The Structure of Vichitra Veena
This is an instrument which is essentially the modern form of the ancient Ektantri Veena. It is made of fretless, broad, horizontal arm or crossbar (dand) around six inches wide and three feet long with two large resonating gourds (tumba), which are inlaid with ivory and attached underneath at either end. The narrow ends of the instrument are fashioned into peacock heads, the national bird of India.
The Strings Of Vichitra Veena
There are, in general, four main playing strings and five secondary strings that are played openly with the little fingers for drone effect. There are 13 sympathetic strings underneath them, which are tuned to the notes of appropriate raag. The Veena, in reality, has five octave ranges. Two plectrums (mizrab) indistinguishable to those used for sitar are worn on the index and middle fingers of the right hand to pluck the strings, and a glass ball (batta) is moved with the left across the main strings to create melody (there can be a distance of up to two inches between notes). Coconut oil is put on the strings to minimize the friction of the sliding hand holding the batta
The Veena was often used to accompany the Dhrupad style of singing and this did not permit for much complexity or adornment around the notes. It was saved from absent-mindedness by Lalmani Misra who urbanized method of playing and shaped Misrabani compositions; his son Gopal Shankar Misra made the stock widespread
Artists Who Perform With Vichitra Veena
* Pandit.Gopal Krishan, disciple of Pandit Nand Kishore Sharma. A deep understanding of the raga and a depth presentation by weaving of various intricate musical patterns and its rhythmic synchronisation is his speciality.
* Pt. Shri Krishan Sharma One of the leading Vichitra Veena player and leading Guitar Player of India, Son and Disciple of Pandit Gopal Krishan Sharma. He is known for his Gayaki ang and Laykari.
* Shri Brahm Sarup Singh son of Late Shri Harnam Singh, the renowned player of vichitra veena, was born in Amritsar (Punjab) on 18th August 1940. In his early age he was trained by his father in music who was the disciple of Ustad Abdul Aziz Khan of Patiala. Shri Brahm Sarup Singh has participated in several music conferences in the North and has been broadcasting from All India Radio since 1958. "Khayal Ang" is the main feature of his playing of Vichitra Veena Recital.
* Shri Anurag Singh son of Late Shri Brahm Sarup Singh was born in Amritsar (Punjab) on 2nd September 1966. In his early age he was trained by his father in music who was the famous Vichitra Veena player. His grand father Late Shri Harnam Singh was also a Vichitra Veena player and disciple of Ustad Abdul Aziz Khan of Patiala.
* Lalmani Misra A perfectionist, he modified the instrument for better quality of renditions of Khayals and Thumris. He even played Dadras on the Veena. He created numerous Ragas, Madhukali being the most famous. He was inspired by Ustad Abdul Aziz Khan.
* Gopal Shankar Misra Son and student of Lalmani Mishra.
* Radhika Umdekar Budhkar, the first female Vichitra Veena player)
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