Santour

santour_06



The santur is a three-octave wooden-hammered dulcimer with seventy-two strings arranged on adjustable tuning pegs in eighteen quadruple sets, nine (bronze) in the low register, and nine (steel) in the middle register. The 72 strings, assorted in groups of four, i.e. each of four closely spaced strings are tuned to the same pitch. Each group of four strings is upheld by a tiny, movable, wooden bridge; the bridges are positioned to give the instrument a range of three octaves. There are several sound posts inside the box, and two small rosettes on the top panel which help to amplify the sound.The Santur can be built from various kinds of wood (walnut, rosewood, betel palm, etc.) depending on the choice of the quality of sound. The front and the back of the instrument are connected by soundposts whose positions play an important role in the sound quality of the instrument. Although the santur is very old, it was neither depicted in miniatures, nor presented in any other medium until the nineteenth century. The secret of making the trapezoid-shape sound box lies in the quality and age of the wood, as well as in the arrangement of the soundposts which connect the table of the instrument to its backsantour2

~ by pegahespantman on July 25, 2009.

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