Newsletter September / October 2017

1. Special Offers - Snips for Beginners, Pros & Treasure Hunters
2. Harmonium Purchase Guide (1/6) - Mobility
3. Craft & Art in Bhakti Music (1) - Freedom of Expression
4. The Art of Practice (4/4) - Joy
5. How to Make (Indian) Music? (9) – Raga Worship
6. Workshops - October to December
7. Concerts - October to December


1. Special Offers - Snips for Beginners, Pros & Treasure Hunters
- Company Info -

Numerous new purchases and commission offers have brought an unprecedented abundance to our special offers department... Beginners, experienced professionals and adventurous treasure hunters alike can now find unique opportunities! We offer among others:

- New Compactina harmoniums from N. Dutta
- Sitars for beginners, collectors and performers
- Precious surbahar and rudra veena from Kanailal & Brother
- Plucked: tanpura, dotar, santoor, swarmandal, vichitra veena
- Bowed: sarangi, esraj, dilruba
- Duggis, tablas and bayas from Varanasi
- Tablas and baya from Narayan Badya Bhandar
- Drums: khol, kanjira, pakhawaj
- Percussion: manjira, ghatam, ghumat, dan moi
- Dozens of bansuris from different collections
- eTabla and eTanpura

Santur MKS Duggi Surbahar KLS
Now it's your turn to browse and marvel! An overview of all special offers is here - click on the respective instrument for full details.Now it's your turn to browse and marvel! An overview of all special offers is here - click on the respective instrument for full details.

Just looking is not enough, though - you have to try an instrument to get the right impression. Thanks to our return option you can get any instrument shipped to your house and test it comfortably for 14 days at home! However, it's even better to compare different instruments (and get personal advice) directly in our shop in Berlin. Simply call +49-30-6211724 or send an email to to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!


2. Harmonium Purchase Guide (1/6) - Mobility
- Background Info -

We offer a wide range of different harmonium models. But how can you find exactly the right harmonium for your specific requirements? The Harmonium Purchase Guide gives you some orientation. It deals with six essential topics: mobility; sound & feeling; context & flexibility; sustain, response & volume; tuning and trustworthy sources. 


The perfect travel harmonium would be light, small and sturdy at the same time. And it would not have any musical limitations. Unfortunately, such a jack of all trades harmonium has not yet been invented. The smaller and lighter the instrument, the bigger the musical  limitations. Therefore you need to define personal priorities and make smart practical compromises when choosing a harmonium for frequent travels.

Tirupati KirtanIt is advisable that you can carry your harmonium on the road with one hand. Whether it weighs 6 kg or 12 or even 18 makes a big difference. Weight can be saved in different ways. Extras like movable keyboard (scale changer), octave coupler, folding mechanism or a third  reed set expand the musical possibilities, but are not essential. Without them you have less components and thus save weight. A harmonium can also be built smaller altogether. As a result, you lose tonal range, but that usually does not matter for singing accompaniment. More critical is the smaller air volume, since this can hamper the sustain. Another way to reduce weight is the vertical construction of Compactina or Dulcetina harmoniums - the heavy wooden outer box is not needed here. Unfortunately their air volume is also smaller than that of regular harmoniums. With this construction, however, the bellows springs are easily accessible, and with them you can adapt the sustain to your requirements to some extent.

The smaller Compactina a harmonium, the easier it can be stored on the way. Depending on your general baggage and transportation situation, this can be an important factor. Many models therefore have a mechanism that folds them into an integrated wooden box. This reduces the packing size considerably. However, most of the folding mechanisms are somewhat cumbersome to handle, and together with the integrated case they also make the instrument heavier. As an alternative, harmoniums can be made smaller altogether or without wooden frame, resulting in smaller dimensions without additional weight and folding hassle

Harmoniums are almost inevitably shaken and subjected to fluctuations of temperature and humidity during travels. Therefore they should be pretty sturdy. A good travel harmonium should thus not be too complicated - after all, every component can warp, shift, wear out or otherwise break down over time under permanent stress. This is also an argument against extras with lots of small moveable parts such as octave coupler and scale changer. At least equally important is the quality of material and workmanship. Teakwood is basically harder and less sensitive to climate changes than softwood. However, the wood must also be well seasoned so it does not warp or tear during later drying. And the best materials are of little use when they are not fitted meticulously. This takes time and requires special skills. High quality of material and manufacturing is usually directly reflected in the price. Therefore you pay more for harmoniums from workshops like Paloma, which take pride in manufacturing with greatest care and best materials.

Link to our harmoniums.


3. Craft & Art in Bhakti Music (1) - Freedom of Expression
- Contribution by Aleah Gandharvika -

Singing mantras together is a part of Bhakti yoga, the Indian path of devotion. Today, you can experience Bhakti music outside traditional temples in public concerts, at festivals, on the internet and on CDs. Some Bhakti musicians have become world-famous stars and many others follow in their footsteps. What musical skills are required of a Bhakti musician? Is Bhakti music a form of art? We have asked Bhakti musicians to address these issues and start this new series with Aleah Gandharvika. With the duo The Love Keys (together with her musical partner Ben Vogt) she has given several hundred mantra concerts since 2010.

Love KeysWhen we came into contact with Bhakti yoga, Ben had been playing the guitar for over 20 years, 15 of them with various bands on stage and in the studio. Musically, he was inclined to hard and heavy genres. At that time, I had been singing in choirs for the last 20 years, then in various projects in singer / songwriter style. I had played guitar for 14 years to accompany my singing. During the first years I learned mainly to sing and interpret the works of other artists as a choir member. That trained my ear, brought me in touch with many styles and was fun. Nevertheless, I longed to compose myself, which happened 17 years ago, and always makes me happy to this day. In the years as a singer / songwriter the expression of my music was quite simple and consisted mostly of singing and guitar. When Ben heard more musical accompaniment at one of my concerts, new worlds opened up for both of us and The Love Keys were born.

The more we dealt with Bhakti yoga in general and mantras in particular, the more instruments came into play. Ben quickly learned to play the Cajón and Udu, later on the piano, and I took up the harmonium. It was always important to us to give the music the greatest possible freedom of expression. Learning more instruments gave us greater freedom. Each mantra has its own Bhava mood, which we would like to bring out. Likewise, every divine aspect, which is worshiped in a mantra, has its own qualities that we want to express musically. I also count our voices as an instrument. The harmonium particularly touched me, inspired by a kirtan of Prema Hara in 2013.

From the very beginning we mainly composed our own melodies to different mantras. When a chant of another artist particularly pleased us, we covered here and there. This, however, was rare. After an encounter with US Kirtaniya Adam Bauer in India in 2016 I began to learn traditionals as well, primarily Krishna mantras from Vrindavan. Before, I had no access to the traditionals, because many of them stayed in India and I did not yet know Shyamdas and other singers of traditional chants.

For two years I have been teaching vocal lessons, mainly based on the Complete Vocal Technique - CVT. This singing school teaches that any vocal expression can be learned in a healthy way. The founder, Cathrine Sadolin, classifies each vocal expression into four modes; Neutral, Curbing, Overdrive and Edge. Moreover CVT uses effects such as vibrato, growling, creaking and some more. This allows a wide range of expressive possibilities. It is important to me to make CVT accessible to singers so that they can give their chants the expression they need, and the mantra ends up where it is supposed to land according to its meaning.

Sometimes I feel a bit sorry that vocal expression in the Bhakti Yoga world is often limited to the neutral mode and uses very few effects. I understand why, because neutral is a wonderful way of expressing a peaceful mood, and most mantras are about this mood. But sometimes mantras are also about longing, ecstasy and other feelings, which need modes like Curbing or Overdrive, to make their intensity audible and palpable. As far as I know, there are very few mantra artists who express themselves vocally like that and almost all come from a soul or jazz background. I think particularly of Prajna Vieira, C.C. White or Dave Stringer.

Website of The Love Keys.
Website of Complete Vocal Technique.


4. The Art of Practice (4/4) - Joy
- Field Report by Yogendra -

Practice makes perfect – a simple truth when learning any (Indian) instrument. But how does practice succeed? An approach in four steps...

We have seen that duration, regularity and intelligence are necessary for successful practice. All this is correct and important, but it can lead, when misunderstood, to stubborn discipline, to the use of brute will power and to dry intellectualism - and may thus turn the art of practice into its contrary. Duration, regularity, and intelligence are, in the end, only means by which the motivating force from our innermost core can be directed into meaningful paths. This inner motivation, our strongest drive to practice, to make music, and to anything we simply do for its own sake as human beings, is joy. When we are joyfully active, we feel fulfilled in our humanity. Joyful practice does not look for results or rewards. It does not need to get anywhere or to reach anything, but simply shines out of itself. It is self-sufficient.

Joy is a deep, intense, intimate, sensuous, exhilarating experience. And in fact, I experience that when I practice - and I practice because I experience it. My instrument is a feast for the eye, touching it feels good, and when I have carefully tuned it and play with full dedication, it envelops me with its magical sound. My sense of time takes a break. The breath goes deeper, the pulse increases and the cells vibrate. I am fully present in the moment, passionate and enthusiastically absorbed in the playing. And no matter how stressed, tired and disgruntled I may have felt before practicing - afterwards I am refreshed, animated and purified, cheerful and balanced. As a beginner, I have made this experience over and over again - and just as much later as a student and now as a performing and teaching musician. The quality and intensity of this experience does not wear out and it does not require an increase in dose. Why is that?

Passion and joy are fertilisers for the brain, says neurobiologist Gerald Hüther. They enable us to develop and expand our potential. Psychologists speak of creative passion and flow experience as keys to happiness. Spiritual circles cultivate devotion, mindfulness, and presence in the here-now on the path to the divine or to enlightenment. All these are different descriptions for what I mean by joy - and they are all inherent in the art of practice. The cosmos of music is just as boundless as the human mind. I am still just as much a learner on a journey of discovery as 35 years ago when I was a beginner. Zen mind, beginner's mind, says the Japanese tradition. This mindset keeps us fresh and alive. And when we make way for it, it acts by itself and shows us the way - whether in the art of music practice or elsewhere in life. 

Finally, an old Indian wisdom: Ek sadhe sab sadhe, sab sadhe sab jay. It means: When I practice one thing properly, I have practiced everything. And when I've practiced everything, everything falls into place. In this sense I wish everybody always good practice!


5. How to Make (Indian) Music? (9) – Raga Worship
- Quote by Allauddin Khan -

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

Alaudin KhanWhenever you play a rag, begin with worshipping and welcoming it. Imagine it to be a deity. Bow down and pray that it should have mercy on you, and it should become alive through your medium. Never approach a rag with a feeling of pride or vanity in your heart. Music grows out of the purest feelings of your soul, and hence the mind of the musician, if only purified, can produce the vibration.

From: The Classical Music of North India. The Music of the Baba Allauddin Gharana as taught by Ali Akbar Khan. Volume One: The First Year's Study.



6. Workshops - October to December
- Scene Info -

Details of all workshops are available in our website's network section at the  workshop page.

Swapan 20.-22.10. OY-MITTELBERG: Harmonium Basics with Jürgen Wade
26.-28.10. GB - LONDON: Dhrupad Workshop with the Gundecha Brothers
27.-29.10. OY-MITTELBERG: Harmonium Advanced with Jürgen Wade
27.-29.10. WEIMAR: 3-Year Naad Yoga Teacher Training Introduction with Gian Kaur
07.-13.11. CH - BASEL: Instrumental & Vocal Seminar with Ken Zuckerman & Daniel Bradley
07.-13.11. CH - BASEL: Tabla Seminar with Swapan Chaudhuri
10.-12.11. WEMMETSWEILER: Raga & Tala Intensive with Yogendra
11.-12.11. CH - BASEL: Introductory Tabla Workshop with Harprit Singh & Bastian Pfefferli
15.-17.12. BAD MEINBERG: Harmonium Basics with Jürgen Wade



7. Concerts - October to December
- Scene Info -

More detailed information, locations and times as well as further dates in our concert calendar.

Mitanag 19.10. F - PARIS: Shyam Sundar Goswami - Khyal Vocal
19.10. TUBINGEN: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
20.10. MUNSTER: Mita Mag - Sitar
20.10. BREMEN: Friedhelm Temme - Sitar, Dieter Weische - Bansuri
20.10. HEIDELBERG: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
20.10. NL - DEN HAAG: Rukmini Vijayakumar - Bharatanatyam Dance
21.10. FULDA: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
21.10. F - PARIS: Anoushka Shankar - Sitar
21.10. OSTFILDERN / STUTTGART: Govinda Schlegel - Sitar & Surbahar
21.10. STUTTGART: Mita Nag - Sitar
21.10. HAMBURG: Anjan Saha - Sitar
21.10. BORNHEIM: Rajesh Vaidhya - Saraswati Vina
21.10. A - WOLKERSDORF: Indian Air – Sitar, Bass, Percussion
22.10. A - ST. POELTEN: Anoushka Shankar - Sitar
22.10. STUTTGART: Mita Nag - Sitar
25.10. NL - DEN HAAG: Sanjukta Sinha - Kathak Dance
25.10. HAMBURG: Gharana Project - World Music
26.10. NL - DEN HAAG: Sanjukta Sinha - Kathak Dance
26.10. CH - BERN: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
27.10. CH - THUN: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
27.10. KARLSRUHE: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
27.10. B - HAUSET: Rafat Khan - Sitar
28.10. DORTMUND: Rafat Khan - Sitar
28.10. CH - LAUSANNE: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
28.10. LEIPZIG: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
28.10. STUTTGART: Subhankar Chatterjee - Vocal, Subramania Siva - Flute
29.10. STUTTGART: Subhankar Chatterjee - Vocal, Subramania Siva - Flute
29.10. FRANKFURT: Rafat Khan - Sitar
29.10. NL - KATWIJK: Lenneke van Staalen - Hindustani Violin
29.10. GB - LONDON: Gundecha Brothers - Dhrupad Vocal
29.10. A - SIRNITZ/KAERNTEN: Rina Chandra - Bansuri
29.10. BAD HERRENALB: Mita Mag - Sitar
31.10. A - GRAZ: Klaus Falschlunger - Sitar
31.10. OSNABRUCK: Gharana Project - World Music
31.10. STUTTGART: Monalisa Ghosh, Supriya Sardar, Raju Mishra - Odissi Dance
01.11. STUTTGART: Monalisa Ghosh, Supriya Sardar, Raju Mishra - Odissi Dance
01.11. A - KLAGENFURT: Klaus Falschlunger - Sitar
02.11. CH - WINTERTHUR: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
03.11. CH - KREUZLINGEN: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
03.11. A - ABSAM/TIROL: Indian Air – Sitar, Bass, Percussion
04.11. FÜRTH: Indian Air – Sitar, Bass, Percussion
04.11. CH - LIESTAL: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
04.11. BERLIN: Subhankar Chatterjee - Khyal Vocal
04.11. STUTTGART: Shouvik Mukherjee - Sitar
04.11. OSTFILDERN / STUTTGART: Siddharth Kishna - Sitar
05.11. ZOGLAU: Trio Benares - Saxophone, Sitar, Tabla
05.11. A - LANDECK: Indian Air - Sitar Diaries
05.11. STUTTGART: Shouvik Mukherjee - Sitar
06.11. HAMBURG: Gharana Project - World Music
07.11. COLOGNE: Trio Benares - Saxophone, Sitar, Tabla
08.11. BONN: Trio Benares - Saxophone, Sitar, Tabla
09.11. NEUSS: Trio Benares - Saxophone, Sitar, Tabla
09.11. CH - LUZERN: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
10.11. CH - LUGANO/VIGANELLO: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
10.11. CH - BASEL: Ken Zuckerman - Sarod
10.11. KLUTZ: Trio Benares - Saxophone, Sitar, Tabla
11.11. GEDELITZ: Trio Benares - Saxophone, Sitar, Tabla
11.11. HAMBURG: Anjan Saha - Sitar
11.11. CH - LOCARNO: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
11.11. GB - LONDON: Kannan - Saraswati Vina
11.11. STUTTGART: Liyakat Ali Khan & Shahid - Sarangi
12.11. STUTTGART: Liyakat Ali Khan & Shahid - Sarangi
12.11. MAGDEBURG: Trio Benares - Saxophone, Sitar, Tabla
12.11. HAMBURG: Gharana Project - World Music
17.11. HELMBRECHTS: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
17.11. CH - ST. GALLEN: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
17.11. NL - ENSCHEDE: Matangi Quartet & Lenneke van Staalen - Hindustani Violin
18.11. BERLIN: Cosmic Chants of Yogananda
18.11. STUTTGART: Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury - Sitar
18.11. A - LINZ: Rina Chandra - Bansuri
18.11. F - PARIS: Abid Karim & Ensemble - Vocal, Rubab
18.11. ERFURT: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
18.11. NL - DEN HAAG: Ken Zuckerman - Sarod
19.11. SAARBRUCKEN: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
19.11. A - WIEN: Rina Chandra - Bansuri
19.11. STUTTGART: Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury - Sitar
20.11. HARSEFELD / BUXTEHUDE: Yogendra - Sitar
20.11. BERLIN: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
22.11. HANNOVER: Yogendra - Sitar
23.11. WILDEMANN / OBERHARZ: Yogendra - Sitar
23.11. CH - BASEL: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
23.11. GB - LONDON: Lalgudi GJR Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi - Carnatic Violin
24.11. SCHÖNINGEN: Yogendra - Sitar
24.11. A - WIEN: Klaus Falschlunger - Sitar
24.11. ANZING: Sundaram - Mantrakonzert
25.11. NUSSDORF: Sundaram - Mantrakonzert
25.11. FÜRTH: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
25.11. BAD GRUND: Yogendra - Sitar
25.11. LI - VADUZ: S. Mishra, R. Raturi, S. Negi - Kathak Dance
26.11. MAGDEBURG: Yogendra - Sitar
26.11. GB - LONDON: Chandrima Misra - Khyal vocal, Tirthankar Banerjee - Sitar
27.11. F - PARIS: Jayanthi Kumaresh - Saraswati Vina
01.12. COLOGNE: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
01.12. A - KLOSTERNEUBURG: Indian Air - Sitar Diaries
09.12. F - COLMAR: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
09.12. BINGEN: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
10.12. STADTLAND: Indian Air - Sitar Diaries
16.12. MUNICH: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
22.12. A - INNSBRUCK: Indian Air - Sitar Diaries




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