The first 15 tunes in the manual are provided below, for those who wish to hear the melody, rhythm, etc. These recordings are NOT intended to be things of beauty! They are learning aids. I very much favour learning by ear over reading music. order to allow your fingers to learn where the various sounds/notes can be obtained from, it's necessary to learn to do this using a form of music. The Concertina Diaries provides you with standard music; ABC (ie, it gives the notes under each 'dot'); and a simple concertina notation, which shows you each and every button to use). For those who like to hear the tunes actually being played - slowly! - these recordings should help.

The book is supplied together with a CD with all 47 tunes in THE CONCERTINA DIARIES, played slowly, for learning purposes. This is included as an insert on the inner back cover of the book.

The first fifteen tunes from the manual (the "Core Tunes") are below - just click on the start arrow on the left of each tune, having made sure your computer's volume is turned on/up.  Bear in mind that these tunes, played slowly and with only such ornamentation as included in these first tunes in the manual, are learning tools; their primary purpose is not to sound great.

The "Core Tunes" - the first 15 tunes in the manual - are intended to help your fingers to begin to find their way around the various button options on the concertina. The first two tunes, The Newmarket Polka (G major) and Cooley's Jig (D major), are played using the buttons on a single row, after which you'll be guided into cross-row playing, starting with a simple cross-row playing for the jig in A minor, Paddy in London (aka The Lilting Banshee). The manual leads the learner into using buttons sometimes ignored by concertina players. For example, Tune 14 - the music for the D major reel Rolling on the Ryegrass - incorporates the pulled G (on the outside row, A4 in the notation used in the manual). Using that button allows you to play a sequence all on the pull, and along the way to incorporate a pleasing triplet. There are two other buttons (C5 and G3) on the 30-button concertina where you'll find that same G, but both of these are pushed; A4 is a pulled G. 

The tunes are on concertina only, which makes it easier for a learner to follow the notes.These recordings were made playing an Edgley 'Heritage' and a Suttner - both of them 30-button Anglos.

When learning the first of these tunes (The Newmarket), you'll immediately see that the first two notes are repeated. Try obtaining these repeated notes by keeping your finger pressed on the button given in the music, and stop-starting the bellows so that you're playing the same note twice. That's a great introduction to using the bellows sensitively as a means of repeating notes, emphasising rhythm, and introducing some tremolo into your playing.

1 The Newmarket Polka - Gmaj.mp3

2 Cooleys Jig - Dmaj.mp3

3 Paddy in London-Lilting Banshee - Amin.mp3

4 The Fairies - Gmaj.mp3

5 The Connachtmans Rambles - Dmaj.mp3

6 My Darling Asleep - Dmaj.mp3

7 Donnybrook Fair - Gmaj.mp3

8 Sandy Ower da Lea - Gmaj.mp3

9 The Boys of Bluehill - Dmaj.mp3

10 When the Cock Crows it is Day - Gmaj.mp3

11 The Rambling Pitchfork - Jig - Dmaj.mp3

Tune 12 below (Tripping Upstairs) includes the 'cuts' described in "Points to Note" for that tune (we often play a two-jig set, both in D major, comprising My Darling Asleep - Tune 6 above - followed by Tripping Upstairs.

12 Tripping Upstairs - Jig - Dmaj.mp3

13 The Basket of Turf - Jig - Emin.mp3

14 Rolling on the Ryegrass - Reel - Dmaj.mp3

 We often play the tune below (Tune 15, Britches Full of Stitches) as the last tune in a polka set, and we finish off with a drawn-out E (C4 in the concertina notation in the manual); this note is included as the final note in the version below:

15 Britches Full of Stitches - Polka - Amaj.mp3