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Photo of a Cabasa

Cabasa are simple to make (or they may be purchased) and come in a variety of "flavors." Their distinguishing character is that they contain a handle attached to the body of the instrument with the body covered with some type of beads, shells, seeds, or similar material. Making these from gourds and surrounding it with beads that have been macramed is perhaps the most common manner to produce one's own. Most people play these by holding the handle with one hand while placing the body of the instrument on top of the other: turning the handle causes the beads (or whatever) to rub against the body and a sound is produced. Professional percussionists also use other techniques.


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Site Established: 8/31/02
Last Revised:
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