Irish On An English? in Teaching and Learning Posted September 22, 2015 It's an endlessly discussed question. My take, for what it's worth, is that there's no reason on earth why you can't play Irish music well on an English concertina; many people have done it to a very high standard, including members of this forum. It's true, however, that the bellows work that's necessary to crank out a tune on an Anglo gives the music a distinctive lift or bounce that can be difficult (though not impossible) to emulate on an English box--particularly since mentors in that style are relatively few. On the other hand, emulating the sound of an Anglo isn't the only valid approach to playing Irish music on a concertina. If that *is* the specific sound you're after, though, then it might make better sense just to play an Anglo. In that case you'd want an instrument with 30 (or more) buttons--26 at an absolute minimum, I should think, apart from some very rare custom models with still fewer. D is the most common key in Irish music as it's usually played in a group setting, and to play in D you need a C#, which a 20-button C/G instrument lacks. You can indeed play thousands of Irish tunes on a 20-button Anglo, but it will be hard to play with others, and there are some standard tunes you won't be able to play at all. A new Rochelle costs about what its English-system cousin the Jackie does. A used hybrid instrument (traditional construction with accordion reeds) can sometimes be had for around US$1200-1500.* A new one of these will be $2500 or more--a price range in which you might also find a playable Lachenal. For a new instrument with concertina reeds by a top maker, or a high-quality vintage instrument, the sticker shock can be rather extreme. Bob Michel Near Philly *These estimates are based on prices I see on this side of the pond, where concertinas are harder to come by; you'll probably want to adjust them downward slightly for the U.K.