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Cajón & Co.

The cajón is actually just a simple wooden box which you sit on and play a rhythm with your hands. The nice drum sound of a cajón is achieved by using the right wood and by the knowledge of the tricks and ruses when making the instrument. Therefore a cajón can have quite different shapes. It can be as big as a banana crate, as compact as a parcel, or as handy as a laptop. Before the cajón became known all over the world, the Afro-Peruvian people have already played it as one of their central percussion instruments. Flamenco guitar player Paco de Lucia is said to have been the one who integrated this charming box into another music culture. He mounted a snare drumhead onto the backside of the striking surface and used the cajón to back his musical pieces.

Today the cajón is popular not only among street musicians, but it might even have become one of the most popular percussion instruments of the Western world by now. Because playing it is not that difficult. In the upper third of the striking surface there is a bass tone, and at the edges you can produce a buzzing, snare like effect when striking with your fingers. The cajón has a powerful sound and can easily be combined with other musical instruments. Several cajóns can be played in ensembles. It is even an instrument popular among kids, because there are bigger and smaller copies of the cajón. Our traveler cajón for example can be taken along on the road, and even kids can sit and play on it.

The wooden darbukah is a mixture of cajón and darbukah (a goblet drum tucked under the arm when playing). Our wooden darbukah completely consists of wood, even the striking surface. Its corpus is conically tapering to the bottom. Its sound is high, clear and mellow and it has a warm bass tone. You can find an audio sample on the page ‘instrument descriptions’.

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