sitar and saraswathy veena

The Sitar is the most popular of all North Indian instruments. It is classified as a chordophone in the lute family, and is related to the Veena and Zither. Sitars have necks crafted from toon or teakwood. The resonator is carved from a large seasoned gourd. There may be an additional, smaller, gourd resonator attached to the neck. There are a series of arched metal frets, which are tied to the neck with line. These frets may be adjusted to alter the pitch.
There are two sizes of tuning pegs on the Sitar. The larger pegs on the peg box are for the playing strings. The large pegs on the side of the neck are for the chikaries (drone strings). The smaller pegs, on the side of the neck, are for the sympathetic strings. The degree of decoration of these pegs is an indication of the class of instrument. The more decorated the pegs, the higher the quality of instrument.
The number of strings varies, with just fewer than 20 being most common. Three sets of strings run the length of the neck. Two sets run over the top of the movable arched metal frets to the end pegs and one set runs under the frets. The top sets are the main or playing strings and chikaries. The playing strings are fretted to produce melodies. A wire finger plectrum, called a mizrab, is used to pluck these strings. The chidaries are periodically struck to provide a drone or tonic base for the music. The sympathetic strings run under the frets to side mounted pegs. The sympathetic strings are almost never played. As the top strings are plucked the sympathetic strings gently vibrate. They add a soft resonating drone to the rhythms played. With all these strings it may be a surprise to know that only one to four strings are actually played to produce a melody.

Saraswathi veena
  Veena is one of the three modes for expressions of music in India–Veena, Venu (Flute), and Vani (Voice). Veena (vīṇā) is an instrument associated with Goddess of Music and Education: Saraswati. She is hailed as Veena-vaadini, the one who plays this instrument called Veena. This instrument is common in south India and is an important instrument in carnatic sangeet.  It is variously called simply vina, or veena, the "Saraswati" part being implied.
So, Veena gets a high pedestal in the family of Indian musical instrument. There are many types or variants of this instrument based on the size and other factors. Some of them are known as Rudra Veena, Saraswati Veena, Vichitra Veena.
Veena is the oldest and the most authentic of all Indian instruments. The origin of the veena can be traced to India’s Vedic period. This instrument allows all the delicate quartertones and the subtle nuances to be played with accuracy.
The veena’s big bowl is hollow to allow the sound to resonate and travel. The finger- board with its 25 frets are attached to it with enough room for the player to put his/her arm around it to press between the frets to produce the notes. The kudukai or the smaller bowl is also hollow and used to be made out of pumpkin shell in the old days, then out of metal and out of fiber glass in the modern days and also functions as a resonator and also helps the player to rest the veena on his/her lap. The frets are set at distances carefully calculated according to acoustic physics to produce the twelve-tone scale that emerged around the 7th century A.D. The four strings are of different thickness and tuned to different notes in different octaves to allow the veena to have three and a half octaves. The three side strings are strummed at appropriate places to keep control of the rhythm.

            There are few differences between Sitar and Saraswathy veenai… The differences are shown below
Differences between Sitar and Saraswathy veena

Saraswathy veenai
No. of Strings
17 - 20
No. of main strings
No. of frets

Sympathetic Strings
Yes. 11-13 strings
Usage of tuning beads
Yes. 1-4 beads
No. of full playable octave
Total no. of available notes in an octave
No. of mizrab used
No of Gourd
1 pumkin gourd
2 gourds
Wood Type
jackwood and papier mache
Thumba material

Classical Group
Fret Position
Fret Mounting
Tied with string around the neck of the sitar
Fixed onto a wax layer on the neck
Playing/holding position
Rest the main tumba on your left foot. The curve of the tumba fits into the curve of the sole of the foot. Rest the right arm on the tumba.  The right knee fits into the concave curve at the joint of the main gourd and the fret-board. The sitar should need no support from your left hand which needs to be free to move up and down the frets. Hold the sitar at an angle of about 45° from the ground.  The sitar should be roughly parallel to your body. When you are playing you should look out straight in front of you at the audience. There should be plenty of space between the sitar and your body.  Sit upright in a relaxed and natural manner on a hard surface to ensure a stable posture. Your spine should be vertical.  Both the shoulders should remain at the same level, in a relaxed position, neither drooping nor raised. Rest your right leg over the knee of the left leg. Your foot should just about touch the floor. Slight variations are required for each person, so just keep trying things out till you feel comfortable.

The performer sits cross-legged on the floor, the small vestigial gourd rests against the left thigh while the main resonator rests on the floor.  The right hand plucks the strings while the left hand frets the instrument.
Bridge material
Wood & Metal (Taalam)
Devotional Instrument
Yes. (Lord Saraswati)



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