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Is This Concertina ?

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It's probably an accordion, but it might be quite different from the modern ones we see in the western European traditions.

Russia has had dozens of types of accordions over the past hundred years, from huge bayans to tiny boot-shaped accordions that just have a handle where the bass side would be. The lines were much blurrier between 'concertinas' and 'accordions,' so I'd say it's probably a garmoshka with one reed per note.


Here's a fascinating article about a Peter Nevsky, who may be the same garmonist as in your recording:


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Thank you for the link. Indeed this is the same musician, he has made many records with different types of accordions that it is possible to recognize from the sound (on the same website there are records where he plays Pskov garmoshka and other where he has Livenka), but I definitely think that this one is English concertina, because it doesn't have any bass note, clearly, and the fast succession of notes would be nearly impossible with only one hand, on a standard Russian accordion like Livenka or Royalna. Moreover, nearly all Russian accrdions have double-notes and vibrato, except the miniature ones like on the photo on your web-link, but these miniatures' range never exceeds 12 notes and are not chromatic like the instrument used on the recording...

Knowing the virtuosity of Nevsky and the known presence of concertina players in Russia in these years (Matusewitch,Piroshnikov etc), it would not be surprising that this is a concertina recording.

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