Growing up in a concertina workshop meant that from an early age John was learning about materials, manufacturing processes and machinery. As well as working in the C and R Dipper workshops he also spent time with his uncle, Andrew Dipper, learning about musical instrument conservation and restoration.

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For nearly two decades John has been restoring antique concertinas as well as making and designing new ones.

Being both musician and maker, John’s knowledge combines to help drive forward the designs, sounds and innovation of concertinas and musical instrument making. One of his aims is to make instruments lighter, more responsive and to ensure that they are instruments and not machines. It is all too easy to end up making something to engineering specifications, that fits many criteria, but crucially, is not a musical instrument.

While the engineering approach gets you so far, the art is in the honing and refining to the nth degree, removing excess weight and creating an instrument that's light enough to respond to the most subtle and intricate movements and directions of the performer. 

History

Since the mid 1960’s Colin Dipper has been restoring and making new instruments. John has lived an apprenticeship, growing up in the workshop and learning about materials, manufacturing processes and working on the production machines from an early age.

Since making and designing guitars and electric violins in his teens, and spending time at his uncle’s (Andrew Dipper) violin workshop, John has also restored many antique concertinas to their former glory, and now designs and makes his own concertinas in the C & R Dipper & Son workshops.