What Is Santoor? How To Play Santoor? – Sala Muzik

What Is Santoor? How To Play Santoor?



Santoor musical instrument is known by different names in various regions such as Hungary, Romania, India, Korea, China, Greece, especially Turkey, Iraq and Iran. What is santoor? What are the santoor types? Where does the history of santoor date? How to play santoorr? We have answered the answers to all questions about the santoor.


What is santoor?

Santoor is a musical instrument that belongs to both string and percussion group made with walnut and similar exotic trees.


The santoor, known to be of Iraq, Iran and India, has a total of 72 to 160 wires. The instrument is performed by hitting the plectrums made on these strings. This instrument, which is formally similar to the law in its trapezoid form, is considered to be a cordophone, as it is included in both the string and percussion instruments.


The body of the santoor is usually made of walnut wood. Its long edge is about 90, its short edge is 35 and its depth is 6 centimeters. Wires are made of steel and bronze. The strings of the santoor types, which are frequently used today, are tuned in triple, quadruple or five. Some santoor types have a small threshold for each string. This threshold allows the authorities to be changed during enforcement.


What are the santoor types?

There are many different types of santur in direct proportion to different geographies. Dimensions of the santurs and the materials from which they are produced may vary depending on the type.


There are some types of santoor such as Iraqi santoor, Iran santoor, Turkish santoor, Indian santoor, Greek santoor, Hungarian santoor, Chinese santoor, Belarus santoor, Swedish santoor, Crimean santoor, Abkhazian santoor, American santoor, Slovakian santoor, Vietnam santoor, German santoor, Yatugan santoor and Chetigen santoor.


The existence of many varieties of santoor can be shown as evidence that it extends to very different geographies. So, where does the history of this musical instrument, which is spread over wide geographies?

You can also like: Relationships Between Persian Santoor and Indian Santoor


Where Does the History of Santoor Rise?

There are many claims from past to present for the history of the santoor, which is studied among percussive kitharas. Although it is known that the word is based on Persian, according to some, it comes from the word "Psanterin" in the Torah.


The musical images in the iconographic remains belonging to the Old Babylonian and New Assyrian eras are considered the beginning of the santoor. After the Babylonian and Sassanid period, the santoor used in Andalusia opened to Europe and gained great popularity and developed towards the piano in time. Although Turks used the santoor in the Ottoman period for the first time, it was used since the 19th and 20th centuries. The santoor, which has an important place among the Ottoman palace instruments, is also found in many miniatures of the time.


Turkish santoor virtuosos include names such as Santuri Hilmi Bey, Santuri Ethem Bey, Ziya Santur and Hüsnü Tüzüner. Taking lessons from Santuri Ethem Bey, Ziya Santur added six voices to the Turkish santoor and started playing the santoor on a coffee table-like platform, not on the lap. This development is very important for Turkish santoor and Turkish music. Turkish santoor was developed over time and took the name "Turkish Santoor with Latch". But over time, it appreciated little and left its place to the qanun and piano today.


How to play santoor?

Since Santoor is both a stringed and percussion instrument, it is an instrument that must be played carefully in order to make the right sound. The biggest known wrong is about this instrument is that it is rhythmic. However, santoor is a melodic instrument.


Different timbre can be obtained with the vibrations that occur when the strings are hit. Theoretical knowledge is required to play santoor. Basic notes, solfeggio and authorities should be learned. Afterwards, the technical system of the santoor, the musical curtain structure, the characteristics of the santoor wires, the symmetry of the santoor sills and the differences according to the makams, the use of plectrums and the accents should be well understood.

 You can also like: Sedat Anar's Suggestions On Santoor For Beginners


The next step is to learn how the playing position should be practically. Santoor is an instrument that is played on a platform similar to a coffee table, not played by embracing it. Santoor is played by striking the wires stretched to the right and left lined thresholds. Small hammers made of brass are used to hit the wires. It is an instrument that can reach very different tones, as each string stretched symmetrically to 75 holes has a different pitch.


The sound of this musical instrument, which makes mystical associations, is quite calm. It is regular practice that is important to perform santoor correctly.


  • Posted on by Alperen

    Thank you :)

  • Posted on by Gültekin

    Very nice content about Santoor, thank you :)

  • Posted on by Ali K.

    I really enjoyed this post. Thank you.

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