The santoor is a trapezoid-shaped musical instrument. Santoor is usually made of walnut, with numerous strings and is said to be related to the shata-tantri veena of earlier times. A lightweight wooden hammer, used to play the santoor/ santur, is known as Mezrab. To play the Santoor, these mallets (mezrab) are held between the index and middle fingers. A typical santoor has two sets of bridges, providing a range of three octaves.

In India, the credit of popularizing santoor goes to Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma. It is interesting to note that the Kashmiri santoor is more rectangular and usually has more strings than the original Persian Santoor. In Kashmiri classical music the Santoor is played with a pair of curved mallets, which are made of walnut wood and the produced melody resembles that of the harp, harpsichord or piano. The sound chamber of the Santoor is also made of walnut wood while the bridges are made using local wood. The strings, another important part of Santoor, are made of imported steel.

Prominent exponents of santoor in the twentieth century include Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Pandit Bhajan Sopori. Some other distinguished Santoor players of the contemporary generation include Abhay Rustum Sopori and Rahul Sharma. Other notable Santoor players of India are Roshan Ali, Harjinderpal Singh and Kiranpal Singh Deoora, Saurav Chatterjee, Kakan Ghosal, Versha Aggarwal, Rajkumar Majumdar, Charukeshi Shahane, Gulfam Sabri, Sandip Chatterjee and Bipul Ray.