Snapping (or clicking) one's fingers is the act of creating a snapping or clicking sound with one's fingers. Primarily this is done by building tension between the thumb and another (middle, index, or ring) finger and then moving the other finger forcefully downward so it hits the palm of the same hand at a high speed.
In Ancient Greece snapping of fingers was used by musicians and dancers as a way to keep the rhythm and it was known with the words "" (apolekeo), "?" (apokrotema) (from the verb "" - apokroteo, "to snap the fingers") and "?" (epiptaisma). Finger snapping is still common in modern Greece.
Finger snapping may be used as a substitute for hand clapping. The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club has a long tradition of doing this. The club's history states, "The reason behind this (as legend goes) is you can't clap and hold a beer [at the same time]! Another possible reason is that snapping is less disruptive than clapping during speeches and announcements." Finger snapping at poetry readings has become traditional.
Snapping one's fingers abruptly and repetitively, often in conjunction with one or more spoken exclamations, is commonly employed in getting someone else's attention.
In many cultures, finger snapping is a form of body percussion.
Sounds of a fingersnap also are sampled and used in many disparate genres of music, used mostly as percussion; the works of Angelo Badalamenti exhibit this in the soundtracks to, e.g., Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, as does the theme song from the television series The Addams Family & "The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song".
Beshkan (Persian), also known as the "Persian snap", is a traditional Iranian finger snap requiring both hands. The snapper creates a crackling/clicking noise similar in mechanism to the normal snap but louder in practice.
There are two variations of the Persian snap. The most common of the two for a right-handed individual is as follows:
The Persian hand snap found its way to the UK through the dexterous hands of British soldier Samuel Taylor, of Leeds, who had learnt the snap whilst stationed abroad and brought it back to England, where it eventually became a craze amongst school children. Consequently, in some parts of Yorkshire it is often referred to as a Taylor Snap.