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Not to be confused with Güero. Güiro_sentence_0


Percussion instrumentGüiro_header_cell_0_0_0
Other namesGüiro_header_cell_0_1_0 Güira, rascador, güícharo (Puerto Rican, made from plastic), candungo, carracho, rayoGüiro_cell_0_1_1
ClassificationGüiro_header_cell_0_2_0 Idiophone, can be made from wood, gourd, metal, plastic or fiberglassGüiro_cell_0_2_1
Hornbostel–Sachs classificationGüiro_header_cell_0_3_0 112.23

(Scraped idiophone, vessel)Güiro_cell_0_3_1

Playing rangeGüiro_header_cell_0_4_0
Related instrumentsGüiro_header_cell_0_5_0

The güiro (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈɡwiɾo) is a Latin American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. Güiro_sentence_1

It is played by rubbing a stick or tines (see photo) along the notches to produce a ratchet sound. Güiro_sentence_2

The güiro is commonly used in Puerto Rican, Cuban and other forms of Latin American music, and plays a key role in the typical rhythm section of important genres like son, trova and salsa. Güiro_sentence_3

Playing the güiro usually requires both long and short sounds, made by scraping up and down in long or short strokes. Güiro_sentence_4

The güiro, like the maracas, is often played by a singer. Güiro_sentence_5

It is closely related to the Cuban guayo, Dominican güira, and Haitian graj which are made of metal. Güiro_sentence_6

Other instruments similar to the güiro are the Colombian guacharaca, the Brazilian reco-reco, the quijada (cow jawbone) and the frottoir (French) or fwotwa (French Creole) (washboard). Güiro_sentence_7

Etymology Güiro_section_0

In the Arawakan language, a language of the indigenous people of Latin America and spread throughout the Caribbean spoken by groups such as the Taíno, güiro referred to fruit of the güira and an instrument made from fruit of the güira. Güiro_sentence_8

Construction and design Güiro_section_1

The güiro is a notched, hollowed-out gourd. Güiro_sentence_9

Often, the calabash gourd is used. Güiro_sentence_10

The güiro is made by carving parallel circular stripes along the shorter section of the elongated gourd. Güiro_sentence_11

Today, many güiros are made of wood or fiberglass. Güiro_sentence_12

History Güiro_section_2

The güiro was adapted from an instrument which might have originated in either South America or Africa. Güiro_sentence_13

The Aztecs produced an early cousin to the güiro, called the omitzicahuastli, which was created from a small bone with serrated notches and was played in the same manner as the güiro. Güiro_sentence_14

The Taíno people of the Caribbean have been credited with the origins of the güiro. Güiro_sentence_15

The Taínos of Puerto Rico developed the güajey, a long gourd or animal bone with notches, an antecedent of the modern day güiro. Güiro_sentence_16

Alternatively, the güiro is also believed to have origins in Africa and to have been brought over to Latin American and the Caribbean by African slaves. Güiro_sentence_17

Blench (2009) suggests a connection with the scraped idiophones of Cameroon and other regions of West and Central Africa (see list of musical instruments of Cameroon). Güiro_sentence_18

Use in music Güiro_section_3

Across Latin American and the Caribbean, the güiro can be found in a variety of traditional, folk dance music and used in dance ensembles and religious festivals. Güiro_sentence_19

In the Yucatan Peninsula, the güiro is used in two Mayan dances, the and the jarana. Güiro_sentence_20

In Cuba, the güiro is used in the genre danzón. Güiro_sentence_21

In Puerto Rico, the güiro often associated with the music of the jíbaro and is used in the musical genres of the plena, the seis, and the danza. Güiro_sentence_22

In the Caribbean coast, the güiro was used in traditional, folk dance cumbia music and is still used in modern cumbia music. Güiro_sentence_23

In Panama, the güiro can be found in folk dances such as the merjorana and cumbia. Güiro_sentence_24

Use in classical music Güiro_section_4

The güiro is used in classical music both to add Latin American flavor, and also purely for its instrumental qualities. Güiro_sentence_25

Examples of compositions including a güiro are Uirapuru by Heitor Villa-Lobos (though the score specifies reco-reco), Latin-American Symphonette by Morton Gould and The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps) by Stravinsky. Güiro_sentence_26

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Güiro.