Instruments made in Pakistan

Re: Instruments made in Pakistan

If you stick with the video beyond 3/4 way through you’ll find they’re making clarsachs/harps as well. And they look to be well made, too.

Re: Instruments made in Pakistan

I could not discern the name of this ´music emporium´. Perhaps I missed it. If this large ´manufactory´ is the Hakam Din instrument making plant, I would still approach their goods with considerable caution. Within the past five years a close family friend purchased her grand daughter a Harp-Like-Object from them. Totally unsuitable. Be cautioned.

Re: Instruments made in Pakistan

I usually say that Pakistani flutes are better as firewood than as musical instruments. I have yet to try one that is at least decent. It’s just a waste of fine wood.

Re: Instruments made in Pakistan

Those harps are not necessarily all bad, but you have to be exceptionally lucky. At least these ones look like they have decent enough levers.

I’ve posted before about this, but I had someone come for a taster harp lesson with one of these harp-shaped objects, and we could not get the thing to sound in any way good. Whatever we did it sounded really awful. I think the string gauges were all over the place. This person was a beginner harpist and I think that was the first and last time she ever played. Heartbreaking really.

I have another student who was also given one of these things and hers actually wasn’t bad. As long as she didn’t use any levers and didn’t play too loud. She is still a student four years later and doing incredibly advanced stuff – having bought a decent harp!

Re: Instruments made in Pakistan

i can’t speak to other instruments but as a piper, both GHB and smallpipes, I’ve owned (regrettably) and tried (hysterically) several “offshore” pipes. Offshore being the somewhat derogatory word for not manufactured in a western country, but Hakam Din being the main supplier. Difficult to tune, joints dry out and parts fall off, poor seals, and lightweight wood that has no resonant quality. You get what you pay for. They unload lots of them on Ebay for peanuts and probably have caused numerous students to walk away in sadness and frustration. My first/worst chanter was Pakistani “rosewood” and made me think again about ever wanting to take up pipes. Thankfully my instructor lent me a fine plastic chanter that was truly sweet and musical. What an eye opener. ear opener too.

Re: Instruments made in Pakistan

Mark, I think you hit the nail on the head. The major problem with these « instruments » is that someone starting out can be permanently discouraged before realising that the problem is not them, it’s the instrument. I can’t really speak for the other instruments produced in Pakistan, but sadly I’m only too familiar with their harps. « Harp-shaped objects » is a better description : impossible to tune, strings break all the time, and the half-tone levers might as well not be there. The best you can say for them is that they could make quite pretty « ethnic » decorations if you are into that kind of thing.

A further problem is that for the poor people who’ve bought one, it is difficult to find a luthier prepared to undertake any sort of repair when it’s needed. Believe me, I’ve tried, and been confronted with poor quality wood, shoddy workmanship, and the whole assembled with nails rather than joints or glue. The only conclusion one can reach is that the person who designed and built these things didn’t know the first thing either about the harp itself or about actually playing.

There remain many solutions for those who want to begin the harp but don‘t have a huge budget . It is possible to rent instruments at a reasonable price, which gives the opportunity to decide whether to continue, and if so what sort of harp would be appropriate. Or there are harps from reputable makers available second-hand on ebay or similar. Or most harp teachers will be able to advise.