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


In the discussion about names in chapter 1, it was mentioned that in Syria the name santur was applied to the instrument known elsewhere as qanun.

After talking for some 20 minutes about the santur Samar Rummani (61) of Baghdad realised that she had been speaking of the qanun: about the santur she was able to tell me much less, only that it was to be seen on TV every week, the same old man of about 60 years or more playing every time, part of an amateur team playing "the old music".

The instrument might have come from Persia, and the old man used hammers that were quite elaborately made, not the simple sticks that Buchner shows . This instrument has the typical narrow angle of a Near-Eastern santur, but no bridges; the legs and the triple courses are interesting (27) and the decoration, a treble clef on a staff indicates a degree of Western influence (62).

See also discography; and an illustration in Grove 6, 'Iraq'.