donderdag 22 mei 2014

Dave Stringer talks about Kirtan

Various interviews and talks where Dave Stringer talks about Kirtan

Radiantly Alive Dave Stringer on how chanting relates to yoga
Nag Hamadi:
If you bring up what is within you, what you bring up will set you free.
If you do not bring up what is within you, what you do not bring up will destroy you..

Dave Stringer: Connecting through Kirtan

Interview Dave Stringer (Kirtan Musician)
So what exactly should I be devoted to?
There is a text that says: " If I am Shiva, and you are Shiva, and all is Shiva, then in which direction should I bow?"
So who is the most important person here? Not me, not you, but everybody!
Your heart is at the centre of the universe, so look in it, if you wanna find something!
Dave Stringer

SitaRam SitaRam

dinsdag 15 april 2014

Indian Harmonium

The indian harmonum or pump-organ is used in Kirtan, Bhajans and all kinds of other Indian music. In every ashram or temple you are likely to find one, and many people can play some songs on it. Also used in classical music it is very popular in indian folk and popular music.

Wikipedia on harmonum
During the mid-19th century, missionaries brought French-made hand-pumped harmoniums to India. The instrument quickly became popular there: it was portable, reliable and easy to learn. It has remained popular to the present day, and the harmonium remains an important instrument in many genres of Indian music. For example, it is a staple of vocal North Indian classical music concerts. It is commonly found in Indian homes. Though derived from the designs developed in France, the harmonium was developed further in India in unique ways, such as the addition of drone stops and a scale-changing mechanism.

If you want to learn to play the harmonium the Bhakti Breakfast Club provides instructional video's on playing harmonium with Kirtan

From the website
About harmoniums: The harmonium, which was practically an unknown instrument in the USA as recently as 1989, has now become incredibly popular due to kirtan artists Krishnadas and Jai Uttal as well as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Harmoniums are showing up on recordings by Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Beck . . . the list goes on forever. Originally the harmonium was frowned up in Indian music because of it’s foreign origins  but gradually it became accepted and embraced. Over time the harmonium has replaced the traditional sarangi, and sarod, as number one instrument for accompanying vocals, much to the chagrin of sarod and sarangi players. The harmonium is originally a French instrument. Harmoniums came to India in the 1800s and were used by colonialists for playing church music at home. Indians adapted the harmonium for their own use and developed different tunings for it. Traditionally harmoniums are tuned in what is known as “equal tempered ” tuning. But Indians with no experience of European tuning standards, developed what is known as “just” tuning. A “just tuned” harmonium is set up by tuning the middle part of the keyboard to a pitch specific to the singer’s vocal range. The remainder of the harmoniums reeds are then tuned by ear to match rather than by tuning meter. A just-tuned harmonium is only useful for playing in one key. Whereas . . . an equal-tuned harmonium should be tuned to A-440 from end-to-end. An equal-tuned harmonium will sound good in any key. Gradually, harmonium players in India are abandoning the “just-tuned” standard, and are more and more often playing equal-tuned harmoniums. The majority of harmoniums shipped out of India are continue to be “just-tuned” and many are as much as 15 “cents” sharp. A harmonium that is only say, 2 “cents” sharp will be sonically compatible with synthesizers and pianos. A harmonium that is 15 “cents” sharp will sound okay by itself, but will sound discordant when played alongside a synthesizer or piano tuned to A-440. Most harmoniums utilize two banks of male and bass brass harmonium reeds. Scale-changer harmoniums and other high-end harmoniums utilize three banks of harmonium reeds. Harmoniums with three banks of reeds are manufactured with sets of Bass/Male/Male or Bass/Male/Female and are usually configured with 3.25 and 3.50 octave keyboards. Harmoniums with four banks of reeds are rare. Delhi-built harmoniums and Calcutta-built harmoniums have distinctly different sound qualities. Delhi-built harmoniums use a different grade of brass making the harmonium sound brighter and sharper when new. This style of harmonium reed however becomes mellower with playing over time and gives a very distinctive sound, typified by the Signature 23 as played by Krishnadas, and on the very old Bina models played by Jai Uttal. Calcutta harmoniums utilize harmonium reeds made in Palitana or some equivalent alloy make-up that makes them sound mellower right at the start. Occasionally one hears of people looking for harmoniums with “French” reeds or “German” reeds. These types of harmonium reeds have not been produced in at least 70 years and simply are not available. We do on special order build harmoniums with what are called “English Reeds” which are a perfect copy of classic British harmonium reeds made to exacting standards from special steel harmonium reed materials. Steel harmonium reeds are not as warm sounding as brass harmonium reeds but are more stable. Steel harmonium reeds too, are very difficult to tune but hold pitch longer due to the stability of the steel alloy used in these harmonium reeds. Folding harmoniums are popular because of their small size, which allows the harmonium to be taken on airline flights as carry-on and stored in the overhead. Non-folding harmoniums however, will have a wider breadth of sound because they have double the wind-chest capacity and are often preferred by studio musicians for recording purposes. Scale-changer harmoniums utilize a mechanical device that allows the keyboard of the harmonium to be slid up or down for instant transposing. A well-built scale-changer harmonium can be trouble free for many years. A scale-changer harmonium built with “green” or uncured wood however, will warp and be a nightmare. Scale-changer harmoniums are better suited for players that will maintain them in one place like a home, studio, or a temple. The knobs or “stops” on the harmonium are generally set up 1st/ 3rd/ 5th/ 7th/ for the ones that activate the harmonium’s wind-chest sections that supply air to each bank of the harmonium‚s reeds. The harmonium stops in the 2nd/ 4th/ 6th/ 8th positions will be “drones”. Harmonium drones are traditionally tuned to the black keys as these are preferred for use in Hindustani style playing. Keshav Music Imports builds the Signature 23 Harmonium with the reeds in the white keys for our Western customers. Another feature on all our harmoniums is the octave-coupler. The octave-coupler mechanically connects the note played to the same note one octave above or one octave below. The majority of harmoniums produced in India are built with pine. However nearly all scale-changers and high-end harmoniums are built with teak. Pine produces a softer, diffused quality, whereas teak produces a deeper, and “darker” quality. Neither quality is “preferable” in a harmonium. The preferred quality for a harmonium's sound is subjective to the player. While Keshav Music Imports sells all Indian instruments, the harmonium has been and continues to be our main focus. Keshav Das has spent years working directly alongside the luthiers that build our instruments and learned tuning and repairs at the Bina harmonium factory, the DMS harmonium factory and the Monoj Kumar Sardar harmonium factory. He personally checks all harmoniums for tuning and keyboard set-up before they are packed.

SitaRam SitaRam

donderdag 27 februari 2014

Hanuman Chalisa Marathon 13 april 2014, Den Bosch

De Hanuman Chalisa gaat weer gezongen worden, en wel op zondagmiddag 13 april in Den Bosch tussen 13.00 en 18.00 uur, bij Yoga aan de Kade, een mooie ruimte waar ook de kirtan-avonden plaatsvinden.
Op deze datum konden de meeste mensen.
Locatie: Yoga aan de kade
Handelskade 11, 5211 TH  ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Zegt het voort, zegt het voort!

Een middag meditatief en vreugdevol zingen, én een oefening in zijn-met-wat-er-is.
Iedereen kan meedoen, ervaring of mooie stem niet belangrijk.
(beetje oefenen of luisteren vooraf is wél handig :-)

Uitgebreidere informatie kun je vinden op

Geef mij door of je komt, door een email te sturen (reply).
Vragen stellen mag ook (is nou niet een alledaags gebeuren :-), via email of op facebook of

Alles over de Hanuman Chalisa op
Luister naar de Hanuman Chalisa op
Facebook pagina van de Hanuman Chalisa Mantra-Marathon-Estafette op

Wordt vrienden met Hans(uman) op (als je dat nog niet bent)
En 'like" de pagina's en

SitaRam SitaRam


woensdag 20 november 2013

Dave Stringer on Kirtan: Sing louder!

"You don't need a priest, you don't need a temple. This thing that we're seeking is already inside us, and if you want to find it, then sing. Then dance. Then clap your hands. And get together with other people who are doing that. And if you can't find it there, sing louder."

SitaRam SitaRam

New location Kirtan Utrecht: Puur Beweging (nieuwe lokatie)

Puur Beweging (Pure Movement) is the new location for the Kirtan-Mantra Happenings with Hansuman in Utrecht. Pure Movement moved in October 2013 to the Bemuurde Weerd near the Mill, opposite EKKO (where Sophie's Palaca was formerly)

Puur Beweging is de nieuwe locatie voor de Kirtan-Mantra Happenings met Hansuman in Utrecht. Puur Beweging is per oktober 2013 verhuisd naar de Bemuurde Weerd bij de sluisjes, vlakbij de Molen, schuin tegenover EKKO (waar vroeger Sophies Palaca was, voor de “ouderen” onder ons :-)

Adres: Bemuurde Weerd OZ 13, 3514 AN Utrecht
Map and conct-information on

SitaRam SitaRam

maandag 26 augustus 2013

Hanuman Chalisa Marathon-Estafette

Sunday afternoon 20 october 2013 you can sing the Hanuman Chalisa for 5 hours with together with Hansuman in Utrecht.
You are all invited to join in!

You can find more information on this event in Dutch at the page Hanuman Chalisa Marathon at

Puur Beweging
Bemuurde Weerd OZ 13, 3514 AN Utrecht
door open 11.40
afterparty with food & drinks (bring to share!) until 18.00
suggested donation: € 15,-, low-income/students € 10,-

Send a email to me to keep informed about the latest news on this event

Later more marathons will follow in Nijmegen, Den Bosch and other cities (invite me!)

SitaRam SitaRam

zaterdag 3 augustus 2013

Searching new location in Utrecht for Kirtan

In Utrecht I'm searching vor a new location for the Kirtan singing, as the yogacentrum Utrecht (YCU) ceased to be.
There are some options already, but suggestionas are always welcome.
Obviously, making music and singing must be allowed there :-)
Kirtans in Utrecht are on sunday-evenings.

In Utrecht we will start again in Spetember.
In Groesbeek and Nijmegen in August.

SitaRam SitaRam