Claves: Characteristics, price, and history of ethnic musical instruments


The claves is a musical instrument of Cuban origin. A type of clapper that produces sound by striking two hard cylindrical pieces of wood together. It is an instrument that often appears as a dance rhythm instrument in Latin America. It is an essential instrument for Cuban music, especially son, and is also used in salsa. It is said that it was born as a musical instrument in the modern era and spread widely thereafter.


This instrument was born in Cuba.

About the price

The price ranges from a few thousand yen to several tens of thousands of yen.

The history of Claves

The claves is a musical instrument that originated in modern Cuba. At that time, Cuba was blessed with highly water-resistant hard forest resources that were indispensable for shipbuilding, and the shipbuilding industry flourished, including deforestation for shipbuilding. At that time, hard, dense, and water-resistant wooden parts were used to connect the wooden boards, and this part, called a wooden nail, became the claves. It is a musical instrument played by striking wood against wood, and because it produces a good sound, it came to be used in Cuban music. In particular, it has come to be useful as an instrument for the basic rhythm patterns of Latin music originating from the son, such as salsa, and has now appeared in various genres such as jazz and pops. It has also been used in classical music.

Features of Claves

Claves are made by hitting two wooden sticks together. The stick is about 17-30 cm long and 2.5 cm thick. Both hands are held together, and the piece of wood held in the dominant hand acts as a drumstick, while the other piece acts as a musical instrument. In other words, the claves are played separately for the striking side and the struck side. The side to be struck should be placed on a slightly rounded palm to resonate well. The way to make the sound is to hit the center of the claves on the side being hit. It is easy to make a good sound if you hit it straight down. Claves is best known as Latin percussion, but it can be used in any kind of music. The sound quality has a clear outline, and it can be used in any music genre and blends well with the music. Nowadays, it is often used in popular music.

Claves song

Used for Cuban music. Among them, salsa and son are often used.


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