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The Role of Harmonium in Indian Classical Music

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The Role of Harmonium in Indian Classical Music


The harmonium, though a foreign instrument, is extensively used in Indian classical music. Hindustani classical music (Indian classical music that is practiced in the north part of India) has got the rich culture of using it as the instrument for accompanying their vocal and other forms of classical music.


As soon as its culture reached to India from offshore, even the orthodox connoisseurs of classical music accepted it for its ornamental and multipurpose uses in music. The credit of its introduction to India goes the missionaries who brought the instrument with them in the second half of the 19th century. Today this musical instrument is virtually used in khayal and thumri-dadra and other forms of Indian classical music and dance. It has been a part of mainstream concert performances and music-making.


This instrument did not get its significant place in Indian classical music especially in Hindustani classical music, until Tulsidas Bokar, the veteran harmonium maestro, came forward for its successful application and fervent implementation in Hindustani classical music field. After Tulsidas many harmonium stalwarts such as Montu Banejree, Maharaj Banerjee, Gyan Prakash Ghosh, Mayureswar Dail took the baton to solidify its place. Almost all of them took their initiative to explicit and differentiate three stages of music: Alap, Jod and Jhalap. But none of these genii has become successful to do this.



 It is one and only harmonium wizard Pandit Sohanlal Sharma (died in May 25, 2012) who has achieved the credit of it. It was none other than Pandit Sohanlal Sharma who took the initiative of producing the same sound effects of musical instruments like violin, sanai and sarod though his reed organ harmonium. With his expertise and dexterity, he made his instrument a unification of various musical instruments in respect to their unique sound effects. After him, his worthy disciple

Arabinda Roy (alias Anup) has mastered the art of it. The artistry of lies in proliferation, creation and unification of different musical sounds through his single musical instrument, harmonium. He has tremendous mastery over the instrument, exploiting the strengths of the harmonium to its extreme level.


To sow seed of its rich culture and reap a rich harvest of his invention, he has formed a musical forum. His sole intention is to instill his musical inventions into the next generation. He is now looking for the diffusion of his innovation in harmonium and other fields of music like tabla. He is now fully absorbed in his creation and contemplation to deep delve into the fields of tabla and harmonium to make a fusion of them. His paramount interest lies in the proper blending of his two acquired qualities the bol and bani of Pt. Nanku Maharaj with the sargam and sarana of Sohanlal Sharma. This muster-bluster of music has already re-written the Indian classical music history with his devotion, dedication, innovation and diffusion of innovation. He has explored the some unexplored fields of music which have been unthinkable and unexplored for longer time since its introduction to India.




Read 1985545 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 15:29
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