At the London Guitar Studio we have a fine range of beautifully crafted Flamenco castanets for you to choose from. These include the Model Marron, Model Negra and Mode Fibra and there are different sizes to suit. We are sure that you will enjoy playing the castanets and perfecting your technique.
Castanets are a percussion instrument consisting of a pair of concave shells joined by an ornamental string. They are held in the hand to produce clicks which act as a rhythmic accompaniment in several musical genres including Moorish, Roman, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese music. Players usually use two pairs of castanets, one in each hand. The string is hooked over the thumbs and the fingers are used to manipulate the shells to produce the percussive sound.
The precise origins of castanets are not known but the practice of creating a clicking sound with a hand held instrument dates back as far as the ancient Greeks and Egyptians when sticks were used. Such instruments have been played in a variety of forms since ancient times but it was in Spain where their use was developed and conserved and where castanets are now considered to be the national instrument.
Castanets are traditionally made from hardwood, often chestnut. Indeed the name castanet is derived from the Spanish word for chestnut - castana. Each of the two pairs of castanets used by players differ slightly in pitch. The pair with the lower pitch is called macho (male) and the higher pitched pair is the hembra (female). The female pair are usually held in the right hand. Castanets are utilised in the performance of the Zambra and Siguiriyas forms of Flamenco and are known as Palillos. They are associated more with Spanish folk dances especially the Sevillanas and Escuela Bolera dances.