Veena, also spelled Vina, is an ancient string instrument of India. Legends attribute its use to Goddess Saraswati. Veena is associated with an ancient stringed instrument named Yazh.

Veena is 2 m long, and is generally made from jackfruit wood. It is a long-necked lute with a resonating bowl named kudam, which in turn influences the tonal quality. A gourd named kudukkai is attached. The narrow end of the instrument resembles the head of a dragon.

Veena consists of 24 frets, which are attached by means of bees-wax, mixed with charcoal powder. Also included are seven strings, of which four strings passes over the frets while performance. The other three strings are known as drone strings.

This instrument is played by pointing and middle fingers. During performance, the small gourd is placed on the left thigh, and the main bowl is placed on the ground, partially supported by the right thigh. The resonating quality of the Veena is enhanced by a hole made on the kudam.

The most popular varieties of Veena are Saraswati Veena, Rudra Veena and Vichitra Veena.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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