Electronic Generation of Repetitive Melodies for Students

by David Courtney working tools

sunadamala (sunadmala) lahara Peti by radel

The lahera (lahera) peti, is an Indian electronic instrument which produces simple repetitive melodies as an aid for students.  It serves the same function that has historically been performed by artists on the sarangi, harmonium, or other melodic instruments.  However the obvious advantage is that the electronic version is there for ones practice at any time.

I am told that the first electronic lahera peti was made by a P. Mitra, in Karnatica.  I know nothing of the man, but I was able to reverse engineer one of his machines back in the mid 1970's.  I was an analogue oscillator that was controlled by a simple analogue / digital sequencer.  It was crude but serviceable for churning out a Tintal lahera.

Within a few years Radel systems of Bangalore were producing commercial quality lahera petis.  These made much more extensive use of improvements in digital electronics, so that numerous laheras in several tals were now practical.

Other companies have also started to produce their own lahera petis.  One alternative to the Radel is the "Naghma"

The future of the lahera peti is in doubt.  The rising popularity of software versions that play on smartphones has really cut into the market


Selected Video



© 1998 - 2017 David and Chandrakantha Courtney

For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at [email protected]