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18:02 Mar 11, 2018
Spanish to English translations [PRO] Music
Spanish term or phrase:caja de un armonio
A box of a pump organ? Is the part called a box in English? A sounding box??
Según el testimonio de su amigo en París, el artista compra un armonio que tocaba en “el hueco de una escalera caracol, una especie de descanso donde apenas podía moverse con sus largas piernas… se enroscaba en su caja para hacerle sonar acordes…”
Thank you for your response. I would post an answer, but there is a problem. Wendy has inquired about the term caja de un armonio, to which Neilmac and John have posted accurate answers. However, Wendy has also given us a contextual reference that does not match the queried term. If Wendy wants to go with the queried term, she's got a couple of winning answers. If she wants to go with the context, .... Well, she hasn't answered my question about the ellipsis so I see no point to knock on the door again.
It seems obvious (at least to me) once you point it out. I was dubious about the idea of curling up inside a harmonium, but didn't pursue that thought to its logical conclusion. Obviously it's impossible to do so inside a portable harmonium, but it's very doubtful you could do so even inside an old-fashioned harmonium, which is like a little organ (especially if you have long legs!). I don't think it is possible. And even if you could, how would you play it at the same time? And how would you get an instrument like that (which is quite large) inside a spiral staircase? It must be what you suggest: he curled up in the space inside the spiral staircase and played a portable harmonium in there. The "caja" must be that of the staircase; it can't be that of the harmonium.
I was very excited to have the chance; I don't think she performed all that often. It was in a very small venue. I remember her heavy German accent. I was hoping she might sing "All Tomorrow's Parties", but no.
Harmonium is sometimes used as a synonym for pump organs in general, of pretty much all sizes. In my lifetime, in the U.S. anyway, I'm not used to seeing the term harmonium used much in this way. I have seen it more as a kind of exotic, hand-held or at least very portable, small pump organ. I'm most familiar with it, though, in connection with music from the Indian subcontinent; particularly, for me, with Pakistani Qawwali sacred music, as exemplified by Ustad Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan, accompanying the great qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. However, in more recent times, the instrument is being rejected on the subcontinent, partly because it is a Western imposition on non-Western cultures; & practically because it is not possible to sound tones in between the diatonic scale tones of Western music or to perform glissando-like glides between notes - both of which have been important features of Indian & Pakistani musics.
But modern sources seem to call it the body. Mind you, they seem to be referring to portable harmoniums, which are new to me and seem to be very popular in India.
I've always known the instrument that's about the size and shape of an upright piano with pedals to pump air, as a harmonium, though in the US particularly it seems to be called a pump organ. I used to play the harmonium myself, and in the 1970s I saw Nico (of Velvet Underground fame) perform in France, singing her incredibly gloomy songs and accompanying herself on the harmonium.
I think here "se enroscaba..." means he wrapped himself around, coiled himself around, the case of the harmonium. He's playing the thing in a spiral staircase, a kind of "relaxation" in which he can scarcely move his long legs... He had to wrap himself around the case in order to get enough freedom of movement to be able to make it play chords...