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A Most Unusual Musical Instrument – the Triccheballacche

The Triccheballacche (top marks if you can pronounce it, by the way!) is a traditional Italian musical instrument. Made of wood, this instrument consists of three wooden mallets which clank or clack to the rhythm when the Triccheballacche player moves the outer hammers towards the inner one.

To see Triccheballacche’s in musical action, you’ll probably have to head towards Naples, or further south. In Naples and its surrounding area, you might come across folk groups with a Triccheballacche player. You’ll also come across these basic musical instruments even further in Italy’s south in Calabria.

Should a trip to Italy for a Triccheballacche hunt not be on the cards, read on.

A Triccheballacche instrument
A Triccheballacche instrument

I guess you are now itching to hear a Triccheballacche in action. Well, it just so happens that music with Triccheballacche players can be found lurking within the depths of YouTube.

Here’s a video in which you can hear a Triccheballacche in action:

Tarantella Riggitana

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Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.


Alberto Luvará is the, er, triccheballacchionist (?) virtuoso, with Nino Romeo on tambourine and Gabriele Pasceri on the squeeze box.

Italy has other curious musical instruments too. More of which, another time.


Triccheballacche photo by ARCHIsavio.

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