Newsletter November / December 2018


1.New Harmonium Paloma Maestro – Handicraft & Hi-Tech & Hi-Tech
2. Christmas Sale – CDs & DVDs with 50% Discount
3. Raga Music in Changing Times - From Lighthouse to Grassroots
4. Brief News – Annapurna Devi, Chanting Together, Raaga Soul Spa
5. How to Make (Indian) Music? (16) – 90% Perspiration
6. Workshops – December to February
7. Concerts – December to February

1. New Harmonium Paloma Maestro - Handicraft & Hi-Tech
- Company Info -

Only the best is good enough for you? Check out our new Paloma Maestro harmonium! High-quality materials, finest workmanship, easy handling and unique construction ensure an incomparable experience in terms of sound and playability.

Paloma Maestro

The Paloma Maestro combines traditional craftsmanship with high-precision computer technology. Since 2018, Paloma has been the first Indian instrument maker to integrate a CNC milling machine into the manufacturing process. The result is a top-class instrument that enchants the senses in every respect. Beautiful natural looks of precious teak wood beguile the eye. Silk matt surfaces flatter the skin at every touch. The hands enjoy the easy and precise playability. And above all: the warmth and fullness of the perfectly balanced and immensely versatile sound with its three reed banks leaves nothing to be desired.

Apart from that the Paloma Maestro is not a touchy diva like many scale-changer harmoniums. It is extremely good-natured. Its enormous sustain makes it child's play to produce an even sound stream or to play with fine nuances of volume. The absence of extras like scale changer and octave coupler reduces weight and makes it surprisingly sturdy. Thus you can easily travel with the Paloma Maestro if required. And if some maintenance is necessary, all reeds and the register and drone slides are easily accessible thanks to the screwless opening mechanism.

The Paloma Maestro is now available @ 1.389 EUR (EU price, incl. 19% VAT, plus shipping cost). Photos, sound sample and detailed information.
Overview of our harmonium assortment.

2. Christmas Sale – CDs & DVDs with 50% Discount
- Special Offer -

Still looking for a Christmas gift? Browse our assortment of CDs and DVDs! You get them with 50% discount until December 24th!


Classical Indian music CDs provide listening pleasure for discerning art lovers and are used for meditation, nada yoga and to support dosha balancing in ayurveda. We offer a wide range of classical Indian music with sitar, sarod, bamboo flute, santoor, vocals and tabla. In addition to classical raga music, we offer CDs with a wealth of other styles - from fusion and world music through bhajans, thumri and ghazal, mantras, qawwali and regional folk to film music. An overview of all CD categories is available


The essence of Indian music is improvisation, making each concert new and unique. Films convey much more of the flavour and spontaneity of a live concert than CDs. In addition, they are also perfect study material for advanced playing techniques. An overview of our live concert video DVDs with sitar, sarod, vocal, bamboo flute, santur, slide guitar and violin is available here.

And the best part: Any order that reaches us until December 24th gets 50% discount! Get your favourite CDs or DVDs - and pay only half the regular price! This special offer is valid for all CDs and DVDs, except of those listed as teaching material in our section Learning & Practice. And it is only valid as long as stock lasts. We do not order CDs and DVDs any more - what's gone is gone ...

3. Raga Music in Changing Times - From Lighthouse to Grassroots
- Essay by Yogendra -


Once upon a time, Indian raga music was a big thing in Central Europe. About 30 years ago all Indian top musicians performed live in Germany and the neighbouring countries: sitarists Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Nikhil Banerjee, Shahid Parvez and Budhaditiya Mukherjee, singers Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Rajan & Sajan Mishra and the Gundecha Brothers, sarod players Ali Akbar Khan and Amjad Ali Khan, flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia, shehnai player Bismillah Khan, santoor player Shivkumar Sharma, violinist L. Subramaniam, sarangi player Sultan Khan, rudra veena player Asad Ali Khan, tabla players Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Swapan Chaudhuri, Anindo Chatterjee and Kumar Bose, and many many more. They performed in large theatres, concert halls and auditoriums in front of hundreds of people. Their concerts were broadcast live by major radio stations and released on CDs by various labels. All-night concerts took place at Liederhalle's Beethoven Saal, the largest classical concert hall in Stuttgart with its 2100 seats. Great maestros performed one after another from evening into the early hours of the morning, just like in India's major music festivals. Music lovers from all over Central Europe made a pilgrimage to these incredible events. The House of World Cultures in Berlin hosted its own festival for Indian music under the title Parampara. And for the Festival of India in Germany, the Indian government sent top-class artists all over the country to every city in which somebody was willing to arrange a concert. Indian music was a beaming lighthouse. How was all that possible?

In the 1960s Central Europe had recovered from the material consequences of the Second World War. The economy was buzzing, people had a roof above their heads, enough to eat and could afford washing machines, refrigerators, televisions and cars. However, social structures had remained stuck in the rigid, authoritarian patterns of earlier times and it began to rumble vigorously. The younger generation, in particular, demanded changes and was looking for new, freer and more fulfilling ways of living and expressing themselves. India appeared as a mystically and spiritually enticing counter-world, Indian gurus became popular, George Harrison of the Beatles learned sitar and sang Hare Krishna, and Ravi Shankar played at the Woodstock Festival. With a beguiling buzz, the sitar appeared in the limelight of pop culture and mass media. What had previously been the exclusive territory of ethnomusicologists was suddenly in everyone's ears. And even though the sitar fad disappeared almost as fast as it had come, it had infected some people deep enough to have a long-term effect. In the following two to three decades, some of those young raga lovers made it to hubs of public life, enabling them to open the doors to Indian music wider than ever before.

But alas, along came commercial TV networks, the new world (dis)order after the end of the Cold War, computers, mobile phones, world music, techno, the internet, globalisation, smartphones, YouTube and WhatsApp. Gradually, the ageing indophiles retired. And their successors didn't carry on with their ideas anywhere. In public perception, Indian music became a somewhat dusty hippie relic, which was gradually buried under the inflated mass of arbitrarily available cultural fragments from all over the world. Only Anoushka Shankar makes it regularly to major concert halls in Central Europe nowadays - probably thanks to the nimbus of her world-famous father Ravi Shankar and to her gift of producing pleasing crossover music, in which classical raga music is left aside even though the sitar still takes centre stage. A sad state for old and new lovers of just this raga music, one would think – wouldn't there as well be an amazing hidden parallel world below the public radar...

GrassThe sterile superficiality of contemporary digital (pseudo-)experiences leaves more and more people empty inside. Instead, they search for authenticity, closeness and sensuality. Gardening, manual work and community life are hip. Small is beautiful. Even pop stars play living room concerts. Digital detox and mindfulness are popular. Yoga centres are springing up like mushrooms. Indian music with its harmonising raga vibrations is again kind of in vogue. Today, one can arrange concerts at grassroot level with minimal means. Ultimately, Indian music requires neither a hall and stage technology nor flyers, posters and press. A nice little room and a Facebook post are sometimes enough. This miraculously multiplies the number of possible venues - after all, there are countless spacious living rooms. What a potential for resourceful musicians who can keep their cost of living low and are willing to work hard!

In fact, today there is a small group of activists in Central Europe who feed mainly on grassroots concerts and giving lessons. They mostly started serious Indian music studies in the lighthouse era and since then have simply continued practicing instead of throwing the towel at some point. And during the Indian off-season, young musicians from India settle in at European friends or students for weeks or months and hunt for opportunities in this almost invisible biotope. Instead of the earlier hundreds, Indian concerts today often attract only 20 or 30 people, but such a small scale allows a unique directness and intimacy that befits the essence of raga music much better than anonymous mass events. It is the perfect space for particularly intense, touching and deeply delightful experiences. And that's after all the core of raga music: Ananda – bliss, isn't it?

4. Brief News – Annapurna Devi, Chanting Together, Raaga Soul Spa
- Scene Info -

AnnapurnaDevi Annapurna Devi – Master in the Shadow

Annapurna Devi is dead. She has passed away in Mumbai on October 13th at the age of 91. Together with her brother Ali Akbar Khan she learned music from an early age from their father Allauddin Khan, founder of the Maihar-Gharana and perhaps the most influential innovator of classical North Indian instrumental music in the first half of the 20th century. Her specialty became the surbahar, a kind of larger, low-pitched sitar. In 1941 she was married to Ravi Shankar, then an aspiring young sitar student of her father. From the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s Annapurna Devi played duet concerts with her husband, gave lessons and participated in Ravi Shankar's music projects. But the marriage failed and since her first separation in 1956 Annapurna Devi withdrew from public life completely - she never gave a public concert again. In 1992 the early death of her only son Shubhendra added another tragic note to her life. Despite all hardships, music remained at the centre of Annapurna Devi's life. For decades she taught a few, carefully selected students privately in her Mumbai apartment - for free, because she considered musical knowledge a gift of goddess Saraswati and could therefore not charge for it. That way she became probably the most important female teacher of North Indian instrumental music in the second half of the 20th century. Her artistic stature is reflected in the playing of her students, most famous of whom is the internationally acclaimed bansuri virtuoso Hariprasad Chaurasia. Despite her completely secluded life, she received the Padma Bhushan in 1977 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991, two of the most prestigious awards for Indian artists, for her services to music as a guru.

DevaPremal Chanting Together - New Network Page

Singing is healthy. Singing makes happy. In our increasingly digital age more and more people feel the desire for a holistic experience of connected aliveness in singing together. Traditional choirs, however, often work towards performances. This approach often creates perfectionism and pressure - and many people have more than enough of that in their everyday lives. Chanting together, on the other hand, is about the pure joy of singing. There are neither false notes nor is there a specific goal. We can let go, relax and open up. This is sooo good! India Instruments would like to help more people experience the beneficial power of chanting together. Therefore we are planning a new network page, where we want to list regular mantra singing circles, bhajan groups, chanting meetings and the like. If possible, Indian instruments should also be used at those events. Are you an organiser or participant of such a regular meeting? Please send us information and links to! Let's chant together!

Single chant events are in our concert calendar. Please send us event details if you miss anything there!

RaagaSoulSpa Raaga Soul Spa - Exclusive subscriptions instead of public concerts

She wanted to create a regular venue for concerts of classical North Indian music at an above-average artistic level and gradually build up an audience that really appreciates this art. Gunda Matschonat calls her project Raaga Soul Spa and has organised about 40 public raga concerts in and around Stuttgart since 2014. Gunda has put her heart and soul into this project as well as her time and money. She has thus created a space for unforgettable musical experiences for a small circle of connoisseurs. Nevertheless, it has not been possible to establish a permanent venue or to attract a viable number of regular visitors. Therefore, Raaga Soul Spa will be continued in a new format in 2019. Gunda is reducing the number of concerts to 2 - 3 per year and will keep them on a small scale. Only people who support the concept with a subscription will have access. The good old idea of solidarity prevails, instead of a fashionable attitude of non-commitment. An exciting project and and absolutely worth supporting!

Contact details for subscribers as well as picture and sound samples of past concerts are available at the website of Raaga Soul Spa.

5. How to Make (Indian) Music? (16) – 90% Perspiration
- Quote by Nikhil Banerjee -

NikhilBanerjeeThe series "How to Make (Indian) Music?" presents thought-provoking, inspiring or controversial quotes from artists and intellectuals.

There is no short cut, because it's a lifetime's job. Full dedication is required. And practice is the word. Whatever talent or genius you are - it is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. (…) Without practice you can not go one further step. There is no other way.

Nikhil Banerjee (1931 - 1986) was one of the most important sitarists of the 60ies - 80ies. He was famous for the meditative depth of his raga exposition, his perfect balance of emotional expression and formal clarity, and his complete technical mastery. Quote from a BBC Fernsehsendung 1984.

6. Workshops – December to February
- Scene Info -

Details of all workshops are available in our website's network section.

28.12.-02.01. BAD MEINBERG : Harmonising Chakras with Nada Yoga with Anne-Careen Engel
04.01.-06.01. WESTERWALD: Harmonium Beginner's Seminar with Tobias Weber
19.01. BERLIN: Dhrupad Vocal with Marianne Svasek

25.01.-27.01. BAD MEINBERG: Sing Yourself into the Lightt with Anne-Careen Engel
26.01. LU - BERELDANGE: Naad Shakti, The Power of Indian Sacred Sounds with Manish Vyas
27.01.-03.02. BAD MEINBERG: Nada Yoga and Healing with Anne-Careen Engel
01.02.-03.02. BAD MEINBERG: Harmonium Beginner's Seminar with Jürgen Wade
22.02.-24.02. WESTERWALD: Harmonium Beginner's Seminar with Marco Büscher

7. Concerts – December to February
- Scene Info -

For details, locations, times and further dates check our concert calendar.

08.12. A - WERNSTEIN/INN: Indian Air - Sitar Diaries
08.12. POTSDAM: Sebastian Dreyer - Sitar
08.12. FREIBURG: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
09.12. F - PARIS: Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande - Vocal
09.12. COLOGNE: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
11.12. BAD MEINBERG: The Love Keys - Kirtan
11.12. F - PARIS: Leila Mandelbrot - Dhrupad
14.12. HAMBURG: The Love Keys - Kirtan
15.12. WEDEL: The Love Keys - Kirtan
15.12. MUNICH: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
16.12. BERLIN: Arjun Baba - Kirtan
16.12. ECKERNFOERDE: The Love Keys - Kirtan
18.12. F - PARIS: Philippe Bruguière - Rudra Vina
22.12. HALBERSTADT: The Love Keys - Kirtan
31.12. BAD MEINBERG: The Love Keys - Kirtan
08.01. BERLIN: World Music from India, Europe and the Middle East

 18.01. BERLIN: Marianne Svasek - Dhrupad Vocal

18.01. CH - NYON: Olivier Nussbaum - Sarod & Jacques Bouduban - Cello
19.01. STUTTGART: The Love Keys - Kirtan
25.01. LU - BERELDANGE: Manish Vyas - Kirtan
25.01. STORKOW: The Love Keys - Kirtan
26.01. BERLIN: The Love Keys - Kirtan
28.01. F - PARIS: Sunanda Sharma - Khyal Vocal
09.02. F - PARIS: Homayoun Sakhi - Rabab
22.02. KAISERHAMMER: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums

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