There are two basic techniques of play the bellows. one is the chordal rhythmic style and the other is the melodic linear style. no one taught me this, but i practise these two styles of playing. each is good in its own way, and they're like two separate ways of playing. the other night i saw this style of pumping rhythmicly, swinging at the same time the arms and the upperbody in time with the chant and pumping the bellows at the same time. it's very expressive and moving at the same time. it projects lots of energy.
The other way would be to play the bellows to shape the phrases, that is accentuating parts of phrases, making the swells happen in a good musical way, or else getting the tone as seamless and sustained as possible. This might be overkill i dunno, being the harmonium is a devotional and not a technical instrument.
There really must be a taboo about actually talking about playing the harmonium. Have you noticed that no one will talk about the actual experience of playing? Is it such a profoundly simple art that is too simple to be spoken about? Or is it that the really great players are too wrapped in their profound spiritual auras to put some of their knowledge into mundane words that might illuminate the paths for those of us who know very little about playing this sacred instrument. I guess that the whole thing is too sacred to speak about. Surely someone with alot of knowledge visits this board once in a while but why don't they ever say something great or helpful for anyone here to learn from? Hey there Babu? Hey there Baba?!?! "please help me, my teacher die." "call me, my son, i am in Kalamazoo and will answer all your questions in private." so when your "teacher die" just come to the forum and find a live one! Hey!?!? what about a forum? Illuminate us, Sri Baba!!! NO! not ever a helpful tip anywhere! Welcome to the HarmoniumCrematorium!!!!
Richard, Im sorry to hear your distress over the silent harmonium gurus of the harmonium forum. Im not sure why all the wise people in this forum wont speak of their playing. If I played harmonium I would certainly speak about playing, becuase I do with all instruments I can. Give these guys a few more minutes to warm up and post up some info about harmonium. Just in the past few months more and more people come here to read and post messages, so wait a few more and we will be full of great people talking and exchanging thoughts and ideas about harmoniums and all musical instruments.
It's not really distress as much as it is curiosity, is there a hint of frustration? i hope not. If i was in desparate need i would seek a teacher in earnest. I just am wondering that's all, and it would be great to learn something new here, it would be a real bonus and make coming to the Crematorium worthwhile. I'm not looking into the future , it's just a post to post thing sort of like a monologue just to keep this board alive. It is also nice to have You, our Pujari, and HanumanBaba, and of course our SitaDev. It's just been the 4 of us with just a few others passing thru and who knows about the silent crowd that comes and goes invisibly. Blessings to all of you coming and going thru our Crematorium, i hope that all the whacky and wierd things i post just makes it a little less boring for the 2 seconds or so it takes for you to come and go.