In this world, music is central to every culture. Children are usually encouraged to learn to sing or play any musical instrument popular in the region. In India, veena is one of the classical instruments and is extremely popular in South India.
It is made of strings and is the most ancient Indian instrument. Veena was created in the south of India. There are different types of veena such as Rudra veena, Sarasvati veena, Vichitra veena, Mahanataka veena, and Gottuvadhyam veena (also called Chitra veena).
In India, there are two primary styles of music: Hindustani and Carnatic music. Carnatic music, which is studied widely in South India, uses veena extensively. In North India, a variation of the veena, the sitar, is used.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient history. There is one story that is related to the modern-day Saraswati veena. Its design was developed circa the 17th Century when Thanjavur Nayak’s dynasty was ruling Tamil Nadu.
The story goes like this: a long time ago, a famous singer from Karnataka, another south-Indian state, was invited to perform at the Thanjavur court. He came with an instrument called Yazh, which resembles the Burmese Harp.
The singer was known for his recitation using Gamakams. Gamakam in music is a form of storytelling using turns and curves in the musical notes while singing. The Yazh players of the Thanjavur court could not match his singing.
They were embarrassed! As a lesson, the players took a commitment that they will develop the instrument Yazh in such a way it can match the Gamakams produced by a human voice. And that’s how Yazh was modified to Veena.
Of the many instruments in the world, veena is among the ones that are the most to master and takes years of practice. The performer sits cross-legged and holds the veena in the front and its main body is placed on the ground.
Its references are also found in Indian Vedic scriptures as well which date back to around the first millennium BC. Its first mention occurs in the Rig Veda, the earliest example of a literary work in India. Do you know that some temple sculptures from 2nd Century BC have a veena-like instrument too?
In Indian mythology, the goddess of knowledge and arts, Saraswati, is depicted holding a veena in one hand. The Mysticals are in awe of every musical instrument. They love the veena too.
The Gifted Four will be happy to know which instrument would you like to learn or are already learning!?