Back to Blog

The one thing lacking in Indian classical music

Apr 22, 2023


  • Are you a complete beginner who doesn't know where to start learning and playing the Indian harmonium?

  • Or perhaps you already play some harmonium, but find yourself getting stuck in your progress?

  • Are you struggling to play the harmonium confidently and accompany your singing?



  • Do you want to be able to play any song, any chord, any scale, any raga with ease and confidence?

  • You need proper knowledge of chords, the underlying music system, and the correct finger and technique of the harmonium.

  • You need step-by-step guidance teaching you everything from the very beginning until you become an advanced harmonium player who can confidently and skillfully accompany any song on the harmonium.



Often, Indian vocalists have one specific key that their voice sounds the best in, let's say C# or "black one." The common limitation is that they have learned how to play melodies and even chords in this one key. If they are lucky, they can play a second key as well, but usually, that's all they know.

It makes a lot of sense. Indian classical music, which is so rich and magical, is melody-based. It's all about the melody.

Now, here's the thing. When we play songs that are light-style music such as Bollywood songs, ghazals, bhajans, kirtans, or qawwalis, we have to make sure our voice can reach the highest and the lowest notes of the melody. So, we have to find the right compromise and be able to sing the complete melody, all the highest and lowest notes. This depends on your unique voice and how high and how low you can sing.

Now, if we can only play one or two keys on the harmonium, we will have difficulties singing many different songs and melodies because every melody is different and has higher or lower notes.



The skill we need on the harmonium is to adapt the key of our song so we can sing the highest and lowest notes. A limited solution would be to use a scale changer. This is a function only the most expensive harmoniums have. We can slide the keyboard to the left or to the right to alter the pitch while still playing the same key.

This is a limited solution because, due to the limitation of the scale changer, only playing "one key," we will still not be able to play all possible keys. Moreover, most harmoniums do not have a scale changer. It is a functionality only the most expensive harmoniums have, so most of you are not able to use a scale changer.



The real solution is to be able to play all scales and all chords. Like this, we can play every song in the right key so we can reach the highest and the lowest notes of the melody with ease. Like this, we can play many different songs and expand our repertoire.



Indian classical music has so much to offer and is so magical and rich. But one thing is lacking: knowledge about chords. Indian classical music has no knowledge about chords, simply because there is no use of chords in classical ragas. It's all melody-based.

Now, to accompany any light-style song on the harmonium, we need to use chords. Chords are the harmony supporting the melody and giving depth and color to the melody.

One thing we really need is to play chords, but sadly, this is the one thing Indian classical music doesn't use. So, we cannot find any knowledge of chords in the Indian music system.



We have to recognize the origin of the Harmonium. The keys of the harmonium are coming from the Western influence, from a piano, an organ,... The keys are the same, only smaller.

The Indian harmonium is the perfect blend between East and West.

Also, the music we usually play on the harmonium, light style music, has Western style elements: chords and harmony.

All Bollywood songs, ghazals, and bhajans use chords. Chords are not native to Indian music, so are the keys of the Harmonium.

Still, the music we play is Indian style, so the harmonium is a real Indian instrument.

But now we understand the Western element in it. This is important because once we recognize and combine both music systems: Indian and Western music systems, it will make things so much easier for us to play the Harmonium.



All great Indian music artists and gurus I met can play wonderful music, but most of them cannot teach how to play chords. And how chords work because they play chords only intuitively. They cannot explain how it really works.

So once we start to understand how the Western music system works, how chords work, and how scales work, we will be able to play any song, any melody easily, with confidence.

To play all chords and all scales, it's only possible using the Western music system.

You need to have the knowledge about chords, scales, and Western music, explained in a structured and step-by-step way using simple language.



Hi, I am Kenny Clarys, located in Belgium (Europe), and this is my specialty.

As a professional musician, composer, harmonium, and violin player, I have been educated since the age of 7 in Western music as well as Indian music. I teach music since 2008 and founded Harmonium Evolution in 2021, helping hundreds of people worldwide to play the harmonium skillfully and confidently.

I have training and a lot of experience in both music systems. It's my specialty to help (Indian) people understand Western music easily. To be able to play all chords, scales, melodies, ragas with ease and having a clear understanding of what you are actually doing. I am helping Indian people to understand chords and scales, the one thing Indian music is lacking, but what we really need to play on the Harmonium.



If you've always been fascinated by the harmonium and want to learn how to play it, this course is perfect for you. With detailed video lessons, exercises, and songs, you'll learn everything you need to know to become a skilled harmonium player.

The course starts by teaching you the basics, such as how to properly hold the instrument, how to produce sound, and how to position your fingers on the keyboard. From there, you'll progress to learning the Western music system, chords, inverse chords, scales, and rhythm. You will also learn the Indian music system, ragas, alankars, talas.

You will learn the correct fingering and the correct technique.

You will learn how to connect chords when accompanying a song.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to accompany popular devotional songs, classical pieces, and folk tunes on the harmonium using chords.

Throughout the course, you'll have access to high-quality video lessons that are easy to follow and designed to help you progress quickly.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to confidently play a variety of songs and pieces, and you will be able to pick any new song with ease because you will have an understanding of the underlying music system.


With your newly acquired skills, you'll have the opportunity to explore new musical avenues and collaborate with other musicians in your community. You may even find yourself inspired to create your own compositions and share your music with others.

Beyond the practical skills, this course offers a chance for personal growth and fulfillment. Playing music is a rewarding and enriching experience, and learning the harmonium can bring a sense of joy and accomplishment that extends beyond the instrument itself.

So whether you're a seasoned musician looking to expand your repertoire, or a beginner eager to explore a new passion, this course has something to offer. With dedication and practice, you'll be amazed at how far you can progress and how much you can achieve. The possibilities truly are endless!

Don't miss a beat!

New moves, motivation, and classes delivered to your inbox. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.