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Kojiro Umezaki narrates

© WILL KRACHER

Multimedia Performances
The Silk Road Ensemble develops multimedia performances that integrate music, narrative, images and animation. The Ensemble created Blue and White, a work tracing the migration of blue-and-white porcelain throughout the world, during residencies at the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum Rietberg in Zurich, Switzerland.


Santur

© TARA TODRAS-WHITEHILL

"I had a dream of the sound of the santur, and in that dream the sound was like drops of water, like rain."

- SIAMAK AGHAEI

Santur

orig. Iran  The santur is a struck zither, also known as a hammer dulcimer. It has a flat trapezoidal body with 72 strings arranged so that three strings are struck at the same time to play each tone. The player uses two delicate felt-covered hammers called mezrab to strike the strings. The virtuoso santur player produces light, glistening tones by striking the instrument with speed and precision.

The earliest predecessors of the modern santur may date back to 1600 B.C.E. A key component of traditional Iranian music, the instrument is played both solo and in improvisatory mugham ensembles.


Hear the instrument
Santur sound clip »


Santur players
Siamak Aghaei


Other string instruments
Cello
Contrabass
Erhu
Harp
Kamancheh
Kayagum
Morin khuur
Oud
Piano
Pipa
Ruan
Tar
Viola
Violin


Other Persian instruments
Kamancheh
Ney
Tar