Constructed from two pieces of wood, the claves are one-inch in diameter and eight inches in length.
They are made from the type of hardwood used in the construction of boats, ebany or hard pine.
Upon striking one cylinder with the other a sound is produced which rises over all the other instruments,
carries the rhythm, directs the melody and the steps of the dancers. The use of the claves which began long
ago in Cuba eventually extended to America and Europe. According to Emilio Grenet,
"they are the only instrument which can be adjusted with every type of Cuban melody."
Their sound is similar to that of the "wooden block" used in North America.
Being able to play the claves well is considered a true art as they are the base of all
Translated by Maureen Turner from Historia de la Música Cubana by Elena Perez Sajurjo