Concertina Press
10/12   Publication:

House Dance:  Dance music played on the Anglo-German concertina
by musicians of the house dance era

House Dance (MTCD251) is a Digital Book with embedded audio files, by Dan Worrall and published by
Musical Traditions Records in the UK.

The heyday of the Anglo-German concertina (1860s to World War I) coincided with a time when social dances in
houses, barns, woolsheds and community halls were all the rage in working class urban and rural areas.  Here are
172 archival recordings of 36 early concertina players performing schottisches, polkas, quadrilles, waltzes, barn
dances, mazurkas, and varsovianas from Ireland, England, Australia and South Africa - plus more from modern
players in the old octave style.  

The digital book explores such topics as:

Nineteenth century social dances
Global sources of the house dance repertoire
Old-style octave playing on the concertina
The banning of house dances in early twentieth century Ireland
Biographies and playing styles of early concertina players (with archival recordings)
Modern players in the old octave style (with recordings)

It also includes:

A tutorial on octave playing (with recordings, walking you through playing in octaves and across the rows)
A 'resources' page, giving details of the real and virtual information available on the subject.
A discograpy of all the recordings used.
The whole thing includes more than 150 photos and graphics, and more than 200 sound files in MP3 format.

Home Page and How to Order

Review, by Micheal O'Raghallaigh (Bealoideas)
Review, by Gage Averill (PICA)
Review, by Andy Turner (Musical Traditions)
Review, English Dance and Song

Table of Contents
Errata and Additions, Post-publishing
German and Anglo-German concertinas were by far the most
popular forms of the instrument in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, and were a favorite of working class
people around the world. They were played by Irish peasants,
London street musicians, Yorkshire mummers, Boer trekkers,
Australian diggers, Salvation Army Lassies, and Zulu
mineworkers. By sailors in the age of sail, Mormon pioneers in
covered wagons,  New Zealand sheep-shearers, and Inuit  
dancers in the high Arctic. By bushrangers and smugglers,
music hall artists, street beggars, and just plain folks.

These concertinas were a true global phenomenon, in many
ways shaping the popular music of that era. They also are a
modern phenomenon, enjoying a revival of interest that crosses
international and cultural boundaries. This is the first
comprehensive history of the instrument.

This two-volume history makes extensive use of primary
sources from period newspapers, books, and journals. There
are over 440 illustrations, charts, and period photographs, as
well as note-for-note transcriptions of numerous early recorded

About the author:

Dan Worrall has previously written "The Anglo-Concertina
Music of William Kimber," published by the English Folk
Dance and Song Society in 2005, as well as numerous articles
on the history of the concertina at The Concertina Library
( and in the Papers of the International
Concertina Association. He holds a Ph.D. in geology, is retired
from petroleum industry research, and lives on a farm in
southeastern Texas. He has played both the Anglo-German and
English concertinas for over thirty-five years.
Note: this book can be accessed online, for
free, at Google Books.

How to access at Google Books

How to purchase a copy

View Table of Contents
View Summary and Acknowledgments
* Errata for First and Second Editions
4/09  Publication:
The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social History

Two volumes, 440 illustrations, 28 transcriptions, 620pp.

5/13 The Irish German Concertina Project

Mrs. O'Dwyer's old German concertina
tours Clare in the hands of six modern women musicians


Random notes on a concertina world tour:

Photo essays describing a string of visits with Anglo-German concertina
players in the four countries where the concertina's use has occurred
continuously since the early 1850s

The Concertina in South Africa (added 2013)

The Concertina in Australia (added 2011)

The Concertina in England (in preparation)

The Concertina in Ireland (in preparation)
Continued: Go to Page 2
Mrs. Ella Mae O'Dwyer
(1908-1992) with German
concertina, 1974. Photo courtesy
of Neal Wayne and John Tams.