The SwarShala Indian music software includes Harmonium and over 80 other perfectly sampled virtual Indian instruments.
The harmonium is a hand pumped organ that is thought to have originated from the west and brought to India by the westerners, who were majorly missionaries and explorers. Since then, it has developed into the most widely used musical instrument in India.
The harmonium is popular as it finds its way into almost every type of music. There are different types of harmoniums, and some of them are bigger than the Indian Harmonium. It is also light in weight and easy to carry around. Calcutta is one of the regions that this instrument calls home, as some of the most beautiful harmoniums are produced there.
It is a small portable box that contains buttons and keys of different sizes. It works by the principle of air being allowed into a series of channels controlled by the keyboard. First, the bellows receive air from the outside of the harmonium. Next, valvular mechanisms allows the air to pass over the keyboard-controlled chambers and then be pushed through the reeds that are each tuned at a different pitch.
The only disadvantage of this instrument is that since notes are fixed over a tempered scale, it is impossible to achieve semitones (shrutis) or glissandos (meends) that are so important to Indian music. However, experienced players have a way of quickly combining notes and chords that simulate these ornamentations in an effective way.
Try the free SwarShala demo that includes Harmonium along with various other Indian instruments by clicking on the "Try a Demo" button below.
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