Definition of claves in US English:

claves

plural noun

  • A pair of hardwood sticks used to make a hollow sound when struck together.

    • ‘These three main patterns are amplified by turtle shells, claves, timbales, bongos, congas, maracas and tambourines.’
    • ‘It's basically like a big compilation of West and Central African rhythms and claves; the book has different types of groups or families of rhythms, and then you get into polyrhythmic stuff, drumbeats.’
    • ‘Musicians will demonstrate bomba and plena, and give a group lesson on the claves - wooden sticks that are the backbone of Latin rhythms.’
    • ‘The mic was also nice on wooden percussion - claves, castanets, etc. - and hand claps and finger snaps.’
    • ‘With the volume cranked to 4 on a minimalist bass and claves section, it could be easy to forget which band you're listening to.’

Origin

1920s: from Latin American Spanish, from Spanish clave ‘keystone’, from Latin clavis ‘key’.

Pronunciation

claves

/klāvz//kleɪvz/