The Veena is a plucked string instrument. The Saraswati Veena with its twenty-four frets took its present shape in the hands of Govind Dikshitar, father of Venkatamakhin. Veena has been considered the perfect instrument to demonstrate gamakas (ornamentations) and has influenced the style of vocal music. The body is made of jack wood and frets are made of either bronze or gunmetal, with legs to insert into wax. Thanjavur, Mysore, Trivandrum and Andhra styles are the four primary schools of playing.
Thanjavur Veena is a plucked string instrument. It consists of a peg box, fingerboard and resonator. The small resonator is used as a stand to facilitate the instrument positioning when it is played. Twenty-four frets are fixed on the fingerboard with the help of beeswax and charcoal powder proportionately mixed. Veenas are made in Thanjavur, Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram and Vijayanagaram.