Maratasy musical instrument

Maratasy musical instrument

Maracasa is one of the most ancient noise musical instruments. For the first time he appeared in the Indians who inhabited the Antilles, but today enjoys popular worldwide. This is a kind of sculpture of rimmers, which when grabbing publishes the rustling sound.

What it is?

Maracasy are considered a real symbol of Latin music. This tool looks like an ordinary rattle. His story has several centuries, during which their design almost never changed.

Maracasov design includes three main blocks.

  • Frame – may have oval or rounded configuration, most often performed brightly colored. It is made of wood, isolated leather, flexible rods, pumpkins, roughannuts and coconut. Nowadays, more technological materials are used to create maracases: acrylic, glassing, as well as plastic and steel.
  • Filler – is inside the case. It can be dried beans, small pebbles, beads, crushers and other small components.
  • Lever – performed from plastic or wood. Most often unscrewed. It is important that the artist can, if necessary, increase the amount of filler and, on the contrary, pour out too much. In this way, you can change the sound of the melody.

History of appearance

Maracas have a centuries-old history. It is known that people used shock-noise tools still in the Stone Age. It is possible that among them there were ancient prototype of modern maracas and other rattles. To definitely say exactly where this tool was created, today it is not possible. Researchers put forward two theories. According to one of them, the tool invented Aravaki, inhabited by the area of ​​Cuba, Bahamas, Jamaica, as well as Puerto Rico. According to another version, the birthplace of Maracasov was the African continent, from where they were brought to Cuba during the period of colonial conquest.

Most of the scientists leans to the first option. There are chronicle sources, confirming that in Mexico, the tool was used already in the XV century. Thus, he led parallel existence with his African analogue.

There is a version that the first maracas were created by nature, and not invented by the person. Iguaro fruits (so aborigines Cuba called a grylyanka tree) under the action of the scorching sun dropped so hard that the seeds of the plant began to separate from soft tissues. They broke into the wind, the seeds beat about the walls of the nut and published a kind of noise. This sound came to the soul of the Indians, and they specially began to make such unusual rattles using any round fruits for it. To do this, they drilled a small hole in the housing, cleaned the whole pulp, thoroughly dried nuts and poured into large seeds or tiny pebbles inside. At the same time, the volume of the filler in various tools varied – it provided by Maracas unique sound. At the final stage, a handle was attached to an unusual rattle, for this, dried branches of trees were used.

Today, Iguero fruits to create a tool are used only in his homeland. In other countries, coconuts, wicker rods and pumpkin received distribution. On an industrial scale, maracses make plastic.

Initially, rattles were used for rituals. Nowadays, they firmly entered the list of major musical instruments and are in demand in a variety of stylistic directions. In the ensembles performing melodies in Latin style, you can find a variety of tools. However, the main singer certainly plays a pair of Maracasov.

Maracasy got spread not only in Latin America, but also in all European countries. They like people of all ages – and babies, and adult music lovers. This is how it is impossible to show that such a simple design tool has an amazing sound that can lift the mood and bring the sea of ​​positive emotions.

As they sound?

Maracas sound can be determined as noisy-rusting. It is used as a background melody in the performance of all kinds of musical works. Sound is formed at the time of shaking when the granular filler beats about the dense walls of the hollow case.

Most often, maratas are used in pairs, while the sound of these tools is slightly different from each other. Usually the performer holds rattles in two hands, although professionals play with one hand immediately at the pair of “Shutwalk”.

At first glance it may seem to play on the frosts is not difficult. But it is not at all. The musician needs to have an exceptional feeling of rhythm and perfectly own special techniques – Dubla, Stakkato, as well as swing and rudimia. In addition, professionals highlight different styles of Maracas – Caribbean, Cuban, Mexican and others.


Maracas are exceptional popularity in all corners of the globe. This is one of the most sought-after tools. No Latin American Style – Mambo, Cha-Cha Cha, Salsa, Samba, Merenge, as well as Horopo and Bossa Nova. They enrich their unique melody not only Latin American motives, jazz and pop performers use them everywhere, as well as pop groups.

Maracas found a place even in symphony works. It is known that their melody was introduced into their creations such eminent musicians as Sergey Prokofiev, as well as Leonard Bernstein and Edgar Vares. It should also be denoted by the important role of Maracas in the early aesthetic education and the formation of musical culture of young children.

By the way, Maracas can be used not just as a background tool, providing specific melodic support, but also as a busy toy for a child.

Moms have long noticed that the sound published by the processed nuts Iguero may pass and calm even very active and restless kids.

What can be done?

Now, when we found out that Maracas are made of themselves, you can spend a brave experiment and try to build them yourself. We give several ways to create maracases with their own hands.

From bottles

To create Maracas, you will need a plastic bottle and any fillers – it can be beads, peas or coins. Make such a tool may even a little baby.

To begin with, you need to decorate a bottle of any interesting decor. For example, you can paint the surface with gouache or acrylic paints mixed with PVA glue in proportion 1 to 1, you can take permanent markers as an alternative. After that, it will only be left to fill the bottle of filler and firmly fix the cover.

In the process of manufacture, be sure to experiment with the amount of filler. So, the unique sound gives a combination of coins and peas with small bubopers. Try to use their combination in different ratios to achieve a pleasant hearing sound. To rummage such maraakas, you just need to take them for the neck and shake – this occupation will necessarily hobble in a small musician.

From Kinders

At home, maratasa can be made from the Kinder. To do this, you need to open a plastic egg and pour inside the rice, beads or a croup. After that, it will only remain fixed on the sides of plastic spoons with a tape. Can be glued with an ordinary smooth line so that the egg is visually divided into two halves, or take the entire tool along with spoons.

The most important thing is that improvised handles keep smoothly and firmly.

After that, with the help of markers or paints, you can decorate the surface of Maracas. Rattles covered with beads or glitter. In order to consolidate a new skill, allow the baby to make another marachas independently. Tools are ready – now you can safely arrange a home concert.

From Coconut

The closest to the classic Maracas tool made from coconut. The technique of their manufacture is almost no different from the option with Kinder-eggs, the difference is only in the finish.

To work, the coconut itself will be required, as well as beads, beads, peas, dried corn or any other filler. To give the tool aesthetic decor, you need to cook:

  • knife+
  • emery+
  • Acrylic enamel+
  • Rope+
  • Beads, Glitter+
  • Glue on wood.

To create a step by step by step, you need to perform the following steps:

  • With the help of the saw, the top of the coconut is neatly separated (in the place where holes are located)+
  • The pulp scrapes and handle the firm surface of the emery+
  • The filler falls asleep, in the holes on the lid stretch the bracket or the rope+
  • Both parts of Maracas are connected by superclone+
  • The surface of rattles are handled by sandpaper.

That’s all – there will be only to decorate the tool with any elements of the decor.

If you want to attach a handle to your maracas, then you need to cut into the lid a small hole. Its diameter must correspond to the parameters of a wooden stick cross section. Attach the design to glue.

Do not forget to make a couple for your instrument. Give the craft to dry and you can safely start fun games with dancing.

How to play?

For an ordinary person far from the world of professional music, it may seem amazing the fact that playing Maracas is quite difficult. From the side it seems that you just need to vigorously shook the instrument in the hands of the tact of music. But in practice, you need to know and understand exactly how the filler is hit by the wall of the case – without this you will not be able to suspend the sound.

Several different musical rhythms stand out, which suggest special movements with the right and left hand. For example, to set the base rhythm, you need to shake the maratas to the right-up, down, and then left. Correctly performed shaking must be accompanied by returns in the wrist area, by analogy with the bent.

Maracas’s game specialists know that the pledge of the melodic sound of the tool will be the subtlety and sensitivity of the artist, and it is necessary to learn.

Interesting Facts

Few people know, but the use of the word “Maracas”, which is accepted in Russian to designate this Latin American musical instrument, is not entirely correct. The faithful form is Maraca (in the singular) and “Maraki” (in multiple). This word was borrowed from the adveria of the Tupi-Guarani Indian tribe, who lived in South America. Such confusion is associated with the peculiarities of the Spanish pronunciation – there is a word Maracas is considered to be multiple from the name Maraca.

And in conclusion, we give some interesting facts about Maracas.

  • Initially, Maraki served shamans to commit rituals. The Indians believed that this tool had supernatural strength and helps to get the protection of the forces of nature, which they were worshiped.
  • The first Maraca in Russia appeared at the beginning of the last century. They are brought from France Sergey Prokofiev. In 1935. He introduced them to his classic work “Romeo and Juliet” 1935.
  • The famous composer from America Leonard Bernstein involved Maracas instead of drum sticks In his famous symphony “Jeremiah”. So he managed to achieve truly unique effect.
  • The company Latin Percussion (USA) is recognized as the coolest manufacturers of manufacturers of Maracas today. It was open in New York in 1963.
  • In Latin America Maracas have become the most popular and sold souvenir for tourists.

How to make maraakas with your own hands, look in the following video.

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