A Y U S H

25 May 2019 26 views
 
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photoblog image Harmonium: Palitana Reeds

Harmonium: Palitana Reeds

From the 1940s onwards, quality reeds were produced in Palitana in the Indian State of Gujarat. However, as I dug out, there is another thing done differently. The German reeds, made out of whatever material or chemical composition, were made for American reed organs and they were really "locked" down - they have a tonal point. The Indian version, on the other hand, uses a chemical composition, that allows the reeds to continue to "settle down" over time - so there is a tonal range. That means a brand new harmonium can sound more pliant and mellow in about six months of time. Also, the harmonium owners are recommended to play the instrument regularly (if not daily), to get the reeds to exercise. For musicians and professionals, that is not a problem. It may be more of a problem for the occasional hobbyist.

Harmonium: Palitana Reeds

From the 1940s onwards, quality reeds were produced in Palitana in the Indian State of Gujarat. However, as I dug out, there is another thing done differently. The German reeds, made out of whatever material or chemical composition, were made for American reed organs and they were really "locked" down - they have a tonal point. The Indian version, on the other hand, uses a chemical composition, that allows the reeds to continue to "settle down" over time - so there is a tonal range. That means a brand new harmonium can sound more pliant and mellow in about six months of time. Also, the harmonium owners are recommended to play the instrument regularly (if not daily), to get the reeds to exercise. For musicians and professionals, that is not a problem. It may be more of a problem for the occasional hobbyist.

comments (4)

  • Chris
  • England
  • 25 May 2019, 06:00
Fascinating Ayush
Ayush Basu: It was fascinating coming across this harmonium, Chris.
Very interesting Ayush, thanks.
Ayush Basu: Now I wish I had taken some more shots of it in better lighting, Frank. Thank you.
All very complex!
Ayush Basu: I squeezed quite some centuries worth of development and evolution of this instrument in just a few posts, so I imagine that perhaps made it that much more complex, Tom.
very interesting, Ayush!!
Ayush Basu: I was quite struck by it, Elaine. I had so many questions which I never had when I played it as a boy.

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