The German concertina arrived in the US in the hands of East European immigrants. The 38-button "Chemnitzer" layout became the standard, which is why these concertinas are called a "Chemnitzers" in the US. Subsequently, this layout was expanded to 51, 52, and more buttons, with the 52-key layout becoming standard in the US, and different from the 52-key instruments made for the German market!
They are often much more brightly decorated than their european siblings and can have up to four reeds for each tone. Some instruments are tuned with a tremolo or musette effect, this is sometimes called Chicago tuning or "waved." Minnesota tuning is a special kind of dry tuning.
Different keys were made available to facilitate playing with horns and woodwinds. The keys are not indicated as on other instruments shown here, but rather more like orchestra instruments. The central row on a key of C instrument (the most common) plays and is notated in the key of A. On an Eb instrument, the central row plays in the key of C. Keys of Bb and Ab are also common, with the key of Db somewhat less common.
|Sections||playing | keyboard|