Beenkar Academi

Indian Veena

Introduction

This site is devoted exclusively to the family of Indian Classical Musical instruments called Veena. It contains information about the construction and playing techniques of the Rudra Veena, Surbahar and Saraswati Veena. The site also contains some original work done by Shri Suvir Misra on the acoustics, construction and playing techniques of Rudra 'Veena, Surbahar and Saraswati Veena.

Veena in Classical Indian Tradition

Ancient Classical Texts, Samhita, Aranykas and Brahmanas mention different kinds of Veenas such as Hans, Vana, Godha, Kandha, Jaluka, Alambu, Kapisirshini, Karkari, Picchola, Vakra, Sila, Satantantri and Audumbari. Other types of Veenas find specific mention in the Pauranic texts, Ramayana and the literary and scholarly works of Kalidasa and Bana. Scholars like Sarangadeva, Somnatha, Nijaguna Sivayogi, Sudhakalasa have also mentioned various other types of Veenas in their works. In the Upanishads the daand of the Veena is compared to the Human Spinal Column while each vertebrae is compared to the Veena frets.

The anthropomorphic groundings of Veena is most evident from the fact that Veena is closely linked to the human vocal traditions or the Banis. Rig Veda and Yajur Veda are sung in the tri-swarya music while the Sama Veda is sung in the sapta swara. The method of denoting the swara in the Sama Gana is called the Gatra Veena Paddhati or the 'Voice Veena Method'. One can still find the same Gatra Veena Paddhati being followed in the Dagarbani tradition in the vocalization of the Beenkar technique of playing Alaap, Jod and Jhala by using the sacred syllables like 'Ri Ra Ra Naa.....Te Ta Ra Na...".

Veena has always been the defacto accompanist instrument to one's own vocal performance and the singers used to play the Been while singing the Khayal or the Dhruva Padas. One can also observe this practice being followed by the Vainikas from the Carnatic tradition.

You can view a Rudra Veena Video featuring the rare Raga Shivmat Bhairav here .

History of Rudra Veena .

Rudra Veena Construction Rudra Veena or Been making is an art that needs to be mastered for years through application of the principles of Been acoustics. Mere replication of the parts of the Veena and its assembly cannot give us an excellent resonating instrument.

Recent News and Concert Updates

22 Sruti Just Intonation Software, Version 2.5: Click here to download the "22 Sruti Keyboard" featuring a Tanpura and 7 Hindustani instruments like Rudra Veena, Dilruba, Sarod, and Sitar. The application is a Freeware and has been developed by Suvir Misra for the benefit of the students of Dhrupad and Veena.

'Akhil Bharatiya Sangeet Sammelan' at PSK Auditorium New Delhi, September 2006: Shri Suvir Misra plays Raga Malgunji on his Green Dragon Rudra Veena . Video excerpts from the Concert are available (28 mins). Pt Dalchand Sharma accompanies on the Pakhawaj..

Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan Concert at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi, May 2006 : "........His renderings in the opening alap-jor had the distinct flavours of the Beenkaar tradition. " - Shri Jitendra Pratap, The Hindu, 16/06/2006

Nada Chakra Festival at Habitat Center, New Delhi, April 2006 : Shri Suvir presented Raga Kambhoji which is a rare Raga from the Dagarbani Dhrupad tradition.

Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan Dargah , at Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi: Shri Suvir had the honour of playing the Karnatic Raga Kirwani at the dargah on his Sarswati Veena in the Hindustani Style.

View Rudra Veena Video of Raga Shivmat Bhairav

Rudra Veena Tutorial for Beginners The 3 mizrab technique of playing Been substantially differs from that of the Sitar. This series of articles would provide new lessons as a regular feature for the beginners.

Rudra Veena AcousticsA number of good researches have been done by the Western Universities on the acoustics of Western instruments like Guitar, Violin and the Flute. However, similar research on the acoustics of Veena or Sitar does not appear to have been made available publically. Been or Rudra Veena differs from most of the instruments because of it's unique tubular acoustical structure which differs from the well known instruments with flat sound boards.

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