Strings of music

From here & there...

The drone of tambura is the base upon which Indian classical music is rendered. As the rendition picks up the tempo, other sounds take precedence, relegating the drone to the background. Yet, it’s the buzzing of the tambura, also called tanpura,  that binds the notes to their respective places.

A father son-duo, M Srinivas Rao and C S Anand Rao, based in Hanumanthnagar, Bangalore, are adept at making tamburas and much more sophisticated stringed instrument the veena.

Making the veena is a traditional occupation of the Rao family. Srinivas Rao who is into veena making since 1947, migrated to Bangalore from his hometown Chikkahejjaje in Doddaballapur. “Mine is the fourth generation in this profession of making veenas,” says his son Anand Rao with a tinge of pride.

Veenas and tamburas made by them have been flown to Germany, France, US, Australia, Singapore and many other countries. 

Though making veena and tambura is their mainstay, they also repair other stringed instruments like mandolin, violin, sitar and guitar.

The duo has travelled across the country transporting and servicing veenas. The Rao senior has participated in World Musical Instruments’ Exhibition in the US.

The Karnataka government has honoured Srinivas Rao with the Rajyotsava Award. Srinivas Rao who is in his mid-eighties still makes the musical instruments at their home cum workshop from 8 am to 1 pm every day. The father and the son together make eight to 10 veenas per month.

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