & Hawkes.

Coincidentally with the rise of the Music Hall for entertainment, the Duet system was developed and patented by Professor Maccann and licensed to Lachenal and later Wheatstone. This at last provided a concertina that a professional musician could get his teeth into! and was widely used by music hall artists. It separated the treble and bass keyboards, and allowed the left hand to play counter melodies that crossed over with the range of the right hand. Alexander Prince, probably the best known Concertina player of all, made many recordings on the MacCann system. Other Duet systems have been invented, most notably the Crane system, renamed the Triumph by the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army was an important supporter of the concertina, and supplied its members with a large number of instruments of all the major fingering systems, nearly always with a plain black bellows.

Showing 1–12 of 44 results

  • 110 Irish Concertina Tunes Book and CDs

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  • 75 Irish Session Tunes for Anglo Concertina

    75 Irish Session Tunes for Anglo Concertina

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  • A Garden of Dainty Delights

    A Garden of Dainty Delights

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  • Sale! Concertina 20 Key concertina in Red

    Anglo Concertina 20 Key in Red

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  • Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style-Gary Coover

    Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style-Gary Coover

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  • Carreg-Las Anglo 30 Button Concertina in C/G

    Carreg Las Anglo 30 Button Concertina in C/G

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  • Christmas Concertina by Gary Coover

    Christmas Concertina by Gary Coover

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  • Civil War Concertina by Gary Coover

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  • Concertina case

    Concertina Case

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  • Sale! Concertina Case Deluxe

    Concertina Case Deluxe

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  • Deluxe Concertina Bag

    Concertina Gig Bag

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  • Cowboy Concertina: 75 Songs of the Old American West

    Cowboy Concertina: 75 Songs of the Old American West

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