What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

There is been a great surge in interest in box drums currently. You'll see and listen to them almost everywhere in all types of audio from flamenco to planet to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even highlighted a percussionist in the home band who often brings it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged efficiency.

So what is a box drum?

Box drums, also popularly known by their Spanish identify, cajón (pronounced ka - hone) are actually really old. They ended up developed in the 1700's by African slaves in coastal regions of Peru. As their Spanish overlords forbade them from obtaining any musical devices, 1 theory is that these devices were fashioned from the shipping crates and packing containers that were becoming unloaded off ships. Slaves sitting on packing containers beginning make beats and there you have a new drum.

The word "cajón" virtually translates as drawer in Spanish. So an additional idea is that some enterprising musician pulled out his wood drawer and started out enjoying beats on the thin wooden base surface area. What ever the correct story is, the box drum has been read in Peruvian people tunes for centuries.

Integration into Flamenco music and past

In the 1980's, globe renowned flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was provided a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a present. DeLucia was fascinated with the audio and had it included into his group. Someplace along the way, they started out experimenting with introducing guitar strings running together the faceplate of the drum. This additional a sizzle result which proved really valuable. By striking distinct areas on the drum you could get a excellent facsimile of a full package audio with this one portable box! I have listened to these drums getting utilized in jazz, people, bluegrass and even in audio remedy classes and kindergartens.

Design and style

The layout of the box drum is quite much unchanged from days of outdated. It is a box about 18 inches tall with a sq. footprint of about one particular foot by a single foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the entrance surface is struck by the arms. By hitting with diverse components of the hand and fingers and in different regions, you can get very distinct seems.

Contemporary Box Drums

Present day cajóns or box drums have commenced to branch out as contemporary instrument makers make refinements and improvements. There are some that use snare drum wires instead of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass impact by incorporating a entrance dealing with bass sound gap. There are even some that are played with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Acceptance?

The box drum is an desirable selection for percussionists for many reasons: portability, versatility, and affordability. You do not have to plug it in and can be utilized even in a road-corner busking situation. And they are reasonably priced way too. You can get a skillfully manufactured and lovely wooden instrument for a little above $one hundred! And you can even get a package to make 1 for 50 % of that. And alongside the way, the cajon can make a great end table or additional seating in your living area!

I believe we will listen to and see numerous more box drums in recordings, on stage and in colleges as a lot more and more musicians learn this beautiful instrument.

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