Shop our harmonium collections here, including: travel harmoniums (designed with portability in mind); student harmoniums (designed with newer, budget-conscious players in mind); folding harmoniums; standard harmoniums; classic harmoniums; and kolkata style (aka scale changer) harmoniums. We've provided links to each collection below!
Though it is perhaps most closely associated with Indian music, the harmonium was actually invented in the early 19th century in Europe. Also known as a reed organ (or pump organ), the harmonium is a small keyboard instrument that makes sound by blowing air through reeds, and sounds not unlike a church organ, though a little less cumbersome.
Reeds: Most harmoniums come with at least two reeds: a high set and a low set, which blend to create a rich, full sound. From lowest to highest, reeds are in bass, male, or female octaves, and different combinations blend to create different sounds. A bass, male set is really all a beginner would need, though.
It is of the folding portable variety, and also comes with a harmonium book and padded gig bag. It has two reeds, bass and male, a 3 1/2 octave range, instant response keyboard, and octave coupler feature. It does not have a scale changer, but most musicians find this feature unnecessary.
The only thing more amazing than chanting is getting behind a harmonium for your own personal chant practice. Whether you long to chant at home, add Kirtan to yoga classes or share Kirtan in your community, you will need a great harmonium. Here are important things to know so you can buy a harmonium, and not a headache!
My intention is to help you get a great harmonium so you can easily dive into this amazing practice. Decades of experience with harmoniums have taught me the following important lessons:
Their Bhava harmoniums are my favorite. They are without question the highest quality, and most consistently great Kirtan harmoniums I have ever played. The extra care Old Delhi puts into carefully sourcing and refining each instrument is obvious. This ensures that what you get from them will not be something you struggle against, but rather, an instrument you can enjoy now and for years to come.
Get Yourself a Great HarmoniumA great harmonium sounds fantastic the moment you take it out of the box. A great harmonium will facilitate your learning and offer years or decades of enjoyment. If for some reason you decide to sell your instrument, a great harmonium will retain its value.
These are perfect for learning, concert use and recording use. The materials used in these harmoniums are just right for about any music you want to play on harmoniums: Kirtan, Bhajan, Indian Classical etc.
These are boutique harmoniums. The makers in this price range use teak wood to make their harmoniums. They use better quality reeds in the instruments. The finish is superior and they can offer 2 or 3 reed configurations. These are not scale change harmoniums. If you find a scale change harmonium in this price, please hope that it works. If it does, kudos, you have a great harmonium for its price. If it doesn't, be ready to spend money to fix it regularly. This may spoil your musical journey. Mainly the brands available in this price range are Bina Music Centre (aka BB), MKS, Paloma and a few more.
These harmoniums are usually large in size and mainly scale change harmoniums. If you are looking for the best sounding harmonium these are the right harmoniums. These harmoniums are also heavy and we prefer people do not travel much with them. They are perfect for use at home and studio use.
Some harmoniums have smaller keys and others have larger keys. Action can vary with some keys feeling softer than other harmonium keys. This level of softness will differ not only from instrument to instrument but also from person to person.
The brand and store make a large difference in the quality of the harmoniums. Wood to make any instrument needs to be treated and the best instrument makers store wood in a huge room with industrial dehumidifiers. When you buy a harmonium from a reputed brand, you know they have used dried wood to make the harmonium. Many times, harmonium makers use wet wood and they are able to sell cheaply but after a few months the wood warps and then problems start. It is very difficult to fix them and it will cost you a lot. We get calls from many people in the east coast (US) and dry places like Arizona about buying from various sources and saying its been 2 months and the harmonium does not play like it used to when received.
We are one of the oldest and largest store outside India selling harmoniums. We have one of the longest experience dealing with harmoniums. Our customers have been very happy with our instruments. We have developed our own harmoniums called the MM harmoniums. These harmoniums are the most value for money harmoniums. Each instrument has been developed with what people want in an instrument at a reasonable price.
There are minor issues with harmoniums. These can be resolved with a little bit of patience. Sticky keys, buzzing reeds, stiff stops etc. are common issues and you can email us for assistance. We will be glad to make a custom video addressing the issue to help you solve it. Each harmonium can be constructed differently and some issues need a harmonium luthier.
Our most popular harmonium is the MM Kirtan Deluxe harmonium. With our 40 year experience in selling harmoniums in the US, we know what people want, and what the harmonium industry was lacking. We partnered to make our harmoniums in India. It is a 3.25 octave harmonium. The sound is excellent and balanced. Perfect for beginners and Kirtan/Bhajan singing.
The MM kirtan deluxe is a 3.5 octave harmonium. It is slightly larger and hence has more sustain and a more balanced sound. If you don't mind a few lbs. more in weight then this is the right instrument for you. The sound is amazing.
The MM Mini harmonium is a 2.5 octave harmonium. It is very portable and light weight. We are very impressed with the size and tone of this harmonium. It also has remarkable sustain for its size. This harmonium offers a more open and brighter sound.
Our next brand of harmoniums are the Paloma harmoniums - These harmoniums are made in Kolkata and Mumbai. Paloma is a very good harmonium maker. The reeds used in these harmoniums are from Palitana, a city in Gujarat. If you are looking for compact harmoniums, they are very good.
This harmonium is a teak wood harmonium. Its a very high quality compact harmonium. They use the best materials to make this instrument. Since it is small in size, the sustain is limited. The tone for the size is great.
This harmonium is the three reed version by Paloma. This means that for every key you press you can get three distinct sounds. This makes the harmonium sound more melodious. For a compact instrument the sound is very good. The sustain is limited though. The tonal quality is really awesome.
This is a very unique harmonium design. It is very portable and has a very open and bright sound. The materials used in this harmonium are of very good quality. You can admire its construction when you see it. The sustain is very impressive for its size.
This is one of the lightest harmoniums we have seen. There are other light harmoniums but this sounds better than its competition and since it is from Paloma, the quality is very good. We highly recommend this if you are looking for a mellow sounding and super portable harmonium.
These harmoniums are made in Kolkata. They are one of the most successful musical instrument stores in India. Their harmoniums are very well made and sound amazing. All oftheir harmoniums are made with teak wood and the reeds are from Palitana. We were the first to introduce these harmoniums in the US back in the 2000s. They have become extremely popular since then. Their quality also has been very consistent. Since we are one of their largest harmonium vendors, consistency is very important to us. We try to maintain a variety of their models but it is difficult to keep every model in stock since so many people are looking to purchase them. Each harmonium is also handmade and only a few of them are available when we order them. From their 2 reed harmoniums to their scale change harmoniums, every harmonium deserves praise.
These harmoniums are the pinnacle, the Rolls Royce of harmoniums. It is no joke if you are the best harmonium maker in the world for 30 straight years. They have the secret formula for harmoniums. These harmoniums are sought all over the world and they make 5-10 harmoniums in a month. We have very good relations with Paul & Co. We have been purchasing harmoniums from them for the past 20 years. They use teak wood and deluxe reeds from Palitana. The harmoniums are also quite large and sound the best. The only downside is that they are heavy. If the harmonium is going to be in one place, then this is the best option. They also have the best resale value. Where harmoniums depreciate, Paul & Co. retain their value very well.
Scale change harmoniums have a mechanism that allows you to slide the keyboard up to four half steps left or right. So if you are used to always playing in B flat, and the song is in C, you just shift the keyboard up two half steps. This is not a feature you need if you can play easily in different keys, or if you will always be playing in the same key.
On the other hand, some proficient keyboard players have told us they prefer to always play from B flat because of the way their hand sits on the keys in that position (harmonium keys being smaller than piano keys). Keep in mind that what most makers consider their best instrument is a three reed scale change model.
Most harmoniums have two or three sets of reeds per note. See below for how these reeds can be voiced. Double reed instruments can be great, and all you need. A triple reed instrument will give you a fuller sound and more flexibility. 041b061a72