Name of Instrument:
How to Play:
There are several ways of playing castanets:
- it is struck together while held by the hands
- flicking the wrists and striking it against the palm of the hand
- mounted to a base and then shaking and using the fingers or drumsticks (orchestral)
First Known Castanets:
In Ancient Greece, instruments resembling boot-shaped castanets were played and was called krotala. The term castanet is believed to have been derived from the Spanish word castana meaning chestnut. Today castanets are pear-shaped and may be made from ivory, hardwood or other materials such as metal. Castanets belong to the clapper (also known as finger cymbals) family of percussion instruments.
Musicians Who Used Castanets:
Several composers used castanets in their compositions including Richard Wagner (Tannhäuser}, Georges Bizet (Carmen) and Richard Strauss (Salome).