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Santoor

Santoor was first introduced in Iran and was later spread to several regions of Asia, including India.

Santoor also spelled as Santour or Santur is the Persian hammered dulcimer. Hammered dulcimers with a trapezoid-shaped sound-box are played with special-shaped mallets (mezraab). Actually Persian Santoor players hold them between the index and middle fingers.

A typical Persian Santoor has two sets of bridges (in Persian kharak), providing a range of approximately three and a half octaves. The right-hand strings are made of brass, while the left-hand strings are made of steel. Two rows of nine bridges and over every bridge, four strings pass and therefore a typical Santoor has 72 strings.

Similar forms of the Santoor have been present in many 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 Santoor. The Roma people introduced a derivative of the Santoor 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 Persian Santoor.