History of castanets

May 17, 2018


The castanets are a percussion instrument characteristic of the Spanish Flamenco music, which has a distinctive sound different from any other instrument, along with the classical Spanish Flamenco guitar, these instruments are part of the folklore and culture of this country.

Castanets are more than three thousand years old, its invention is attributed to the Phoenicians who developed the first castanets or “palillos”, using common wood, thanks to the commercial trade the Castanets were expanded all over the Mediterranean sea, focusing on countries like the present-day Croatia and Italy . However, it was Spain who embraced castanets within their culture, giving them the place and importance they have today, especially in Flamenco music.


This way, although castanets are a landmark in Flamenco music, they are generally used in other Spanish folkloric expressions too. In fact, the castanets are also part of the Portuguese and other countries in Latin America folklores. Finally, the castanets are a key element in dance and in the rhythmic structure of various musical compositions, they are one of the most interesting and old percussion instruments that have survived the pass of time until becoming the symbol of an entire culture and, mainly, the symbol of the Spanish Flamenco.