Santoor

Santoor

Santoor is an ancient folk instrument and was called Shata-tantri Veena in Sanskrit texts which means a Veena of 100 strings. It is a trapezoid-shaped string instrument generally made of either walnut or maple wood, usually with seventy-two to more than hundred strings. The top and bottom boards sometimes can be either plywood or veneer. On the top board, also known as the soundboard, wooden bridges are placed, in order to seat stretched metal strings across. The strings, grouped in units of 3 or 4, are tied on nails or pins on the one side of the instrument and are stretched over the sound board on top of the bridges to the other side. On the right side there are steel tuning pegs or tuning pins, as they are commonly known, that allows tuning each unit of string to a desired musical note or a frequency or a pitch.

The santoor is played while sitting in an asana called ardha-padmasana position and placing it on top of the lap. While playing, the broad side is closer to the waist of the musician and the shorter side is away from the musician. It is played with a pair of light wooden mallets held with both hands.