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date: 05 August 2020

Cencerro (Sp.: ‘cattle-bell’)locked

  • James Blades
  • , revised by James Holland


(Sp.: ‘cattle-bell’)

Clapperless animal bell of Spain and the New World, made from a sheet of copper (it is classified as an idiophone: percussion vessel). It exists under a great variety of regional labels and is frequently employed in religious or cult festivities, including the celebrations of St John the Baptist (June 24–5) and St Peter and St Paul (June 29) in various parishes of Imbabura province, northern highland Ecuador. A row of 12 bronze cencerros is tied with rawhide on the back of each dancer and shaken while dancing. In Cuba the cencerro figures in Lucumí cult music, and a large cencerro (or gangária), beaten externally with a nail or other striker, has been used for congas and rumbas. Related instruments include the Spanish esquila and the Afro-Brazilian agogô (a double cowbell struck with a metal rod; see Agogo bells and gan. In the orchestra the term ‘cencerro’ is synonymous with ...

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