Commonly linked with Indian music, Harmonium was initially invented in the 19th century in Europe. This musical is also known as a pump organ or reed organ. A small keyboard instrument that makes a sound by blowing air via reeds and sounds different from a church organ, the harmonium is a little less cumbersome. Whether you are changing your harmonium or buying one for the first time, it is essential to keep the harmonium facts in your mind to make the right choice.
Harmonium is available in a variety of formats and sizes. Therefore, the sound of each one is different from another.
Portable vs. Non-portable Harmonium
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There are two major types of harmonium available. Both are relatively self-explanatory.
A non-portable harmonium stands upright and can keep its shape.
On the other hand, a portable harmonium folds up, and you can carry it like a suitcase.
A standard harmonium works well if you don’t want to travel with it, whereas a portable harmonium is best known for its easy carrying ability.
Mini vs. Full Size Harmonium
As we mentioned above, harmoniums are available in different sizes and shapes, so it is better to consider the space you have to fit the harmonium you select.
Mini harmoniums are therefore commonly used, thanks to their lightweight and compact size that allows effortless carrying and fitting. However, you have to sacrifice the sound quality of these instruments as there is less capacity for airflow.
Sound Quality and Capacity
Another crucial factor to consider while buying a harmonium is to look for its sound quality and capacity. This musical instrument depends on a consistent source of air to operate. Make sure to choose the best harmonium to enjoy the best quality sound.
Don’t go for the low-priced harmoniums, as they are manufactured with low-quality materials. In other words, neither they produce ideal sound nor do they last longer. So, spend a little more to own a decent quality harmonium to ensure better performance in all aspects.
Two Reeds vs. Three Reeds
You will find different classifications of reeds in the harmonium world, such as two, three, or four. Before making a decision, it is important to know how a number of reeds affect the sound of the harmonium.
A reed is a chamber within the harmonium that they pushed through to produce sound. In simple words, more reeds mean more sound.
For instance, two-reed harmoniums will play the same note through different channels and create a dual-layered effect. The more reeds in harmonium mean, the more the same note resonates through two channels.
The reeds in the harmonium are created from copper and brass materials.
Brass reeds can produce a louder sound and there penetrate effortlessly. This is the best choice if you play for people singing or large gatherings as it can easily penetrate the loudness of its environment.
On the other hand, copper is best known for its warm and soft tones. This is one of the prime reasons why copper reeds are commonly used in classical performances.
Scale Changing vs. Standard Harmonium
This section is best for experienced harmonium players who have played the instrument for quite some time. If you have been playing harmonium for a while and using only play in one key, then a standard harmonium should check off every box you need.
A harmonium player who prefers multiple keys should choose the scale-changing option. Thanks to the special built-in mechanism that allows switching keys with the slide of the handle easily.
There are a variety of ranges equipped with harmonium, such as 2 ½ octaves and up. However, the average range is around 3. If you are a beginner, then 2 ½ octaves are best for you.
Instant Response keyboard
Always choose the instant response keyboard because most harmoniums have a lag on the keys.
Other Essential Features
The dials and knobs of the harmonium allow controlling different aspects of the instrument. For instance, stops are the large knobs located on the front of the harmonium. These knobs help to control the airflow to the inside of the harmonium. Also, they control the depth and texture of the sound to ensure that these are intact and convenient to turn.
The case is similar to the smaller knobs known as drones. Drones play a single drone note when activated.
Another important factor to consider while buying a harmonium is its bellows. These bellows are the air pumps of the musical instrument which orchestrate the air within to help the harmonium producing notes.
There are multiple folds in bellows that range from two to seven. Remember, the fewer folds don’t mean a low-grade harmonium. A high-end harmonium feature seven-folds as they offer more control over the produced sound.
The last essential factor is the couplers of a harmonium. They are vital as they add volume and depth to your songs. They play a note on octave up when activated. Couplers allow the songs to sound better-rounded with overall eclectic.