Are you looking for the best harmonium to buy? If yes, you are just in the right place. This article is just about to share some insights regarding everything you should know before you buy a harmonium instrument.
From elements that will constitute the best harmonium, to detail and clear buying guide, this article will ensure you get to buy the right harmonium fully suitable for you.
In addition, be very assured that this article will answer some of the popular queries that will often deter buyers from getting the best possible instrument.
Harmonium instruments are among the ancient musical instrument still very common in the current field of music. They are among the few instruments with a very lucrative benefit to the owner.
For this reason, the majority of them are very expensive from high-quality materials and sounds. This fact should however not be an issue to a buyer who is more interested in quality.
This is because, unlike other musical instruments, the quality of sound produced by the harmonium will be in most cases determined by the price.
Therefore, often cheap harmonium will sound pathetic and vice-versa. For this reason, investing in the best harmonium might just be the best decision you are about to make.
To make sure you invest in the right harmonium, below are a few factors that as the player you should consider before the purchase.
What is the best harmonium to buy?
If you’re looking for some incredible considerations when Picking the best Harmonium to buy, you might choose this video:
Before purchasing a harmonium instrument, it will be very important to understand what category as a player you lie. The best musical instruments for a beginner may not be the best instrument for a professional player.
The difference in the specification and hence quality makes each harmonium unique and hence more suitable to a specific category. For this reason, learners are advised to focus on bigger harmoniums for the best outcomes. In the same way, a professional should have no business in purchasing a harmonium meant for beginners.
This way, the best harmonium instrument will be more suited to your category for maximum effectiveness while using the instrument.
Different harmonium instruments will also differ in terms of specifications. In the same way, before buying a harmonium instrument, understand the specifications you desire to ensure each is met.
The important specifications that will generally make a harmonium instrument best to purchase include size, shape, color, design, and bellows. I will expound on each on them.
The best harmonium instrument will be in the best and most convenient size for you. Generally, the sizes of the harmonium instrument will determine how portable the instrument will be.
If you are probably looking to travel and move around with your instrument, then, by all means, buy a harmonium instrument with the right size. This way, your movements are made easier and more convenient.
In the same way, the best harmonium instrument will be in the best shape, of course in regard to your preferences. Therefore make sure to take account of your preferences before you buy a harmonium.
In addition, go through the variety of shapes available for the best possible harmonium. Harmonium instruments will come in a variety of shapes e.g. the standard shape, laptop shapes among many others. Take your time.
The design or style of different harmonium instruments will also vary according to a number of factors like the brand. In most cases, the type of design will impact the price and the quality of sound produced by the harmonium instrument.
Consequently, ensure you choose a style that will only improve the quality of the sound and not the other way round. At the same time, ensure the cost is affordable and can be attained without having to strain too much.
Bellows in any harmonium instrument will come as top folds or side folds. Basically, bellows are met to be played using the left hand.
However, there are players who will prefer to sing their right hand instead. This is also very normal. For this reason, the best harmonium instrument should ensure your desires are met regardless.
The color will also be a specification a buyer can also consider to attain uniqueness and pleasure, especially when playing the instrument. Some brands may not have a color option but for sure you will not miss one that actually does.
Therefore, if you happen to be the type of player that finds fulfillment in color, the best harmonium instrument for you should be in the best possible color.
Having elaborated a number of key factors that would make a harmonium instrument best suited for you, the quest should not end there. There are other factors that will be equally very important.
For example, the player can either choose to buy online or on stores across the US. These decisions will have their own benefits and limitations at the same time. To assist you to make the best decision, below is a harmonium guide you should follow before you buy a harmonium.
The brand is among the key elements that must never be ignored. Different brands will vary according to quality, price, style, among other important factors that make the best harmonium instruments. For this reason, you must always be keen to pick the best dealer.
Generally, the best dealer will often guarantee the best harmonium instrument which is why we are all here. Therefore, take time to compare the different brands in the market and choose the best.
With the current high number of brands in the industry, picking a fake brand will be very easy. Whether willing to buy online or not, ensure you have a genuine dealer.
Most importantly, make sure the brand is well established and therefore is very skillful. As the manufacturer, the brand must be highly experienced and properly exposed for the best outcomes.
Different brands will also tend to use different materials for manufacture. Know the best and the most popular materials in the industry to ensure your harmonium’s quality is at its best. In the same way, pick the brand with the best construction materials and design.
Harmoniums instruments are generally, very fragile and must be handled with a lot of care especially during the shipping process. Shipping is common especially if you buy harmonium online.
Even the slightest mishandling can cause huge losses to you as the player. This will also be a huge inconvenience to you having spent soo much money to purchase the best harmonium instrument.
some brands will be willing to handle any damages, others will not. To prevent
this and evade any extra payments just to ensure your instrument id insured,
buyers prefer to buy harmonium in USA stores instead. This way, they can
actually drive the instrument themselves back home. Through this approach,
buyers can carefully handle the instrument and hence avoid any damages on the
of the store, whether online or physical, will also have a huge role to play.
You will require the website to be informative enough to the buyer and be
willing to communicate with you in cases of any clarifications needed. From the
website, a buyer can also clearly tell how genuine the dealer is and how
quality the instruments are.
particularly when trying to buy a harmonium online, make sure the website is
clear enough and most importantly up to date. In most cases, websites that lack
these elements must be avoided at all cost. This must also apply if you wish to
buy harmonium in USA stores.
Look for reviews on the harmonium instrument you want to buy. Go through a number of them and then weigh how effective the instrument has been to the different buyers.
Generally, good reviews will confirm the instrument is genuine and will be just effective for you. You can also tell the quality of sound from just going through review. In addition, this is where you will get to learn a few cons of the instruments at hand. In other words, good reviews will often translate to a good reputation, which will also be very important.
take into consideration any negative review you find about your instrument. Do
not ignore them.
Buying a harmonium instrument is clearly not an easy and straightforward process. This process will involve a lot more other than just getting to the store and purchasing the instrument.
The instrument is an investment and therefore enough time and money must be spent to attain the best harmonium instrument. The prices of such instruments will be generally high but remember you get what you pay.
Nevertheless, you must always ensure the price is reasonable for you. You will need to avoid any financial concerns after the purchase.
harmonium to buy must, therefore, attain all your expectations as the player.
Being the player, you will be the most affected whether the instrument is good
for you or not. Therefore, remember to consider all areas according to only
The brand of the harmoniums will also have a very huge role to play. Generally, almost all aspects mentioned in the article revolve around the dealer.
Being the source of the harmonium instruments, the brand, therefore, ends up affecting most factors and elements that will make a good harmonium. For example, the brand will determine the mode of shipping and the prices of the different harmoniums. In addition, specifications of different harmoniums will vary according to the brand.
I hope my
harmonium buying guide was helpful and informative enough. I know believe you
have what it takes to buy the best harmonium for the best possible results.
When researching the best harmonium brands I was surprised at all of the harmoniums available on the market to choose from. This made writing this article easy in many ways and difficult in others.
No matter how young or old you are, you can always begin to learn how to play an instrument or gain instruction on how to better care or upgrade your instrument.
There are several different types of harmoniums. Your preference in types might be linked with previous experience with other instruments or no true preference at all.
If you have no preference or are hoping to expand your knowledge of the instrument, perhaps understanding the history of the instrument and the various types of instruments will give you a better insight as to what you want, and hopefully inspire you to learn a different variation of the harmonium.
The goal of the article:
article will inform you about the best harmoniums and the best harmonium brands
you could buy or experiment with to your heart’s content!
We will take a look at the best harmoniums focusing mostly on style, some on-brand, as well as zero in on their features and benefits. Not all harmoniums are created equally as you will see and the features really matter in finding the best harmoniums.
What is a harmonium?
A harmonium is a reed instrument that creates sound when air is pumped through its bellows.
History of the Harmonium
glance, the harmonium might resemble a piano to you, if you are unfamiliar with
it or what type of instrument it is. Its original design was just as bulky and
cumbersome as the original piano or organ, luckily, the instrument has gone
over several redesigns in the past few centuries.
Some sources suggest that the precursor to the harmonium, the free-reed organ was inspired by India’s mouth organ instruments. There is no definitive date on when the mouth organ instrument was created, however, the free-reed organ was created in 1770.
The harmonium instrument would not be created and legally patented until 1842, by a Frenchman–Alexandre Debain. The harmonium became especially popular and used frequently by those who could not afford to buy an organ e.g. small churches and private residences/homes.
Harmoniums were especially popular back in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries because a person did not need electricity to play the instrument.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, Christian missionaries, especially, began bringing the instrument all over the world, as it was a great fit with devotional and gospel music.
It was during this time that Indians altered the harmonium–they redesigned the instrument so that you did not need to sit in a chair to play it e.g. got rid of the foot pedals. Its most common form is a medium-sized wooden box that you sit on the floor with, and use your hand to pump it as you play it.
different versions of the harmonium were created, starting in the nineteenth
century, and they stayed a very popular instrument until the electric organ was
created sometime into the twentieth century.
harmonium remains a popular instrument in the eastern part of the world, mainly
History of the Harmonium Overview
Its creation was inspired by both India’s mouth organ instrument and the free-reed organ
Became popular in use for those who could not afford to buy an organ instrument
Its popularity increased due to it not needing electricity to be played
Christian missionaries popularized its use around the world for evangelizing, starting in the mid-nineteenth century
Native Indians redesigned the instrument so it would be less bulky e.g. got rid of the foot pedals and necessity for a chair to play it; you play it sitting on the floor or anywhere else you choose
Keys are one of the first things you notice when looking at a harmonium. These look similar to the keys you find on the piano because they are black & white.
Harmoniums come with a cover. This is a very important feature that serves to protect the harmonium. It also mutes higher frequencies if there is a need for that.
Bellows are used to pushing air as well as make the sound you hear from a harmonium. They are two types 1. multi-fold or 2. two-fold.
You see the stops on the front of a harmonium. These are called knobs that control the flow of air. There are two types of stops, 1. Drone Stops and 2. Main Stops.
A harmonium has metallic strips which are called reeds. These help to create the sound a harmonium.
The final part that is important in creating a sound an octave apart is the coupler. When a key is pressed the couple enables the same key an octave higher to be pressed.
Parts Of Harmonium (Infographic):
Every part is important in producing the best harmonium brands.
Styles & Features
There are several features that you can choose to add to your harmonium. Some are not needed, so this is where previous experience, or newfound knowledge of the type of music that you want to play, is very helpful.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up with a harmonium with a feature that, at best, you don’t need and never use while you are playing your instrument.
There are two primary styles, Kolkata, or Calcutta and Delhi.
This is where beginners will start learning to play the harmonium. Overall this is the most frequently played harmonium for professionals as well. This is because of three primary reasons.
Delhi harmonium is comparatively less expensive than Kolkata harmoniums and less expensive than other musical instruments in general. They will come in a range of $500 to $1000.
One of the reasons the less cost is the simple design. They are light in weight as well as easy to take care of. For this reason, they are easy to travel with as well.
Delhi harmoniums are heard in a diversity of music. This is due to its organ tone.
– Box Types:Standard & Collapsing
– Coupler(optional): right action, activated by wire mechanism located under keys
– Exterior Construction: Traditionally pine or kale softwood, sometimes teak
– Interior Construction: Softwood; sometimes composite or particleboard
– Key construction: One-piece.
– Length of Scale: 2 to 3.5 octaves, 25 -42 keys
– Reeds: Punjabi: various levels of quality
– Reed banks: 1 or 2, Brass, Male
– Reed orientation: Horizontal
–Scale changer: Not available
–Weight: 13-28 lbs.
These are quite different than Delhi Style harmoniums in almost every way including feel, sound, price and how they look.
A Kolkata Style harmonium costs in the range of $1200-$1800. The most expensive ones can cost a price of $3000.
They are sold in construction with the ornate intricate design you can only describe as beautiful. Their engineering is very detailed.
Kolkata’s produce a full tone because they are built with three, and four sets of reeds. This allows them to play easily in different octaves.
– Box Types: Standard & Traditional Collapsing
– Coupler: typical, left action, activated by wooden bars under the keys
–Exterior Construction: Teak, quality varies.
– Interior Construction: Solid teak
– Key construction: Two-piece
– Length of Scale: 3 .3.75 octaves, 37-44 keys
– Reeds: Palitana; various levels of quality
–Reed banks: 3 or 4, Brass Male, Female
– Reed orientation: Horizontal / Vertical
–Scale changer: Available
– Weight: 32-48 lbs.
There are several different types of harmoniums e.g. standard and fold up, and beyond that, there are different variations in harmoniums that can drastically alter their sound.
The number of reed banks, type of reed banks, whether or not the harmonium has a coupler, stops, drones, and bellows make a difference.
The number of octaves and whether or not the harmonium has a scale changer also influences how the harmonium sounds. Quality of the wood that your harmonium is made out of can also make or break the sound of your instrument.
Sound Quality depends on Quality of woods
The most important feature that you have to make sure is completely correct is the type of wood your harmonium is made out of. If your harmonium is not made out of quality wood, then it will drastically alter the type of sound you are trying to create.
Harmoniums should be made out of quality wood. If you do not plan to move your harmonium around very often, it should be constructed in a heavier wood e.g. teak or mahogany. This type of wood will give it a resonant sound if that is what you are looking for.
If you plan to travel with your harmonium, then it should be made of pine or fir, which are lighter woods. That should make it easier for you to carry it around.
Standard harmoniums have two handles on either side and are the most commonly used harmoniums around the world.
This type of harmoniums is designed and built specifically to make traveling with a harmonium a lot easier than with a standard harmonium.
There are two types of fold up harmoniums–one type folds up into itself, with the bellows covering its top and the other type folds into itself and has a separate lid to cover it. Generally, the latter type of harmonium is much more expensive and heavier than the former type of harmonium.
The sound of the harmonium is affected by several different elements.
Number of reed banks
The number and type of reed banks it has, for one. Harmoniums can have either 1, 2, 3, or 4 banks of reeds and each reed bank has a totally different sound.
Type of reed banks
They have different names e.g. male, female, bass, and tenor. A different, unique mix of these reeds can be placed in each bank, which contributes to the harmonium’s unique sound. The more reed banks a harmonium has, the more unique it’s sound will be. However, this means that it will also be heavier.
is used to connect one key to its higher or lower, yet corresponding key. It
can play two octaves of a note at the same time, which can give it the sound of
having more keys/reed banks than it actually has. However, you will have to
pump more air into the instrument to utilize this.
Stops are a feature that allows you to put more air into the harmonium by turning large knobs. Essentially you use these to control how much air goes to each set of reed banks.
Drones are utilized by smaller knobs that you can use to hear a fixed note when you turn the knob. Generally, these notes are C, D, F, G, A, or a selection of all of them.
have external bellows–either 1, 3, 5, or 7 of them–while also having internal
bellows. Some use the bellows as a way to control the instrument–having a
greater number of them–but a proper pumping technique mitigates most of the
troubles in that area.
Number of octaves
there are different variations of keys per every harmonium, the octave ranges
also vary. Most harmoniums have a range of 3 to 3.5 octaves.
Lastly, a scale changer is used to shift your keyboard from left to right. Most harmonium players will never use this feature because most do not need to change keys will playing a piece of music. It is very delicate, so it is not recommended for those who travel often with their instrument unless specifically needed.
Harmonium Types Overview
Harmonium Sound Features
Number of reed banks
Type of reed banks
Number of octaves
Quality of materials used
the best harmonium brands?
Here is a list of the best harmoniums by brand according to The Top 10 on the Indian website.
1.Kepler Harmonium: This is the top-selling harmonium at the Top 10 India website. A 9 Stopper, Chudidaar Bellow, 42 key, two reed, Baas Male, with Cover.
2. Khushi Musical: The second best selling harmonium at the Top 10 India is a Folding (Portable) With Coupler 3.5 Octave 9 Stopper Rosewood.
3. Pal Music House: The third most popular selling brand in India.
4. Bajaj collection: Comes in of #4 on India’s top-selling harmoniums
5. Bina: They are a legend in the harmonium industry. Known for using only the highest quality wood. It is able to produce harmoniums that deliver the best tone available. Their staff is top-notch overseeing all aspects of the manufacturing process.
The harmonium was first created in Europe, yet any harmonium you buy today will have been made in India. And within India, generally, the harmoniums are made in either Delhi or Kolkata.
The Delhi style of the harmonium is one of the most popular styles, and it is what you will see the majority of people playing, whether they are professionals or beginners.
It is one of the best harmoniums to use because it is lightweight and easy to move around if needed. Its sound is very common, but is very dynamic and can be used to play all sorts of music e.g. folk songs, ambient, and indie rock, etc.
Best of all, compared to other styles of harmoniums, this is relatively inexpensive to buy. It comes with 1 or 2 reed banks (bass and male) and a coupler. Its octave range is 2 to 3.5 octaves. It can weigh between 13 and 28 pounds.
The Kolkata style of the harmonium is very very different from the Delhi harmonium. This does not mean it is bad, or that it is the best harmonium instrument, but it is just different.
These are very solidly constructed and designed instruments and contain 3 or 4 sets of reed banks, which brings with it a wide octave range. The sound is very full and somber and are mostly used in Eastern music composition and styles, but can be adapted to suit Western music composition and styles as well.
The reed banks are either bass, female, or male. It comes with a scale changer and a coupler. Its octave range is 3 to 3.75 octaves. It can weigh between 32 and 48 pounds.
Delhi Harmonium Overview
Lightweight and easy to travel with
Easily adaptable to several different genres of music
Comes with: 1 or 2 reed banks (bass and male), a coupler
Octave range: 2 to 3.5 octaves
Weight: 13 to 28 lbs
Cost: $500 to $1,000 USD
Kolkata Harmonium Overview
Very different and not as popular as the Delhi harmonium
Made of heavier wood and not as easy to travel with
Can adapt, with some doing, to western-style composition
Comes with 3 or 4 reed banks (bass, female, male), a scale changer, and a coupler
Octave range: 3 to 3.75 octaves
Weight: 32 to 48 lbs
Cost: $1,200 to $3,000 USD
the best quality harmonium brand to buy?
There is no “best” harmonium instrument, per se. There are preferences and there are those that you want to buy. For most people, beyond cost, what the harmonium will be used for dictates what type of harmonium they buy.
If you intend to travel often with your harmonium, then it would not be advisable for you to buy a Kolkata harmonium.
Considering the size
When it comes to size, you should also be aware of just what a “small” and “lightweight” harmonium actually means. This does not mean that the harmonium will be “easy” to transport–it just means that it will be “easier” to transport than it was before, with its traditional designs and materials.
When you decide to buy a “small” harmonium, you are making certain sacrifices in its sound quality.
Because you have bought a smaller harmonium, the bellows will not able to get as much air through the reed banks, which creates an “inferior” sound–inferior to what it could have been with a larger harmonium. This doesn’t mean it’s bad–just different.
You will also want to buy quality harmonium and that costs money. If you do not, then you run the risk of buying a cheaply made harmonium that cannot retain air, which means it cannot create decent sound.
make sure you know what you are buying. Just because a harmonium is identified
as “small” does not mean that it is. Make sure you know how much the harmonium
you are buying weighs, particularly if you are wanting to travel with it.
Harmonium Brand Quality Overview
Smaller harmoniums create a less complex sound
Cheaper harmoniums cannot retain air, which is not conducive to quality music
Always make sure to check the weight of your harmonium before you buy it
Remember, the best harmonium is the high-quality harmonium that you buy, learn how to play, and experiment with!
No matter how old or young you are, it is never too late to learn how to play a new instrument, and the harmonium is perfect for those who are wanting to play a reed instrument, but do not want to buy a piano–of which even the larger harmoniums (Kolkata) would be easier to move and travel with, if necessary.
There is no rush for you to choose which kind of harmonium you want, or how many of its features you need. Take your time–evaluate not only your budget (because you will need to buy a high-quality instrument unless you want to keep buying cheap harmoniums as they break down) but also your lifestyle and the type of music you want to play.
Are you interested in playing more of western-style music? The Delhi harmonium is your best bet. But if you want to learn how to play traditional eastern style music, then the Kolkata will be the best harmonium for you to buy–if you can afford it.
There are many factors that go into a decision, and it should not be taken lightly–you have all the time in the world to decide on the best harmonium instrument for you!
A harmonium is defined as a small kind of reed organ. For centuries the harmonium has provided a calming soft sound that has been used for a variety of reasons.
These include everything from religious settings and music for festivals or events, to an individual musician playing for the challenge and personal enjoyment it brings to them. This is made possible thanks to the many different parts of harmonium.
The sound a harmonium brings is unlike anything else in existence. When you hear it you feel you are being transported to another place and time.
When looking at a harmonium you quickly realize there are many components that go into making this incredible sound. Unlike other instruments such as a piano, horn, or reed instrument the harmonium is fairly complicated and requires precise use of many parts.
This got me thinking about what are all of the parts that go into making a harmonium. How did we get where we are today and what did a harmonium use to sound like and how was it made?
In this article, we will look at parts of a harmonium to get a better understanding of what makes up this amazing instrument. To do that we will look back at how construction was in the beginning to how it has evolved to where it is today.
understand the sound we need to understand the parts of a harmonium and how
they are constructed to create the unusual sound only a harmonium can make.
History Of Harmonium
years the harmonium has changed in appearance and the way it is built. This has
also changed the way it is played.
You may be
surprised to learn the harmonium did not originate in India. It was invented in
Europe by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein who was a professor of physiology at
At the time
this was the first reed free instrument in the western world and won him a
prize from the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg in 1780.
Churches in Europe were quick to catch on to its use because of the size. A harmonium is much smaller than an organ and easier to move from one location to another because of its weight and how it is constructed.
Because of its size and parts used back then it was less expensive to build than a pipe organ. This led to a large market of buyers from chapels and churches.
The harmonium is made from one up to six sets of reeds. It is called a free-reed instrument because there are no pipes like you find in a pipe organ.
Although it is a keyboard instrument it is constructed in a way where metal reeds are screwed in place over slots in a metal frame. Foot-operated bellows causes a vibration through the metal frames creating the sound you hear.
The sound is determined by the size and number of reeds and sound chambers used in the construction of the harmonium. How it is being used determines the number of reeds required to build it.
For example, a classical sound normally uses one reed where an Islamic devotional singing would find a musician using a 3 reed harmonium.
like a complicated instrument to construct because it is. There is a precision
required to create the exact sound a harmonium makes.
construction is a process. Each par is added to create what has become a
popular instrument today.
A bank of brass reeds is put into each harmonium. These are metal tongues that vibrate as air passes over them.
includes a pump as well as drones that are used as stops. When you see a
harmonium it may look like an accordion, but it is different in how it is made.
This is how
it is described technically. Instead оf thе bellows саuѕіng a dіrесt flоw оf
thе air оvеr thе rееdѕ аn еxtеrnаl feeder bеllоwѕ.
іnflаtеѕ an internal reservoir іnѕіdе thе hаrmоnіum letting air еѕсаре tо
vіbrаtе thе rееdѕ.
Design & Features
іѕ vеrу ѕіmіlаr tо bаgріреrѕ. It аllоwѕ thе harmonium tо аlѕо сrеаtе a sound
that is соntіnuоuѕlу sustained.
In a two reed harmonium, a ѕесоnd ѕеt оf reeds can аlѕо bе асtіvаtеd bу a stop that mеаnѕ each kеу рrеѕѕеd will рlау both of them.
harmoniums are used professionally. They can be tuned an осtаvе hіghеr, оr in
unіѕоn tо thе middle rееd to make the sound seem more full.
hаrmоnіumѕ also feature an осtаvе соuрlеr. This ореnѕ a vаlvе fоr a nоtе to be
played an octave above or below the note played.
interesting feature that some harmoniums have is a mechanism that allows the
musician to change the scale the note is being played in.
Parts Of Harmonium
A harmonium has a number of different parts that are dependent on each other to create the desired sound. Let’s look closer at these now.
The box where all of the parts are built into is known as the body. There are two styles, one in a fixed position which and one that collapses.
harmoniums pack easier into a case because they collapse taking up less space.
These come in various styles depending on what your needs are and the price you
want to spend.
These are the pumps. Depending on the type of harmonium there will be a side pump bellow or a top pump bellow.
also called an internal of external bellow. The location is dependent on the
hinge being used.
bellows are the most common. They are pumped by hand.
the external bellow it forces air into the internal bellow where it is held.
Once the internal bellow pushes against a spring the air is forced over the
reeds. We will go into more detail on harmonium bellow construction below.
The musician plays these similar to a piano or accordion.
There are white and black keys. Unlike a piano with 88 keywords, a harmonium has a different number of keys depending on the style being built. A piano has 7 octaves whereas a harmonium only has three.
There are two different styles of keyboards in a harmonium.
A. Horizontal pivot pin style:
These keyboards were more common in an older style and scale changer harmoniums.
B. Vertical pivot pin style:
These are more common in portable harmoniums today. The pins
move in a vertical motion when pressed by the fingers. This allows the reeds to
vibrate as two holes are uncovered when the key is played.
C. Action adjustment screws:
Unlike a piano, you can make adjustments to how the keys play depending on how you want them to feel.
D. Key bounce:
Overtime keys will naturally stick leaving them with a continuous sound. To adjust the key bounce you have to adjust the spring.
When you play a key and press the bellows, it should release quickly and the note should stop. If not an adjustment is needed and this is when you may need a professional.
E. Scale changer:
It is interesting in a scale changer harmonium they keyboard can be moved right or left three keys by lifting a lever on the front. A performer will still play in the key of “C”, but the sound can be transposed into A, Bb, B or C#, D or Eb.
This is a piece of wood that covers the actual components of the harmonium.
Some come protected
with glass or cloth. Covers are expensive to replace. The cover is important as
it serves two purposes.
A. Protect the harmonium from damage.
B. Muting the sound.
Some harmoniums have a panel that slides so you can mute a higher frequency and allow a lower frequency through.
5. Main stops:
These are the valves that control how the air flows into the harmonium reed chambers.
Most harmoniums have one stop for each reed chamber. In some instance, they may have more than one. If so it is often to serve a special purpose such as the pitch that comes from playing a note quickly.
harmoniums are built with stops that serve no purpose. Indian musicians tend to
open all stops when they play as they feel there is no need for them.
6. Drone stops:
These are most common on Indian harmoniums. They stop airflow over reeds that are not keyed.
They are called drone stops because they drone their pitch. Drones can be set for any pitch. You see them set most commonly on A sharp, C sharp, D sharp, F sharp, and G sharp.
7. Handles :
Harmoniums are easy to carry around thanks to handles. A box style harmonium has two handles and a suitcase-style harmonium has one.
These are also referred to as metal tongues. Harmoniums come with 1, 2, 3, or 4 banks of reeds. These come with a different sound referred to as male, female, bass, or tenor.
must have at least one reed while it is more common to see sets of two or
three. Reeds are made of brass and set into a brass base. They vibrate as air
passes over them producing a sound.
A key located an octave above the key being played is known as a coupler. It is called a mechanical arrangement because is produces a fuller sound than when the key is played by itself. The performer enables or chooses not to use this coupler.
10. Scale changers:
This is another mechanical arrangement allowing the whole keyboard to lifted up or down.
The benefit is you can transpose from one key to another without changing the keys you are playing. Once you learn one key you can play in any key. This has pretty much-eliminated sales of scale changing harmoniums which had a high failure rate anyway.
11. Reed board:
This is basically a piece of wood with holes.
are cut into the board and covered by the brass reeds. The reeds are arranged
normally in a single, double, or triple bank.
A double-banked is known as a double reed harmonium. A triple bank is called a triple reed harmonium and is more expensive. It is considered to be the top harmonium. The board is set in a perpendicular baffle but can be flat.
Parts Of Harmonium (Infographic):
Harmonium Bellows Construction
Bellows pump air into the harmonium. As you can imagine this makes the construction of them critical.
There are two sets of bellows, one internal and one external. They are constructed to have 1, 3, 5, or 7 folds.
Some musicians feel the higher the number of bellows the easier the harmonium is to control. Others feel the way you pump the bellows is the key.
be opened on the top or on the side. This is more of a personal preference as
opposed to the way the sound comes out.
Some top open
bellows require more air and take more strength to play. Side pumping bellows
have a softer pumping action and can be easier to play. Adjusting the spring is
a way to make it easier to pump.
As you can
see there are many parts of a harmonium. Each is reliant on the other to create
the desired sound for the musician playing it.
Playing the harmonium takes skill which comes from many hours of practice. It is worthwhile to listen to Indian music to get a feel for what a harmonium should sound like.
a key when pumping the bellows. Use your strong hand to play the keys and your
weak hand to pump the bellows.
You have decided to do it–you have always wanted to learn how to play the harmonium, so you finally decided that you would do it. However, perhaps you didn’t anticipate how many different harmoniums there were to choose from, let alone the different brands that you had to choose from. And then there’s the cost. In this article we will discuss about the different Harmonium Price and best Harmonium Price of different harmonium brands.
Harmoniums are not an inexpensive instrument, and because you are spending so much money, you will want to do a little research before committing to buying a certain brand or harmonium type.
There is no rush in choosing the type of harmonium you want–whether it’s from a different part of India or a certain brand. You should take your time and do as much research as you can before you decide on what kind of harmonium you want.
Different Types of Harmonium:
Be thorough in your research. There are several different types of styles and brands of harmoniums, each suited to a different lifestyle or use, each unique to each and every other person.
When you decide on how often you will use your harmonium, what type of genre music you want to play, and how often you will be moving the harmonium around (do you have a nomadic lifestyle or do you own your own home, etc), then you will be able to decide the best brand for your new harmonium.
History of the Harmonium:
The history of the harmonium is a long one–starting back in the fifteenth century, the harmonium instrument evolved from the reed organ instrument, which originated in India. It came to dominance in the eighteenth century but was overthrown in popularity by the organ in the mid-twentieth century.
However, for nearly three hundred years this was the instrument of choice for missionaries, travelers, and people all over the world. This is a rather unique instrument, one that is a great choice if you are wanting to try to learn an instrument beyond the “usual” violin and piano choices that you are given.
Not many people have heard of a harmonium, so while you are learning to play it, you will already be somewhat of a novelty.
To understand the costs associated with the harmonium, you must first understand the time and history that it took to develop the harmonium. It developed from the reed organ in India, over the centuries until sometime in the nineteenth century the harmonium was developed.
It was the most popular version of reed instruments until the electric organ was created in the twentieth century.
Today, the harmonium remains a popular instrument in the eastern part of the world, mainly India.
All of these types, the influences, and extras that you can add to your harmonium (or, rather, choose to buy a harmonium with these extra features), add to the costs and overall value of the instrument.
Scale change harmonium
Double/Triple reed harmonium
What are the costs of buying a harmonium instrument?
There are two different types of harmoniums you can buy–the Delhi style harmonium and the Kolkata style harmonium.
These produce very different sounds, with the Delhi style harmonium costing from $500 USD to $1,000 USD. The Kolkata style harmonium costs anything from $1,200 USD to $3,000 USD.
These are basic harmonium costs. Why do harmoniums cost so much? There are many different variations between the two basic styles of harmoniums.
portable style Harmonium :
These types of harmoniums are built to fold up into a suitcase esque box, and you have a handle that you can use to carry the harmonium around like a suitcase.
This is a great option for anyone who has to travel often and wants to bring their harmonium instrument with them. It is easier to buy a portable harmonium and bring it with you than a regular harmonium that has two side handles.
scale change harmonium :
Scale change harmonium are a very special kind of harmonium that allows you to slide your keyboard up and down, up to four half steps.
This is a special feature that is useful to people who want to play music in multiple keys and/or cannot play their harmonium easily in different keys. Most harmonium makers consider their best harmonium instrument to be the three reed scale change model.
Double and/or Triple reed harmonium :
The Double and/or Triple reed harmonium is also a favorite with some. These are harmoniums that have two or three reeds per key–with the triple reed harmonium having a fuller sound compared to the double, as well as more flexibility.
Smaller harmoniums :
Smaller harmoniums are also increasing in popularity. These are, as they sound, designed to be smaller than the usual harmonium instrument. This type of harmonium is usually double reeded with no scale change feature.
In addition to the different types of harmoniums and all of the features that you can get with it (some of which were not listed), there is also the type of material that the harmonium is made out of.
Harmoniums can be made out of lighter woods (birch, cedar, pine), depending on what is available, or can be made out of heavier woods (maple, olive wood, ebony, etc), and their reeds are usually made out of brass or copper.
All of these materials need to be of the highest quality possible in order to produce a superior sounding instrument. The difference in costs between the Delhi style harmonium and the Kolkata style harmonium is down to the differences in weight. The Delhi style harmonium weighs significantly less than the Kolkata style harmonium.
How Much Does A Delhi style Harmonium Cost?
Delhi style harmonium: $500 USD to $1,000 USD
It may be tempting to buy an inferior or knock-off version of a properly construct harmonium, because of how much it costs. But if you want to buy a quality instrument made from high-quality materials that will last you several years, then you will need to spend at least $500, at the bare minimum.
How much does a coupler harmonium
A harmonium that has a coupler means that it has the ability to connect one key to its higher or lower corresponding key. When you engage the coupler on the harmonium, then it can play at least two octaves of the same note, at exactly the same time.
This is an attractive feature to some because it means you don’t need as many reed banks to give your harmonium a rich, fuller sound.
However, you will need to pump that much harder to get extra air into your instrument, so that the sound can be maintained. Like any other feature of the harmonium, its usefulness depends on what you want to use the harmonium for.
Prices for a harmonium with a coupler vary somewhat.
Without a doubt, the best and most frequently occurring harmonium brand that is brought up is the Maharaja Musicals brand, which is located in India.
Thankfully, we can use the postage system to order any type of harmonium you want and have it shipped to you wherever you live, no matter the country.
If you want a great harmonium that is handcrafted and built to last, then you need to order your harmonium from India. Don’t be fool by anything anyone is selling that is “handmade” from a different country.
If they do not source them In India, do not buy the instrument. With proper care and handling, then you should be able to keep your harmonium for several years.
All care should be handled consistently to insure your instrument’s high-quality sound.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Harmonium:
As it was said before in this article, there are several different types of harmoniums, and several ways to group them. You can group them first, between a harmonium you travel with, or a harmonium that should stay in your residence.
The former, is obviously lighter (although harmoniums are rather bulky) in weight, while the latter is very heavy and made of heavier wood.
These can also be called Delhi harmoniums (lighter harmoniums made in the city of Delhi in India), and Kolkata harmoniums (heavy harmoniums).
There are also harmoniums that you can fold up (folds into itself and the bellows cover the top), or you can just buy the “standard” harmonium.
It is great to have all of these options regarding the type of harmonium you want to buy, particularly because it is still fairly traditional, and you are buying a traditional instrument to make a traditional sound.
It’s not like wanting to learn how to play the piano to play Chopin and then buying an electric keyboard. When you buy a harmonium, you are buying an authentic, traditional sound. Of course, if you want an electric harmonium, you can also buy that.
You can also choose a harmonium based on the genre of music you want to learn how to play. While you can buy a coupler to help change keys and play a wide variety of genres on your harmonium, it also helps if you buy the correct harmonium to play the type of music that you want.
The Delhi harmonium is best suited for western music, while if you want to learn how to play middle eastern folk music, then you should get the Kolkata harmonium.
With every instrument, there is a con or two. Nothing is perfect in this world. If you want to learn how to play the harmonium, you cannot buy from anywhere but India. It is only in India that quality harmoniums are built to last, with good quality materials.
If you can find someone who sources them in India but sells harmoniums in your country, you should first verify their information, and then take advantage of that situation. If harmoniums are not packed carefully, they can be damaged in transit.
Next, harmoniums are very expensive. To get a halfway decent harmonium that you will not have to replace in two years or less, you have to spend at least five hundred dollars. If you want a quality instrument, you will have to pay for it–and shipping too!
Lastly, some are unprepared for how heavy and bulky the harmonium actually is. Even though it’s smaller than a piano–it is not a piano, and it is still a heavy reed instrument made out of wood.
Even the “lighter” harmonium isn’t actually “light”. It’s “lighter”. This is not an instrument where you just drop a harmonium in your lap like a lightweight electric keyboard, you have to make sure you have a place for it and for you to play it–because it is a heavy, wooden box essentially.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Harmonium Overview :
An interesting, unique instrument.
Don’t have to stick to one type when buying.
Can play a wide variety of genres of music , from western to eastern music
Length of time: the instrument that should only be made in India.
Bulky and cumbersome, depending on the type you get.
Don’t be afraid to buy a new instrument–a harmonium is a great instrument, and even though it can be pricey, it is worth the cost. Just be careful and make sure you use it for its intended use.
If you want to travel, you should not buy the heavier Kolkata style harmonium but should buy the Delhi style harmonium.
So don’t wait any longer–the harmonium has been waiting for you this entire time! Hopefully, this article has helped point you in the right direction towards owning your own harmonium and deciding which style and which extra features you want to have on your harmonium.
Because of the cost, you will want to do extensive research on the brand and type of harmonium that fits best with your lifestyle, your needs, the type of genre you want to play, and then the cost that you can afford.
A harmonium also known as a ”pump organ” is a keyboard instrument. It originated in Europe and is highly popular with Indian music. The harmonium is one of the most respected instruments in Indian music. The rising popularity of harmoniums has created interest from people around the world. Before we know the answer to the question “how to select good harmonium?” we have to know the origin of the harmonium.
origin of the harmonium:
You may be surprised to know that India was not the origin of the harmonium. It was first invented in Europe by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein who was a professor of physiology at Copenhagen.
It grew an immense amount of popularity in churches and private homes because they could not afford expensive organs. Due to the different versions available, the harmonium popularity continued to grow throughout the 19th century.
required no electricity, which allowed them to be a great fit for travel. The
harmonium was first introduced to South India by Portuguese missionaries. The
missionaries wanted to conduct their weekly prayers on Sunday morning, but
couldn’t carry their organs around.
After it was
introduced, it also became popular with Indian musicians for its simplicity and
portability. Although the harmonium was initially a western instrument, the
east made it their own and it became a staple of their culture.
most common features:
Now that the origins are covered, it’s important to know the most common features when deciding on how to select good harmoniums.
Harmoniums come with several parts. Keys, bellows, drones, stop, coupler, and reeds.
Stops also known as knobs, are larger than drones and are in the front of the harmonium. They provide an opening and closing of airflow into the air chambers.
Drones are the smaller knobs. They play a fixed note but can also be customized to the musician’s choice.
Reeds come in 3 different octaves: bass, male and treble. Bass is the lowest, male reeds are a bit higher and treble reeds are an octave higher.
Bellows are needed to pump air into the harmonium. It usually comes in 2- fold, 3-fold or 7 fold. But the fancier harmoniums have 7-fold.
Octave couplers add an octave to notes, this helps with adding volume to your music.
How To Select Good Harmonium: Top Ten Tips
Before someone purchases a harmonium it’s important to first learn the different types. There are several techniques that musicians use when they’re deciding how to select good harmonium.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HARMONIUM:
There are ways to ensure that you pick out a proper harmonium that fit your needs. Different types of harmonium brands give musicians various options to choose from.
Standard harmoniums are ideal for almost everything except for air travel.
Bulkier but more reliable than folding models.
Folding harmoniums are small, less bulky and can be easily transported.
They have durability and are more reliable than collapsing harmoniums.
It has fixed bellows with very little possibility for leaking.
There are clips on the side of the harmonium that stabilizes it. But, these clips commonly break.
It has more durability and less moving parts.
There is more reliability due to it having less moving parts than a standard.
Very clunky with lots of instability.
It comes with full sized bellows for optimal performance and air retention.
It comes with full sized bellows for optimal performance and air retention.
It comes with full sized bellows for optimal performance and air retention.
It's quite bulky and doesn't break down for easy transit.
It can be rocky as you pump because it isn't anchored to the base like folding models.
Very prone to breaking because of all the moving parts.
However, many people don’t quite understand what to look for in a harmonium. So, here are 10 considerations to review whether you’re a beginner or a regular player:
Portability should be considered before making an investment in a harmonium. There are 2 different general types of harmoniums, non-portables, and portables. Non-portables are called stand-up or upright harmoniums and their box is just a single box, that doesn’t change shape.
However, portable harmoniums also known as collapsibles are made of 2 boxes, an inner box, and an outer box. They collapse into a smaller sort of briefcase shape.
Some harmoniums have just 2 1/2 octave of range on the keyboard. Some have 3 1/2 and others may have more. The average harmonium is around 3 octaves.
Therefore, a 2 1/2 octave harmonium should be fine for beginner players. It will also be adequate for people who play the harmonium regularly.
3. FANCY HARMONIUMS
It’s important to not get blindsided by fancy harmoniums. There are some harmonium makers that put unnecessary special features on them. Most professional musicians won’t use these features.
So, beginners who are just starting out would be tempted to purchase this type of harmonium. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that it is of better quality and has more value because of all the added features. This includes a scale changer.
Some people like it, but most people don’t actually use a scale changing mechanism. It may also come with tons of buttons called,” stops” that serve different functions. Some of them you just open them up to allow air into the bellows.
The other smaller buttons open up drone notes. More buttons/knobs don’t mean better. It’s important to choose based on what you need and will use.
Take into consideration how many sets of reeds that the harmonium has. There are harmoniums that have just a single set of reeds that sound very thin.
However, most harmoniums have 2 sets of reeds, a low set, and a high set. They’re played simultaneously, so they blend together to provide a rich sound. This is what most players use because it sounds great.
There are other harmoniums with 3 sets and even 4 sets of reeds to provide a bigger, louder and fuller sound. More reeds would generally make the harmonium a lot heavier and less portable.
5. INSTANT KEYBOARD RESPONSE
If you’re testing out several different brands of keyboards, you’ll notice that some brands have a lag time when pressing a key on the keyboard. So even if you have already primed the keyboard there still might be a lag. In a quality harmonium, it should not take time to get the sound, it should be instant.
6. GOOD SUSTAIN
You want your harmonium to be able to maintain a nice even sound. Different types of harmonium brands have a variety of sounds. It should sound even unless there are leaks in the bellows. Sometimes this may happen because they’re shipped from India, so various parts of the harmonium could be uneven.
7. REPUTABLE STORE
Sometimes they’ll come from India in various states of disrepair. So, the stores that sell it to you are importing it and getting it in good condition before you purchase it.
Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that the store is reputable and that they’re doing good repair work. Also, if you’re getting one shipped from an online store, it may have minor problems such as buzzing reeds.
Occasionally, you’ll receive a harmonium with the key sticking down or a buzzing reed. These are quite easy to fix, but you’ll need the store that you ordered it from to talk you through it over the phone. It could take a little time to get fixed, which is why you need a reputable store to walk you through the process if it happens.
Often you’ll see on the top of a harmonium, a glass jolly. Jolly is a Hindi word that means window, it’s removable and it serves as a baffle or a mute. That’s where the sound is coming out of the reeds.
The jolly’s objective is to mute the sound or even it out so that it isn’t blasting out of the reeds. However, if you desire to play a lot louder you can always remove the jolly. Some harmoniums also have a wooden jolly with similar mechanisms.
9. ENJOY THE SOUND
Whether you are a beginner player or someone who’s more experienced, it’s important to love the sound of your instrument. Do you like the tone of the harmonium? Sounds and tones often change and sound differently depending on the brand that you’re using.
If you go to an actual store and make a purchase, listen to several harmoniums and you’ll hear the differences and fluctuations of tones.
Making sure that the harmonium is in tune is an important consideration. A-440 is the international standard for tuning. It’s a certain pitch that all instruments in some way or another reference. An interesting fact is, a couple of centuries ago before American musical standards became the international norm, British standards were applied.
In Britain, they were using a standard of A-444, a different tuning frequency, and reference. So when harmoniums came from Britain, by missionary shops to India, the Indians liked them and started manufacturing them.
Some manufacturers keep A-440 and others may use A-444. Also, Indian manufacturing is not a very standardized and consistent process. If you’re not sure about the harmoniums tuning, then it’s important to ask the store to make sure that you’re getting A-440 tuning.
Sticky keys, rattling noises, and buzzing reeds are some of the most common problems with harmoniums. If you hear a rattling noise, it’s usually in the top cover. Removing the cover could help it go away.
If there are buzzing notes then something may be stuck between the reed and its frame causing the buzzing sound. To test if you have a leaky bellow, you can squeeze them gently until there is a little resistance.
When you’re squeezing the bellows and don’t feel any resistance, then there might be a problem. Beginners should ask lots of questions to ensure that they’re getting a high-quality product. Also, it’s a smart idea to get your harmonium tuned at the store to prevent future issues.
Additionally, you should bring a picture and a description of your ideal harmonium. Although there are some problems that you can fix on your own, there are also problems that you will need assistance with.
Most importantly, if you’re having problems with your harmonium and are not sure how to fix it, take it to a professional. Take it back to the store that you purchased it from. If you made the purchase online, then find a reputable store to help you or return the harmonium.
Before choosing your desired harmonium, make sure that you check out prices from different locations and choose the correct brand that is right for you. Since modern harmoniums are built in India it’s good to compare the two regional styles of harmonium construction.
Hopefully, this was helpful and you’d be able to find some clarity and understand how to select good harmoniums. With its rich cultural background, variety of styles and affordable prices, it’s no wonder why the harmonium is a popular instrument.
There are plenty of choices to choose from and brands offering different features to fit each musician’s needs. When proper research is done, both beginners and experienced players will enjoy the fulfillment that the harmonium can bring.