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Treschtschotka , also Treschtschotki ( Russian Трещотка ; plural: Трещотки , literally "ratchet", "rattle") is a counterstrike rattle belonging to the group of idiophones in Russia .


Treschtschotka consists of 18–20 wooden plates, each 16–18 cm long. The plates, mostly made of oak , have a small hole at one end. As a result, they can be pulled onto a string and tied together - similar to a chain.

Playing technique

The Treschtschotka is held with both hands. The wooden plates are pressed together so that a rattling sound is created.

Origin and function

The exact origin is unknown. During an archaeological excavation in Novgorod ( Russia ) in 1992, several pieces of wood were found that, according to the Russian archaeologist and musicologist Vladimir Povetkin, are part of a 12th century Treschtschotka. It is unclear what purpose Treschtschotkas originally served and whether they have always been used as a musical instrument in the true sense of the word. Some traditions attribute a mystical function to Treschtschotkas and suggest that they were mainly used in wedding rituals to protect the newlyweds from evil spirits. They were decorated with colorful ribbons and flowers.

Even today, the tradition of playing Treschtschotka and its production is maintained in many villages in Russia. This instrument is also used in the numerous folkloric vocal and instrumental ensembles in Russia.

Web links


  • Lexicon by WI Dal (В. И. Даль), 1863–1866