Crotala [crotales] (Lat.; Gr. krotala)
- James W. McKinnon
- and Robert Anderson
A term for an instrument resembling slapsticks, although sometimes described by scholars as castanets (it is classified as an Idiophone). Crotala were probably the most common percussion instrument of classical antiquity and can be traced back at least as far as the Mesilim or Early Dynastic I period in Mesopotamia. Consisting of two pieces of wood, bone or bronze hinged with leather, they were held in one hand and struck together by the action of fingers and thumb. Normally a pair was held in each hand....