How To Tune A Persian Santoor





All About Persian Santoor

Santoor is an instrument originated in Iraq, Iran and India. The classic santoor has 72 - 160 wires. But The Persian Santoor is about 90 cm wide at its broad end, 36 cm wide at its narrow end and 6 cm deep.These wires are played with small plectrum(zahme) made of wood. There are also piano-like pedestal types of santoor called ”Cimbalom”. In this way, both musical instruments and percussion instruments are called cordophones. The instrument, a Kitara genre, is formally similar to the qanun.

Santoor is played with plectrum or zahme. The person who plays Santoor is called santurzen or santurî. It is both a stringed and percussion instrument. Usually there is 9 bridge. Because the  sound is on the left note. The left key is based. (the number of thresholds may increase or decrease depending on the tones). It consists of three octaves. Usually steel, bronze and brass wires are used. (brass and bronze wires are used for bass sounds). Four strings are placed on each bridge. It consists of 72 and 160 wires. 72 strings are said to symbolize 72 nations. The walnut tree is said to have the best sound in the dulcimer (Arkadavan Kamkar also said it was made of hazelnut tree).



Santoor, which has a history of approximately 3,500 years, is, for some, from the word “Psanterin" mentioned in the Torah. It has been used with small changes in Egypt, Europe and Iran.

Persian santoor is an important instrument in Sufi music.In Persian, the masters of classical Persian music use the persian santoor.
(Muhammad Reza Sheceriyan, Shahram Nazeri, Parvaz Meskhatian…)


How To Tune A Persian Santoor

The strings are fixed to hitch-pins along the left-hand side and wound round metal wrest-pins on the right by means of which they are tuned with a tuning-key.

Each quadruple set of strings rests on a movable bridge of hardwood. The bridges are placed so that the strings are divided into three sections, giving the basic note and two higher octaves.

There are nine (or sometimes 10, 11 and 12) quadruple strings an either side so that, with 18 groups of strings, 27 different notes can be played. The bass strings are of brass or copper and the trebles of steel.


In this video we explain How to tune a Persian Santoor


  • Posted on by Robeen Javadi

    I know nothing about tuning a Santour, however this Instrument is the Father Of The Piano (Personal Communication Minister of dept. of Art, Music, Culture, Tourism)!! He himself, was a Flautist Supreme! The chief reason for designing Pianos was to make playing this instrument practical for more people to play. The Santour was so complicated to play that only an extremely few knew how to play it 😊. That is because one must strike the strings for each note within a Small Fraction of a millimeter!! So they placed it within a Very Large Box, we call a Piano😊. The Piano keys were given Sharp and Flat notes. You see, there are only a few who can play a Santour, and they are “A Tesla of Music”. I hope I did not disappoint you 😊.

  • Posted on by Charles E Massey

    Hello, I have just purchased a Santoor Sadegji 72 string, I am trying to understand how to tune it. I understand the Steel Strings -1st D 2nd F 3rd G 4th A 5th A# 6th C 7th D 8th D# 9th F. Is the tuning for the brass string the same D F G A A# C D D# F, is this correct? I am loving the instrument. Thank you, Chaz

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