Building a 16/15 Indian Santoor

After having built a number of aspects of Indian Santoors, I finally got a commission to build a complete instrument based on a traditional Santoor. You can see photos of some traditional instruments here including the instrument I used as a guide (Kamaljeet Ahluwalia’s santoor). The instrument I finished initially had continuous bridges which accomplished the first three characteristics the customer desired but wasn’t quite the sound she was looking for; the level of sustain was excessive.

Desired Characteristics:

  • It had to look like a Santoor with specific traditional dimensions and be comfortable on a lap sitting cross legged with no support from a stand.
  • It had to have a specific weight, again for comfort on a lap and for travel.
  • It had to be built elegantly, with care and craftsmanship, as opposed to how Santoors in India are built.
  • It had to sound like a Santoor

As a result, changes were made to the first version of this instrument.  I replaced the continuous bridges with chessman style individual bridges which can be seen in the included photos.

Information on the completed Santoor and shots of the process of building can be  found on this page.  I’ve also made available a PDF on Building a 16/15 Indian Santoor which includes some drawings and a more detailed description of the process. Although not complete, it is far more information than currently available on the web. If there are additions you’d like to contribute, send me an email. If you are interested in acquiring one of my Santoors, again contact me. Prices are here. Options to be discussed. Thanks