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The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social…
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The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social History (2 vols.)

by Dan M. Worrall

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Recently added bycaptbirdseye

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If, like me, you are interested in social history, this two-volume work, coming at the subject as it does
via the concertina is priceless! It is a thorough, well-illustrated survey of the invention and development
of the Anglo-German concertina, its use amongst the 'working classes' in many parts of the (largely)
English speaking world, and amongst some of the indigenous people in the those parts of the world
colonised by the British. This is fabulous stuff!

It is also, in parts, very funny: "As soon as they got in the ‘ouse, Mrs. Boyce threw a concertina at his ‘ed,
and locked the door and ‘ollered murder" - an extract from a wife-abuse court case...

A couple of other highlights. Volume 2 opens with a frontispiece which is an incredibly evocative
(to me, at least) photograph of a group of musicians in New Zealand ca. 1875. This group are
sporting musical instruments (including a concertina, of course), and some impressive facial
hair (moustache, sideburns, beard). There follows a masterful one paragraph summary of the
European colonisation of Africa (another of my interests).

Finally, in the transcripts of tunes at the end of Vol 2. There is a Zulu walking song for the concertina!
I can't get out of my mind the picture of the Zulus in the film Zulu (Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, et. al.)
jumping up and down playing concertinas, instead of chanting and drumming on their shields with
their assegis

Wonderful stuff! Run (do not walk!) to your bookseller and buy a copy today!

In case anyone suspects that I am biassed - I am! I'm a concertina player (of sorts) and
collector - the present score is 10, including 8 'vintage' instruments dating back to ~1885.
I love this quirky instrument and the sound it makes. To come across a book like this
soon after starting to grapple with the infernal machine is just the icing on the cake.

The ISBNs are too long to fit in the field, so here they are: 978-0-9825996-0-0 and 978-0-9825996-1-7. ( )
  captbirdseye | Oct 30, 2014 |
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