Güiros and maracas are traditional Arawak instruments. A güiro was usually made from

a dried gourd. A stick was rubbed against the carved side to produce the sound. The Arawak made maracas with gourds or shells that were filled with dried seeds.

forms of Latin American and Caribbean music. It plays a key role in the rhythm section of genres like trova, son, and salsa. The instrument is played with a combination of long and short strokes. Like the maracas, the güiro is typically played by the singer. Slit drums, which are also known as tone drums, use openings on the outside of the instrument to provide different sounds. The indigenous people’s slit drums were called mayohuacans . They were made from hollowed logs with H-shaped openings cut into them. Today, a wide array of slit drums are used in Caribbean music. Some provide a strictly percussive sound for keeping a beat, while others add melody.


Latin and Caribbean

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