Krsna Kirtana Songs est. 2001 www.kksongs.org
Chapter 02: Correct Postures
There is not much needed to be said about postures. It’s all about good judgment. If you sit in a proper posture, you will probably be able to play for hours without a backache. There are many scenarios where postures will change. Before we discuss postures, let us consider the fact that not everyone has the same hand orientation. Some harmonium players are right handed and some are left handed.
The simple trick is that the stronger hand plays the keys on the keyboard while the wear hand goes to pump the bellows. A right handed person will plays the keys using the right hand and pump the bellows with the left hand. Likewise, the left handed person will do everything vice versa.
If you are playing your harmonium on a table, it all depends on whether you will be sitting or standing. If you are standing, you won’t have to worry about standing straight. If you are sitting and with the highest point of the harmonium reaching your stomach line, then it is suggested that you stand or get a higher seat. Playing a harmonium too high will be a great strain to you hand and even your ability to play nicely.
The ground will be the most common place you will play your harmonium. It depends on two real roles the harmonium player could assume. The first role is that the harmonium player will be singing while playing. If that is the case, the harmonium should be as close to you as possible in a comfortable position. In that case, you could place the harmonium directly in front of you and play and sing. I, personally, do not like this idea because for people who have short hands, it will be somewhat difficult to reach all the way for the bellows, play the keys, and sing with a bent back. Singers should sing with a straight back to get the maximum accuracy. This is the reason why singers tend to keep the harmonium to their side with the hand of least strength. A right handed person who wishes to try this posture will place the harmonium to his or her left side. The distance from the right hand to the harmonium is shorter than the left hand to the harmonium. Imagine a right handed person taking a harmonium to the right side. It would be quite painful, if not impossible, to play the keys. This way, the diaphragm is free from any obstacle and the back is remained straight to produce maximum strength in voice as well as accuracy in playing the harmonium.
If you are not singing, but playing the harmonium to accompany someone, then you may place it in front of or off to the side. Either way will be acceptable, since the harmonium is playing, not your voice. Whichever of the two ways is comfortable for you, use that.
UPDATED: June 18, 2009