Saturday, September 26, 2015


Today let's talk about an instrument that I played oher than melodica: Harmonium.
What is an Harmonium? First of all, the word looks like "Harmonica" but it looks nothing like Harmonica. In fact, it looks more like an accordion.

Harmonium originally is a free-reed organ instrument, a substitute of the church pipe organ. (P.S. Melodica, Harmonica, and Accordion are also free-reed instruments, that's why they all sound a bit similar). When it was introduced into India, they change the design of it to make it portable, and fits the need of the Indian Classical Music. You play it by sitting on the ground, which fits the Indian culture.

The Indian Classical Music works a bit different than Western Classical Music. They don't have any chord progressions at all, most of the songs have a "drone" bass line goes forever, then you improvise the melody in different kinds of scales on top of the drone, and/or add some beats on it (mostly you use Tabla, an Indian drum). Hence playing harmonium well actually means you improvise music well. In other words, learning to play harmonium in fact does not require a lot of techincal skill like playing violin or trumpet, but you need to THINK and FEEL a lot in the learning process, and that could be a lot of fun and very rewarding.

Anyway the video above is my playing of it. I just got a new harmonium, trying to test it by improvising some Indian style melodies. Hope you guys like it.

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