What Is a Box Drum or Cajon?

There is been a excellent surge in desire in box drums these days. You'll see and hear them everywhere in all sorts of music from flamenco to entire world to bluegrass, jazz, fusion, pop, rock and hip-hop. American Idol has even featured a percussionist in the residence band who often delivers it downstage to accompany an acoustic unplugged functionality.

So what is a box drum?

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

The term "cajón" literally interprets as drawer in Spanish. So yet another concept is that some enterprising musician pulled out his wooden drawer and started playing beats on the skinny wood base floor. What ever the real story is, the box drum has been read in Peruvian folk audio for hundreds of years.

Integration into Flamenco music and past

In the 1980's, planet popular flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia was provided a cajón by a Peruvian maker as a present. DeLucia was fascinated with the seem and had it included into his group. Somewhere alongside the way, they commenced experimenting with introducing guitar strings managing alongside the faceplate of the drum. This included a sizzle result which proved very valuable. By putting diverse regions on the drum you could get a very good facsimile of a entire package seem with this 1 portable box! I have heard these drums becoming utilised in jazz, people, bluegrass and even in music therapy courses and kindergartens.

Design and style

The layout of the box drum is pretty significantly unchanged from times of outdated. It's a box about eighteen inches tall with a sq. footprint of about one particular foot by 1 foot. The percussionist sits straddled on the box and the front floor is struck by the fingers. By hitting with different areas of the hand and fingers and in various places, you can get extremely distinct sounds.

Modern Box Drums

Modern cajóns or box drums have commenced to department out as modern instrument makers make refinements and improvements. There are some that use snare drum wires as an alternative of guitar strings. There are some with a pronounced bass effect by adding a front facing bass audio gap. There are even some that are played with a bass drum pedal or with brushes.

Why the Surge in Popularity?

The box drum is an eye-catching selection for percussionists for several reasons: portability, versatility, and affordability. You will not have to plug it in and can be employed even in a road-corner busking situation. And they are reasonably priced also. You can acquire a professionally made and lovely wood instrument for a minor in excess of $100! And you can even purchase a kit to make one particular for 50 percent of that. And together the way, the cajon makes a great finish table or added seating in your residing space!

I think we will hear and see a lot of far more box drums in recordings, on phase and in schools as much more and far more musicians uncover this lovely instrument.

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