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What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

There is been a wonderful surge in curiosity in box drums lately. You'll see and hear them all over the place in all varieties of songs from flamenco to world to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even highlighted a percussionist in the home band who at times brings it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged overall performance.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also popularly recognized by their Spanish name, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are in fact very outdated. They were created in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal regions of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from getting any musical instruments, 1 concept is that these instruments ended up fashioned from the delivery crates and bins that had been being unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting down on bins starting up make beats and there you have a new drum.

The term "cajón" actually interprets as drawer in Spanish. So an additional theory is that meinl cajon pulled out his wooden drawer and started enjoying beats on the slim picket bottom surface. Whatsoever the true story is, the box drum has been heard in Peruvian folks music for hundreds of years.

Integration into Flamenco audio and outside of

In the 1980's, planet famous flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was presented a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a gift. DeLucia was fascinated with the seem and had it included into his group. Someplace alongside the way, they began experimenting with adding guitar strings working along the faceplate of the drum. This added a sizzle result which proved extremely valuable. By placing different locations on the drum you could get a very good facsimile of a total package audio with this 1 transportable box! I've read these drums getting utilized in jazz, folks, bluegrass and even in audio therapy courses and kindergartens.

Design and style

The style of the box drum is pretty significantly unchanged from times of previous. It really is a box about eighteen inches tall with a square footprint of about a single foot by a single foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the entrance surface is struck by the fingers. By hitting with various elements of the hand and fingers and in diverse places, you can get very distinct seems.

Modern day Box Drums

Today's cajóns or box drums have started out to department out as contemporary instrument makers make refinements and innovations. There are some that use snare drum wires alternatively of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass impact by including a entrance 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 attractive alternative for percussionists for numerous motives: portability, versatility, and affordability. You never have to plug it in and can be used even in a street-corner busking scenario. And they are reasonably priced also. You can get a professionally created and beautiful wooden instrument for a little over $100! And you can even buy a package to make a single for fifty percent of that. And alongside the way, the cajon can make a nice end table or additional seating in your living room!

I imagine we will listen to and see several a lot more box drums in recordings, on stage and in colleges as far more and far more musicians discover this stunning instrument.
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