Hobbies Playing Music The Maracas Percussion Instrument Share PINTEREST Email Print Lara Danielle/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0 Playing Music Music Education Basics Music History Music Lessons Music Theory Playing Guitar Playing Piano Home Recording By Espie Estrella Espie Estrella Espie Estrella is a lyricist, songwriter, and member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 11/06/17 Maracas are perhaps one of the easiest musical instruments to play since it only needs to be shaken to produce sound. Rhythm and timing are important when playing this percussion instrument. A player can either shake it softly or vigorously depending on the type of music. Maracas are played in pairs. First Known Maracas The maracas are believed to be inventions of the Tainos, they are the native Indians of Puerto Rico. It was originally made from the fruit of the higuera tree which is round in shape. The pulp is taken out of the fruit, holes are made and filled with tiny pebbles and then it's fitted with a handle. The pair of maracas sounds different because the number of pebbles inside is unequal to give them a distinct sound. Nowadays, maracas are made from different materials such as plastic. Musicians Who Used Maracas Maracas are used in the music of Puerto Rico and Latin American music such as salsa. The maracas is used in George Gershwin's Cuban Overture.