A mohan veena is either of two distinct plucked string instruments used in Indian classical music, especially Hindustani classical music which is associated with the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. A modified sarod, created by sarod player Radhika Mohan Maitra in the 1940s, was called the mohan veena. The instrument was so named by musicologist Thakur Jaidev Singh, then the chief producer at All India Radio. Later Vishwa Mohan Bhatt modified a Hawaiian guitar to create an instrument also called the mohan veena, with Bhatt naming the instrument after himself. The latter instrument has become more closely associated with the name, especially following Bhatt winning the Grammy Award in 1994.
Bhatt's instrument is a modified Archtop guitar and consists of 20 strings - three to four melody strings, four to five drone strings are strung from the peghead, and twelve sympathetic strings strung to the tuners mounted on the side of the neck. A gourd (or the tumba) is screwed into the back of the neck for improved sound sustain and resonance. It is held in the lap like a slide guitar. It is under tremendous tension; the total strings pull to be in excess of 500 pounds. Performers include Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Salil Bhatt (who went on to invent the Satvik Veena, a derivative of his father's Mohan Veena), Manish Pingle (toured UK in 2015 with Michael Messer), and Canadian blues singer Harry Manx. There are variants of the Mohan Veena in India, such as the Chaturangui (created by Debashish Bhattacharya), Hansa Veena (created by Barun Kumar Pal), and Shankar Veena (created by Kamala Shankar).
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