Santur: An Exquisite World Instrument

The Enchanting Santur (Santour – Santoor) : A Journey Through Music and Cultures 

The santur, a captivating instrument with a history as rich and multifaceted as the cultures it adorns, transcends borders and resonates with music lovers across the globe. 

While the Iranian santour is perhaps the most widely recognized form, its essence permeates a vast musical landscape, assuming various names and characteristics across the world. 

In Greece, Turkey, and India, it finds its voice as the santoor, while Switzerland embraces the name Hackbrett. The United Kingdom and the United States refer to it as the hammered dulcimer, Italy finds its melody in the salterio, Romania celebrates the cimbalom, and China cherishes the yangqin. 
Each cultural iteration reflects unique nuances in design, playing techniques, and even the names bestowed upon it, contributing to the instrument’s captivating diversity.

The santoor’s voice is meticulously crafted using a pair of mallets, or hammers, whose specific design reflects the cultural heritage of the region. 
From the intricately carved wooden mallets of Iran to the lighter felt-tipped mallets used in European traditions, each design influences the resulting sound and playing style. As a diatonic instrument, the santur adheres to a specific tuning system that defines the available notes. 

Traditionally, this characteristic necessitates significant investment of time when changing keys or modes during a performance. This has led to the development of distinct performance techniques specifically tailored for live settings, where musicians may employ retuning strategies or utilize capo techniques to adapt the instrument mid-performance.
However, innovative solutions have emerged to enhance the instrument’s versatility. Some contemporary santur makers, including ourselves, incorporate the sound-altering levers found in the qanun, a related instrument.
 These levers allow for quick adjustments to the pitch of individual strings, offering greater flexibility and overcoming limitations imposed by the traditional diatonic tuning.

While the initial tuning process for the santour may appear somewhat laborious, once meticulously configured, the instrument rewards the player with an effortless performance experience. 
The diatonic nature of the instrument imbues its sound with a soothing and calming quality, where each note resonates in perfect harmony with the others. This inherent harmony contributes to the instrument’s characteristic sound, often described as ethereal, melancholic, or even hypnotic.

In this way, the santour transcends its physical form, transforming into a bridge that connects the rich musical traditions of various countries. It acts as a universal language, capturing the essence of diverse musical cultures and uniting them through the power of sound. 
From the vibrant and rhythmic performances of Greece to the contemplative and introspective pieces played in Iran, the santur serves as a vessel for storytelling, expressing a wide range of emotions and cultural nuances.

For music enthusiasts with a thirst for cultural exploration, the santoor presents a remarkable opportunity. Learning to play this captivating instrument unlocks a world of rich musical heritage. The journey begins with familiarizing oneself with the various playing techniques employed across cultures. 

The right-hand technique involves striking the strings with the mallets to produce notes, while the left hand employs techniques like fretting (lightly pressing the strings) and damping (muting unwanted strings) to create melodies and chords. 

Mastering these techniques opens doors to exploring the vast repertoire of music written for the santur, encompassing traditional folk pieces, classical compositions, and even contemporary works.

Our esteemed establishment is proud to offer a curated selection of exquisite santours, each one handcrafted to deliver exceptional sound quality and playing experience. 

Whether you seek a traditional Iranian santur crafted from seasoned walnut wood, a Turkish model known for its bright and clear sound, or a European hammered dulcimer with its distinct playing style, we have an instrument that will resonate with your musical aspirations. 
With dedication and passion, you can embark on a captivating journey of musical discovery, using this magical isntrument as your guide to explore the rich tapestry of music woven across cultures.

Free Shipping

To Europe & %0 Custom Tax

15 Days Warranty

15 days money back

Global Shipping

Worldwide Shipping

100% Secure

100% Secure Checkout

Your Cart is empty