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 LESSONS in Indian Music

Saraswati Veena : Lesson 1

The name Saraswati veena itself suggests that it is an instrument that is played by the goddess of learning (Saraswati), vidya and gnyan (wisdom). It occupies the most honourable place among musical instruments in India.

One can see the depiction of the Sarawati veena in every painting, sculpture and poem of goddess Saraswati. In fact, one of the names of Saraswati is veenavadini, meaning the one who plays the veena. The origin of the veena can be traced back to Indian mythology. It is definitely one of the most ancient Indian string instruments and was developed in Tanjore in south India.

The most important south Indian instrument, it is played both solo and as an accompaniment to vocal music. When it is played solo, then it is accompanied by a mridangam after a long and elaborate alaap. The tone of the veena is deep, pleasant and quite soft. It has a range of three and a half octaves. A veena player is also called vainak. The present form of the veena is about 300 years old.

Veena : Lesson 1 Lesson 2