Though simple in design, the cajon is one of the most symbolic and powerful percussion instruments that has ever existed. It’s a bass drum, snare, and seat all in one convenient package.
One quality that has made Everett “Vic” Firth a success as both a drumstick manufacturer and former principal timpanist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra is attention to detail.
Despite being a simple music accessory, there are many factors to consider when selecting drumsticks. The most important considerations for traditional drumsticks are diameter, length, weight, taper, tip, and type of wood.
A few years back, while giving a presentation on homemade musical instruments at the University of Washington, Dr. Craig Woodson created a masenqo—a single stringed violin from Ethiopia—out of dental floss, a Styrofoam box, a plastic tube, and some chopsticks. “There was an Ethiopian woman in the audience, and she got up and walked out of the room,” he remembers. “I thought, oh my gosh, I’ve insulted this woman! But then she came back in and her eyes were wet with tears, and she said to me, ‘I had no idea when you started to play that very simple instrument, that it would take me home.’”
Percussion instruments are among the oldest musical instruments we know of. In fact, the oldest depiction of music making can be found in a French cave. It is of a shaman playing rhythm sticks, and it is 17,000 years old. Almost all cultures play some kind of simple hand percussion, and thanks to the migration […]