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Sangeeta The word “Sangeeta” comes from Sanskruta, an old language spoken in India that is thought to be the origin of many modern Indian languages. It translates as “music” and is made up of the words “Sam,” meaning great, and “Geeta,” signifying a song or singing. Sangeeta is based on the seven swaras or notes that are its fundamental components. There are two primary styles of Indian music: Hindustani, which is predominantly performed in the north of India, and Karnatak (also spelled Carnatic), which is heard in the south. Both of these styles use the same essential seven swaras, yet they differ in their musical delivery. This article focuses on Karnatak music and provides an introduction to essential terms and the basic concepts of ragas and talas. Carnataka music, also known as Karnatik or Karnataka sangīta, originates from India and is one of the two main styles of Indian classical…

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Bones involved in Playing The role, practical implication, and action of arm bones and hand bones while playing Saraswati Veena: Role: The bones in the arms and hands play a crucial role in the execution of the movements required to play the Saraswati Veena. They provide support, stability, and structure to the fingers and wrists while playing the instrument. Practical implication: Playing the Saraswati Veena requires a lot of repetitive movements of the fingers and wrists. This can put a lot of strain on the bones and joints in the arms and hands, leading to discomfort, pain, and even injury if proper care is not taken. It is important to maintain good posture, use proper technique, take breaks when necessary, and engage in stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent these issues. Action: During the process of playing the Saraswati Veena, the bones in the arms and hands undergo a range…

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Melam-Preparation Of Wax Fred Board The Melam is a crucial part of the Veena as it is the portion where the frets are fixed and the artists showcase their skills. Knowledge of Shruti Gnana and Swara Gnana is crucial to fix the Melam. Preparing for the melam To set up the Melam on the Veena, certain items are required including honey wax, black color or grinded coal powder, a small amount of Guggul, and brass rods. The wax should be melted in a vessel over a stove and mixed with the black color and Guggul to create a soft paste. 24 new brass frets of equal length and thickness should be selected to avoid Sruti Bheda. The frets should have small legs on both sides to prevent them from moving from their original place, and the rods should not have any cuts on them. The top 4 strings should be…

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Construction of Veena To make a Veena, various tools and raw materials are used including: Jackfruit Wood: The main raw material used for making the Veena. Chisels and Hammers: These tools are used to carve different designs into the wood. L-shaped Scale: This tool helps with measuring and marking motifs. Wood Husk, Fevicol, and Yellow Colour Powder: These are mixed together to make a paste which is applied to cover gaps in the Veena. Lac Colors: These are used for inlay work on the Veena. Bee Wax and Coal Powder: These materials are used to create a base for the brass metal frets. Gum Benzoin: This is melted and mixed with color powder to create lac color for inlay work on plastic sheets. Buffing Machine: A machine used to smooth out the surface of the wood. Drilling Tool: A manually operated tool used for drilling holes. Pegs and Knobs: These…

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The Saraswati Veena is a traditional Indian musical instrument that is four feet in length and consists of several parts, including a large resonator (Tumba), a wooden bridge (Mettu), a tapering hollow neck (Dandi), a smaller non-functional resonator, and seven strings. Skilled and expert artisans work together to make the Veena in a multi-stage process that takes at least three to four days to complete. The process starts by carving a single log of jackfruit wood into the Veena’s base, as this wood is known for its ability to be easily carved when moist. The wood is first seasoned and matured before being carved. The entire instrument is carved out of one single piece of wood. If the wood breaks during carving due to its hardness, parts of the Veena are carved separately and joined together after carving. The artisan first carves the basic shape of the Veena out of…

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Sanna Meetu: Mild striking for delicate sound Dodda Meetu: Hard striking for loud sound Lo Meetu: Index finger strikes string from top to bottom Veli Meetu: Strike from bottom to upwards Kattera Meetu: Index and middle finger strikes in quick succession Todu Meetu: Index and middle finger strikes separately Tada Meetu: Middle finger strikes 3rd letter in Tisram Addu Meetu: Index finger strikes, middle finger stops, and middle finger strikes again for Sahityam Abaddhapu Meetu: Striking for beauty and pleasure without sahityaakshara Koota Meetu: Simultaneously striking all 4 strings with 3 fingers for beauty Vidi Meetu: Separately striking Shadja, Mandra Panchama, and Mandra Shadja strings for beauty Pakka Meetu: Simultaneously striking side tala strings from bottom to top Gotu Meetu: Simultaneously striking upper string and tala strings Pattu Meetu: Index finger strikes and middle finger stops naada, similar to staccato in Western Music Swara Meetu: Striking every swara Sahitya Meetu:…

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Tanam is the most attractive and important item, especially in Veena. It is Madhyamakala raga alapana with varieties of rhythmic flow at medium speed. Tanam playing is best showcased when performed on the Veena, as the instrument’s side strings (Tala strings) are particularly suited to this style of music. In Volume I of the book Saṅgīta Sampradāya Pradarśini by Subbarāma Dīkṣitulu, it is explained that Tāna is a type of creative singing or playing that involves elaboration or expansion of Mūrcchanā. This is typically done at a middle tempo and involves multiplying or expanding swaras. If these embellishments are done in one raga, it is called Śuddha tāna, while if they are done in two ragas, it is called Kūṭa tāna. However, there is some disagreement over whether Kūṭa tāna can only be done in certain types of raga. The word Tāna is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit…

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Gamakam Subba Rama Dikshitar wrote the notation for Dikshitar kritis, and while doing so he had Veena in his mind and hence gave some signs for various gamakaas. All these can be played on the veena. The ‘AANTARA SRUTIS’ can be played either by gamakaas or kampana of the string. It is an art to know how much kampana, and andolan is to be executed. To play a pure carnatic Raga skill to execute this knowledge is necessary. All the gamakaas make the swaraas beautiful and aesthetic. TIRUPAHA SPURITASCHAIVA KAMPITO LEENAMITYAPI AANDOLITO VALISCHAATHA TRIBHINNAH KURULAAHATOU ULLAASITAH PLAAVITASCHA HUMPITO MUDRITASTATHAA NAAMITO MISRITASCHETI BHEEDAAHA PANCHADASA SMRUTAH ||  CHATURDANDI PRAKASHIKA|| Thus Venkatamakhi explained 15 gamakas. But Matanga Muni gave only 10 gamakas. AAROHAMAVAROHAM CHA DAALU SPHURITA KAMPITHAAHAAHATA PRATYAAHATASCHA TRIPUCCHAANDOLA MOORCHANAAH Veena playing has attained special place and importance due to the gamakaas. (They are the life for carnatic music). Brief explanation about these…

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Frets-Srutis In the world of Indian classical music, the placement of frets on the veena instrument was a purposeful and clever effort to make it more similar to vocal music and incorporate the intricate nuances of Carnatic music. The veena is renowned for being the only instrument capable of producing gamaka, a crucial aspect of music that is absent in vocal music, through the use of frets and swarasthanas. The veena has a total of 12 frets, consisting of seven swaras, two of which are prakriti swaras and the others are vikriti swaras. The frets allow for the playing of antara srutis, which are the notes between two swaras that are not visible, resulting in a unique melodic quality. Depending on the raga being played, the number of frets required may vary since not all swarasthanas are used in every raga. The concept of melam, which has been present in…

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Daive-Maanushi Veena The Veena is a distinct musical instrument that has its roots in the indigenous culture. the veena is an essential part of Indian music and culture, with a rich history that dates back to Vedic literature and the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The different forms of veena mentioned in these texts demonstrate the diverse evolution of this musical instrument. The veena has not only played a critical role in Indian music but has also been used in religious and cultural practices. Veena is an ancient Indian musical instrument that has been present for centuries. The descriptions of the veena in Vedic literature suggest that it may have been designed differently than the present-day version. Additionally, there are several different forms of veena mentioned in the Vedic literature. The use of veena in Vedic rituals can be traced back to Vedic period where the priest and performer…

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