This is a small hollow wooden block in the shape of a rectangle. There is a small slit in the edge to increase the sound.
Sometimes there are round-shaped blocks – these are called ‘temple blocks’.
Two hollow wooden sticks tapped together are called ‘claves’.
To play it
You strike the wood block with a little beater or mallet.
The wood block makes a sharp, dry, wood sound.
Do You Know?
See if you can answer the questions below!
● What is a wood block made of?
● What is in the side of a wood block?
● Wood blocks are part of which section of the orchestra?
● A wood block can…
● Which of this is most commonly used to play a wood block?
Play More Music!
Here is more music to listen to. Click the + to see tracks and information about each work!
Selected Wood Block Extracts
John Adams (b. 1947)
Short Ride in a Fast Machine (extract)
The wood block has a rare leading role here. Its repeated knocking kicks things off, and propels forwards this exhilarating piece.
Performers: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop
Taken from Naxos 8.559031