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Vinay Mishra and the Artistry of the Harmonium

Lahiru Gimhana Komangoda [ලහිරු ගිම්හාන කෝමන්ගොඩ]

ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL 8 (2021)     pp: 39-46     2021-12-09
Vinay Mishra and the Artistry of the Harmonium

Stichworte/keywords: Harmonium, Hindustani music, Equal temperament, Natural tuning, Consonance

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Komangoda, L.G. (2021). Vinay Mishra and the Artistry of the Harmonium. ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL, 8 , 39-46. doi:10.30819/aemr.8-5
doi = {10.30819/aemr.8-5},
url = {},
year = 2021,
publisher = {Logos Verlag Berlin},
volume = {8},
pages = {39-46},
author = {Lahiru Gimhana Komangoda [ලහිරු ගිම්හාන කෝමන්ගොඩ]},
title = {Vinay Mishra and the Artistry of the Harmonium},

Vinay Mishra is an accomplished Indian solo and accompanying harmonium player born and brought up in Benaras and currently residing in Delhi serving as a faculty member of the Department of Music, Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, University of Delhi. The rigorous training of both vocal and instrumental music under veteran Hindustani Music virtuosos, the academic and scholarly scope built up till the degree of PhD in Music, the realizations, and understandings on music must have conspicuously made an impact of his practice and artistry as a harmonium player. Harmonium was originated in the west and adopted by Indian musicians in the colonial era which was brought up to the present day through many artistic, cultural and political controversies, and obstacles. This work focuses on discovering the insights of the harmonium art of Vinay Mishra. Hence, his academic background, musical training, musical career, his playing style as a soloist, general techniques and techniques of accompaniment, sense of machinery, perspectives on raga Taal, and thoroughly the tuning methods were studied in-depth through personal conversations and literature resources where it was observed that modern Hindustani harmonium artists favor a typical natural tuning method over the 12 equal temperaments of the common keyboard instruments. According to him, the stable sound of the harmonium was the reason to be vocal music- friendly in classical and light vocal music accompaniment which was only interrupted by the equal temperament earlier and was later overcome by the artists and harmonium makers. The idea was also raised that apart from gaining the basic command of an instrument, a Hindustani instrumentalist may learn and practice all other aspects of Hindustani music from the teachers of other forms too. Vinay Mishra’s thoughts of machinery, musical forms, compositions, applying Hindustani vocal, and plucking string instrumental ornamentations on the Harmonium were also reviewed.
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