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Chitravina (also known as chitra veena, chitraveena, chitra vina, hanumad vina, or mahanataka vina), is a 20 or 21-string fret-less lute for Carnatic music played mainly in South India today, though its origins can be traced back to Bharata's Natya Shastra, where it is mentioned as a 7 string fret-less instrument.

Around late 1800s and early 1900s, it had been bestowed another name — Gotuvadyam (Tamil: கோடடு வாத்தியம்; often misspelled as gottuvadyam, gottuvadhyam, kottuvadyam, etc.) by Sakha Rama Rao, who was responsible for bringing it back to the concert scene.

The fret-less nature of the instrument makes it the closest instrument to vocal standards. There are six main strings used for melody that pass over the top of the instrument, three drone strings, and about twelve sympathetic strings running parallel and below the main strings. It has undergone numerous developments and is today among the more prominent solo instruments in Carnatic music. It is also often seen in collaborative world music concerts and north-south Indian jugalbandis.


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