The Musical Story of Chandraveena

Posted on 18 February, 20203 min read

Musical instruments change and evolve to keep pace with the changes in music. Chandraveena is one such instrument born out of my musical necessity. If you want to know the motivation for “Why Chandraveena” or the story of “The Making of Chandraveena”, please read the linked posts.

Here I would like to present the story of Chandraveena purely from a musical perspective, and compare it with Saraswati Veena from which it was derived. I will play Raga Hamsadhwani on both the instruments, compare the instruments side-by-side and try to demonstrate how the design of Chandraveena has enabled by musical style.

Program Notes


  1. Raga Alapana in Hamsadhwani on Chandraveena
  2. Raga Alapana in Hamsadhwani on Saraswati Veena
  3. Side-by-side comparison of Chandraveena and Saraswati Veena
  4. Musical consequences of the design changes in Chandraveena
  5. Continuation of Raga Alapana in Hamsadhwani on Chandraveena

Raga Alapana in Hamsadhwani

Raga Alapana is an improvisation and a systematic presentation of a Raga. This part has no rhythmic accompaniment. It has three parts - Alap, Jod and Jhala. This format is also known as Ragam and Tanam.

Here are some notes about the Raga.

Raga - Hamsadhwani

Scale - Sa Re Ga Pa Ni

Family - Kalyani (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni)

Melakarta - Sankarabharanam (Sa Re Ga ma Pa Dha Ni)

Prahar - 5th Prahar (6 pm - 9 pm)

Reading the scale

In Indian Classical Music, the seven notes in an octave are called Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni and then Sa comes again. Notes with a capitalised first letter are called Tivra (or sharp) notes. E.g., Ga and Ni above. Notes written fully in lower case are called Komal (or flat) notes. There are no Komal or Flat notes in this Raga. Sa and Pa are always written with a capitalized first letter.


In Indian Classical Music, Ragas are classified into Prahars (time periods of a day or night) which are said to represent the most appropriate time to perform the Raga.



Chandraveena - S Balachander


Sadharani Music Works -

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