What Are Rhythm Bones?




The Bones in Brief


Bones are sets of slabs or sticks, held two (or more) in each hand, and made to strike each other to make snapping and rolling sounds. Bones are one of several types of clappers, but there are also clappers which are held one in each hand and struck on on the other, and clappers which have two parts tied to a handle that strike each other, and these are not bones. The bones should not be confused with spoons, which are also clappers, or with dominoes, which are flat blocks of bone, or plastic inscribed with 1 to 12 white dots. Names such as clappers, sticks, spoons, clackers, and knicky-knackers have been subscribed to the bones. The name is derived from their original composition and nomenclature, bones. Originally rib bones of animals were used since their size and shape fit the need desired. For different sounds, tones and conveniences other materials, particularly wood are used.


Names given to the Bones around the World


Country or Culture  Name

Anglo-Saxon  possibly cladersticca

Asturia (in Spain)  tarranoelles

Australia  clapsticks

Basque  artxalus

Breton (Celts in France)  gradjel, gragell

China  ban, pan

Chwana (in South Africa, Botswana)  marapo, marupa

Denmark  Smældstikker

Egypt (ancient)  mah (straight), awoy (curved), dwawt (angled)

English-speaking  bones, clappers, kicky-knackers, clackers, castanets, nackers

France, Quebec  os, cliquettes, claquettes

Galicia (in Spain)  tarranuelles, tarrañolas, castaneta, trancañolas, tixoletas, trécolas

German  Brettchenklapper, Brettschen, Kleppern, Klepperle

Greece (ancient)  krotala

Ireland, Scotland (where Gaelic is spoken)  cnamhan, cnaimh

Japan  hyoshigi

Latvia  klapîtes

Norway  Smellstikker

Okinawa  yotsudake

Persia (medieval)  chihar pare

Poland bocian

Portugal  trancanholas

Roman Empire  crotala

Russia  lozhki

Spain  tejoletas, palillos, tarrañuelas, tarreñas, tejuelas, tejas, telletas, losetas, recholetas, pizarretas

Sweden  snatterpinnar

Switzerland  chlefeli

Thailand  kaep, kap

Turkey  çarpara, çalpara

Viet Nam  cap ke

Zulu (South Africa)  amatambo