Hollowed pieces of flat wood, clicked together. The orchestral instrument generally has handles. Beaters: Hand.
Of course, castanets are associated with Spanish flamenco music.
Flamenco 'flam' stroke:


Latin American instrument, made from a hollowed gourd with a serrated shell, which is scraped longitudinally.
Beaters: Scraper.
Even pattern
Uneven pattern
Two stroke
Three stroke
Up and down


This mimics the sound of a rattled jawbone, or quijada. It comprises a a small box attached to a U-shaped metal handle, with a wooden ball at the other end. The player strikes the two together, and the resulting vibration shakes small free-moving rivets in the box.
Beater: Hands.
A long sustained rattle to the sound, which can nevertheless be damped.


A hollowed out piece of wood (or plastic). Woodblocks come in varying sizes.
Beater: Most beaters work on woodblock, including butt end of snaresticks and even triangle beaters (if played quietly).

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at]