Jazzing Up The Indian Piano

Those of you who follow Indian music will know that the Harmonium plays a very integral part in Bollywood music compositions. The instrument per-se may not be used in the songs but when the movie director, music composer, singers and the hero of the movie, sit for “music sessions”, they rely on this instrument for composing the melody. Designers Amandeep Singh gives this dowdy wind instrument a fresh lease of life, by making it look as good as any swanky Yamaha piano!

The harmonium may have been long forgotten in the west but it is still the life line of Indian music. The features like ability to be played in harmonic as well as melodic style, and that too without any use of electricity, indeed made it indispensable in the Indian Classical and Semi-Classical genre of Music. There were initially many types of harmoniums available however, it was the hand pumped version that struck the right “note” with Indian Musicians as it can be played while sitting cross legged on the floor. However, the harmonium was never designed to be played for long durations and it was never a comfortable ride for the player. The hand stretched out working against a spring to pump air into the bellows can give pain in hand of any healthy individual. Though the music industry is in boom, the harmonium has always taken a backstage because of its inability to cope with the modern playing durations, electronics, and aesthetics.

This design is an attempt to bring back the harmonium into music scene with ergonomic design, aesthetics and electronic plugins. Just like the sound of an acoustic guitar cannot be replaced by the electric guitar, the music from the harmonium cannot be imitated by any electronic synthesizer.

Designer: Amandeep Singh

Harmonix - The New Generation Harmonium by Amandeep Singh

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28 Comments

  • Anaska says:

    Amandeep, loved it. Great!

  • Manpreet Kaur says:

    What a beauty Aman bhaji! Well done. When your Harmonix is out in the market, let me know. I’ll be among the first ones to buy it 🙂 I usually get a bad shoulder pain while pumping air into the traditional harmonium. I hope your design would help my problem 🙂

    Thanks

  • Can't remember says:

    Love playing the piano but this design looks great for novices of harmonium can't wait.

  • ranjan says:

    Very nice aman……

  • Mahesh says:

    great work….

  • Can't remember says:

    Love playing the piano but this design looks great for novices of harmonium can’t wait.

  • Dear Amandeep ji,

    I am a harmonium player and would like to know whether this design has been commercialized and where I may be able to see it?

    I will be grateful if you can respond, my contact information is on my website http://www.kedarnaphade.com

    Regards, Kedar Naphade

  • Surajbhan says:

    nice rendering…

    and u r mentioning CPDM..on it its great…

  • Sudhanshu says:

    Dear Amandeepji,
    I am a professional Harmonium player from India. I am very glad to see this design from you. I have following queries regarding this instrument. PL’s clarify me the same

    1.The newly designed harmonium is very attractive ande really a break through in harmonium design
    2.whether one get the punch while playing the harmonics as one get it in a conventional harmonium .
    3. is it possible to get continouse air flow while redering khayal [classical music]?
    4. what type of reeds u have used ?how u have fixed it? How to tune the instrument?
    5. is there any facility for scale change?
    6. when this model will come in the market and what will be the cost?

    • Amandeep Singh says:

      Dear Sudhanshu Ji

      Thanks for the appreciation. I am obliged.
      I have tried to keep the essence of harmonium intact.

      1. The sound mechanism (reeds and the resonance box) are same as in the conventional harmonium to get the same “punch”. Tuning etc can be done in the same way.

      2. The beauty of the design lies in the way we render the music in this instrument. The mechanism designed for pumping the bellows eliminates the jerk associated with the pumping hence we get smoother air flow.

      3. I have not shown the scale change mechanism, as this is the basic concept platform design. I have other enhancements in line apart from scale change mechanism for the production level design which i cannot disclose at the moment.

      4. When it will come in the market?… i can’t answer this yet. Harmonium manufacturing is not done on a large scale like other western instruments therefore it is hard to find manufacturers ready to invest in this. I did this design for the love of music and will be glad to see it in the market in the hands of people like you who appreciate good design.

      Patent process is underway and i hope in very near future you will see this design in your hands.

      I will be happy to know what more features you would like to have in a harmonium.

      Cheerio!

      • shishyananda says:

        Hari Aum Anandeep,
        I just read your reply to Sudhanshuji and want to say that a feature that I would like to see on the harmonix is the ability to make a drone of any of the notes required – on a regular harmonium the metal prong can be moved to the side to create a drone – this would be necessary on the harmonix also. I am very interested to purchase one of these instruments when they are available.
        Shishyananda

  • Kanwal jit kaur says:

    Amandeep ji, Congratulations! This is beautiful. Please keep us posted when the design goes into production, I am learning Indian music (Shabad kirtan) and cannot wait to see your design in the market!
    Kanwal

  • Dya Singh says:

    Shabash Amandeep! You could help revolutionise the lowly harmonium. I will be keen to buy one.

    • Amandeep Singh says:

      Zarranawazi lai shukria ji….. its an honor to get a compliment from an accomplished musician like you. Thanks a lot.

  • Fennelly says:

    Yes, I agree with Shishyananda regarding moving of the tines.

    Is there a mailing list to keep posted on the development of the manufacturing?

  • Fennelly says:

    Yes, I agree with Shishyananda regarding moving of the tines.

    Is there a mailing list to keep posted on the development of the manufacturing?

  • GaryInThailand says:

    Really interesting. Please do put me on the mail list.

  • GaryInThailand says:

    Really interesting. Please do put me on the mail list.

  • It sure is interesting. This is a perfect gift this coming holiday season. Please also put me on the mailing list. Thanks

  • Tarlochan says:

    I want one today!! I love this innovation.

  • Tarlochan Bimbra says:

    Getting onto 2 years since this announcement… any news if this instrument can be purchased, whether through a manufacturer or privately. Regards. Tosh.

  • Amandeep Singh says:

    Hi All,
    I am really sorry for this delay, i am not getting any sponsors for the project. I have been working in design studios in Bangalore and Mumbai from past two years, but i was not able to take this to manufacturing. The studios simply couldn’t see any “market” in this product from where they can get a return on investment. i would like to take this up but i need some sponsors for the project. i was not even able to make a full prototype. If someone is interested in this project, please contact me. My contact email id is in my blog http://shabadbeej.wordpress.com/.

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  • Perci says:

    Interesting news! Most of the modern generations can’t know what harmonium is. So this method brings back the instrument with new expectations.

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