Bangladeshi company prepares to serve increasing demands for brass and other obscure musical instruments
Even though the market for musical instruments is not very big in Bangladesh, compared to more developed countries, it still serves the need of instruments for a wide range of genres like classical, folk and many sub-genres in popular and classical western music. There was a time when the prevalent instruments in the market were only guitars, drums and pianos. But with time a diverse range of musical styles are gaining mainstream access and with that the need for different and hitherto uncommon instruments are growing.
Among the ‘uncommon’ instruments are those from the brass family - such as trumpet, horn, saxophone - that are not usually featured in popular music, nor are they easily available for purchase in the local market. As Bangladesh’s per capita spending for musical instruments is very low, brass instruments are even more obscure because of the price. A saxophone costs around Tk3,50,000 and a clarinet goes for Tk1,50,000 in the market.
Despite the market being small, there is a niche that exists and to serve them. Bangladeshi company National Music House has been importing and manufacturing many different types of instruments, including brass and windpipe instruments. Based in Dhaka, the company imports some instruments from world famous brands like Yamaha, Imperial, West Minister and many more.
There is also repair and after sales services with the most skilled hands in the country and the service has achieved the highest level of satisfaction from its customers. The repair person and luthier Dobir Hossain has been working for the company for the past 20 years. Repairing is especially necessary as the pipe band and brass instruments they are selling have an average life span of five years. Becasue of Bangladesh’s humid climate, the colour coating of brass instruments starts wearing off after about three years, even though the instrument remains functional.
National Music House started operation back in 1947 when the founder, Sheikh Abdus Samad Bepary set up an industry, the first of its kind, to produce pipe band instruments. Originally founded as ‘Pak Music House’, the company’s primary customers were and still are the armed forces, which purchase instruments for their marching bands.
They specialize in importing and manufacturing marching band products and are the only contactors in regards to parade items for the Directorate General Defence Purchase. The company has been able to operate smoothly throughout the past 71 years. The present CEO Md Nakibul Islam wants to expand his customer range and plans on setting up a new venture for the music lovers with diverse tastes.
Md Nakibul Islam, CEO of National Music House plans on setting up a retail shop selling brass instruments either in Dhanmondi or Gulshan by 2020. Keeping in mind that these instruments are pretty expensive, he plans to provide personal installment services for musicians to pursue their dreams. Side by side, they are already working making an EMI system available in collaboration with City Bank Limited, which will be effective from the coming month.
He also has plans on setting up a platform where instructors and peers can meet and exchange knowledge and skills related to music. As part of this, he will be conducting a series of workshops in schools and will provide free lessons to students. Nakibul hopes that by the next decade music using these instruments, such as jazz, will catch on and many more avenues will open up.
Brass instruments are now available at the National Music House. For details, visit www.nmhbd.com or facebook/nmhdhaka