A Y U S H

21 May 2019 33 views
 
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photoblog image Harmonium: Close Up

Harmonium: Close Up

In the 1880s, manual bellows at the back substituted the foot pedals, which enabled the now much smaller harmonium to be played whilst sitting on the floor. It quickly became employed while singing classical Indian music, religious music, folk music and later, film music. The keyboard is much like that of a piano, but with a much smaller range. One hand plays the keys while the other works the bellows. It is designed for both right or left handed players to use it with ease. 

 

See the worn out edges of the black keys. Not seen in this view, but some of the laminates were also peeling off the larger keys. This harmonium is well over 70 years old.

Harmonium: Close Up

In the 1880s, manual bellows at the back substituted the foot pedals, which enabled the now much smaller harmonium to be played whilst sitting on the floor. It quickly became employed while singing classical Indian music, religious music, folk music and later, film music. The keyboard is much like that of a piano, but with a much smaller range. One hand plays the keys while the other works the bellows. It is designed for both right or left handed players to use it with ease. 

 

See the worn out edges of the black keys. Not seen in this view, but some of the laminates were also peeling off the larger keys. This harmonium is well over 70 years old.

comments (12)

Lovely!!
Ayush Basu: Thank you, Elizabeth.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 21 May 2019, 05:59
It has been played many times Ayush
Ayush Basu: Oh yes, it was well used and well loved, Chris.
  • Chad
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 21 May 2019, 07:22
We don’t see many of the instruments these days Ayush.
Ayush Basu: I think they will survive in South Asia just a bit longer, Chad.
It has seen much use Ayush, what a wonderful thing it is
Ayush Basu: Thank you for your remark, Bill.
As a pianist I'm trying to imagine playing with my right hand and workign a bellows with the left, one would have to be be ambidextrous.
Ayush Basu: The keys need more attention but I would say, the bellows need just a bit of muscle memory, Brian. But yes, there is some volume modulation needed on the bellows.
I wonder how many fingers have played this keyboard over the years. Even the label is worn.
Ayush Basu: Well seen, Beverly. I imagine it is a paper label and not those plasticised material seen nowadays that last long, Beverly.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 21 May 2019, 18:38
This is a great old harmonium... we had neighbours who had one and as a child we played with the foot pedals..
Love the wear and tear on this one.
Great shot, Ayush.
Ayush Basu: I am pleased I could remind you of your childhood memories with this shot, Astrid. To think that fingers and repeated human touch was what worn down the edges of the hard wood!
Jolis détails, on voit bien l'usure des touches.
Ayush Basu: It has been well used and also loved, Martine.
I've never seen one of these in real life, Ayush, as far as I remember. My guess is that piano keys are made of different materials because I've never seen them worn like this?
Ayush Basu: Yes, I understand piano keys are ivory. These keys here are all wooden; the blacks ones are painted and the others are laminates.
70 years old and it just looks well loved to me smile love it!
Ayush Basu: Oh yes, it was well used and well loved, Elaine.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 22 May 2019, 13:23
My brother-in-law is a musician - director, sings, piano, organ, harmonium, etc. He also maintain and restore these instruments. I know that the older piano's in Europe have their white keys covered in ivory. The blacks are either solid black wood or laminated with black wooden strips. Going into the age where ivory use is illegal, this became a challenge - to replace a white key. He always had a broken old piano or two in his workshop, which he could strip for parts - like ivory white keys. A piano is considered to be broken when the rack against which the wires are stretched, is cracked. Of course the keys could be re-used on other instruments, than the piano. Sometimes take careful shaping or lifting laminates.

The 'white' keys of this harmonium seems to be from some shell. The really white one has been replaced at some stage.
Ayush Basu: Thank you for that info, Louis. It would indeed be a pity that an instrument as grand as the piano goes waste because of the rack. Yes, a couple of keys were replaced. The black ones are painted wood.
  • sherri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  • 23 May 2019, 02:49
an amazing amount of wear
Ayush Basu: Oh yes, it was well used and well loved, Sherri.

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for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera Canon EOS 7D Mark II
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 1/20s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO1250
focal length 145.0mm
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