Newsletter May 2009

1. Unique Masterpieces for Sale
- Special Offers -

In the past few months India Instruments has received an amazing variety of unique instruments, which can not be offered as part of our standard assortment. This includes discontinued models from our own import, 2nd hand instruments that we have accepted as payment from customers, as well as historical masterpieces and custom-made oddities. It took us a while to describe, measure and photograph them all, but now we have begun loading them up to our site step by step.

We have started with eight precious gems: three sitars, two Afghani rababs, one tanpura, one vichitra-veena and one sarod from renowned makers like Kanailal & Brother, Rikhi Ram and Hemen. Each single instrument is a real masterpiece of lasting and quite likely increasing value. Compared to Western classical instruments or objects of art they are still relatively cheap - prices are between 600 and 2,100 Euros. These offers are unique opportunities for musicians as well as for lovers of art, ethnomusicologists and museums. All instruments (and many more) are featured in full detail at Special Offers - please take a look!

Bowed instruments, bargains and custom-made oddities will be added in the coming months. Please note that we have not yet been able to produce English translations of the descriptive texts. We hope you will get the basic idea from the pictures and German texts, and we will be happy to answer any further questions personally! All instruments can be checked out personally upon appointment in our store in Berlin, too.

2. New Electronic Tanpura Swarangini
- New in our Assortment -

The electronic tanpura Swarangini is the improved successor of the successful e-tanpura Raagini. Its new plastic shell and state of the art digitalisation bring its weight down below 600 grams - less than half of the Raagini's weight. Carrying the Swarangini anywhere becomes easy and comfortable that way. Volume is adjusted with the feather touch keyboard instead of the Raagini's turning knob. All other common features - choice of tonic, fine tuning, choice of intervalls and speed - are managed with the keyboard as well. Out of all currently available e-tanpuras, the Swarangini probably comes closest to the sound of a traditional acoustic tanpura.

Beyond the functions of the Raagini, the Swarangini offers three new features:
- choice between 5 beat rhythm (with extended low octave) and 6 beat rhythm (with extended low octave and fifth)
- individual volume adjustment of each single tone
- automatic saving of latest adjustments This unique variety of possibilities enables you to get a drone according to your very specific needs.

Complete digitalisation has its disadvantages, though - it means amongst other things that volume can not be adjusted continuously any more. The Swarangini's given steps of volume might seem a bit too crude for some users, especially in the lower areas which are used most often for practice at home. The feel and look of the plastic shell might not be to everybody's liking either. Therefore we will keep on offering the predecessor Raagini as an alternative to the Swarangini for all those who prefer sturdy metal shells and turning knobs for volume control. Both e-tanpuras are available for 289,- Euros (plus 6.90 Euros shipping cost within Germany / 14.90 Euros within Europe).

Detailed info and sound samples of Swarangini

Detailed info and sound samples of Raagini

3. Jubilee Celebration on July 18th
- Scene Info -

India Instruments will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Saturday, July 18th. We hope for nice summer weather and plan an open-air party around our store in Berlin. Indian music will play a crucial role, of course. Most likely there will be performances of Indigo Masala (Indigo Masala), the Ragatala Ensemble (Ragatala Ensemble) and a jugalbandi of the owners of India Instruments, Norbert Klippstein on sarod and Yogendra on sitar. In between the shop will be open, so there will be opportunity of checking out our instruments, too. Beyond the official programme this celebration is supposed to be a chance of meeting like-minded Indian music lovers, nourish old friendships and make new friends, too. Cake and drinks will be provided. Guests are invited to contribute spicy snacks or salads. Everybody is welcome - we would be glad to celebrate with as many people as possible! If you don't live in or around Berlin you might combine our jubilee with a visit to the city - Berlin in the summer has a lot to offer!

4. 15% Discount on Bowed Instruments and Tablas
- Special Offer -

15 years - 15%! With this onetime offer we commemorate India Instruments' 15th anniversary in business from April till September. Until May 31st there is still a 15% discount off the normal price of all bowed instruments, including esrajs, dilrubas and sarangis. Throughout June it's the tablas' turn; 15% off all tablas and bayas. These discounts continue until September, with 15% off tanpuras in July, harmoniums in August and sitars and sarods in September. With a possible saving of up to ¤ 298.50 it behooves anyone considering buying an instrument to plan now for the coming months. The offer applies from the first to the last day of each month, and as long as supplies last. All ordered instrument purchases will be reckoned from the date of the order. Info on bowed instruments

Info on tablas and bayas During this discount each purchaser will receive a free postcard of Saraswati. As patron goddess of music, she is revered by Hindus and Muslims alike as a symbol of the unifying and universal power of music.

5. Workshops with Kushal Das and Others
- Scene Info -

The coming weeks offer quite a few attractive possibilities of studying with renowned masters of Indian music in workshops in Europe. Foremost is sitar virtuoso Kushal Das, who will be teaching in Germany from June 30th of June till 03rd of July and in Belgium from July 11th till 18th. Kushal Das' tone reminds one of the late Nikhil Banerjee and the clarity and lyrical sweetness of his music have hardly any equal. Kushal Das is not only a great performer, but also a very patient, friendly and sensitive teacher. Recordings of him can be found at CD Catalogue

The international Sangit Summer Seminar in July in Belgium does not only feature Kushal Das, but other renowned masters, too - Harsh Wardhan for Bansuri and Sandip Banerjee for Tabla. Further unique workshop offers include Afghani rabab and kathakali. Detailed info, continuously updated, at Workshops

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