About this Site

                  This site is mostly made from documents collected, analyzed and written for a doctoral dissertation on the South Indian (Saraswati) Veena, which I submitted in July 1997 at the Sorbonne / Paris IV University. For many years, this dissertation was very little distributed. Since it had required quite a unique and huge amount of work, I thought it would be useful to give it a larger and easier distribution by transforming it into a web site, giving it a more user-friendly shape. This allowed me to update some information, to simplify some often too accurate descriptions, and to add many links toward other web pages which will make its reading more interesting. I made a few 3D animations which better explain the making of certain parts of the instrument, and some short musical extracts can also be listened to from this site. Some links toward videos of musicians broadcasted on Youtube are also directly available.
                 This dissertation hasn't been widely distributed in great part because it was written in French. Most of the Veena players are Indian citizens, living in India or abroad. Their main language, apart from their Indian mother tongue (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi...) is English. To reach the biggest part of its audience, it is then for me an absolute necessity to translate this site in English. Since I'm not perfectly fluent in this language, this is quite a big job for me, which I shall try to do as fast as possible. Any kind of help in this work (translation or correction) is of course welcome, and people helping me in it will be acknowledged here. Until every page is fully translated, I shall put links in the English pages toward the French ones, even if I understand that it is very hard for the English speaking people to perfectly understand this odd language, and I apologize for it.
                 Creating this site, I don't try at all to only do a personal work, but more to initiate an encyclopaedic gathering, as sizeable as possible on this instrument. The help of many to its improvement will then be necessary. Most of the data I give here date back to 1992 - 1994, when I mostly collected them. More updated information which the readers could send me would be, after checking, very interesting to upgrade the site. Everyone can send me their suggestions or comments at my email address ( danielbertrand@southindianveena.net ) until an actual blog is added to the site.
             By registering more at length using the contact page, a data base will gradually be made up. This will allow all the registered people who will ask me to get the addresses (email or physical), of musicians, repairers or music lovers living in a particular town, area or country. The whole base will never be given, and will never be used for any kind of commercial purpose. It will only be made to help someone to find a teacher, or an instrument repairer next to his living place, or to a place of visit.
              I have also added to this site a page where I have left, for free download, the whole doctoral dissertation which was at the origin of this site. Other research works which I have done too will also be left here later on. If someone, having done a dissertation on this instrument, of any size and in any language, wishes to he can use this page as a FTP server so anyone could have access to it. The name and the references of each author will of course be given. Still I keep the right not to leave here a dissertation which would not have all the qualities we can expect from a serious and original research work.
            I'm very conscious that my site is not the only one devoted to this instrument. There are many others and I have added links toward the ones which seem to me the most interesting. These links will be often updated and anyone willing to indicate me some others will be most welcome. By starting this new website I hope to initiate a work which will be as exhaustive as possible, which will get richer and richer as time goes by, and which will allow the always larger number of the South Indian Veena lovers to have a full documentation, always updated, on this beautiful instrument and on its music.
                                                                                                                                                                                 Daniel Bertrand

Acknowledgements :

            Many people helped me, in the nineties, to carry through the dissertation which has been the starting point of this site. To name all of them here would be too long and we can refer to the introduction of this work, pages 11 to 13, where their names are given. Still I want to express my gratitude to my Guru, Mokkapati Nageswara Rao, who unfortunately today is no more, and who initiated me into the art of the veena, and to his daughter Mokkapati Sarada and his disciple Catherine Zalay who both greatly enhanced my knowledge of the carnatic music.
          I want also to thank here Mrs Chantal Bettoni who helps me reading and correcting my English translations, as well as all the people who would later on like to join in this work...