Instruments

The Cuatro

Evolving from the classic Spanish guitar, the cuatro is a small stringed instrument, about 3/4 the size of a guitar and it has five double strings. It can be found in many types of music on the island, including folk music and plenas.

A man plays the cuatro - from flickr.com - author: amarre

from flickry.com by amarre

The Güiro

Thought to have been invented by the Taínos, the güiro is a hollowed out gourd with ridges notched on one of its sides. It is played by scraping a wire fork against the ridges. The güiro is used in most of the music on the island.

A woman plays the guiro - from flickr.com - author: republic of Avalon Radio

from flickr.com by Avalon Radio

Maracas

Hollowed out gourds are filled with pebbles or dried beans. A handle is attached and the musician then shakes it to produce the sound.

maracas - from flicr.com - author: susanstars

from flickr.com by susanstars

Panderetas/Panderos

A hand-held drum similar to the tambourine, the pandereta/pandero is used mainly in Plena songs. Three sizes are typically used, each playing a different role.

A man plays a pandereta/pandero - from flickr.com - author: runswithscissors

from flickr.com by runswithscissors