The Vina, comprises a family of chordophone instruments. The many regional designs have different names such as the Rudra vina, the Saraswati vina, the Vichitra vina and others.

As a fretted, plucked lute, the vina strings can produce pitches in full three octave range. The long hollow neck design of these Indian instruments allow portamento effects and legato ornaments found in Indian ragas. It has been a popular instrument in Indian classical music, and one revered by its inclusion in the iconography of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of arts and learning. These continue to be used, albeit with different designs, in Carnatic classical music and Hindustani classical music.

Levels Taught: Foundation, Diploma & Post-Diploma

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Sivasakti Sivanesan

"Performing and teaching for me represents meditation, prayer and love, all in one - it’s my life’s greatest joy."

Sivasakti has been an integral part of the Bhavan for more than 30 years. She has taught over 500 students in this time, many of them to Arangetram standard. She is a well-respected vocalist and vina player and is a Fellow of Trinity College London. Her legacy is already being formed by her students: Hari Sivanesan was awarded a scholarship by the Asian Music Circuit and has appeared at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms and also nationwide.

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