Castanets – percussion instrument used for accompaniment of rhythmic dance. The origins of the instrument are not known, as the musical practice of clicking items together to make sounds for musical purposes has existed since ancient times. Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks clicked sticks together to create music for dance which later were replaced by bones and spoons in other cultures. Castanets made of ebony, rosewood, granadillo and chestnut. Since the VI century BC on Greek frescoes can be seen the image of dancing women, who are holding Crotales (Spanish crotalo – "rattle"), reminiscent of the long wooden castanets. The name "crotalo" even now exists in Spanish, along with castañuelas or palillos.
There are two main styles of play on the Spanish castanets: classical and folk. When you play in a classic style castanets mounted on the thumb of each hand using a cord which is fastened the two halves of the castanets. In his right hand shall hold castanets, which sounds brighter and higher, it is called a hembra. Castanets, which is held in the left hand is called macho. Right hand playing on castanets by 4 fingers: pinky, ring, middle and index.
When playing in a folk style commonly used castanets larger and lower sound. According to the classic school games, castanets can be extracted five different sounds, called ta, pi, pan, chim and ria. They vary in tone and skillful game with their help, you can create a huge number of beautiful rhythmic patterns. Just castanets belong to the class of idiophones. This means that the instrument produces sounds using the same materials from which the body is made.
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