I've been fixing concertinas for Irish players for longer than I care to admit to, and though the perceived needs of (at least some) players have got ever-more demanding in recent years, I've been astonished at what prospective purchasers have been told in the past week about a 26-key Lachenal that I have for sale:
Players and parents upgrading from a cheap beginner's 30-key to a "proper concertina" (with concertina reeds) are attracted by the reasonable price (which is only 2/3 of what you'd have to pay for the corresponding 30-key), but teachers are telling them "You can't play Irish music on a 26-key, you need at least 30 keys!" (Even though they're barely using half the notes on the starter one they've got already.)
Yet there never used to be any problem selling 26-key Anglos to Irish players and I've come across a good few, over the years, happily playing on 26 keys, including Terry Bingham (Dipper), Mary Flaherty (Lachenal), and Cormac Begley (with a recently acquired Jeffries), and Jacqueline McCarthy has played a much-admired 2-row, 24-key Wheatstone all her life.
Meanwhile, I'm told Noel Hill tells people they don't need more than 30 buttons...
At this rate, I may end up converting the 26-key into a 30-key (the chambering is already there for it!) and selling it for 50% more, but that seems downright wasteful with what should be a more-affordable instrument.
Edited by Stephen Chambers, 15 November 2016 - 07:20 AM.