One of the oldest musical instruments of India, the instrument is a key-less transverse flute made of bamboo. The fingers of both hands are used to close and open the holes. It has a blowing hole near one end, and eight closely placed finger holes. The instrument comes in various sizes. The venu is also a highly respected instrument and those who play it are expected to appreciate it, for it is considered a gift to be able to play it.
The venu is capable of producing two and half octaves with the help of over-blowing and cross fingering. The flute is like the human voice in that it is monophonous and also has a typical two and half octave sound reproduction. Sliding the fingers on and off the holes allows for a great degree of ornamentation, important in the performance of raga-based music.
The flute (Venu) finds great mention in Indian mythology and folklore having been listed as among the 3 original instruments meant for music alongsr with the Saraswati veena and mridangam (veena-venu-mridanga trinity). However it is strange that there is no name mentioned for the typical flute that the Lord plays.
The venu is associated with the Hindu god Krishna, who is often depicted playing it. This kind of flute is mainly used in South India.The Lord Vishnu is portrayed as Sri Venugopala - playing the flute of Creation.
B. Shankar Rao (b. 1922), largely self-taught, great friend and informal student of Late Mali, has enriched the field of Carnatic music for seven decades and continues to do so personally and through his students.
Prapancham Sita Raman, disciple of T.R.Mahalingam
N. Ramani, (b. 1934), disciple of T. R. Mahalingam
Bansuri: The bansuri from the Hindustani music tradition is a 7/8 holed flute. Lord Krishna was also known as Murali-dhara (one who is carrying Murali or flute) and Venu-gopala (Gopala playing the Venu) and the music from his flute was called as Venu Naadham.