La Musica y Cultura

   El Cajon y la guitara, el corazon de flamenco

The inside of a cajon:                                                                                                            The outside:
              Because there is so much variation in the types of flamenco dances, there is also a lot of variation in the music.  The major instruments used in flamenco music are acoustic guitar, vocalists, and cajons.  The guitar playing is always very traditional, classical, and resembles greatly the folk music of Andaluz, Spain.  Flamenco is also commonly danced with solely one guitar player and one singer (sometimes one or two more).  The guitar began to influence flamenco when it was introduced to Spain in the 18th century.  However, flamenco guitar makers make guitars that differ from the classical guitar because they use lighter cyprus wood, strings that are closer to the fret board, and "tapping plates" for tapping out the rhythm.  The thing I love about flamenco guitarists is that when performing live with dancers, the guitarist and dancer often interact.  It is truly a fascinating thing to watch a dancer take a piece of music and interpret it through her/his dance.  It gives you and the guitarist a whole new perspective on how the emotions of the music can be captured.  As a dancer, i have a lot of respect for the guitarist I am dancing with and dance with his music opposed to him/her playing with my dance.  In other words, it is more important for the dancer to make sure she/he is dancing accurately with the music then for the guitarist to change his rhythm for the dancer.  Guitar is something i will never be able to play, so i also enjoy having the chance to combine my talent of dance with someone else's ability to play guitar and create something truly beautiful. 
                  The Cajon is another popular instrument.  It's basically a rectangular box about two feet high that you sit on.  Inside is a metal plate with different strings.  You hit the cajon and depending on where, the vibrations from you hitting it produce a high or low, metalicy, percussion sound.