INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Harmonium Forum: Tuning the harmonium?

 

Author Message
Shawn
Tuning the harmonium? Mar 29, 2002 12:45 p.m.


Hi. I've had my harmonium for a few years now. It's a mid-range model; no transposing (scale-change) functions, but lots of stops and drones.

It's now a bit out of tune. How do I tune it? Is it something that anyone can do, or is it for expert repairmen only?

(I'm a tabla player, so I'm definitely not any sort of harmonium expert...)

Thanks!

Hanumanbaba
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Mar 29, 2002 05:25 p.m.


Howdy-doody ..... Namaskarams ..... Best take it to an experienced piano-accordion and/or reed-organ technician ..... But first decide what standard of tuning you require .... a little 'space' retuning for solo bajans is quite different to precise concert tuning ..... All the best
Shawn
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Mar 31, 2002 12:48 p.m.


Hmm, I hadn't even thought of that! thanks!

The mechanisms must be quite similar in some ways...

But they might not know about Indian tuning systems, right? Because if I play most often in C#, then it has to be tuned to C#. If I tune it to equal temperament, as Western instruments are tuned, won't it sound out of tune in an Indian context?

Shawn

Shawn
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Apr 01, 2002 11:42 a.m.


Not sure what that 'why' is all about...

Basically, Indian classical music does NOT use equal temperament as Western music does. So an instrument tuned to equal temperament may sound out of tune in an Indian classical context.

I think...

why
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Mar 31, 2002 01:53 p.m.


?
Hanumanbaba
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Apr 02, 2002 03:34 p.m.


although built in India I think you will find that they are often western tuned, frequently with imported German reeds ..... But best arrange an email/ chat with Sri sri David at this site .... Best regards .....
BRIAN FELGATE
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Jun 19, 2002 06:25 a.m.


I LIVE IN FRAMLINGHAM SUFFOLK ENGLAND. UK..I HAVE TUNED MANY HARMONIUMS..I HAVE BEEN TUNING PIANOS ECT. FOR MANY YEARS..I ALSO TUNE ACCORDIONS..I OWN 3 HARMONIUMS ONE OF WHICH IS BRAND NEW..EMAIL ME. REGARD TUNING..PLEASED TO HELP REGARDING TUNING ECT..
Hanumanbaba
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Jun 20, 2002 06:09 p.m.


Blessings Mr. Brian Felgate for your helpful offer ..... I think we are aware here that traditional pianos are string (wire) systems .... but a brief overview of different reed tunings on Indian and Western Harmoniums and Piano- accordions (if any!) .... Together with your email address .... and a little about your musical adventures may be very welcome .... Best regards and thanks in anticipation .....
Joe
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Jun 23, 2002 07:17 a.m.



BRIAN FELGATE (Jun 19, 2002 06:25 a.m.):Hi Brian
Pls. send me detailed procedure on harmonium tuning
Regards
Joe
I LIVE IN FRAMLINGHAM SUFFOLK ENGLAND. UK..I HAVE TUNED MANY HARMONIUMS..I HAVE BEEN TUNING PIANOS ECT. FOR MANY YEARS..I ALSO TUNE ACCORDIONS..I OWN 3 HARMONIUMS ONE OF WHICH IS BRAND NEW..EMAIL ME. REGARD TUNING..PLEASED TO HELP REGARDING TUNING ECT..
ashwini1
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Jun 25, 2002 11:29 a.m.


<snip>
..EMAIL ME. REGARD TUNING..PLEASED TO HELP REGARDING TUNING <snip>

Hi Brian,
I had a question about slow starting harmonium reeds (keys). What could be the problem and how to fix? I have posted my question under "How to fix slow starting harmonium reeds (keys)". Any suggestions appreciated. Also, you mentioned "EMAIL ME". Is there a way to find your email from this message board?

Regards,

Beenkarji
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Jul 30, 2002 08:12 a.m.


I have been interested in Drhupad and have studied it for the longest time, but for some reason I also went into instrument repair, mainly Hindustani, however I also work on Asian Mouthorgans, and Accordions too. The problem with harmonium is that the tuning is a very delicate process, you are going to need a small pick made for accordion reeds, this is to pluck the reeds. You will need a nice set of needle files, and also a thin strip of metal to set under the reed when you tune. The files will definatley leave a dent in your wallet if you plan on getting you own, since even thought the chinese ones are 1/4 the price of fine german ones, the German ones are the only kind with a fine enough tip to scratch the reed where you want to. In generally, you will also need a strobe tuner which will also set you back a couple hundred, and a mechanism which will allow you to test the reeds one at a time. So I guess its more of a being prepared and taught well thing, not just for experts. If you wanna learn just call me, I live in Central Wisconsin.

Ted (715) 341-4049

Kirtan Player
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Dec 23, 2002 05:11 p.m.


Hey shawn,

Rather than going to the trouble of damaging your reeds any further by trying to tune them. Isn't it more time saving if you just replace the reed?...I mean if the key is out of scale it makes sense to replace it.....but if its just rattling...that can be corrected very easily.

Chris
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Dec 17, 2002 06:06 a.m.


Hi Ted,
I would certainly like to learn how to tune a hamonium. I currently have a Paul & Co, change scale, however, I know of friends that have good harmoniums with some out of tune reeds. My mail is kramkissoon@rogers .com

Looking forward for you reply.

Chris



Beenkarji (Jul 30, 2002 08:12 a.m.):
I have been interested in Drhupad and have studied it for the longest time, but for some reason I also went into instrument repair, mainly Hindustani, however I also work on Asian Mouthorgans, and Accordions too. The problem with harmonium is that the tuning is a very delicate process, you are going to need a small pick made for accordion reeds, this is to pluck the reeds. You will need a nice set of needle files, and also a thin strip of metal to set under the reed when you tune. The files will definatley leave a dent in your wallet if you plan on getting you own, since even thought the chinese ones are 1/4 the price of fine german ones, the German ones are the only kind with a fine enough tip to scratch the reed where you want to. In generally, you will also need a strobe tuner which will also set you back a couple hundred, and a mechanism which will allow you to test the reeds one at a time. So I guess its more of a being prepared and taught well thing, not just for experts. If you wanna learn just call me, I live in Central Wisconsin.

Ted (715) 341-4049


pikloo
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Jan 18, 2003 11:01 a.m.


i am a singer of india. i have purchasedpakrashi harmonium(scalechange).it is tuned a-440 ,it is match with suzuki chromatic tuner but not match with roland keyboard ,it shown 444hz,why? roland 440 is below from suzuki tuner,please reply what is correct pitch?kindly treated as urgent. sudiptasekhar misra india
pikloo
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Jan 18, 2003 11:03 a.m.


i am a singer of india. i have purchasedpakrashi harmonium(scalechange).it is tuned a-440 ,it is match with suzuki chromatic tuner but not match with roland keyboard ,it shown 444hz,why? roland 440 is below from suzuki tuner,please reply what is correct pitch?kindly treated as urgent. sudiptasekhar misra india
Dan
Re:Tuning the harmonium? Feb 19, 2003 05:09 a.m.


Hi pikloo and everyone else,

I'm usually in the Sitar Forum and this morning I felt the hurge to have a look at this forum.

Here in North America, sometimes the pianos are tuned up to 444hz for concert purposes. This brings an extra "energy" into the big concert hall and attracts the attention of the audiance which is not used to this higher pitch. Brilliant, isn't it?

So, to keep up with this concept, professional electronic instruments have a switch to adjust the overall frequencies. Even some tuner can be switched to several, like mine can be set to 440, 442, 443 and 444 hz.

I suggest you examine your Roland and/or the manual guide to reset it to 440hz or whatever frequency you need,

Dan
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