Harmonium, Tuning! How important is 440?
1) do you play traditional Indian Ragas, or do you use the harmonium for more western style music?
2) Based on how you use the Harmonium, how important is the western, concert , pitch?
We have had a few communications with folks inquiring about harmoniums tuned to the 440 Hz (concert A) pitch. In India the harmonium is not tuned to 440Hz because it is not an orchestral instrument. In fact, since the reeds in the harmoniums are handmade, rarely are two harmoniums tuned exactly the same. The reeds for the keys are tuned to sound good together, and the player usually finds a harmonium that suits their vocal pitch. However, if there is a significant need for Concert tuned harmoniums that can play in pitch with other western tuned instruments, then we are willing to put an effort into finding concert tuned reeds.
I would appreciate your opinion; is the 440 Hz pitch important?