The Cajon drum is an extraordinary instrument with a complex and interesting history that makes it understandable why it became so widely used in certain parts of the world.
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The Cajon percussion originated from African slaves that were taken to central and South America. The most likely place of origin and most commonly believed is Peru. Because it was designed by slaves with very few materials at that time, especially to create a musical instrument, the design is rather basic for the drum. It is simply a wooden box with a sound hole created on the side. Because of its simplicity, it was able to be produced by many African Slaves in Peru, and eventually Cuba. The design methods also varied greatly in this instrument. As this was the case, there were several forms of the instrument. These were all made of different materials, some with extensions used to slap against the drum as well as many other aspects.
The instrument also spread over time and was used in a variety of other areas. The other major country it was used in was Cuba. As Peru and Cuba are the two largest countries that developed the Cajon after slave trading endeavors, the drums are commonly used today for many different types of contemporary music in those countries. The use of this drum in modern times is slowly gaining popularity as people learn of its interesting origin as well as enjoy its music.
There are also many interesting theories regarding the strange box shape of the Cajon drum. These usually provide interesting stories. The most common theory relates to the fact that in most slave heavy countries in the Americas, the production of music by slaves was strictly prohibited and often times invoked major punishment if that rule was violated. Because this was the case, potential slave musicians were forced to develop their passion for music in secrecy. As the instrument was shaped like a box, it could easily be mistaken for a variety of items such as a table, stool, or almost anything, while it was actually a unique African instrument.
The Cajon drums have an interesting history and because of the conditions under which the drums and their musical style were developed, makes for an incredible instrument. Nowadays their adoption is growing every single day, mainly because of the lower price point compared to other percussions and the beginner-friendly nature of the instrument. There are many buying guides online that can help you in determining the drum that is right for you. Through the years some brands established themselves as go to vendors, but the smaller once produce products with significant quality so this is a viable option too, of course, you will have to put the time to do extensive research. If you are a crafty person you even can build your own instrument. Surprisingly it is not hard.