Concertina Reel (The)
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CONCERTINA REEL, THE. AKA and see "Old Concertina Reel (2) (The)," "Ríl Liam." Irish, Reel. G Major (Mitchell): D Major (Breathnach, Mallinson, Tubridy). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Mallinson, Tubridy): AA'BB' (Breathnach, Mitchell). The concertina was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1829, a free-reed instrument whose reeds were made of brass and later steel. The English concertina gives the same note per button, push or pull, while the Anglo concertina plays a different note on the push and pull. Willie Clancy declared he had this tune from his mother, a concertina player and singer from Ennistymon (Mitchell). There is some confusion about the title "Old Concertina Reel(The)," which sometimes refers not only to "The Concertina Reel" but also to a different tune also known as "John Kelly's" and "Kerry Reel (The)." The "Concertina Reel" is therefore sometimes called "New Concertina Reel (The)." Some Scottish versions of the melody are set in the key of 'A' major, although Irish ones are usually in 'D'.
Liam in the alternate title "Ríl Liam" refers to Liam Mag Fhlannchadha, or, in English, Willie Clancy, who says that long ago concertina players had a great fondness for this tune (Breathnach). It is a version of the “Concertina Reel” set in G Major, with the parts reversed.
Source for notated version: piper Willie Clancy (1918-1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare) [Mitchell].
Printed sources: Breathnach (CRE II), 1976; No. 210 (appears as "Gan ainm/No title"). Breathnach (CRÉ II), 1976; Nos. 210, 220 & 275 (last appears as "Gan ainm/No title"). Mallinson (Essential), 1995; No. 43, p. 19. Mitchell (Dance Music of Willie Clancy), 1993; No. 72, p. 71. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, Book Two), 1999; p. 18.
Recorded sources: Green Linnet GLCD 1071, Patrick Street - "Patrick Street" (1986). Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40126, Rodney Miller - "Choose Your Partners!: Contra Dance & Square Dance Music of New Hampshire" (1999). Chieftains - "Water from the Well" (appears as 2nd tune of Kilfenora set).