Today, at 97 years old, Emma Maleras has passed away. She may be unfamiliar for many people but, for those of us who care about castanets, she is a milestone.
Emma Maleras created a method that approached castanets like any other instrument: with respect and rigour. She created the bigram, and her pianistic background proved to be priceless. She dignified the instrument and made it achieve soloistic category.
I didn´t get to know her, but I did buy and study her books. Thanks to them I left my ignorance behind, and my perception of the instrument changed for ever. I´m far (very far) from being a castanet vistuoso, but I´m on my way to being able to play castanets at least as well as I play other instruments I´m proficient on.
If you are interested in playing castanets the way they should be played, I encourage you to get her METHOD.
In the following videos you will get to know this fantastic soloist, sadly unknown for the vast majority of percussionists.
Rest in peace.
…et in Arcadia ego.
© David Valdés