We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Concertina?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Musical Expert is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Musical Expert, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A concertina is a type of free-reed musical instrument which resembles an accordion, with two panels connected by a set of bellows. Concertinas are often hexagonal in design, and they tend to be smaller than their accordion cousins. There are a number of different concertina styles and types on the market, and these instruments can be heard in a variety of settings. They often accompany folk music and casual music gatherings.

Like other free-reed instruments, a concertina produces sound by forcing air past a vibrating reed. The tone can be changed with the use of buttons, which can produce individual notes or be played together to create a chord. Air is forced through the concertina by manipulating the bellows. A well known member of the free-reed family is the harmonica, in which users blow air past the reed to create a desired sound.

The credit for the invention of the concertina usually goes to Sir Charles Wheatstone, who developed an early version in England in 1829, although versions also popped up in Germany shortly afterwards. It is unclear if the Germans invented the instrument independently, or if they picked up the British version and adapted it. The name of the instrument is a compound of “concert” and the Italian diminutive suffix “-ina.”

A dizzying array of variations on the concertina can be found. Some produce sound as the bellows are being compressed only, while others can make sounds in both directions. It is also possible to find variations which play different notes on the press and draw of the bellows. Most have buttons arranged in a chromatic scale, meaning that they progress by even semitones, while others are diatonic, mixing full tone intervals and some half tone intervals. The shape of a concertina can also vary; many German versions, for example, are square or rectangular rather than hexagonal.

Some stores which stock musical instruments carry concertinas, and they can usually be ordered by special request for customers who want them. Concertina lessons can sometimes be hard to obtain, depending on where in the world one is, although if a player is familiar with other free-reed instruments, it is possible to pick up the skills needed for the concertina by experimenting with the instrument. Recordings of concertina music are also available, for people who want to appreciate the sound of skilled performances or music from different regions of the world.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Musical Expert researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.