(17.875 9.125)
my Paloma santoor

Santoor String Calculator

Modern Indian santoors have 31 sets of strings and can be tuned a variety of ways. If they aren't strung right for the way it's being tuned strings may break or put undue stress on the instrument. This calculator lets you figure out what strings should be used where and warns you if you are going to run into problems.

Graphs showing the tension required to produce a range of notes for several string diameters are also included at the bottom of this page, showing the point at which they will break.


  • Bridges are arranged along two lines — left and right
  • Bridges are equally spaced vertically and interlaced
  • Strings on each bridge are tuned to the same note except for chikari bridges.
  • Notes for chikari bridges are entered with space separation (e.g. 'Sa Ga Pa')
  • Notes are 2 character Hindustani notation. A star '*' is used to designate octaves — *Ni is in the octave below Sa. Ni* is in the octave above. Sa** is two octaves above Sa. See note on notation below.
  • See note below on sources for string diameters.
  • See raga search tool for notes of ragas.
  • See string tension graphs
switch to:

String tension: lbs

or: Hz

left right
top: in.
bottom: in.
bridge_1:
Length # Note Freq Plain Wound
in Hz in in % in in
<---------------------------------------------------------> 9.25 [R15] 30
880.00
0.009
0.009
48.9
0.010
-
[L15] 9.71 <------------------------------------------------------------> 29
830.61
0.009
0.009
48.1
0.010
-
<------------------------------------------------------------> 9.86 [R14] 28
783.99
0.010
0.010
44.4
0.010
-
[L14] 10.29 <---------------------------------------------------------------> 27
739.99
0.010
0.010
43.2
0.010
-
<---------------------------------------------------------------> 10.46 [R13] 26
698.46
0.010
0.010
40.1
0.011
-
[L13] 10.88 <------------------------------------------------------------------> 25
659.26
0.011
0.011
38.7
0.011
-
<------------------------------------------------------------------> 11.07 [R12] 24
622.25
0.011
0.011
35.9
0.011
-
[L12] 11.46 <---------------------------------------------------------------------> 23
587.33
0.011
0.011
34.4
0.012
-
<------------------------------------------------------------------------> 11.68 [R11] 22
587.33
0.011
0.011
35.6
0.011
-
[L11] 12.04 <------------------------------------------------------------------------> 21
554.37
0.011
0.012
33.9
0.012
-
<---------------------------------------------------------------------------> 12.29 [R10] 20
523.25
0.012
0.012
31.6
0.012
-
[L10] 12.63 <---------------------------------------------------------------------------> 19
493.88
0.012
0.012
29.8
0.013
-
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 12.89 [R9] 18
466.16
0.013
0.013
27.9
0.013
-
[L9] 13.21 <---------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 17
440.00
0.013
0.013
26.2
0.014
-
<---------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 13.50 [R8] 16
440.00
0.013
0.013
27.3
0.013
-
[L8] 13.79 <------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 15
415.30
0.013
0.013
25.5
0.014
-
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 14.11 [R7] 14
392.00
0.014
0.014
23.9
0.014
-
[L7] 14.38 <---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 13
369.99
0.014
0.014
22.2
0.015
-
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 14.71 [R6] 12
349.23
0.015
0.015
20.8
0.015
-
[L6] 14.96 <------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 11
329.63
0.015
0.015
19.3
0.016
-
<---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 15.32 [R5] 10
311.13
0.016
0.016
18.1
0.017
-
[L5] 15.54 <---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 9
293.66
0.017
0.017
16.7
0.017
-
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 15.93 [R4] 8
293.66
0.016
0.016
17.5
0.017
-
[L4] 16.13 <------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 7
196.00
0.024
0.024
8.5
0.025
0.025
<---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 16.54 [R3] 6
261.63
0.017
0.017
15.1
0.018
-
[L3] 16.71 <------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 5
185.00
0.024
0.024
8.1
0.025
0.025
<---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 17.14 [R2] 4
246.94
0.018
0.018
14.5
0.019
-
[L2] 17.29 <---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 3
164.81
0.027
0.027
7.0
0.028
0.027
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 17.75 [R1] 2
220.00
0.019
0.019
12.5
0.020
0.020
[L1] 17.88 <------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 1
146.83
0.029
-
6.0
0.030
0.030

Notes:

  1. Notation: (see Wikipedia)
    "In some notation systems, the distinction is made with capital and lowercase letters. When abbreviating these tones, the form of the note which is relatively lower in pitch always uses a lowercase letter, while the form which is higher in pitch uses an uppercase letter. So komal Re/Ri uses the letter r and shuddha Re/Ri, the letter R, but shuddha Ma uses m because it has a raised form - tivra Ma - which uses the letter M. Sa and Pa are always abbreviated as S and P, respectively, since they cannot be altered."
  2. String diameter availablity is based on diamaters listed at Mapes , JustStrings , and d'Addario as of 11/22/2016.
  3. Length is the distance from bridge to rail — the vibrating length of the string.
  4. '%' is the percentage of breaking tension for the calculated string diameter.
  5. If a bridge is missing calculated values (frequency, diameters, etc) it is likely that the note name is invalid. Only the two-letter notation works along with octave '*' markings (prefix for below, suffix for above)

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