Delhi’s best homegrown music stores, Edition 1

Delhi has always been kind to the performing arts. Music and poetry have flourished in the city ever since 1st century AD. Patronized by most of the Sultanate, the music of Delhi has evolved drawing influences from the Turks, Persians and Arabs. While the golden time of Amir Khusrao who invented various forms of Qawwali is well known, we often fail to acknowledge an important community who have shaped and evolved with Delhi’s music in contemporary times- Delhi’s very own musical instruments manufacturers and stores. Most families who own these companies are established musicians themselves and have been reliable suppliers of high quality musical instruments to maestros such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Zakir Hussain. We present a list of such companies who have for decades upheld Delhi’s rich heritage.

Rikhiram Music Instruments Manufacturing Company

Probably one of the best and oldest outlets for Indian musical instruments in the city, Rikhiram Music Instruments boasts of a rich patronage including Indian classical music greats such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Jasraj and Anoushka Shankar. Bishan Das, sitar maker par excellence, musician and owner of Rikhiram’s believes in the power of knowledge. “You will not understand the nuances of music if you are untrained. It is a science that has to be mastered”, says 76 year old Das. It is this passion for music that has translated into quality in their instruments over the years. Such is their reputation for quality that the legendary George Harrison of The Beatles bought his sitar from their Connaught Place store in 1966. That sitar was made by none other than Bishan Das! The other Beatles of course had helped themselves to a sarod (John Lennon), tanpura (Paul McCartney) and tabla (Ringo Starr). http://www.rikhiram.com/

Where: G-block, Connaught Place

Nearest metro station: Rajiv Chowk

rikhiram

Bharat Music House

Popular for its range of musical instruments from guitars & amplifiers to drums & keyboards, Bharat Music House is frequented by most ‘serious’ musicians of Delhi like Kem Trivedi of Silk Route. Opened more than 100 years in Lahore, they opened their first Delhi branch in Panchkuian Road. They also have a smaller outlet in Lajpat Nagar, which houses only western instruments. The original branch carries an equally impressive array of Indian instruments. Partner, Amar Pal who is also a music producer boasts that BMH has the best harmoniums and keyboards that the city has to offer. http://www.bharatmusichouse.com/

Where: Panchkuian Road and Lajpat Nagar

Nearest metro station: RK Ashram Marg (for Panchkuian Road) and Lajpat Nagar

bharat music house

Marques & Co.

Another store that remains a favourite among musicians, especially pianists, Marques was opened in 1918 by Frank Marques and is still run by his family. Specializing in pianos and guitars, Marques has maintained its rustic charm with its walls covered with framed posters and records of records released at the turn of the last century. Don’t be too surprised to find spectacular German made Bluthner upright pianos here. Ecstatic would be the right way to go! http://marques.in/

Where: G-block, Connaught Place

Nearest metro station: Rajiv Chowk

marques

Godin & Co.

Another shop that has grown with the city of Delhi is A. Godin & Co. in Connaught Place. Opened in 1900 in Quetta by Celiano Godin, the first Delhi branch came up in Kashmiri Gate in 1940. In 1960, Celiano’s son, Austin Godin shifted the outlet to behind Regal Building where it still stands tall. When the company was started, they dealt in only imported pianos. But now they sell everything from pianos to sitars and tabla. You can also rent pianos from here for around INR 1500 per month.

Where: Regal Building, Parliament Street

Nearest metro station: Rajiv Chowk

godin

 Bhatia Musicals

The new “kid on the block” is Bhatia Musicals in Khanna Market. Dealing mainly in brands like Yamaha, Fender and Ibanez, Bhatia Musicals has two stores in Delhi/ NCR, the latest one- Galleria Market, Gurgaon. The owners are considerate enough to take in requests for models that you don’t find elsewhere and they import it for you. Well stocked in digital music as well, Bhatia Musicals is a good place to rent musical instruments too.

Where: Khanna Market and Galleria

Nearest metro station: Jor Bagh/ Khan Market (for Khanna Market) and IFFCO Chowk (for Galleria)

bhatia musicals

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