What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

There's been a wonderful surge in desire in box drums currently. You are going to see and listen to them all over the place in all types of music from flamenco to globe to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even featured a percussionist in the home band who sometimes provides it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged overall performance.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also commonly recognized by their Spanish name, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are truly really old. They have been designed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal regions of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from obtaining any musical instruments, a single principle is that these devices had been fashioned from the shipping and delivery crates and containers that had been being unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting on boxes starting make beats and there you have a new drum.

The phrase "cajón" virtually translates as drawer in Spanish. So an additional theory is that some enterprising musician pulled out his picket drawer and commenced playing beats on the skinny wooden base surface area. Whatsoever the true story is, the box drum has been listened to in Peruvian people songs for centuries.

Integration into Flamenco audio and beyond

In the 1980's, globe renowned flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was presented a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a gift. DeLucia was fascinated with the seem and had drum box integrated into his group. Somewhere together the way, they started experimenting with adding guitar strings operating together the faceplate of the drum. This included a sizzle result which proved extremely valuable. By putting different places on the drum you could get a very good facsimile of a entire kit sound with this one moveable box! I've listened to these drums being utilized in jazz, folk, bluegrass and even in tunes remedy lessons and kindergartens.

Design and style

The design of the box drum is rather considerably unchanged from days of old. It is a box about 18 inches tall with a sq. footprint of about 1 foot by one foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the front surface is struck by the palms. By hitting with different parts of the hand and fingers and in various places, you can get extremely different sounds.

Contemporary Box Drums

Modern cajóns or box drums have commenced to branch out as present day instrument makers make refinements and innovations. There are some that use snare drum wires instead of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass result by including a front facing bass sound gap. There are even some that are performed with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Acceptance?

The box drum is an desirable selection for percussionists for many causes: portability, flexibility, and affordability. You never have to plug it in and can be employed even in a road-corner busking circumstance. And they are inexpensive also. You can buy a professionally made and beautiful wooden instrument for a tiny in excess of $one hundred! And you can even purchase a kit to make a single for 50 % of that. And together the way, the cajon tends to make a nice stop table or additional seating in your dwelling place!

I believe we will hear and see many far more box drums in recordings, on stage and in educational institutions as a lot more and more musicians uncover this beautiful instrument.

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