Saraswati Vina Sunadavinodini

VEGAN

Saraswati veena is the most important solo instrument in the classical South Indian tradition and is as popular there as the sitar in the North. The Sunadavinodini is a contemporary semi-acoustic version.

EU: 739 €
incl. VAT, plus 13,80 € shipping within Germany / 25,80 € within Europe
Non-EU: 621 €
plus 25,80 € shipping within Europe / overseas on request

Stringing, frets, fingerboard and bridges allow classical playing technique, feel and timbre without any compromise. Instead of the heavy wooden body at the bottom, however, the Sunadavinodini has detachable plastic resonators with built-in amplifier and speaker. In addition, a pickup is built in under the strings. This system increases the dynamic range enormously, extends the sustain, and allows finer differentiated playing even with very soft notes. The frets are movable and can be adjusted to the intonation of different ragas. Tuning is done with cogwheel tuners instead of wooden pegs. The melody string bridge is divided into adjustable 4 segments, so that each string can be adjusted separately fretwise. The electronic equipment also includes a tanpura machine. The detachable resonators make the Sunadavinodini easier to transport than traditional veenas.

User Manual
https://www.radel.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Sunadavinodini-2017-radel.pdf

Sound Clip
http://www.radel.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/nirmala-clip.mp3

Video Instructions
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9B2974ADDC7AE55A

Features

- 20 frets
- 4 melody strings & 3 drone strings
- all strings with cogwheel mechanism
- melody string bridge made of 4 adjustable segments
- built-in pickup
- 2 detachable plastic resonators
- 1 resonator with built-in amplispeaker
- 1 resonator with built-in e-tanpura
- 90 to 260 V voltage
- incl. 2 bags for fingerboard and both resonators

General Info

The sound of the saraswati veena, especially the degree of buzzing, may be changed considerably by modifying the surface polish of the bridge. Thus it can be entirely adjusted to ones liking. The possibilities range from a very sharp, buzzing sound, extremely rich in overtones to a clear and round sound with hardly any overtones, remotely resembling the sound of a guitar.

Veena is a general term for a multitude of different string instruments. Rudra veena and vichitra veena are different traditional veenas still in use today. Other veenas fell into oblivion in the course of history. Also newly developed instruments are often called veenas, e.g. the mohan veena, a modified slide guitar equipped with sympathetic strings and drone strings.

Saraswati is the goddess of music, fine arts, speech, wisdom and learning in Hinduism. Musicians and students pay homage to her once a year on the public holiday Saraswati Puja. She is often pictured playing a saraswati veena. The instrument is therefore considered exceptionally holy, also playing a cultic part in the Saraswati Puja. Saraswati is worshipped by many Muslim musicians in India as well.

Manufacturer / Supplier

Pioneering company RADEL from the Indian high tech stronghold Bangalore was founded in 1971 by engineer cum musician G. Raj Narayan. First product was an electronic drone, followed in 1978 by the first electronic tanpura and in 1988 by the first electronic tabla. Radel was for many years the only supplier of electronic tablas, tanpuras and laharas as technical support for practising Indian musicians. The company has comprehensive know how, disposes of an extensive distribution and service network and its quality management is certified according to norm ISO 9001:2000.

Their range of e-tanpuras, e-tablas and e-laharas is being continuously diversified and improved on. Apart from these, Radel also sells fully playable electronic instruments like saraswati veena and swarmandal. Hallmark is their great manufacturing quality. Known Radel users are / were renowned artists like Ravi Shankar, Amjad Ali Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, L Subramaniam, S. Balachander and Shubha Mudgal.

Size

Fingerboard: 125 x 27 x 7 cm, weight 3 kg
Resonators: 25 cm diameter x 26 cm height, weight 1,2 + 1,9 kg

Playing Technique

The saraswati veena is traditionally played sitting on the floor with crossed legs. The corpus is put on the floor in front of the right knee while the upper resonator is placed on the left knee and / or the left thigh. In this position, the fingerboard is adjusted diagonally upward. The right forearm rests on the corpus, stabilizing the instrument. The left arm reaches around the neck for the finger board from below.

The plucking technique corresponds generally to the one used for rudra veena and vichitra veena: Index and middle finger of the right hand wear wire plectrums (mizrabs) with which the playing string is plucked alternately with both fingers during fast sections. The drone strings (chikari) are played with the long nail of the little finger. The thumb of the plucking hand is supported at the base of the neck.

The fingering technique is similar to that of the sitar. The melody strings are pressed onto the frets mainly with the index finger of the left hand. During melodious flows, the whole hand wanders along the neck following the index finger. Ornaments, small intervals and closing notes of rising melody lines are played with middle or ring finger. Ornaments and small intervals can also be articulated by pulling the string sideways on the frets. The highest melody string is the main playing string. The three deeper playing strings are used mainly for notes deeper than the tonic of the main playing string. The thumb is not supported by the neck but is held freely in the air sideways.