Beat! Percussion Fever
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Brief history

The cajón is an idiophone instrument that originated in colonial Peru.

It came from African slaves whose masters did not allow them to use drums to celebrate or dance, so they started using wooden boxes and drawers (cajón means both box and drawer in Spanish) to play their rhythms. As time went on, this became the cajón instrument, which is now recognized in Peru as an element of their National Cultural Heritage.

This instrument is a wooden (plywood) parallelepiped that stands almost 20 inches tall, and measures about 12 inches wide and deep. Attached to the backside of the lid, the surface upon which the instrument is played, there are one or more low-pitched guitar strings that create a snare, similar to that of the caixa de rufo (snare drum). These characteristics give this instrument a sound that goes from sharp and high-pitched to deep and low-pitched when played close to the edge with the fingers (or a drumstick or brush), or in the center of the lid with the palm of the hand.