Veena is a plucked stringed instrument used in Carnatic music. There are several variations of the veena, which in its South Indian form is a member of the lute family. 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. The Saraswati veena has an interesting construction. It has a body made of wood, generally, this is jackwood. The highest quality veenas have the entire body carved from a single block of wood, while the ordinary veenas have a body which is carved in three sections (resonator, neck and head). There are 24 frets made of brass bars set into wax. There is another resonator at the top of the neck of the veena. This is no longer a functioning resonator, but is mainly used as a stand to facilitate the positioning of the instrument when it is played. Because it is no longer functioning it is not unusual to find that this upper resonator may be made of acoustically neutral materials such as paper mache, cane or other similar materials.
Unlike north Indian instruments like the sitar, the Saraswati veena has no sympathetic strings. It has only four playing strings and three drone strings (thalam). The main bridge is a flat bar made of brass. This bar has a very slight curve. It is this light curve which gives the veena its characteristic sound.
Watch Veena playing on youtube.com here.
Content taken from www.en.wikipedia.org