Concertina Tutors of the Victorian and Edwardian Eras


Herewith begins an extended series in which we will post some of the classic concertina tutors from Victorian and Edwardian times.

Background. A decade ago, Robert Gaskins scanned and posted quite a few old tutors for various concertina systems as part of his “Concertina Library: Digital Reference Collection for Concertinas” ( That website also contains a very extensive bibliography of tutors for English, Anglo, and Duet concertinas that was compiled by Randall Merris, available at this link. A few months ago, Randall sent me three large boxes full of copies of nearly all of those tutors (about 183 of them), since he was finished using them and needed more storage space at home. I’ve combined these tutors with some others in my own collection, and I am looking for a proper archival home for them. Meanwhile, Allan Atlas and I have been searching through these tutors for ones worthy of scanning and posting. In addition, Katie Meeks, a concertina player in Missouri City, Texas has kindly scanned several others for us. Our intention at The Concertina Journal is to post some of the more worthwhile tutors for all types of concertinas on this site, from time to time, prefacing them with informative introduction that speak to their substance and significance.

New Posts. First up for posting are the three following tutors:

  1. For English Concertina: Richard Blagrove, Instruction Book for the Study of the Concertina, comprising Elementary & Progressive Exercises, published in London by Cramer, Wood & Co. in 1864, with an Introduction by Allan Atlas)
  2. For the Anglo-Chromatic Concertina: two tutors by Charles G. Roylance, published in London in the late nineteenth century, with an Introduction by Dan Worrall:
    • How to Learn the Chromatic Anglo-German Concertina with 30 Keys (1878), published by C. Roylance & Co., London, and
    • The Anglo-German Concertina Player’s Companion, Containing a Choice Selection of Favorite Marches, “Vamps” & Harmonized Scales in all the Principal Keys, Together with Effective Interludes and Cadenzas (1889), published by C. Roylance & Co., London.

In addition, links are provided to several other early Anglo tutors that were previously scanned and posted at the “Concertina Library,” including items by Herbert Booth, Alfred Sedgwick, and Elias Howe.

Readers who wish to suggest a particular tutor of this era for posting and commentary in this series should contact the Editors.

— Dan Worrall