Santour Musings
Santour Virtuoso Kiu Haghighi Talks About His Instrument
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Paula: What inspired you to start playing the santour and how long have you been playing the instrument?

Kiu Haghighi: The beauty and the excitement of the sound interested me in learning to play this challenging instrument. I began my lifetime study of the santour at the age of ten.

Paula: What sort of formal training do you have on the instrument?

Kiu: I was self-taught as there were very few santour players during my youth. But I was fortunate to be blessed with perfect pitch and I learned to read music and studied the classical radifs with the head of a classical orchestra where I performed as a santour soloist.

Paula: What are some of the biggest challenges the santour poses to the musician?

Kiu: A. Keeping the 88 strings in tune.
B. Keeping the hands constantly working on the santour to keep the hands limber.
C. Being aware that the santour is very sensitive to the humidity and the weather, in general, as well as intense stage lighting.

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