The castanets (“castañuelas” in spanish) these are musical instruments that have historically been associated with flamenco. Forming part of the choreography and the aesthetics of the dancers in a choreographed theatrical. Along with the classical guitar, gives it that special touch of traditional music of the Spanish culture.

Manufactured using hard wood, usually ebony, castanets are units that support the blows continued involved in the activities of clams of flamenco. Also are strengthened with synthetic materials such as laminates, adding extra support.

But, what really are the castanets or “castañuelas”? what is your source? These, and more questions, will be answered in the following article. We’ll talk about an instrument millennial, that has been evolving over time, becoming a essential accessory of folklore Spanish. If you are interested in buying castanets, accompany us until the end.

What are castanets?

The castanets are of special instruments, also known as castanets Spanish or castanets flamenco. Play a fundamental role in the rhythmic sounds of the choreography in Spanish dances traditional. In fact, it is part of the cultural heritage of the country.

castanets instrument

As well you have named above, the castanets are made of resistant wood, which provides a sound effect that is harnessed together with the classical guitar. Also, there have been some castanets modified with fabric and glass fiber.

Have formed part of Spain from several centuries ago, however, his story is more interesting than it seems. Still to this day very popular, and a member of the folk dance, especially in Seville. If flamenco are talking about, is very rich.

What are Castanets? An essential tool of the fair

What is the origin of the castanets?

The origin of the castanets we moved to more of 10,000 years ago where the civilization began to build the first model later became known as the castanets of wood. They were very different to the current units, with little coating and resistance. Being more natural and less synthetic.

As to the exact place of its creation, there is a lot of confusion about it. However, the version more accurate indicates that it was the phoenicians who started with the castanets as a musical instrument. Then this knowledge was passed on to the iberians, who in the first instance was nicknamed as ‘crusmata’.

After years of history in humanity, as being part of the countries of the middle east, the castanets came to Europe thanks to the commercial relations and globalization. Specifically Spain and Italy, where they were well received for their great performance as a musical instrument.

Finally, it became an essential element of classical music, recorded as the first official use of the castanets in Spain. The artists were accompanied by the other instruments of this genus, forming a pleasant sound. Currently, there are a instrument characteristic of flamenco, which is used in the Spanish culture and also in other parts of the world, such as Argentina.

How to wear castanets?

The castanets have a shell-shaped flattened. Is used as an object claqueador, emitting a sound by the pressure of the hands, and are joined to the fingers with a thin cord. This rope is tied to the thumbs, going through the structure of the finger and hanging down to hold it in place through its use.


Users of the castanets can manipulate the shells of wood to issue a variety of interesting noises, depending on the music or the choreography. Sometimes the sound of the ‘click’ accompanies the steps of the individuals, creating a double sound effect that rumbles on the ground or on the wall.

Castanets and flamenco

Although we have pointed out throughout the article that there is not one more object identifying the castanets in flamenco, what is certain is that, at the beginning, were not part of the origin of this traditional musical genre. The reality is that they incorporated the music and dance, significantly changing the gender in seville.

On the other hand, when a dancer uses the castanets in the middle of a presentation of flamenco, this adheres a shell of wood in each hand to be played by the fingers. The speed of the movement, and the strike of the shells, they emit a rhythmic sound. Oscillating between high emissions and low emissions.

Emissions sharp sound are known as ‘females’ being a complex rhythm and strong. Usually manipulated with the right hand. While the emissions low sound, emitted with the left hand, it is known as ‘male’. Being a systematic structure that the dancer must master completing the steps.

What to have in mind when shopping for castanets?

When you purchase the castanets keep in mind a couple of things. Here we will tell you what are the essential.

dancing with castanets

Size and comfort

Castanets come in a variety of sizes independent. Adapting to the palm of the hands of the people. It is ideal look for a model smaller than the palm, easy to handle and offer comfort of use.

Safety Kit

When you buy a few units there to ask if they come with bags or cases for protection. Units are to safeguard the instruments, avoiding the accumulation of heat and moisture.

Musical genre

Today castanets are manufactured for a variety of musical genres. If you’re going to buy a pair, it would be advisable to ask for the models to flamenco, classical music and so on.

Best castanets for buy

Below, we will recommend the best castanets for buy.

Chestnuts DOBANI

Are two castanets made of ebony. Consists of two units, one for the right hand and one for left hand, which have the form of a clam and has a thin cord that is tied to the thumbs. Emit a sound slightly more strong the traditional and are recommended for dancers experts.

Castanets LP ASPIRE

Two accessories for flamenco ideal for small hands that are made of a hard wood resistant to blows and falls. They are light, reaching only two ounces of weight, while the dimensions of this product are the following: 1.2 x 8 x 5.5 inches.

best castanets

Castanets Latin Percussion 432

Castanets for the hands that come in pair: one for the right hand and another for the left hand. Are made to care dimensions, ensuring the authenticity of the sound. They also have a nylon resistant to constant use.