Claves are a traditional Afro-Cuban percussive instrument, and have been used in the son and the guaguanco. The instrument provides repeating timing in many different kinds of cultural music.
Claves are traditionally made of wood, like ebony or rosewood, but wood has often been replaced by manmade materials like plastic and fiberglass.
This instrument is played by striking the two pieces of wood together, in order to create a sharp cracking sound. Modern claves are amplified as a consequence of their hollowness. One clave strikes the other, causing the stick to create a resonance.