The veena is a plucked string instrument with origins in ancient India. It’s used primarily in Carnatic classical music (South Indian) and Hindustani classical music (North Indian). The earliest veenas were referenced as far back as 15th century BC, and were similar to harps.
There are several types of veenas–some with frets and some without. Saraswati and chitra veenas used in Carnatic music are in the lute family. Rudra and vichitra veenas used in Hindustani music are technically zithers.
Depending on one’s playing technique and use of amplification devices, the instrument has a wonderful sound for both traditional and contemporary music.
More Veena Facts
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a vainika.
Notable vainikas include Veenai Dhanammal, Veenai Gayathri, Rugmini Gopalakrishnan, Jayanthi Kumaresh, Nirmala Rajasekar, Veene Sheshanna, Veena Subbanna, Prince Rama Varma, and Tirupati Srivani Yalla.
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Performed by Nirmala Rajasekar
Often called a “Carnatic Ambassador,” Nirmala Rajasekar is an internationally renowned veena virtuoso. She has performed south Indian classical music throughout the world, earning many awards along the way. Nirmala also enjoys collaborative projects with other music traditions including western classical and jazz.
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Keep an eye on this automatically updating gallery of veenas and accessories available on eBay. Find bargains on all kinds of Indian stringed instruments including veenas.