MARACAS

 

ONCE UPON A TIME...

 

According to what is known as an international organological classification, musical instruments are divided into five groups, in which there are also a number of sub divisions. Chordophones (such as the Portuguese Guitar), Membranophones (such as the Adufe), Aerophones (such as the Flute), Idiophones (such as the Maracas) and Electrophones (such as the Electronic Organ). MARACAS are percussion instruments that are very commonly used in Latin-American bands. With the appearance of the radio, popular music from different regions began to become mixed together, as did their respective musical instruments. Nowadays, therefore, MARACAS are no longer used just as an accompaniment to Latin-American music, but are played with any kind of music.

 

MATERIAL NEEDED

 

An empty drink can and roughly 30 cm of a broomstick (preferably you should try to avoid cutting the handle off the broom at home).

 

TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES

 

A pair of scissors, a saw, a hammer, a nail, some cardboard and some small stones.

 

HOW TO MAKE THE INSTRUMENT

 

Find an empty drink can or something similar that has a capacity of 30 cubic centimeters. Insert a piece of broomstick roughly 30 cm long right down its middle and place some small stones (not too many) inside the can. Next take a cardboard disc, with a whole in the middle for the stick to pass through and use this to seal the can in such a way that the stones donít come out. You can use several cardboard discs stuck together, if you like, which will make the seal stronger and prevent the stones coming out when you play the instrument.

 

DECORATION

 

MARACAS are always brightly coloured instruments and their decoration is usually based on warm colours. But, if youíre the sort of person who prefers the cold, you can decorate it in whatever way you want.

 

HOW TO .PLAY THE INSTRUMENT

 

Take hold of your maraca by its handle and try and shake and rattle it to the rhythm of the music. If you make two maracas, put more stones in one of them than in the other 50 that they will have different sounds. And now, letís dance.