Bill Pook 


 Mike Billington 

 Poetry & Lyrics 








 · ·  Bagpipes 
 · ·  Hurdy Gurdy 
 · ·  Folk Shawms and Hornpipes 
 · ·  Ghatam 
 · ·  Indian Harmonium 
 · ·  Recorders and Flutes 
 · ·  Appalachian Dulcimer 
 · ·  Bowed Psaltery 
 · ·  Shawm, Rauschpfeife and Curtal 
 · ·  Exotica 



Indian Harmonium

It was during the mid 19th century that missionaries brought French made hand pumped harmoniums to India where it quickly became popular. The instrument is used in many genres of Indian music where it has been further developed to include drone stops and scale changing mechanisms. However, the instrument cannot produce slides between notes, quite integral to much Indian music and, with a growing nationalist movement in the early 20th century it was seen as something of a "foreigner". Indeed, it was banned from All-India Radio between 1940 and 1971. Connoisseurs prefer the sarangi to accompany khyal singing. Nonetheless, the harmonium is widely used today by Hindus and Sikhs for devotional purposes during prayers. Also, it is used to accompany qawali singing and was popularised by the late Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Mike's harmonium (bottom photo) was made in India and supplied by JAS in London. It has a coupler to enable the octave note to be played as the player has only one hand free, the other being used to pump the bellows. There are seven stops and a range of twenty three notes.
Bill's harmonium (top photo) is also from JAS music in London and has five stops and a range of twenty notes.

The instrument is played by Mike on Heavy Heads the song that CORVUS experience most reaction to! Including a BBC ban!