So many folks want to buy a harmonium, but are confused on which instrument to get. I constantly receive questions like:
All great questions. There are many things to consider when buying a harmonium.
Both DURATION OF SUSTAIN and, SOUND QUALITY are critical considerations for choosing a harmonium. For the sake of the latter, this blog post shared sound clips so you can hear and compare a variety Bhava brand harmoniums from Old Delhi Music.
Before we dive into sound, here are three questions to help you narrow down your harmonium search and important information on choosing the tuning for your harmonium.
1. THREE BIG PICTURE QUESTIONS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT HARMONIUM
To narrow your search for a great harmonium, here are three questions to answer:
Do I plan to play Indian classical music, or Western Kirtan?
If you play to study Indian classical music (a major undertaking!), you may want to purchase a scale changer harmonium. If you are interested in learning Western Kirtan (ie Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur) a Bhava Mini is a great option.
Do I want a Calcutta or Delhi style harmonium?
Click HERE for a video that will help you understand the difference.
Do I want a harmonium that's portable, or one that will live in one place?
If portable, you probably want a collapsable harmonium (aka Safari style). The Bhava Min is a portable harmonium that weighs only 16 pounds and easily fits in an airplane overhead bin, so is great for travel. If your harmonium will live in one place then you can consider a Bhava Studio harmonium, or something similar that doesn't fold down.
2. CHOOSE YOUR TUNING WISELY
When ordering from Old Delhi Music you have two tuning options.
Concert Pitch Tuning means the harmonium is tuned to A-440, like a piano in a concert hall. I strongly recommend Concert Pitch Tuning as it will make it much easier (and better) to play with other musicians.
Cosmic Pitch Tuning (A-432) is not recommended. This tuning costs more, and will cause hassles and headaches if you play with other musicians.
Have questions or comments? Interested in receiving information about exclusive offers and discounts? Click here and we will get back to you soon. Or, check out our harmonium guide - Everything You Need to Know to Buy Your Perfect Harmonium.
Having explored the above big picture questions and considered tuning options, let's dive into sound quality.
3. HOW ABOUT THAT SOUND?
For the sake of gaining some clarity around sound, below are links to sound demos for many of the instruments in the Bhava line of harmoniums from Old Delhi Music.
Sound clips for some of the Bhava Harmoniums
If you're interested in playing Western Kirtan (Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur) and want a portable instrument, you will likely be very happy with a Bhava Mini harmonium tuned to A-440. In most cases this is my recommendation. If you plan to order a Bhava Mini through Old Delhi Music, reach out to us for a promo code so you can receive a discount on your order.
Hopefully this blog post helped you narrow down your search. Have questions or comments? Interested in receiving information about exclusive offers and discounts? Click here and we will get back to you soon. Or, check out our harmonium guide - Everything You Need to Know to Buy Your Perfect Harmonium.
Want to learn more about the harmonium? Check out these informative blog posts: