Castanets, also called bones, is a Gypsy folk instrument played by Spanish flamenco dancers. Castanets consist of a pair of round wooden shells, made from rosewood or ebony held together with string, that are held in the hand (between the thumb and forefinger) and are clicked together in rhythm. Traditionally, castanets are played with the lower-sounding male (macho) castanet in the right hand and played with four fingers, and the higher-sounding female (hembra) castanet in the left hand and played with two fingers. Performers create complex rhythms by alternating beats on the pairs of castanets.


See also wooden instruments.