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The Sarasvati veeṇa (also spelled Saraswati vina) (Tamil: வீணை, Bengali: সরস্বতী বীণা, Sanskrit: वीणा (vīṇā), Kannada: ವೀಣೆ, Malayalam: വീണ, Telugu: వీణ) is an Indian plucked string instrument. It is named after the Hindu goddess Saraswati, who is usually depicted holding or playing the instrument. Also known as raghunatha veena is used mostly in Carnatic Indian classical music. There are several variations of the veena, which in its South Indian form is a member of the lute family. One who plays the veena is referred to as a vainika.

It is one of other major types of veena popular today. The others include chitra veena, vichitra veena and rudra veena. Out of these the rudra and vichitra veenas are used in Hindustani music, while the Saraswati veena and the chitra veena are used in the Carnatic music of South India. Some people play traditional music, others play contemporary music.

The veena has a recorded history that dates back to the approximately 1500 BCE.

In ancient times, the tone vibrating from the hunter's bow string when he shot an arrow was known as the Vil Yazh. The Jya ghosha (musical sound of the bow string) is referred to in the ancient Atharvaveda. Eventually, the archer's bow paved the way for the musical bow. Twisted bark, strands of grass and grass root, vegetable fibre and animal gut were used to create the first strings. Over the veena's evolution and modifications, more particular names were used to help distinguish the instruments that followed. The word veena in India was a term originally used to generally denote "stringed instrument", and included many variations that would be either plucked, bowed or struck for sound.

The veena instruments developed much like a tree, branching out into instruments as diverse as the harp-like Akasa (a veena that was tied up in the tops of trees for the strings to vibrate from the currents of wind) and the Audumbari veena (played as an accompaniment by the wives of Vedic priests as they chanted during ceremonial Yajnas). Veenas ranged from one string to one hundred, and were composed of many different materials like eagle bone, bamboo, wood and coconut shells. The yazh was an ancient harp-like instrument that was also considered a veena. But with the developments of the fretted veena instruments, the yazh quickly faded away, as the fretted veena allowed for easy performance of ragas and the myriad subtle nuances and pitch oscillations in the gamakas prevalent in the Indian musical system. As is seen in many Hindu temple sculptures and paintings, the early veenas were played vertically. It was not until the great Indian Carnatic music composer and Saraswati veena player Muthuswami Dikshitar that it began to be popularized as played horizontally.

"The current form of the Saraswati veena with 24 fixed frets evolved in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, during the reign of Raghunatha Nayak and it is for this reason sometimes called the Tanjore veena, or the Raghunatha veena. Prior to his time, the number of frets on the veena were less and also movable." - Padmabhooshan Prof. P. Sambamurthy, musicologist. The Saraswati veena developed from Kinnari Veena. Made in several regions in South India, those made by makers from Thanjavur in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu are to date considered the most sophisticated. However, the purest natural sound is extracted by plucking with natural fingernails on a rosewood instrument construction, which is exemplified by the grandeur of the Mysore Veena. Pitapuram in East Godavari District and Bobbili in vijayanagaram District of Andhra Pradesh are also famous for Veena makers. Sangeeta Ratnakara calls it Ekatantri Veena and gives the method for its construction.

While the Saraswati veena is considered in the lute genealogy, other North Indian veenas such as the Rudra veena and Vichitra veena are technically zithers. Descendants of Tansen reserved Rudra Veena for family and out of reverence began calling it the Saraswati Veena.