Category Archives: Tunes

Three Blind Mice

To increase the number of scales available to the player – the “Three Blind Mice” exercise was evolved to challenge and extend the player – and to encourage the use of ALL the buttons on the instruments.

Three Blind Mice is an interesting tune – it covers the complete scale and covers most of the simple note values. The exercise was devised to be circular – play through the “sharp” keys and then through the “flat” keys – if still sane – keep going until the mind rebels!

The things we discovered with this exercise – how easy the key of E is to play in – and how difficult it is not to play F# in the “flat” keys.

Download the Three Blind Mice excercise.

Tune: Red River Valley

While the winter months are still with us (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) our tune of the month will take you back to warm Summer evenings, starry nights, and singing around the camp fire. This song was probably composed in Canada, around 1870. This multi-part arrangement for English concertina is taken from the Mini Tunes book arranged by Frank Butler, a former doyen of the ICA.

Download the .pdf file of the tune.

For more info on the tune: see Wikipedia.

Tune: Ninety Three Not Out (Will Atkinson)

I discovered this wonderful morris tune in the Concertina World Music Supplement 435. This supplement is almost entirely dedicated to the music of William Atkinson, born at Crookham, Northumberland in 1908. He died in 2003, after spending great many years in the company of Alistair Anderson.
One of the most known compositions of Mr. Atkinson is the Glen Aln Hornpipe. Ninety Three Not Out is a morris tune, so a lot slower than a jig. As a beginner on the English concertina, I quickly found out that the notes come out incredibly naturally. In fact, it’s very hard to stop playing it once you’ve started. The chords on this sheet come from the accordeon player of the Belgian folk trio (fiddle, accordeon, bass) I play double bass in.

Download the .pdf file of the tune.

Happy playing.