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Indian harmonium 🙂


Been here for ages!
Nov 27, 2017
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South Australia
Still another free reed variant instrument 🙂
Another look:
This could suit accordionists who are finding their instruments too heavy to tote?🤔
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Well-known member
Dec 19, 2021
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Highlands of Scotland
With this post @Dingo40, I am transported back in the mists of time to a place far from here... I can again see and smell this place as though it were only yesterday. Ah, many years ago now, in the town of Sylhet, Bangladesh - that's it. Yes, I was in Bangladesh playing Scottish accordion music for Burns Night at the High Commission in Dhaka. But on some free time, we took a trip to the north to Sylhet.

We were near the border with India for a few days. We visited tea plantations, the jungle, bazaars and visited the actual border line with India at Tamabil. Janet (my wife) and I had some adventure! We were not allowed to cross the border line, though the roaming pigs and dogs had no problems doing it. The region between Jaflong (Sylhet area) in Bangladesh and India was hilly and I remember a sign saying Welcome to the Scotland of South Asia. Over on the other side were the first foothills of the Himalayas.

Anyway, back in the town of Sylhet, just a little further south, I recall there was a small concrete shop selling hamoniums. I remember it was up a series of steps and when inside the store, the storeperson pulled an instrument down from a high shelf. A heavy cockroach slid off the top of the harmonium and bounced onto the dusty concrete floor. He just casually kicked it out of the way.

I bought a harmonium that day. Fairly simple design compared to some, but quite nice. It had pearl finished keys and a lovely coloured bellows. I am not sure what kind of wood it was, but a nice tropical hard wood. I still have the harmonium. It is a Jatin & Co, Dhaka. I had great fun playing the dramatic opening of Bach's Toccata in D minor on it (or the first 16 notes at least).

Bangladesh was real Indiana Jones country back then and probably still is. Sylheti curries were tasty! I returned to Dhaka on a few occasions and had a few off-piste adventures in between gigs. There was the time we (the drummer and I) decided to visit the cobra village of Bangladesh (about 30km away on a tuk tuk). I will save the details for another occasion! And there was also an inpromptu boat trip on the River Buriganga in the middle of Dhaka. I remember being on a tiny boat and the water was heavily polluted with chemicals from the textile industry. Yikes - what were we doing! Anyway, I digress, these are tales for another time.

Harmonium indeed!:)

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