Castanets - Spain

Purchased in Spain between 1967 and 1991


Spanish castanet toy

From Graciela's Notes 

Castanets (Three pairs) - The castanet is a rather ancient and characteristically Spanish instrument. It is classified as small percussion instrument of indefinite pitch. Each castanet is a spoon-shaped clapper made of a hard wood and are used to provide a rhythmic beat. In their original Spanish form, two castanets are tied together in pairs. A dancer carries a pair in each hand and clicks them together to add a rhythmic accompaniment to their dance. It not easy to play them as, most often, each hand plays a different rhythm. Many Spanish dances use the instrument, especially in the dances of the province of Andalucia. These dances included the famous Sevillanas and Flamenco. They certainly add gaiety to the dances. What can be more exciting that to watch a Tablao Flamenco in one of the many cities and towns in Andalucia! For orchestral use one castanet is tied to both sides of a small wooden paddle and performer uses only one pair. The castanets displayed here were bought in Spain, here and there, during the twenty-four years I spent there. So they were purchased between 1967 and 1991 and at least one pair was purchased in Sevilla. The lighter colored pairs are made of olive wood. I don’t know about the black pair.

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