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My legendary Guru, Padmashri Shri Pandit Bhajan Sopori belongs to the Sufiana Gharana of Kashmir. He has introduced his own style known as ‘Sopori Baj’. The range of santoor has been increased by him from the conventional one and a half to more than 5 octaves, balanced the ‘Kalam’(strikers) with ‘boles’ and attached the ‘Tarab’ and ‘Tumba’ to enhance tonal quality. These innovations combined with his strong base in traditional ‘Raga Sangeet’ allow for a systematic exposition of the Raga combining both the ‘Gayaki’ and the ‘Tantrakari Ang’ (style) in his recitals, demonstrating all the essential stylistic nuances of Hindustani Classical Music such as Meend, Glides, Gamak, Boles including the ‘Dhrupad Ang’.
In our Gharana, the structure of our santoor is different from the traditional one. There are 44 bridges in all. The strength of strings varies from 3, 2 and 1 on different bridges. On both sides we use steel strings on middle and higher octave whereas on the lower octave the guitar strings. This makes our Santoor a 160 stringed instrument.
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