For well over a hundred years,this family has been coaxing musicout of worn-out instruments.VIPASHA SINHA listens in

Eighty-two-year-old R. Rangaswamy is seated at his modest outlet on Burkit road while his son R. Chandrasekar (48) and grandson Krishna (19) watch him carefully move his fingers over a Harmonium that has come to the shop for repair. And then, the trio pass a knowing glance at each other, while I sit there dazed. Their trained ears and eyes have spotted something mine missed. One of the keys of the Harmonium is out-of-sync. They work on it till it sounds the way it should.

Five generations of this family have been making and repairing Indian classical instruments.

“It all started in Thanjavur, where my grandfather used to make Veena and Harmonium. He also repaired these instruments. He passed on the art to my father Ramaswamy, who decided to come to Chennai in the 1900s. He did all the work from home,” says R. Rangaswamy, who was surrounded by musical instruments right from childhood and learned the nuances of every instrument while watching his father work.

It was only obvious that he joined the family business. By this time they had started working with violin, tabla, guitar and mridangam.

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