a four string instrument similar to the ukelele that makes up the tipical Venezuelan musical ensemble, together with the arpa llanera and the capachos or small maracas. It can be picked or strummed and should not be confused with the Puerto Rican cuatro that has four double strings and is mainly used as a lead string instrument in folk music from this island.

Capachos or South American maracas:

small shrill-sounding maracas used in llanero music in Colombia and Venezuela; the inside of small round gourds are emptied and then refilled with the hard seeds of the capacho flower.


wooden sticks that are struck together to produce distinct groups of sounds that can go either 3-2 or 2-3; used in Hispanic dance music, it is thought they evolved from the wooden pegs used as joints in the building of ships during colonial times.


a five double-stringed instrument typical of the Andean countries. Builders of this instrument traditionally use the body of the armadillo as the resonance box. (As environmentalists and vegetarians we do not approve.)

Bombo legüero:

a deep voice drum made of sheep or goatskins and wood, and held together with gut. The word legüero comes from the Spanish word for "league". It was given this name because its sound can carry at least the distance of a league.

Conga drums:

these drums which can be several in number were brought to America by the black slaves, and soon became an important member of the many musical ensembles typical of the Caribbean basin. Like the "batá", many of the African drums were originally used to "call" the gods during religious ceremonies.


a required percussion instrument consisting of two snare drums, a cencerro or cowbell and cymbals, popular in Hispanic American dance music. An outstanding performer of this instrument is the Puerto Rican percussionist Tito Puente.


percussion instrument probably of Afro-Cuban origin. Bongos are a pair of small drums made of wood, and covered with animal skin. The drums, are open at the bottom and are played with the hands. The heads measure approximately 13 cm. and 18 cm. accross. They are widely used in Hispanic American dancing music.

Venezuelan tambora:

percussion instrument of African origin, approximately 2' in height and 1½' in diameter, played with sticks held in both hands and widely used in gaita and tamborera rhythms; player places instrument between his legs, top facing forward.

Dominican tambora:

cylindrical double-headed drum popularly used in merengue bands, played with the hands and a single stick

Small ethnic percussion instruments:

that lend interest, color and dynamics to our repertoire.

We also use:

The keyboards: are used to reproduce exotic sounds that are typical of Hispanic music such as the marimbas, quenas and zampoñas. Musicians who can play these instruments are not readily available in the USA.

The bass guitar.

The acoustic piano.


Grupo CANAVERAL-Butterfly Grupo CAÑAVERAL, Inc. 1995©
“La música es cultura.” 
“Conocer nuestra cultura es conocernos a nosotros mismos.”

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Venezuelan Harp
Arpa venezolana

Several Charangos
Several Charangos

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