The Rudra Veena has it's musical roots in ancient times. Rudra veena (also called the been) is associated quite strongly with Dhrupad. The performance exhibits the same wealth of melodic nuance and sophisticated development.
Dhrupad is often presented as the oldest Indian music, with an explicit continuity to ancient times. In this respect, it is perhaps the most direct development of Vedic chanting, and the literal respect for text in dhrupad is representative of those scriptural ideas. However many of the codifications of dhrupad are dated more specifically to the same period as the origin of khayal, and the two might be viewed more accurately as parallel developments, although dhrupad is certainly more austere in its formalism.
The been or veena has always been the instrument of Indian classical music and was traditionally studied by all dhrupad students until the 19th century.
This stringed instrument does not look like any other, veena or otherwise. It has been developed to follow the precision of Indian classical music, and the quality of the long and slow moving (vocal type) glissandos that are so typical of dhrupad.
The duration of these veena's notes is incredibly long.
The been is made of a body, a hollow tube made of teak wood, on which the strings are fixed at both ends. The bridge is a flat bridge, multiplying the depth of the note's spectrum.
Metallic frets are disposed on that tube on a slightly angled axis. They are always movable (fixed by wax or strings) and so can be adapted for every raga (the notes of the raga are not fixed by equal temperament). Two resonators made out of pumpkins are placed on each side of the veena, not far from the two ends of the body.
Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar introduced important changes to this veena, transforming it into a Bass instrument : the Rudra Veena.