Crotales

The crotales are the small tuned bells that make the ending of Debussy's Prélude A l'après-midi d'un faune magical.

These finger cymbals are also called antique cymbals, and indeed they are. Archeologists have found bronze crotales from ancient Egypt. In the orchestra, crotales are arranged chromatically and either struck together like a finger cymbal or bowed to produce wafting breezes of other-worldly harmonics. Crotales are not common and orchestras have been known to economize by playing the crotales' parts on a glockenspiel, but that is never the same.

Fact File

Did you know?

As well as individual crotales like these, they are also available as sets, typically covering an octave.

Dimension

4"