I was feeling a little unfocused and restless yesterday so decided to go for a walk after lunch.
I wandered past the charity shop on Leytonstone High Road, as I sometimes do, and decided to have a peek inside.
I came home with a musical instrument. This is why I shouldn’t be allowed out of the house unsupervised…
I don’t have enough hands to play and pump and hold the camera.
From what the internet tells me, this is a very simple portable harmonium. More complicated ones have drone stops which, when activated, sound a drone note constantly, and some also have couplers or even separate sets of reeds to give various different textures.
I’m quite pleased with this: I finally have a keyboard instrument that can play more than one note at once which fits on my bicycle. The fact that it doesn’t require electricity is an added bonus. I think it will be really good for folk music and some bits of community music, and it suits me a lot better than trying to learn the guitar would (though that is still on the wishlist). But to be honest, I probably would have bought it anyway; I have a soft spot for weird and wonderful instruments, even if they’re not all that practical.
There are a few very low and very high notes where the tuning is a bit of an issue, and I’m wondering exactly what is involved in maintenance of an instrument like this. It looks like flathead screwdrivers are required for taking it apart, but I haven’t done more than give it a superficial dusting.
(Some of the alignment is messed up in this post, but to fix it I would have to re-upload all of those pictures, so I’m not going to. Sorry. It’s staying crooked.)