Keshav Music

Music Imports - New York City


Paul & Company Harmoniums now available from Keshav Music Imports

These are genuine Paul & Co. harmoniums as played by many of India's leading vocalists including Anoop Jalota. Keshav Music Imports is the only authorized East Coast distributor for Paul & Co. Please note: there are thousands of poor quality knock-off fakes for sale on the internet. Note the photo below. This is Mr. Paul himself at the New Delhi home of our agent/distributor Inderpal who brokers and ships our Paul & Co. harmoniums.
P&Co with nine scales $1,700.00 ~ P&Co. with eleven scales is $1,900.00. with 13 scales $2,100.00. With four
banks of reeds $2,500.00. Sales of Paul and Company are on pre-paid/pre-order only.

Mr. B.K. Paul
Mr.B.K.Paul with Inni Singh

Paul & Co Professional Harmoniums - Now available at DMS Paul & Co Professional Harmoniums - Now available at DMS

Paul & Co Professional Harmoniums - Now available at DMS Paul & Co Professional Harmoniums - Now available at DMS

Paul & Co Professional Harmoniums - Now available at DMS

Please e-mail us or call directly at (212) 228-7864 for more information.

Keshav Imports sells more DMS harmoniums than any other importer in the US. The DMS SIGNATURE 23 harmonium is our biggest seller - identical to the one played by Krishna Das in all his performances. A scale-changer harmonium recreates that great Qawwali sound. Ours are the finest shruti boxes sold in the U.S.A. Please note: These are "Folk Instruments" and all folk instruments from India will have some minor marring and visual defects. All harmonium sales are final except in the case of damage in shipping or mechanical defect. Exchanges can be made at our discretion - with prior written authorization from Keshav Music Imports




Some Answers To Harmonium FAQs

About harmoniums: The harmonium, which was practically an unknown instrument in the USA as recently as 1989, has now become incredibly popular due to kirtan artists Krishnadas and Jai Uttal as well as Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Harmoniums are showing up on recordings by Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Beck . . . the list goes on forever. Originally the harmonium was frowned up in Indian music because of it’s foreign origins  but gradually it became accepted and embraced. Over time the harmonium has replaced the traditional sarangi, and sarod, as number one instrument for accompanying vocals, much to the chagrin of sarod and sarangi players. The harmonium is originally a French instrument. Harmoniums came to India in the 1800s and were used by colonialists for playing church music at home. Indians adapted the harmonium for their own use and developed different tunings for it. Traditionally harmoniums are tuned in what is known as “equal tempered ” tuning. But Indians with no experience of European tuning standards, developed what is known as “just” tuning. A “just tuned” harmonium is set up by tuning the middle part of the keyboard to a pitch specific to the singer’s vocal range. The remainder of the harmoniums reeds are then tuned by ear to match rather than by tuning meter. A just-tuned harmonium is only useful for playing in one key. Whereas . . . an equal-tuned harmonium should be tuned to A-440 from end-to-end. An equal-tuned harmonium will sound good in any key. Gradually, harmonium players in India are abandoning the “just-tuned” standard, and are more and more often playing equal-tuned harmoniums. The majority of harmoniums shipped out of India are continue to be “just-tuned” and many are as much as 15 “cents” sharp. A harmonium that is only say, 2 “cents” sharp will be sonically compatible with synthesizers and pianos. A harmonium that is 15 “cents” sharp will sound okay by itself, but will sound discordant when played alongside a synthesizer or piano tuned to A-440. Most harmoniums utilize two banks of male and bass brass harmonium reeds. Scale-changer harmoniums and other high-end harmoniums utilize three banks of harmonium reeds. Harmoniums with three banks of reeds are manufactured with sets of Bass/Male/Male or Bass/Male/Female and are usually configured with 3.25 and 3.50 octave keyboards. Harmoniums with four banks of reeds are rare. Delhi-built harmoniums and Calcutta-built harmoniums have distinctly different sound qualities. Delhi-built harmoniums use a different grade of brass making the harmonium sound brighter and sharper when new. This style of harmonium reed however becomes mellower with playing over time and gives a very distinctive sound, typified by the Signature 23 as played by Krishnadas, and on the very old Bina models played by Jai Uttal. Calcutta harmoniums utilize harmonium reeds made in Palitana or some equivalent alloy make-up that makes them sound mellower right at the start. Occasionally one hears of people looking for harmoniums with “French” reeds or “German” reeds. These types of harmonium reeds have not been produced in at least 70 years and simply are not available. We do on special order build harmoniums with what are called “English Reeds” which are a perfect copy of classic British harmonium reeds made to exacting standards from special steel harmonium reed materials. Steel harmonium reeds are not as warm sounding as brass harmonium reeds but are more stable. Steel harmonium reeds too, are very difficult to tune but hold pitch longer due to the stability of the steel alloy used in these harmonium reeds. Folding harmoniums are popular because of their small size, which allows the harmonium to be taken on airline flights as carry-on and stored in the overhead. Non-folding harmoniums however, will have a wider breadth of sound because they have double the wind-chest capacity and are often preferred by studio musicians for recording purposes. Scale-changer harmoniums utilize a mechanical device that allows the keyboard of the harmonium to be slid up or down for instant transposing. A well-built scale-changer harmonium can be trouble free for many years. A scale-changer harmonium built with “green” or uncured wood however, will warp and be a nightmare. Scale-changer harmoniums are better suited for players that will maintain them in one place like a home, studio, or a temple. The knobs or “stops” on the harmonium are generally set up 1st/ 3rd/ 5th/ 7th/ for the ones that activate the harmonium’s wind-chest sections that supply air to each bank of the harmonium‚s reeds. The harmonium stops in the 2nd/ 4th/ 6th/ 8th positions will be “drones”. Harmonium drones are traditionally tuned to the black keys as these are preferred for use in Hindustani style playing. Keshav Music Imports builds the Signature 23 Harmonium with the reeds in the white keys for our Western customers. Another feature on all our harmoniums is the octave-coupler. The octave-coupler mechanically connects the note played to the same note one octave above or one octave below. The majority of harmoniums produced in India are built with pine. However nearly all scale-changers and high-end harmoniums are built with teak. Pine produces a softer, diffused quality, whereas teak produces a deeper, and “darker” quality. Neither quality is “preferable” in a harmonium. The preferred quality for a harmonium's sound is subjective to the player. While Keshav Music Imports sells all Indian instruments, the harmonium has been and continues to be our main focus. Keshav Das has spent years working directly alongside the luthiers that build our instruments and learned tuning and repairs at the Bina harmonium factory, the DMS harmonium factory and the Monoj Kumar Sardar harmonium factory. He personally checks all harmoniums for tuning and keyboard set-up before they are packed.