Hand Clap is one of the most spontaneous human manifestations. Whether it’s expressing appreciation for someone or something or participating in music played by beating the rhythm, it is such a spontaneous practice that it can be considered as old as human society.
It is also present in traditional folk music ensembles such as the Java gamelan or the Spanish flamenco as a real instrument. Thanks to flamenco, the clap was introduced, in 1953, in a chamber orchestra with “Ritmo Jondo” by Carlos Surinach, which specifically provided for the spectators’ involvement through the clap.
The clap has appeared periodically in many songs such as Clap Hands! Here Comes Charley! (1925) and many others. But it is from the 60s of the twentieth century and, especially from the 70s, that clapping becomes an integral part of popular music.
With the widespread diffusion of electronic drums in the 80s, the hand clap, now electronically synthesized or sampled, becomes a full-fledged instrument. In the 1980s, in fact, many electronic drums appeared which, in most cases, incorporate it, and a couple of devices exclusively dedicated to it, such as the Clap Trap by Simmons and the Boss HC-2.
The pictogram decorating this shirt was printed on one of the pads of a Japanese electronic drum that appeared in 1983.