THANJAVUR, INDIA, February 18, 2013 (Press Information Bureau): The Thanjavur Veena - one of the most ancient and revered musical instruments of South India - is all set to receive the Geographical Indication tag (GI). Dr. Chinnaraja G. Naidu, Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai revealed that the application for GI Tag for the Thanjavur Veena is in the examination stage and that the formalities in respect of registration of Geographical Indication status is expected to be complete by March 2013 itself.
The veena, in general, has been described as a complete instrument. The four playing strings and the three drone strings of the veena together provide all the basic components of classical music - sruti and laya - all in a single instrument. There is no other instrument with this quality.
The noble prize winning physicist Sir C.V. Raman has described the veena as having a unique construction. The string terminations at both ends are curved and not sharp. Also, the frets have much more curvature than any other instrument. Unlike in guitar, the string does not have to be pushed down to the very base of the neck and thus the possibility of generating a rattling sound is completely avoided. This design enables a continuous control over the string tension, which produces more harmonics than any other instrument.
A Geographical Indication is used to identify agricultural, natural or manufactured goods originating in a particular area. The Geographical Indications Registry has specified that such goods must have special qualities or characteristics unique to the geographical indication. While registration of Geographical indication is not compulsory, it offers better legal protection for action for infringement.
The handiwork of the Thanjavur Veena is unique to the artisans who live in an around the town of Thanjavur which lies on the South East coast of Tamil Nadu. The variety of wood used to make the Thanjavur Veena is from a particular strain of matured Jackwood tree, which is unique to the area. The craftsmanship and the skill in making the functional resonator (Kudam) of the veena is also unique to the Thanjavur Veena.
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