— a musical instrument invented by Uday Shankar
Chitravenu is a new composite musical instrument that combines a continuous pitch wind instrument and a plucked string instrument. It is probably the first serious alternative (i,e., apart from toys and gimmicks) wind instrument since the saxophone which was introduced about 150 years ago.
The wind instrument section of the Chitravenu is capable of producing a continuum of pitches in a fashion that is highly suited to playing Indian classical music both of the Carnatic and Hindustani systems.
The string section of the chitravenu is a custom built zither with three sections 1) A tambura tuned the traditional way as P-S-S-s to the shruti or tonic, typically E or F 2) three sets of 4 strings each, tuned to chords relevant to the raga chosen 3) 18 strings which are tuned to the scale of the raga being improvised. The wind section is played with one hand, and the other hand is used to pluck or strum the stings. The combination of plucked strings and sliding wind offers an exciting soundscape.