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Accessing the sections within the Concertina Museum Collection

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C:0: Concertinas in the Collection

In the years since his first Collection was acquired by the Horniman Museum in 1996, Neil Wayne has continued to research the history, iconography and sociology of the concertina, and has formed a further research collection of around 350 early instruments. The Collection specialises in instruments from British concertina makers working prior to 1860, in the early prototypes from the Wheatstone workshops, and in memorabilia and inventions related to Charles Wheatstone, together with many hundreds of images featuring the instrument and its players. In particular, the new Collection centres on early and unrestored English-made concertinas, to ensure that their leatherwork, tuning, temperament and makers' labels remain conserved in original condition.

This link is to the Introductory Listing detailing all of the Concertina Makers represented.

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C:15: Related free-reeded instruments and Wheatstone material in the Collection.

Many early European instruments relevant to the early evolution of the concertina are represented, including the Demian accordions , the Ǽolina , Wheatstone's Symphonium , the Frenchaccordéon or 'Flutina', and many of the concertina-like instruments produced in Germany, Saxony, Austria and France from the 1850s onwards , in competition with the higher quality instruments being made by the growing number of English-based makers.

There are examples of Wheatstone & Company's woodwind, 'flute embouchures' , harp-lutes , 20th century Harmonicas , and an archive of the Wheatstone company's sheet music produced for the concertina, much of it in original bound volumes. Many original concertina-makers' catalogues, instrument price lists, and Dealers' brochures are within section NC:2:1 , plus examples of all the dealer labels found on concertinas marketed in the UK and Europe.

There is a selection of early harmoniums, by both Wheatstone and other British makers , and those created and labelled for Wheatstone's by noted French makers .

Go to C:15: Related free-reeded instruments and Wheatstone material

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NC:0: Non-concertina Items in the collection - Summary

Non-concertina Items section of the database includes images and published material on all concertina- and Wheatstone-related Items, including instruments, images, photographs, advertising, makers' information, music, tutors, recordings, research material and archives). Many original concertina-makers' catalogues, instrument price lists, and Dealers' brochures are within this section, plus examples of all the dealer labels found on concertinas marketed in the UK and Europe.

Go to NC:0: Non-concertina Items Summary

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NC:1: Wheatstone Materials and Publications in the Collection

The images, publications, biographies, inventions and prototypes of the many inventions of Charles Wheatstone are a major resource within the Collection, and include many personal items from Wheatstone and his family, and contemporary articles, papers and illustrations about the man and his researches from 19th century journals and publications. Wheatstone's early prototype concertinas and related musical instruments, telegraph items and primitive accordéons originating from Sir Charles' personal museum collection, once housed in the Wheatstone Laboratory at King's College London are central to the study of the early development of the concertina, and all are illustrated and catalogued in detail within this database.

Go to NC:1: Wheatstone Items

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NC:2: Concertina Catalogues, Price Lists

This section includes images and texts from the literature, price lists and advertising of all concertina-makers, together with visual listings of all makers' and dealers' labels. The Brochures of many concertina dealers, and related literature from repairers and general dealers who distributed concertinas from the major makers.

Go to NC:2: Concertina Catalogues, Price Lists

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NC:3: The Image Collections

There is also a vast archive of concertina-related images accessible here, which documents the many early original photographs of concertina bands, serious performers and music hall artistes, and of the concertina in the hands of soldiers, sailors, traditional musicians and the many 'amateur' enthusiasts who adopted the instrument in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The worldwide use of this iconic little instrument in advertising, humorous postcards and cartoons, and as a universally-used instrument with which to 'pose' in early photographic studies and on cartes de visite is represented by over 800 such images. The image archive also documents the later concertina revival from the late 1960s onwards, with images, recordings and archive items from the early years of the International Concertina Association, of the many older players that were recorded and interviewed by Neil Wayne, and from the Concertina Conventions that he organised during the 1960s and 1970s.

Go to NC:3: Image Collections

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NC:4: Physical non-print items

The great popularity, compact nature, ease of playing, and eventual cheapness of the many variants of the concertina led to its major social mobility throughout the class structure of British society during the 19th and early 20th century. Concomitant with this spread of popularity was the use (some say abuse) of the instrument as an iconic image in advertising, packaging, comic publications, ceramics, toys, and later, in cartoons, badges and clothing. The Collection has a major archive of items in which the concertina is used in this iconic manner, including toys, biscuit tins, cosmetic bottles, beer-steins, embroidery, Disney badges - and the Maidenform Concertina Bra and Girdle

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NC:5: Concertina Music and Tutors

This section includes early bound volumes of music composed for the concertina, and single pieces by such composers and performers as Blagrove, Regondi, Sedgwick et al. There are manuscripts tune-books of the early repertoire, and general tune-books for the instrument. The Collection contains the complete Henry Stanley Archive, with the master manuscripts for all of the arrangements and exercises hand-written by this master teacher and arranger of the early to mid 20th century. This section also includes details and images of over 400 published concertina tutors for all known fingering systems and makes of concertina, from the earliest 'English' tutor to that for Wheatstones' "May Fair" of the 1950s.

Go to NC:5: Concertina Music and Tutors

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NC:6: Audio and Video Recordings Archives

The Collection includes many recordings documenting the history of the concertina and its musicians: these date from the earliest days of sound recording, such as phonograph cylinders, Berliner-style shellac discs, and 78rpm records; later 33⅓ rpm LP records, reel-to-reel tapes and musicassettes; and more modern visual media such as video cassettes, compact discs, DvD recordings, MP3 and other formats. The Collection houses donations of the archives of master tapes from the Free Reed label, from the archives of the International Concertina Association, and many contributions of tapes and cassettes from the leading players of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

Go to NC:6: Items- Audio and Video Recordings

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NC:7: Research Material and Archives

This Archive contains the notes, research data and source material for Wayne's research on his various Galpin Journal papers, radio and TV programmes, and data on his work in partnership with The Horniman Museum, King's College, and The International Concertina Association. There are production notes from his archives recordings on the Free Reed record label, and source papers on his early Journal "The Concertina Newsletter", and interviews with older players from 1963 onwards.

Go to NC:7: Items- Research Material and Archives

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The Concertina Museum Concertinas Related Instruments Related Items Back

The Concertina Museum Collection

Created August 2009 by Neil Wayne
Modified September 2009 by Wes Williams
This page created Thursday 10 September 2009.