Santoor

Santoor is a hammered dulcimer from the mountains of Kashmir in Northern India and Pakistan. The beautiful tones of this instrument evoke images of the peaks and valleys of its homeland. It can be commonly heard in Islamic Sufi devotional music and has been adapted to play Hindustani (North India and neighbouring countries) classical music over the second half of the 20th century by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.


This instrument can simply be described as a box with strings. The name literally translates as 100 (San) strings (toor) and Santoor players often spend long periods of time tuning them all up!


Santoor usually rests on the lap while the musician sits cross-legged on the floor. The strings are struck with two wooden hammers known as the kalam and it is the bounce of these on the strings which enables the santoor player to create a unique blend of sounds and textures.