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About the Harmonium


In contrast to popular assumption that Harmonium is an Indian musical Instrument, in fact it was founded in Vienna, Austria. Alexander Debain patented the harmonium for the first time in France in 1840. Along with the British East India Company and Christian missionaries, it arrived in India. It is true, however, that it was modified to make it more suitable for Indian music accompaniment. That is why today's harmoniums are smaller and have hand-pumped bellows, and the playing manner is essentially an Indianized version of the original.

Since becoming a member of the Indian instrument family, its design has evolved significantly, from simple single-reed instruments to quadruple-reed instruments, scale-changers, and Shruti-Harmoniums. Its keyboard is identical to that of the Accordion and Piano, with the exception that the Piano has more octaves.

Harmonium is primarily used to accompany vocals of various types of North Indian music, but solo performances are also seen on occasion. It is essential for beginners learning vocals.


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