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(kŏnsûrtē`nə), musical instrument whose tone is produced by free reeds. It was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1829. It is a chromatic instrument similar to the accordionaccordion,
musical instrument consisting of a rectangular bellows expanded and contracted between the hands. Buttons or keys operated by the player open valves, allowing air to enter or to escape. The air sets in motion free reeds, frequently made of metal.
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, but its bellows are attached to hexagonal blocks having handles and buttons (finger pistons), and it is smaller. It is mainly associated with popular music.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a pneumatic musical instrument; an accordion possessing a chromatic scale but no built-in chords. It was invented in the early 19th century (patented by C. Wheatstone, London, 1829). There are six varieties of the instrument, ranging from the piccolo to the contrabass. The size of the most common concertina, the soprano, is 150–180 mm. The instrument usually has a hexagonal or octagonal shape. It has a compass of two to four octaves. Used both as a solo and orchestral instrument, the concertina is most widespread in England.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a small hexagonal musical instrument of the reed organ family in which metallic reeds are vibrated by air from a set of bellows operated by the player's hands. Notes are produced by pressing buttons
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Being much cheaper and a lot easier to play than its cousin the English concertina, the anglo was taken up by the labouring classes, seemingly much to the disdain of the middle and upper classes at the time.
Douglas accompanies himself with guitar, English concertina and limberjack.
Alistair Anderson (English concertina) and Dan Walsh (clawhammer banjo, vocals, guitar) may, on the face of it, appear to be unlikely collaborators.
Anderson features on his customary English concertina and Northumbrian pipes and he is joined by Sophy Ball on fiddle, Admiral Fallow, vocals and flute, and Sarah Hayes and Ian Stephenson on guitar.
I must be here to enjoy the teachings of Alistair Anderson, holding an English Concertina class in room C19.

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