A harmonium, also called a “melodeon”, “reed organ” or “pump organ”, is a keyboard instrument that is a lot like an organ. It makes sound by blowing air through reeds, which are tuned to different pitches to make musical notes. The harmonium can be made to work using either the feet or the hands to pump the air.
The hand-pumped harmonium was created so that the instrument could be played while the player was sitting down on the floor. It is used in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan and in other Asian countries as an accompanying instrument in many kinds of music including Hindustani classical music, Sufi Music and for Classical Kathak Dancers. Nomadic singers wear it around their shoulders so they can take part in village fairs and festivals.