Santoor

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Description:
The santur is a Persian hammered dulcimer similar to the Indian santoor.
The santoor is an ancient Babylonian stringed musical instrument. It is a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer often made of walnut, with seventy strings. The special-shaped mallets (mezrab) are lightweight and are held between the index and middle fingers. A typical santoor has two sets of bridges, providing a range of three octaves.

The Kashmiri santoor is more rectangular and can have more strings than the Persian counterpart, which generally has 72 strings. The santoor as used in Kashmiri classical music is played with a pair of curved mallets made of walnut wood and the resultant melodies are similar to the music of the harp, harpsichord, or piano. The sound chamber is also made of walnut wood and the bridges are made of local wood and painted dark like ebony. The strings are made of steel.

Notable santoor players of the twentieth century include Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Pandit Bhajan Sopori.

Development

In India, "Santoor" was used as an accompaniment instrument to the folk music of Kashmir. It was a 100-stringed instrument played in a style of music known as the Sufiana Mausiqi. The Sufi mystics used it as an accompaniment to their hymns.

The original Sanskrit name of Santoor was "Shatha Tantri Veena" meaning a lute or a stringed instrument that has over hundred strings. Santoor is a Persian name to this same instrument "Shatha Tantri Veena" that has references...
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