Monthly Archives: February 2010

Red River Valley

While the winter months are with us (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) our tune of the month will take you back to warm Summer evenings, starry nights, and singing around the camp fire. This song was probably composed in Canada, around 1870. This multi-part arrangement for English concertina is taken from the Mini Tunes book arranged by Frank Butler, a former doyen of the ICA.

Download the .pdf file of Red River Valley.

For more info on the tune: see Wikipedia.

The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social History

Anglo Musings

Many of you know that I have been working off and on for about five years now on a history of the Anglo concertina. That work is now finished; The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social History is now out, at There are two volumes, with 620 pages, over 440 illustrations, and 28 transcriptions. The book concentrates on the people who have played both German and Anglo-German instruments from the time of Carl Uhlig’s invention of 1834 to the present, and includes chapters on England, Ireland, Africa (both Boers and various African ethnic groups), Australia, New Zealand, and North America, as well as concertina use at Sea.

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Steven Arntson, Anglo chromatician

With the rework of the ICA website, we are planning to do profiles of our members. This is the first one: Steven Arntson, an Anglo concertina player and composer living in Seattle, U.S.A. He likes chromatics. His band, The Toy Boats, includes a toy piano, ukelele and other small instruments. Here’s a small interview with Steven…

When did you start playing the Anglo? And at what age?
I started playing in 2004, at the age of thirty two. I had musical training before that, primarily in music composition. My first concertina was a plastic 20-button Stagi, which I played for a year, and destroyed in the process. Then my wife bought me the 30-button Anglo that I play today, built by Bob Tedrow.

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