Category Archives: Clappers



Name: Chimta.
Type: Idiophones > Concussion > Clappers >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.11
Area: Punjab State.
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The chimta [in Punjabi: ਚਿਮਟਾ cimaṭā ; in Shahmukhī: چمٹا lit. translation “tongs”]. The literal translation of the name chimta translates as “tongs”. This instrument is often used in popular Punjabi folk songs, Bhangra music and the Sikh religious music known as Gurbani Kirtan.

Playing Technique: The player of the chimta is able to produce a chiming sound if he holds the joint of the instrument in one hand and strikes the two sides of the chimta together. The jingles are made of metal and thus it produces a metallic sound and helps to keep up the beat of the song. In Bhangra music or at weddings the chimta is often played in combination with Dhol and Bhangra dancers.

Construction: The chimta consists of a long, flat piece of steel or iron that is pointed at both ends; and folded over in the middle. A metal ring is pointed at both ends, and folded over in the middle. A mettle ring is attached near the fold. There are jingles or rings attached along the sides at regular intervals.

Sometimes chimta may have up too seven pairs of jingles. The rings are plucked in a downward motion to produce tinkling sounds. Chimtas with large rings are used at rural festivals while ones with smaller rings are often used as an accompaniment to Bhangra dancers and singers of traditional Indian hymns.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites:


Name: Ayacachtli.
Type: Idiophones > Idiophones > Concussion > Clappers >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.11
Country: Mexico.
Region: Central America.

Description: The Ayacachtli is a gourd rattle that is played by the Aztec [Nahua] an other various Indigenous cultures and their respective pre-Colombian neighbours Mexico. It was important in dance and painted in the Bonampak murals, in the Codex Becker I.

The ayacachtli is also found in the illustrations accompanying Bernardino de Sahagún’s Florentine Codex where it was pictured with a ‘tassel’ on the top. The gourd rattle, together with the bone rasp and flute, was played for Aztec warriors fallen in battle and also for social dancing. Early Aztec examples might have been made of gold or copper.

Nowadays the ayacachtli is found from Sonora to central Mexico, is a calabash rattle used mostly in pairs; it is of various sizes with either a short or long handle, and is decorated with ribbons or feathers. Spontini included one to accompany a Mexican dance in his opera Fernand Cortez, ou La conquète du Mexique [1817 version] Fernand Cortez the conquest of Mexico.

Citations: Bibliography: Bernardino de Sahagún’s Florentine Codex ; Websites: / Article by John M. Schechter ;