According to documentaries, evidences and lithographs from Babelies and Ashuries(559BC.)Santour is one of the oldest instruments that have been found till now. In one of those lithographs there is a ceremony which had been held in Ashur Bani Pal’s honour. In this lithograph also an instrument can be seen which is so similar to Santour.
Abolhassan Ali ben Hossein massoudi, a great historian and the writer of the book ”Marvaj Alzahab” have had mentioned the word “santour” in the explanation of the Iran’s situation in Sasani’s era. Also in Abu Nasr Farabi’s and Ebn e Sina’s compilations the word “Santour” is mentioned.
Some believe that this instrument had travelled to other countries , centuries ago because nowadays in many countries like Iraq,Turkey,seria,Egypt,Pakistan,India,Tajikestan,China,Vietnam,corea ,Ukraine and etc. there are instruments which are very similar to Santour.
According to evidences including miniatures, within last centuries, what we know as Santour in its present shape belongs to last 150 years (from Ghajar’s reign era). To explain this fact one can suggest the shape and the style of the MohammadSadeqKhan’s Santour(the first recorded samples of santour doth belong to him), Habib Soma Hozur’s and Habib Somaie’s.
The study of Santour’s evolution process through history introduces a great number of styles and schools in the present century in a way that, in a general scheme, one can mention at least 15 active and well known style and schools .
The variations of styles and schools have varied the sonority, playing techniques and the manner of composing.