Providing rhythm since 1900

MAKING MUSIC 

Providing rhythm since 1900

Passing by Parliament Street in Connaught Place, almost every creative personality glances through the glass doors of a shop to catch a glimpse of the grand piano in white. The centre piece is so magnificent that none want to miss the chance of soaking in its visual beauty. But once inside, you are sure to realise that the shop, Godin Music is a treasure trove indeed.

Established in 1900 by Celiano Godin, the shop still retains its sheen and shines as bright as any contemporary shop in the popular market. More so because of its rich collection of musical instruments that have been sold for over a hundred years.
“My grandfather dealt in piano and other musical instruments in Quetta, Pakistan,” informs Steven Austin Godin, the current owner. “When he moved to Delhi, he opened a shop in Kashmere Gate in 1930. And when Connaught Place was constructed in 1930, he moved the shop here.” Since then the place has been a favourite with both, music lovers and foreigners.

Godin Music has seen days when artistes like the Beetles and sitar maestro Pt Ravi Shankar visited the shop. “I still have those fond memories. We even made a piano for Lord Mountbatten’s first wife and still supply pianos to Rashtrapati Bhavan and most of the Embassies or High Commissions here,” shares Steven who took over the shop when he was just 17.

In the 40s and 50s there was a huge demand for saxophones but today the shop has only one saxophone. “The demand for the instrument is very limited today,” he informs Metrolife, adding, “Foreigners used to frequent the shop for pianos and guitars earlier but now they get fascinated by Indian instruments like Gopichand,
Dilruba, Rubab and Ektara,” which were introduced by his father in the 1970s.

While the grand and upright pianos still occupy a major space in the shop, there is ample variety in guitar, sitar, veena, mridang, tabla, flute (metallic and bamboo), mouth organ, tambourine, mandolins (which became popular after DDLJ) and even beautiful pairs of ghungroos and cymbals, to choose from.

The German grand piano with inscription Schiedmayer, is the most prized possession of the shop and is about 70 years old. It has fine strings in golden colour. A dream instrument for any pianist!

The first musical instrument that Steven learnt was the Piano. But interestingly, he knows how to play all the instruments that are available in the shop. “My father taught me,” he confesses including Been in the list. “I handpicked this piece from Chennai,” he informs, pointing to the sole one displayed prominently.

Today, in the age of electronic revolution, Austin confesses, “It is challenging and not economically viable to run the shop.” Yet Godin Music has a special place in the hearts of all acoustic lovers - old and young alike.

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