Welcome to our collection of veena gifts. Even if you don’t count a vainika among your friends, there are many lovely veena gifts to consider. The unique plucked string instrument can be played in many styles. We’re sure you will love the music of the veena.
Choose from classical and contemporary Indian music, T-shirts, coffee mugs, cooking aprons, trucker hats, posters, colorful buttons, refrigerator magnets, cotton canvas tote bags, postcards, and more unique veena gifts.
Dayananda Saraswati Though music transcends language, culture and time, and though notes are the same, Indian music is unique because it is evolved, sophisticated and melodies are defined.
Seventh generation rudra veena player Asad Ali Khan dedicated his life to preserving the playing of the instrument. He was particularly involved in promoting Indian classical music to the young people of India. The Indian daily newspaper The Hindu once described him as “the best living rudra veena player in India.”
Award-winning performer, composer, and music director Rajhesh Vaidhya is known for his blistering speed on the veena. His unique style is enhanced by electric and amplified strings, adding a new dimension to the south Indian music tradition.
Classic cotton-poly twill blend aprons are another of our top picks for practical veena gifts. Choose from several style and color options. Spacious front pockets hold plenty of utensils and cooking tools. Aprons are machine washable and proudly made in the U.S.A.
Here’s one of our favorite inexpensive gift ideas for veena players and music fans. Everyone needs refrigerator magnets, right? Standard size square magnets measure 2 by 2 inches. Designs are printed on 100% recycled paper. Scratch and UV-resistant Mylar keeps magnets looking as good as new for years of enjoyment.
Mugs are one of our favorite affordable veena gifts. Everyone can use a few mugs. Click on any mug to see how the design looks from different angles. Choose from many sizes, styles, and colors to create a personal gift for your favorite vainika.
Postcards are of the most affordable veena gifts, and they come in handy for writing quick notes to friends and family. Each card measures 4.25 by 5.6 inches and is printed on ultra-heavyweight (120 lb.) card stock with a gloss finish. They’re beautiful enough to frame.
Here’s another inexpensive gift idea for your favorite vainika or music lover. Standard sized square buttons measure 2 inches by 2 inches. Designs are printed on 100% recycled paper and covered with scratch and UV-resistant Mylar for years of use. Choose from a rainbow of background colors for a customized button gift.
One of the most popular veena gifts is a set of playing cards. Each comes packaged in a cardboard box for easy gifting. Poker size cards measure 2.5 by 3.5 inches, with 52 playing cards and 2 jokers per deck. Click on any design to see the available options. Standard cards are printed on smooth card stock, and premium quality Bicycle playing cards are printed on durable semi-gloss card stock.
British Guitarist John McLaughlin I find Indian music very funky. I mean it’s very soulful, with their own kind of blues. But it’s the only other school on the planet that develops improvisation to the high degree that you find in jazz music. So we have a lot of common ground.
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.
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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The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument used in Hindustani and Indian classical music. The instrument descended from lutes and was also influenced by the veena, an ancient Indian instrument. The body is characterized by a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber at the lower end. Teak wood or tun wood are commonly used for the neck and faceplate. The instrument looks a lot like the tanpura, except that it has frets.
Here are a few more sitar facts. This unique instrument has 18, 19, or 20 strings. Six or seven are played strings which run over curved, raised frets. The rest are sympathetic strings which run underneath the frets and resonate in sympathy with the played strings. The frets are movable, which allows fine tuning.
More Sitar Facts
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a sitarist.
Notable sitarists include Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Ashwin Batish, Anjan Chattopadhyay, Annapurna Devi, Reenat Fauzia, Lowell George (Little Feat), George Harrison (The Beatles), Justin Hayward (Moody Blues), Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones), Shri Premadasa Hegoda, Prem Joshua, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and The Khan Family, Al Gromer Khan, Gabby La La, Dr. Swarn Lata, Emily Robison (Dixie Chicks), Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka Shankar, and Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones).
Though highly popular in the Indian culture, the sitar gained fame on the worldwide stage when the Beatles featured the instrument in several of their compositions. Sitarist Ravi Shankar inspired lead guitarist George Harrison to play the instrument on the song “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1965. “Love You To,” written and sung by George Harrison in 1966, was the first Beatles song to fully embrace Indian classical music.
George Harrison received one-on-one guidance from Ravi Shankar during a seven-week visit to India, which left a lasting impact on his musical style. He promoted Indian music for the remainder of his long and successful career.
Brian Jones played the instrument on The Rolling Stones 1966 hit “Paint It Black.” Another English guitarist, Dave Mason, played it on Traffic’s 1967 hits “Paper Sun” and “Hole in My Shoe.” Ravi Shankar described this pop song trend as “the great sitar explosion.”
Brian Jones Playing Sitar
Painting by John Froehlich
High Quality Giclee Print
Anoushka Shankar is the daughter of Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. Anoushka began training with her father at the age of seven, eventually accompanying him on the tanpura. She was 13 when she performed sitar onstage for the first time at a concert celebrating her father’s 75th birthday. After establishing herself as a respected classical sitarist, Anoushka began composing music. Her unique style blends Indian music with flamenco, jazz, electronica, and Western classical genres. Musical talent runs in the family. Both she and her half-sister Norah Jones were nominated for Grammy awards in 2003.
We Love Sitars
Looking for more sitar facts? Here are some of our favorite pages about calming sitar music for you to enjoy: