Krsna Kirtana Songs est. 2001 www.kksongs.org
Welcome to the primary step in Indian music. Yes, indeed, this instrument creates a very strong musical foundation for a student in Indian music. Any student who wishes to have a well rounded knowledge must know how to play the harmonium. As it is, harmonium and tabla are the two most fundamental representatives in music to represent the melody and its constraint.
Harmonium, actually, is not a very difficult instrument to play if proper care and dedication is applied. If one is an entirely new student to this system of music, it is recommended to approach each chapter step by step and not speed up. Even if one has knowledge of the music, it is still recommended to read over these chapters to progress onwards. Even if you learned something before, repeating material will help you commit it to memory. If you had experience with a piano or any keyboarded instrument, then you have an advantage. However, it is still recommended that you read through these chapters and practice. Piano, being a Western instrument, has different musical applications than Indian music. I studied piano two years before I ever had exposure to a harmonium. I knew few things from piano that I was able to apply, but I still had to learn more. You can always mess around with the keys, but a real musician would know how to use these keys and create music from it.
I’m sure the point has been made quite clearly. Having said that, I wish you the best of luck in learning and playing harmonium. Keep practicing, never give up, and if you have a teacher training you, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Nothing, not even this guide, can replace the living teacher.
With best luck for your musical endeavors,
July 26, 2004
UPDATED: June 18, 2009