Santoor also spelled as santour or santur is the Persian hammered dulcimer. Hammered dulcimers with a trapezoid-shaped
sound-box are played with special-shaped mallets (mezrab). Actually Persian santoor players hold them between the index and
A typical Persian santoor has two sets of bridges (in Persian kharak), providing a range of approximately three octaves. The
right-hand strings are made of brass, while the left-hand strings are made of steel. Two rows of 9 bridges and over every
bridge, four strings pass and therefore a typical santoor has 72 strings.
Similar forms of the santoor have been present in many cultures like Armenia, Turkey, and Iraq for centuries. The Indian santoor
is thicker, more rectangular, and can have more strings. Its corresponding mallets are also held differently. The Chinese
yangqin may have originated from the Persian santoor. The Roma people introduced a derivative of the santoor 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 Persian santoor. One can mention hackbrett played in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well.
Probably the antiquity of hammered dulcimers goes back to Assyrian and Babylonian times.
Some Hammered Dulcimer Links
Maestro Reza Varzandeh
Maestro Majid Kiani
Maestro Parviz Meshkatian
Hammered Dulcimer Group - HDG: This group is for all those instrumentalists interested in the hammered dulcimers. This group has been established by Pooyan
Nassehpoor, the moderator.
Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma: Website is devoted to promote ever increasing interest & awareness of Indian santoor throughout the world.
The Nonsuch Dulcimer Club: The Nonsuch Dulcimer Club is a UK based organisation for anyone interested in Hammered, or Mountain Dulcimers.
Gillian Alcock: Dulcimers from many traditions; dulcimer, cimbalom, Hackbrett, salterio, santoor and sandouri.
Jem Moore: Jem Moore has been performing, teaching and promoting hammered dulcimer for many years.
Dulcimer Players News (DPN): Since 1975, Dulcimer Players News (DPN) has guided players, builders, and dulcimer enthusiasts on their musical
journey. Devoted to both hammered and fretted dulcimer with tunes, tips for beginners, reviews, instrument care and repair,
interviews, festival information, dulcimer history, and more.