"The santoor is an Indian hammered dulcimer similar to the Persian santur".

The santur (سنتور – also "santūr", "santour", "santoor") is a hammered dulcimer of Iran. It is a trapezoid-shaped box often made of walnut, with 72 strings. The name means "one hundred strings" in Persian. The special-shaped mallets (mezrab) are lightweight and are held between the index and middle fingers. A typical santur has two sets of bridges, providing a range of approximately three octaves. The right-hand strings are made of brass, while the left-hand strings are made of steel.Two rows of 9 articles called "Kharak" (Totally 18 kharaks) divide Santur into three positions and each lead four unitone strings to the right and left side of the instrument . Each note comes three times in three positions [making (9*3) 27 tones all together] and doubles in frequency going to the left . As four notes are repeated in tonation we have only 23 tones in Santur. The Santur is primarily tuned a variety of different diatonic scales which utilizes 1/4 tones or semi-tones. There are 12 modes of Persian classical music which is known as the "Radif" which consists of 12 Dastgahs or Modes. Each Dastgah has its own tuning and character which derives from the different parts of Iran (Persia) which dates back thousands of years and was only preserved thru performance until the late Ostad Abol Hassan Saba the legendary Master of Persian classical music, who notated and categorized 3500 years of Persian music into the "Radif of Saba."


Many instruments around the world at least in part derive from the santur. Similar forms of the santur have been present in neighboring cultures like Armenia, Turkey, and Iraq for centuries. The Indian santoor is thicker, more rectangular, and can have more strings. Its corresponding mallets are also held differently. The Chinese yangqin may have originated from the Persian santur. The Roma people introduced a derivative of the santur called the cymbalum to Eastern Europe, which in turn likely led to the development of the clavichord and the piano. The Greek santouri is also derived from the santur, and in Nikos Kazantzakis' classic novel "Zorba the Greek" Zorba plays the santouri.


Ancient Assyrian and Babylonian illustrations depict santurs. []

Notable Persian santur players

* Ostad Abol-Hassan Sabâ
* Ostad Manoochehr Sadeghi
* Ostad Faramarz-e Payvar
* Ostad Faramarz Heydari
* Ostad Parviz Meshkatian
* Ostad Majid Kiani
* Ostad Mirza Ali Akbar Shâhi
* Hasan Khân
* Ostad Habib Soma'i
* Hoseyn Malek
* Rezâ Varzandeh
* Mansur Sâremi
* Djalal Akhbari
* Omid Tahmasebpur
* Ostad Arfa Atrai
* Dariush Saghafi
* Afshin Max Sadeghi
* ostad Ardavan Kamkar
* Pashang Kamkar
* Behnam Manahedji
* Kazem Davoudian
* Reza Shafian
* Kourosh Zolani
* Pooyan Nassehpoor
* Ali Tahriri
* Edward A. M. Gloeggler iv

Notable Iraqi santur players

* Amir ElSaffar
* Hugi Pataw
* Mohamed Zaki Darwish

ee also

*Persian classical music

External links

* []
* [ Santur introduction in American Lutherie magazine]
* [ Info about Persian musicians and santur]
* [ Nay-Nava Encyclopedia entry on the santur]
* [ Dr. Ümit Mutlu's information on the santur (in Turkish)]
* [ Santur]

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