Category Archives: General

Concertinas in Australia

While there I gave talks at the National Folk Festival as well as at a Melbourne Irish session on the history of the concertina, as well as a workshop on the old octave style of playing the instrument…a style that was so well suited to the old-style dances in England, Ireland, South Africa and Australia at the turn of the last century.* I was thrilled to see that a few more experienced Anglo concertina players who we met, who are direct descendants of old-time Anglo players, are still playing in that old double-noted style in the key of C for Australian dances; most more modern players there (especially those who mainly follow Irish music) have adopted a more modern Irish single note style. I’ve begun to collect old recordings of players who used the octave style for dance music, and with help from friends hope to publish recordings and notes in future months.

My thanks to all we met there; these folks are too numerous to mention but the photo essay will give you some idea.


Dan Worrall

* More information on octave-style playing as well as the history of the Anglo concertina can be found in my 2009 book on this subject; please see my website.

The Concertina book of Music, A. E. Hayman, 1886

This Concertina book of Music is a collection made in 1886 by A. E. Hayman. He has written in the inside cover:

“I foul not this book for fear of shame,
For in it is the owner’s name.
When I am dead and in my grave and all my bones are rotten,
Take up this book and think of me
When I am quite Forgotten. A.E.H”

He signs and dates it, “A. E. Hayman, June 13th 1886.”

This book has been made available by Alan Day. Part of it was published online by Juliette Daum and can still be downloaded as individual files: The first part can also be downloaded as a single PDF file from the site of Josh & Amelia:

All the pages are now available for download from this site in two .zip files:

The conversation about this collection spans several years and can be read at:

A huge thanks to Alan Day for sharing this precious concertina music collection.

Swaledale Squeeze 13 – 15 May 2011

This year’s Swaledale Squeeze promises to be as good as ever – a convivial weekend of concertina playing, meeting friends, a concert, a ceilidh, sessions, Black Sheep bitter, walks, the comfort of Grinton Lodge and fantastic scenery – what more could one want!! As usual, everything will be centred on Grinton Lodge (a former shooting lodge), now a Youth Hostel, based just outside Reeth, in the picturesque setting of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales. The venue is excellent for our purposes and we are made to feel very welcome. All accommodation is in bunk rooms (bedding provided) and meals are included for those in bunks (with or without the Friday evening meal which will be served at 7.30pm). Campervans and tents are also welcome but, because the dining room is relatively small, campers are asked to use the self-catering kitchen. There are also many B&Bs in the area if you would like more comfort/privacy – please let me know if you’d like a list. You are welcome to bring your own alcohol to the ceilidh but not to consume at Grinton Lodge.

Continue reading

John Kirkpatrick – Three Day Anglo Concertina Course

This three day course is aimed at helping players of the Anglo concertina discover the full musical potential of their instrument. John will be looking at all the various technical aspects of playing, but will mostly be exploring what can be found in the way of chords and harmonies in the left hand to support melodies in the right hand. This is all very physical stuff, and teaching will be in terms of patterns and finger memory, rather than a more abstract intellectual approach. Although a broad grasp of the complexities of music will naturally grow out of the work involved, the ability to read musical notation is by no means essential, and may in fact be a hindrance!

The sessions will not be suitable for complete beginners, and as they are very specific to the instrument they will not be suitable for players of the other kinds of concertina either – the English or the Duet. And please note – the small twenty button Anglo will not be adequate for this course.You’ll need an Anglo concertina with not less than thirty buttons, and ideally a keyboard chart of what all the buttons are. If you haven’t got a chart, John will help you to knock one up, and, thus equipped, whether your interest is in beefing up your tune playing or adding floating parts to accompany your favourite song, Mr Kirkpatrick will be able to bring a lifetime’s experience to bear and help you along the way.

More information:
Phone: 01743 891412

New events at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club

Alistair Anderson: Steel Skies Suite : Workshop & Performance

Saturday /Sunday 19/20th. March 2011 – for any melody instrument
Lewes Saturday Folk Club Workshop No 143
Places £60 for 2 days, £35 for 1 day 10.45 a.m.- 4.45 p.m.

Two days working on the music of Alistair Anderson’s brilliant Steel Skies Suite under the composer’s direction; music reading essential. There will be a final performance early on the Sunday evening: admission £2 for listeners. The full performance takes just under an hour. There will be an informal session afterwards. Alistair Anderson is the guest performer at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club on 19th. March: admission £6 workshoppers, £8 others.

Full details and booking form at

Chris Sherburn: All-Day Irish Concertina Workshop

Saturday 21 May 2011 – any system
Contact to go on the Interested list

John Kirkpatrick: All-Day Workshop On John’s own tunes

Saturday 11 June 2011 – any instrument
Contact to go on the Interested list

Holiday greetings

We mainly represent three types of concertina. English, Anglo and Duet. We have been continuously improving the service to our members in 2010 and will continue to do so in 2011. Do keep your eye on this website. We are an organisation for members but also of members. Therefore we hope that you will squeeze along with us. That you will continue to provide us with interesting tips and material for research and publication in all of our publications: Concertina World Magazine (Pauline de Snoo) and Music Supplement (Jon McNamara), PICA and the website.


Happy Squeezing

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year