(Last Updated on : 02-01-2012)
Gottuvadhyam is actually a rare musical instrument used in Carnatic music
, and mainly seen in southern part of India. This typical instrument is singularly used in Carnatic Music, hence is not seen in other forms of music. This instrument is also known as Chitra Vina, Or Mahanataka Vina, Chitra Veena, Chitravina bears a close similarity with the Veena, held by goddess Saraswati
. Gottuvadhyam, unlike Veena
, is considered to be a complex instrument and is not easy to play. This instrument has a total of 21 strings and no frets. It's difficult to play and takes years to master the art. This instrument is mainly found in the shows and performances in south India.
Unlike other traditional instruments like sitar
, flute, violin
, etc, Gottuvadhyam is not as popular. There are not many players who play this instrument and there are not many festivals either that are dedicated to this instrument. This instrument is considered to be an off-shoot of veena, so there are of course chances of catching up on music recital by Gottuvadhyam in some the veena festivals.
History of Gottuvadhyam
Proper history of Gottuvadhyam is still not clear, and there is not much information available regarding the creation and discovery of this instrument. It is said that this instrument has been there for more than hundred years, though there are no exact proof regarding when it came into being. Sakharam Rao, making minor changes, actually re-introduced this instrument and named it Gottuvadhyam. Being a classical music lover himself, he made efforts to learn to art of playing this instrument and made several changes to this instrument.
Types of Gottuvadhyam
This instrument is often said to be very similar to Sitar and Veena for mainly two reasons. The process of tuning required for this instrument is similar to Veena. Although there are similarities with the Veena, the sound that gets emitted from Gottuvadhyam is quite different; there are also dissimilarity with composition and position in which it is held.
Famous Players of Gottuvadhyam
Gottuvadhyam is an instrument that has few players. Some of the rare ones who play this instrument have created some of the inimitable piece of music that is different from other Carnatic Music player. Some players are also pioneers of this instrument. Few popular players of Gottuvadhyam are T. Brinda, Sakharam Rao, K S Narayana Iyengar and Gayathri Kassebaum.