Origin of the flamenco cajon
The flamenco cajón is a well-known musical instrument, but did you know that it is not of Spanish origin? You will be surprised to learn about its origins and who discovered it. Keep reading our post
The flamenco cajón is an instrument internationally known as the Spanish cajón, but beyond the reality, the origin of this instrument is not of Spanish origin. Its origins come from Peru, more specifically from the black slave populations that were transferred there after the Spanish colonisation.
This instrument was born out of the slaves' need to express their pain through music.
It was not until 1977 that Paco de Lucía discovered it on a tour of America, and it was precisely in Peru that he came across this instrument. He attended a party where a musician was playing the cajón, and as soon as he heard it, the sound caught his attention and he began to use it as an accompaniment to his guitar.
Why did he like the cajón with flamenco?
The sound was somewhat similar to the dancer's heel and resembled the sound of tapping, so Paco de Lucía decided to bring a cajón to Spain, using it for the first time in a flamenco show in the theatre of the Parque de Atracciones de la Casa de Campo in Madrid.
Evolution of the flamenco cajón
It is known that the first cajones were played horizontally and the person playing the percussion sat on a chair. After the 20th century, they began to be used vertically and the cajon player began to sit on top, as we know it today.
The instrument has evolved a lot, for example, strings have been added inside it, which is what gives it its characteristic sound, and the way in which the lid is fixed to the box has also been modified.
The flamenco cajón today
The sound of the cajón is key, as it fits perfectly with flamenco music, among other things because of the percussion, which has the right consistency and power, complemented by the clapping. It also has the advantage of being small and easy to transport. Nowadays, digital cajones are being developed that are smaller in size and have a sound that is very faithful to the original.