The Sangeeta Ratnakara of Sarngadeva (13th century) is one of the most important musicological texts from India, which both Hindustani music and Carnatic music regard as a definitive text. These texts gives many details about Veena (Tata Vadya) Mridangam- (Anavaddha) Flute (Sushira) Drums(Ghana). He mentioned about Ekatanatri, Nakulee, Tritantri,Chitra, Vipanchi, Mattakokila, Aalaapini, Kinnari, Pinaaki and Nissanka veenas. Palakurki Somanatha has also reffered these and other varieties of Veenas in his Telugu Poem panditaradhya charitramu. Very few details are available in the Sangeeta Ratnakara on some of these Veenas (Somanatha and Sarangadeva belonged to the same age).
|2||Bhrahma Veena||17||Trinari Veena||32||Vipanchika|
|3||Kailasa Veena||18||Saraswathi Veena||33||Sara Veena|
|4||Saranga Veena||19||Molli Veena||34||Parivaadi|
|5||Koorma Veena||20||Manoradha Veena||35||Mallari|
|6||Aakasha Veena||21||Gananadha Veena||36||Kolaashti|
|7||Pinnka Veena||22||Kaumara Veena||37||Swaramandalam|
|9||Gauri Veena||24||Raavana Hastham||39||Audumbaram|
|10||Gandharva Veena||25||Tiipiri||40||Tantri Saagaram|
|11||Bana Veena||26||Sakaneya||41||Ambhuja Veena|
The rudra veena has a long tubular body with a length ranging between 54 and 62 inches made of wood or bamboo. Two large-sized, round resonators, made of dried and hollowed gourds, are attached under the tube. Twenty-four brass-fitted raised wooden frets are fixed on the tube with the help of wax. There are 4 main strings and 3 chikari strings.
It is one of other major types of veena played in Indian classical music. The others include vichitra veena, Saraswati veena and chitra veena. Out of these the rudra and vichitra veenas are used in the Hindustani classical music of North India, while Saraswati and chitra veenas are used in the Carnatic music of South India. As Rudra is a name for the Hindu god Shiva, rudra vina literally means “the veena dear to Shiva.”
Some famous Rudra Veena players are as follows:
Asad Ali Khan
Asit Kumar Banerjee
Bande Ali Khan
Chote Rehmat Khan
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Pt.Bindu Madhav Pathak
Nasir Aminuddin Khan
Parvatikar- Foremost amongst the 20th century artists who lived in Himalayas
Ramachandra V. Hegde – also plays the sitar
Sadiq Ali Khan
Shamsuddin Faridi Desai
Zahid Khan Faridi
Zia Mohiuddin Dagar
Shree P D Shah
Out of the traditional beenkars,late Ustad Shamsuddin’s family has four sons (Zahid, Nasir, Rehman, and Parvez), all of them play the rudra veena.
Jeff Lewis, United States
Philippe Bruguiere, France
Peter Row, United States
Benjamin Perkins, United States
Keiji Haino, Japan
According to Manchala, the present day Sitar resembles the “Eka Raga Mela” veena of Ramamatya. The present day Sitar has the facility to move or change the frets according to raga. Haripala deva has said that the Kinnera veena resembles the Sitar where 14,16 and 18 frets are fixed and used according to their requirement.The present day veena is perfectly constructed to meet the purpose with perfect scales i.e., each part resembles a particular variety of veena. Hence it is required to analyse and learn about the earlier days Veena which are not existing in these days.The study will reveal how cultural development process has helped in the changes. As all the stringed instruments are called as Tata Vadyas, the present days veena’s real shape, image has to be reviewed in a composite universal perception. Is there any resemblance between the Swara mandali and today’s Saraswati veena? Both are stringed instruments only. That’s all.But one has to accept that the development and changes derived from that only.Knowledge of historical background is very important to know about the present days Veena. Points to know are given below:
- Usage of only a few strings.
- Construct a dandam, fix a few frets on it, tie only one string and produce 12 swarasthanaas.
- To double the 12 swarasthanas, increase it three times, and produce swaraas on one string in 3 places.
- To tie 3 strings, and produce the required Sthaayis on the dandam, (short in size) just with intelligence and common sense.
- To tie 4 strings and produce 3 ½ sthayis. If we go through the past history we can get the required, constructive, information about Veena, parts like meruvu, frets, pecks, kakubham, Naagapaasam, the top, bridge, jeevalam etc and evolution of this instrument.