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santour

Santour (hammered dulicimer)

 

The origins of the santour (hammered dulcimer) is not exactly known. However, the word "santour" is very old, deriving from the Aramaic "psantrin" (and Greek "psalterion"). The earliest Persian miniatures (16th century A.D.) show a plucked instrument known as the qanun. By the 17th century, however, the modern santour was in use as a royal-court instrument in Iran, India, Turkey, Iraq and China. The Persian Santour has 72 strings arranged in sets of four. There are 9 treble courses divided into octaves, and one row of 9 bass courses tuned an octave below the treble side.