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    Santour is an ancient Iranian music instrument.Santour is a trapezoid-shaped box often made of walnut or different exotic woods. The original classical Santour has 72 strings. The oval-shaped mallets (Mezrabs) are feather-weight and are held between the index and middle fingers. A typical Santour has two sets of bridges, providing a range of approximately three octaves. The right-hand strings are made of a combined mixture of copper and brass, while the left-hand strings are made of stainless steel. Two rows of 9 articles called "Kharak" (18 kharaks) divide the Santour into three positions. Each lead four unitone strings to the right and left side of the instrument. Each note repeats 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 there are 23 tones in Santour. The Santour is primarily tuned to a variety of different diatonic scales which utilize 1/4 tones (semi-tones). There are 12 modes of Persian classical music, known as the "Radeef" 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 through performance until the late Ostad Abol Hassan Saba the legendary Master of Persian classical music, notated and categorized 3500 years of Persian music into the "Radeef of Saba."Many instruments around the world at least in part, derive from the Santour. Similar forms of the Santour have been present in neighboring cultures like Iran, Armenia, Turkey, and Iraq for centuries. The Indian santour is thicker, more rectangular, and has more strings. Its corresponding mallets are also held differently. The Chinese yangqin originated from the Persian Santour. The Iraqi Santour has, since its inception, been chromatic and allows for full Maqam modulations. The Roma people introduced a derivative of the Santour 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 Santour, and in Nikos Kazantzakis' classic novel Zorba the Greek Zorba plays the Santouri.Santour was probably invented in the Assyrian part of the Persian Empire around 1800 years ago. This instrument was traded and traveled to different parts of the Middle East and each country customized and designed their own versions to adapt to their musical scales and tunings. The original Santour was made with tree bark, stones and stringed with goat intestines.Notable Persian Santour players * Abol Hassan Saba * Manoochehr Sadeghi * Faramarz Payvar * Parviz Meshkatian * Reza Shafieian * Ardavan Kamkar * Pashang Kamkar * Kourosh Zolani * Arfa Atrai (Wikipedia) - Santur   (Redirected from Santour)
    It has been suggested that this article be merged with Santur (Persian instrument). (Discuss) Proposed since July 2014.
    For the Indian instrument, see Santoor. String Classification Related instruments
    Stringed, Struck
    Hammered Dulcimer
    Santur Hand PositionPlay mediaSantur Technique Video.theora
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    Woman playing the santur in a painting from the Hasht-Behesht Palace in Isfahan Iran, 1669Ancient Babylonian Santur Drawing of Relief

    The santur (also santūr, santour, santoor ) (Persian: سنتور‎) is a Persian[citation needed] hammered dulcimer[1] It is a trapezoid-shaped box often made of walnut or different exotic[citation needed] woods. The Persian classical santur has 72 strings.

    The term santur is of unclear etymology, though theories include the meaning "one hundred strings" in Persian,[3][citation needed] or derivation from the Greek term psalterion.[1][citation needed].



    The oval-shaped Mezrabs (mallets) are feather-weight and are held between the thumb, index and middle fingers. A typical Persian santur has two sets of bridges, providing a range of approximately three octaves. The right-hand strings are made of brass or copper,[2] while the left-hand strings are made of steel.[3] Two rows of 9 bridges[clarification needed] called "kharak."[clarification needed] A total of 18 bridges divide the santur into three positions. Over each bridge crosses four strings tuned in unison, spanning horizontally across the right and left side of the instrument. There are three sections of nine pitches: each for the bass, middle and higher octave called Poshte Kharak (behind the left bridges) comprising 27 notes all together. The top "F" note is repeated 2 times, creating a total of 25 separate tones in the Santur. The Persian santur is primarily tuned to a variety of different diatonic scales utilizing 1/4 tones (semi-tones) which are designated into 12 modes (Dastgahs) of Persian classical music. These 12 Dastgahs are the repertory of Persian classical music known as the Radif.[citation needed]


    Similar forms of the santur have been present in neighboring cultures including India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Armenia, Turkey, Iraq and Greece.

    The Indian santoor is wider, more rectangular and has more strings. Its corresponding mallets are also held differently played with a different technique.[citation needed]

    The Chinese yangqin and the Greek santouri also derived from the santur.[citation needed]

    The eastern Europe version of the santur called the cimballum which is much larger and chromatic is used as an accompanying instrument in gypsy music.[citation needed]

    Notable Persian santur players[edit]


    Santur players from other cultures[edit]

    Greece (Greek Santoori)

    India (see Indian santoor)



    Santurs from around the world[edit]

    Versions of the santur or hammered dulcimer are used throughout the world. In Eastern Europe, a larger descendant of the hammered dulcimer called the cimbalom is played and has been used by a number of classical composers, including Zoltán Kodály, Igor Stravinsky and Pierre Boulez, and more recently, in a different musical context, by Blue Man Group. The khim is the name of both the Thai and the Khmer hammered dulcimer. The Chinese yangqin is a type of hammered dulcimer that originated in Persia. The santur and santoor are found in the Middle East and India, respectively.

    • Russia – цимбалы tsimbaly, Дульцимер (dultsimer)
    • Serbia – цимбал (tsimbal)
    • Slovakia – cimbal
    • Slovenia – cimbale, oprekelj
    • Spain (and Spanish-speaking countries) – salterio, dulcémele
    • Sweden – hackbräde, hammarharpa
    • Switzerland – Hackbrett
    • Thailand – khim
    • Turkey – santur
    • Ukraine – Цимбали tsymbaly
    • United Kingdom – hammered dulcimer
    • United States – hammered dulcimer
    • Uzbekistan – chang
    • Vietnam – đàn tam thập lục (lit. "36 strings")
    • Yiddish – tsimbl


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