CHAPTER 5: Dulcimers in other countries since 1800 > The santur area


Much controversy - and sometimes, one suspects, plain confusion and incomplete knowledge - surrounds the instruments in the santur area, concerning the meaning of the name, what names are given to dulcimers, how far back in time they can be dated, and so on.

In general, the music played on santurs is classical, improvisations on a predetermined mode, as in Persian dastgah, or Indian raga, but in Kashmir and Afghanistan the instrument is also used for accompanying popular songs.

All have their tuning and hitch-pins in the side of the instrument, rather than on top as is standard in the Far East, and normal in the West.