Carlo Minasi

Carlo Minasi (1817–91) was a London-based pianist and concertina player who also taught both instruments, a prolific composer and arranger for the concertina and other instruments, the author of 21 instrumental tutors (13 for the concertina), and a talented inventor. He produced 42 albums of songs and tunes—22 for the English concertina, 10 for the German concertina, and 10 for general use—and he obtained patents on concertinas of his own design and on several specific improvements. He also patented improvements in firearm and furniture design, as well as one for a poultry incubator.

Despite his accomplishments, Minasi is not profiled in any of the standard music encyclopedias; as far as we know, the only comprehensive source for information about him is Randall C. Merris’s Carlo Minasi: Composer, arranger, and teacher, concertina and piano in Papers of the International Concertina Association volume 6 (2009), pp. 17–45.


Filed under Curiosities, Instruments, Romantic era

4 Responses to Carlo Minasi

  1. Margaret Goodman

    I have been singing a song by Carlo Minasi, “The Ladies Opportunity” for some years, but until now had not been able to find ANY information about him – not even whether he was English or American or both. Thank you for this. Does anyone know whether he ever lived or worked in the United States?

  2. Randall C. Merris

    Thanks for bringing my Minasi article to the attention of a wider audience.

    • It’s our pleasure, Prof. Merris. Thanks for doing all that research! We were particularly struck by the fact that it was difficult for us to validate your facts (but possible in the end)–a sure sign that this is unusual scholarship.

      Apparently there’s a chance that Minasi’s works have entered into the morris dance tune repretoire; do you know anything about this?