Indian stringed instruments have undergone many changes
throughout history . Many western musical instruments like
violin, harmonium, mandolin, archtop guitar and electric
guitar have come to be accepted in Indian classical music.
Multiple Grammy-winning guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
developed and named this hybrid slide guitar and has been
added to the list of Indian classical instruments.
The Mohan Veena is a highly modified archtop that is played
lap-style. It has 19 strings: three melody strings and four
drone strings coming out of the peg heads, and 12
sympathetic strong to tuners mounted to a piece of wood
added to the side of the neck. The melody strings are on
what we would consider the treble side of the neck, and the
drone strings are on the bass side. The drone strings are
lower in height than the melody strings to allow for
unrestricted playing of the melody strings. The sympathetic
strings run underneath the melody and drone strings to yet
another level in the bridge. The instrument has a carved
spruced top, mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck,
and a flat, fretless, rosewood fingerboard.
The Mohan Veena is under tremendous tension; the total
strings pull to be in excess of 500 pounds. It is due to this
high tension the tone tuns incredible with the sympathetic
ringing out and strengthening each note played. This is a
loud instrument made to cut through with low amplification.