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


Although most writers express the opinion that the santur came to Turkey from Persia, the evidence suggests that it was in Turkey first; this is discussed in detail in Chapter 7, and suffice it to say here that it clearly existed from the 17th century, although was not generally known until later.

Picken says that it was not a folk instrument, but a court instrument, and that it died out sometime before the present century (58).

An 18th century instrument in the Horniman Museum, London, has a painting on the lid illustrating a santur player kneeling on the ground to play; the bridges are pushed to the side, but this may not represent their position on the model, of course.

All writers seem unanimous in accepting Farmer's account of a santur fransiz and a santur turk’ ('frankish', 'turkish') side by side from c.1850 (90), although none describes the difference between the two.

See also discography.