The harmonium is a portable bellows and keyboard organ imported into India by missionaries in the mid-19th century.

This instrument has been widespread during the 20th century and is used in many musical contexts, notably devotional. Within the framework of Hindustani music and although being a temperate instrument, the harmonium gradually replaced the sāraṅgī bow fiddle.

During a recital, the harmonium player reproduces the melodic phrases uttered by the singer.