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The Santoor

This episode of Tuning Baghdad spotlights, the santoor, an ancient hammered dulcimer, dating back to Mesopotamian and Babylonian times and known for its hypnotic sounds. Basha plays Hugi Pataw, the Iraqi Jewish santoor player from the 1930s, and a curated selection of the various ‘relatives’ of the santoor from India, China, and Roma culture. Also featured is a special in-studio guest performance and discussion with Iraqi Maqam musicians, Amir Elsaffar and his sister, Dena ElSaffar of Safaafir.


Tuning Baghdad


Tuning Baghdad host Regine Basha asks the question: can there be a musical citizenship? through her explorations into the musical history of the Iraqi-Jewish diaspora. Each episode features home recordings of the last generation of Iraqi Jewish musicians of Baghdad still performing today and beloved arabic songs from Egypt and other countries that intersect with the ensemble instruments and musical scale of the Maqam. Additionally, Basha shares "mystery mixtapes" from her own family archives.