Charles Wheatstone was born into a very musical family and that influenced him to pursue an interest in acoustics, beginning in 1821 he began classifying vibrations, the basis of sound. Wheatstone published his first scientific publication based on those studies, entitled New Experiments in Sound. He was reputed to have made various experimental instruments and started his working life as a musical instrument maker.
Enchanted LyreIn September of 1821, Charles Wheatstone exhibited his Enchanted Lyre or Aconcryptophone at a gallery in a music store. The Enchanted Lyre was not a real instrument, it was a sounding box disguised as a lyre that hung from the ceiling by a steel rod, and emitted the sounds of several instruments: piano, harp, and dulcimer. It appeared as if the Enchanted Lyre was playing itself. However, the steel rod conveyed the vibrations of the music from real instruments which were played out of view by real musicians.
Symphonion with Bellows - An Improved AccordionThe accordion is played by pressing and expanding the air bellows, while the musician presses buttons and keys to force the air across reeds that produce sounds. Charles Wheatstone was the inventor of an improved accordion in 1829, which he renamed the concertina in 1833.
Patents for Musical InstrumentsIn 1829, Charles Wheatstone received a patent for "Improvements to musical instrument", a keying system and keyboard layout.
In 1844, he received a patent for "An Improved Concertina" for a duet keyboard systems, that included: the ability to tune the reeds externally with a watch key and a flap valve arrangement that allowed the same reed to be used for either movement of the bellows. It directed the air to pass through the reed in the same direction for press or draw.