Harmonium is a musical instrument which is basically a combination of an organ and a keyboard. It is widely used in North India, especially accompanying the devotional songs of certain religions and can be recognized by almost every Indian residing in India!
There are two types of Harmoniums available; foot-pumped harmonium and hand-pumped harmonium but they both work on the same principal of blowing air through the reeds in order to generate the unique sound of the harmonium.
While in the hand-pumped harmonium, the player moves the handle to and fro with one hand and plays the keyboard with the other hand. On the other hand, one good feature about the foot-pumped harmonium is that it allows the player to use both the hands to play the keyboard while using one leg to pump the air through the reeds by pushing the pedals given below the keyboard part of the instrument. However, the hand-pumped ones are a huge success because they allow the player to be seated on the floor while they work their magic on the instrument. And this becomes a very important aspect for the devotional song singers especially when they are in Mandirs or Gurudwaras.
The best part about harmonium is that it goes hand in hand with the tonality and sound of the singer. It almost mimics the singer and thus harmoniously accompanies the music. Thus it beautifully complements the singer and was instantly loved by the Indians when it was introduced to them by the British.
Harmoniums are a very important part of India and they are the perfect instrument if one is interested in group singing or simply synchronising the right tones to their own sound. As is said, `With the right music you either forget everything or remember everything.` Harmonium does just that. So get ready to forget your worries and start building new memories!
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