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The First Step to a Musical World

An Introduction To Harmonium

Everybody is acquainted with a harmonium, especially if he or she wants to take lessons in music. If some one like me, who is remotely connected to the world of melody, is aware of this word, I guess everyone else is. Whenever the name of this musical instrument is uttered we can visualize a free-reed instrument looking like a keyboard. It produces sound by the movement of bellows attached with it. Anybody who has the slightest attachment to the world of music has to be familiar with the playing of this musical instrument, as learning to play this is the first step to a musical journey. However acclaimed a musician or a singer becomes, he can never forget this instrument which imbibed in him the taste and love for music.

The Journey of This Instrument

There is an air reservoir, which is responsible for the vibration of the metallic reeds tied to metal frames. Separate reeds have different sets of colors, whereas on the other hand the size and shape of the tone chamber determine the quality of the sound. The foremost predecessor of this instrument was the physharmonica, invented in 1818 by Anton Haeckl in Vienna. Though there are varying opinions about the inventor of this organ. It became a popular instrument used both in churches and houses until and unless, the latest versions terminated its need. With many other contributions to the Indian society, we are also thankful to the British for their introduction of this instrument to India. Resembling tabletop size organs, the instrument can be played in both standing and sitting postures. While one hand is used to move the bellows, the other hand is used to play the keys. The popularity of the organ greatly goes in it being portable and easy to learn. The Indian culture embraced this organ with wide arms and gradually it was being used in Paris and Marathi theatre. Here we should also mention the immense impact of this organ in Bengali theatre.

Harmonium And Recent Trends

The process of construction of this instrument is quite similar to that of a piano. The reed and the air bellows are its two most distinguished parts where first one is the real tone producer and the second one controls the air current and the pressure. The keyboard has a range of five octaves with the advanced machines having even siphon paddles, which can be operated by the knees.