Veena, the beautiful musical instrument with melodious sound, acknowledged as the symbol of perfect knowledge through the personification of Saraswati - Goddess of art and education.
The book is perhaps the first attempt to present this beautiful musical instrument in a meaningful manner forthe learners.
'Learn to play on Veena' as book, deals with the artistic history of the development of Veena, its structure, holding positions and playing techniques with illustrations in an objective manner.
In this book the author has given her own tested formulae discovered from her life-long experience inherited from her revered forefathers, which is being published for the first time. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the author and publisher.
This book 'VEENA' under the 'Learn It Yourself' series, deals with one of the most ancient highly decorated, perfect seven stringed instrument of music in the world. It dates from pre-Vedic times. It is similar to the Western Zither.
The book deals with the artistic history of the development of the Veena, its structure, holding positions and playing techniques with illustrations in an objective manner.
It is perhaps the first attempt to present the Veena in a meaningful objective manner to the student of music as well as the connoisseurs of fine arts in English. It contains the hirtorical and traditional aspects of the Veena by bridging the past with the present, to help popularise Veena playing all over the world in the future.
In Bharata Muni's Natya Shastra, an ancient treatise on dramaturgy, every art including architecture and archery, belonged to Natya. Later, each one of these arts got segregated to create its own genre. Of these, Veena being more scientifically developed, held pretigeous and proud position.
This book 'Veena' gives you the 'Know How' for right and left hand usage and a miriad number of things that is overlooked in a Pupilary system of learning. It is lucid with a large reportoire and illustrations wherever possible.
After the traditional practice lessons, I have evolved during the course of writing the notation certain new terms. To the best of my knowledge this kind of usage was not available to the Veena player as it is available to the Sitarist, when they use D, R, DIR, DA and DIR for plucking and chikari sounds. In this case, I have developed it from Tanam practice and have used terms such as tra, T, N and so on. I hope the students of Veena will find it easy to keep to the Talam strokes and forward and backward plucking easy. I have also .used in notation S RGM P D N which stands for SA, RI, GA, MA, PA, DHA, NI.
I am mainly concentrating on in-depth study of Ragam MAYAMALAVAGOULA and Ragam SANKARABHARANAM. In doing this, I have had to forgo the taditlonal system of learning a number of Oeetam and Varnam before proceeding to Kirtanam.
I have included a few charts 'SAPTASUR-SARGAM' Seventy-two MELA-KARTA RAGAM and THIRTY-FIVE TALAM with their names.
Veena emphasis the Gayaki-singing technique. as well as Vainiki-the Veena playina techniques, so that a student may develop his own style of creative Veena playing.
Veena helps transcendental meditation and Yoga of Nadam. The performance give mental and spiritual 'Ananda'-bliss it is for young and old without caste. creed. sex or colour and for all times.
Indian music, being devotional, guides one to perfect harmony with Nature within and without.
'Veena' will be useful to lovers of music. Veena stands for knowledge-a symbol of perfect knowledge through the personification of Saraswati-Goddess of learning.
I look at my Veena with great 'awe and adoration' for its sound is celestial and thus sacred and devine.
I hereby acknowledge my greatful thanks to Prof. Sumati Mutatkar, Provost and Deen of the Department of Music and Fine Arts, University of Delhi for going through the manuscript and writing the Foreword. I cannot tell how happy I was to receive the message from Veena Virtuoso Shri S. Balachander for his message and the list of his records. My thanks go to Shri Ram Avatar Vir for encouraging me to write the book. Thanks are also due tc Shri P. V. Subramaniam 'Subudu' of Statesman for his suggestions. My thanks to my students for posing in the Plates. To Shri Mani MIs. Pankaj Publications. To Dr. G. S. Mansukhani and Prof. S.K. Saxena who are erudite scholars of English and Philosophy respectively.
Last, but not least to my dear husband Shri K. Balagopal for preparing the manuscript by sacrificing many of his valuable hours and encouraging me, at every step to complete the work successfully.
I have known Smt. Tara Balagopal (nee Kumari Tara Ramaswamy) for twelve long years.
Born and brought up in an environment where music, dance and creativity form part of the family heritage, Tara is well-versed in Bharata Natyam and in the Kathakali dance-form. She also has sound knowledge of the Kathak Dance and Karnatak Veena. As a Lecturer in English Literature in a college under the University of Delhi, Tara has the appropriate equipment for an effective communication in English. I am happy to glance through the manuscript of her forthcoming book 'Veena' which is commendable for its systematic and imaginative treatment of the techniques and basic musical content of the Karnatak Veena.
As a venerated instrument with the longest tradition the Veena has, through the ages, held the highest and the most exalted place in the rich treasure-house of Indian Music.
With the growing interest in Indian Music at home and abroad, there is need for small, compact manuals dealing with facts and details of basic importance about instruments like the Karnatak Veena.
Profusely illustrated with photographs and charts, and written in a competent, lucid style 'Veena' by Smt. Tara Balagopal can be found handy and useful to students desirous of getting acquainted with the Karnatak Veena.
I wish this maiden venture of Smt. Tara Balagopal all success.
Songs for Practice Records Available
North Indian Music (277)
Original Texts (59)
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