Friday, 25 January 2013
From Sheena Wellington at Friends of Wighton:
As an introduction to his new weekly class, John Bagnall invites those interested in learning to play the English concertina, who want to brush up their skills, or who just want to learn more about this tuneful instrument, to come along and give it a try!
There was a strong Scottish tradition of concertina playing and the English Concertina was a popular instrument in Scotland up until the 1920s, regularly played both in the home and in public in social and religious settings.
John Bagnall has been playing the English Concertina, invented about 1829 by Sir Charles Wheatstone, for about 40 years.
He learned to play while living on Tyneside, which as well as being a centre for traditional music is home to some great concertina players, notably Alistair Anderson who has done so much to popularise the instrument.
John has been to a large number of Alistair's workshops over the years and learned from his teaching methods, centred round traditional tunes.
He likes to play many different types of music on the concertina, including Northumbrian and Scottish tunes, American, French, Breton and Irish tunes, and also aspires to the more complex classical or semi-classical music from the concertina's heyday in Victorian Britain. Playing with other musicians is a special pleasure, and John plays regularly in pub sessions across Tayside. He also plays the mandolin a little.
If anyone has a concertina in the attic it is well worth getting it out and reviving it - it is a wonderful and versatile instrument!