Persian Santur

Persian Santur

The santur (also santūr, santour, santoor ) is a Persian hammered dulcimer. It is a trapezoid-shaped box often made of walnut or different exotic woods. The Persian classical santur has 72 strings. The name, santur, was firstly mentioned in the Persian ancient poetry, however there has never been a verifiable evidence what this name actually means. It is just a name and the only meaning that was noted in the Persian language is that it concerns this particular instrument.

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, while the left-hand strings are made of steel. Two rows of 9 articles called "kharak" (total of 18 kharaks) divide the santur into three positions. Over each bridge crosses four strings that span 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 two 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 Dastgah's (modes) of Persian classical music. These 12 Dastgahs are the repertory of Persian classical music known as the Radif.

The santur which Tomasz play is Santur Goldar by master Sadeghi - 9 kharak.


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