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From the Naxos Blog: A hum of harmoniums?

October 13, 2023

Photo by Rahul Pandit from Pexels

I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of harmoniums might be (or should that be harmonia?), but this blog will take singular appearances by the instrument in some of the repertoire housed in the Naxos group’s catalogues. Maybe you’ve come across a hand-pumped version of the instrument whilst dining to live music performed in an Indian restaurant? or seen it featured in chapel settings for period movies? It was a popular instrument in both sacred and secular contexts until the electronic organ superseded its popularity in the 1930s. The smaller models of the instrument were portable, robust and reliable in their tuning, making them an ideal resource for itinerant Christian missionaries. The larger ones, however, had a wider range of timbres available on different stops and attracted the interest of a number of classical composers. This blog features five such works that are probably not as familiar as Rossini’s role for the instrument in his Petite Messe Solenelle, a work we’ll leave undisturbed for today. Continue reading and listening at