Spanish Traditional Instruments Spain's history consists of many vibrant cultures, many of which influenced the others. Spain's traditional music originated with peoples such as the ancient Romans, who carried Greek music to Spain, and the Visigoths, whose music comprised melodic religious chants, as well as Jewish, Christian, and Moorish music. Different regions of Spain came to develop their own distinct sounds that integrate specific instruments. Accordion: Accordion The Basque country of Spain often incorporated accordions into its music. Accordions were introduced to Basque country from Italy in the 19th century. Accordion playing within Basque music is known as "trikitixa," which means "hand-sound" in Basque. The style of accordion playing in Basque music involves rapid melodies and staccato triplets. Modern-day Basque music is a blend of trikitixa, tambourine and voice. GUITAR: GUITAR The modern classical guitar was developed from the Spanish vihuela, a guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th Centuries. The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually constructed in wood and played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. GALICIAN GAITA: GAITA The Galician gaita is a traditional bagpipe of the Galicia and Asturias regions in Spain, and northern Portugal. The Galician gaita has a conical chanter and a bass drone with a second octave, and it may have one or two additional drones. In recent years Galician pipe bands playing these instruments have become popular. CASTANETS: Castanets are a percussion instrument used to accompany the jota; an up tempo folk song which originates from the North-eastern region of Aragon. Castanets are a pair of concave shells, traditionally made from hardwood, joined on one edge by string. Castanets are held in the hand and used to produce clicks.. Castanets are traditionally made of castana wood, although they can also be made of metal, and consist of two cups that contain slightly curved dips on one side. The two cups are drilled to give off a distinct sound, with one being slightly higher in pitch and one being lower. FLABIOL I TAMBORI TAMBORI: The flabiol is a woodwind musical instrument of the family known as fipple flutes. It is one of the 12 instruments of the cobla. The flabiol measures about 25 centimeters in length and has five or six holes on its front face and three underneath. The flabiol is normally played by the left hand while the player uses the right hand to beat a small drum (called tamborí) attached to the left elbow. All sardanes played by a cobla begin with a short introduction (introit) from the flabiol which is terminated by a single tap of the tamborí. The tambori is a percussion instrument of about 10 centimetres diameter, a small shallow cylinder formed of metal or wood with a drumhead of skin. Its usual function is to accompany the playing of the flabiol in a cobla band, beating the rhythm of the sardana, the traditional dance of Catalonia. It is attached to the elbow of the left arm and struck with a drumstick called a broqueta held by the right hand, while the flabiol can be played at the same time with the left hand. GRALLA: GRALLA The gralla also known as gralla de pastor, xaramita o xirimita, is a traditional Catalan double reed instrument in the oboe family. Like the dolçaina from Valencia - a very similar instrument which many experts consider a variety of the gralla - the gralla comes from the ancient xeremies a medieval instrument largely used until the Baroque. Probably, the name of the instrument comes from its strident sound similar to the sound of a native bird of Catalonia and the north of Spain called gralla too. The gralla is also very popular because it is the traditional instrument used during the ascencion and descencion of human towers or castells and other traditional festivities.
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