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RustyBits

Which Came First The Anglo Or The English?

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The "English" definitely predated the "anglo", because the term "anglo" comes from "anglo-German", which was used to describe instruments with the German-invented keyboard layout, but built by concertina makers in England, using engineering techniques based on Wheatstone's English concertina.

 

In my experience, the differently constructed (and usually simpler, i.e., 20-button) concertinas built in Germany and elsewhere in continental Europe were referred to as "German" through the 1970's, with the word "anglo" being reserved for those of English construction. But gradually, common use of the term "anglo" has expanded to include the "German" instruments, as well (but not Chemnitzer's and bandoneons).

 

But of course, the German concertina had to already exist before the first "anglo", or it wouldn't have been called "anglo-German". If you want to know which came first, the "English" or the "German", they were invented at nearly the same time. I think the best evidence is that Wheatstone's English predated Uhlig's German concertina by at least a few months, but that (lacking any evidence of a connection) they were invented independently.

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To follow on from Jim's reply, if you take a peep at the Buy and Sell forum, under

the 'Uhlig' thread, you'll find a picture of one of these early German instruments there. The Germans had invented the button accordion before Wheatstone invented the concertina, but as Jim says, its debatable who actually got to a concertina like format first. Wheatstone definitely had the six sided version, while the German instruments were four sided - and some German instruments only had five buttons on each side.

 

The 'Anglo-German' or 'Anglo' was a German system instrument built in the English way, usually with extra buttons added to allow additional keys to be played in.

 

There was obviously an exchange of ideas going on - the Germans started producing six sided versions of their four sided instruments, and Wheatstone

made the Duette, a four sided Duet system with a German style construction.

 

So to be precise - the English was before the Anglo. But there are other things that may need consideration to give you a proper answer!

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