The Santoor is a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer or string musical instrument made of walnut, with seventy-two strings. It is the national musical instrument of Iran, and is also native to Jammu and Kashmir. It dates back to ancient times, and was called Shatha Tantri Veena in ancient Sanskrit texts. A primitive ancestor of this type of instrument was used in Mesopotamia (1600-911 BC) and Babylonia.
The Santoor is played while sitting in an asana called ardha-padmasana position and putting it on top of the lap. While playing, the broad side is nearer to the waist of the artist and the shorter side is far from the musician. It is played with a couple of light wooden mallets or hammers with both hands. The Santoor is an extremely delicate instrument and is very sensitive to light strokes and glides. The strokes are played always on the strings either nearer to the extensions or little far from scaffolds. Both styles result in various tones. Some of the time strokes by one hand can be stifled by the other hand by utilizing the face of the palm just to make variety.
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