Santoor Info.

in Info, Santoor


Santoor is a trapezoidal-shaped ancient string instrument. It was originally known as Shata Tantri Veena which means an instrument with 100 strings. It has come from Himalayan Valley of Kashmir. It was earlier used in Kashmir but now with some modifications, it is used in various parts of the world.

Depending upon the region, it is known by different names such as Yang Quin, Santoori, Cymbalom, Hackbrett, Hammer-Dulcimer etc. It can be played Solo as well as accompaniment in a musical style known as Sufiana Mausiqi. It is considered that Pt. Umadutt Sharma introduced it into the Indian Classical Music.

Many of the variations of Santoor exist these days depending upon the number of strings, number of bridges, its arrangement and method of playing. Its body is usually made out of walnut or maple wood, Soundbox of mulberry or walnut wood, bridges of rosewood or ivory.

It may consist of 86-100 strings which vary from region to region. It generally consist of more than three octaves. Strings are present in the form of groups of 3-4 and are tied to the right side of bridges. Mallets made from walnut wood are used for playing the same. Tuning of Santoor can be performed with the help of tuning pegs present on the right of santoor.

Santoor is played by placing it on the lap and sitting in a position called Ardha-padmasana where one needs to have an erect posture so that it can be played comfortably. Santoor is placed such that the shorter side of the santoor is away from the player and longer side near the waist.

Strokes can be played either close to bridges or slightly away from them. Both the styles result in different sound quality. Santoor is the only String instrument which is neither plucked nor bowed but it is played with mallets. Hence it can also be called as percussion instrument.

Some of the renowned Santoor players of India are Tarun Bhattacharya, Rahul Sharma, Shivkumar Sharma, Bhajan Sopori, R. Visweswaran, Sandip Chatterjee, PrabirĀ  Gurudass etc.

Santoor is manufactured in various parts of India such as Kashmir, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Punjab and Varanasi.

Some of the famous Santoor manufacturers of India are: T R Musicals, Ashutosh Bhowmick, Jamuna Dass & Sons, Maharaja Musicals, Bina Music Store etc.

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