Musical instruments and flamenco

  • 29 May 2018

Flamenco is not only an art form that combines music, dance and singing, but it’s also philosophy, state of mind and much more. It would not be quite right to separate some components of this art from others, as all of them are closely interrelated. However, today we will talk about those musical instruments that are involved in the creation of flamenco music.

The most famous of them is the guitar. The image of a guitarist in traditional Spanish clothes somewhere in the streets of Seville is probably what first comes to mind when you hear the phrase "flamenco music". However, the guitar is not the only instrument.


Cajon (Spanish Cajón — a box) is a box visually similar to a large music column. All the sides of the box, except the front one, are made of quite durable material, and this is explained by the fact that during the play the musicians actually sit on this musical instrument. The front wall, on which they play, is thinner, it can be made of plywood or veneer. Actually Cajon is not a native Spanish instrument, as it appeared in Latin America, namely in Peru. What is it for? Cajon is the basis that gathers all the rest in flamenco: music, dance and voice. It sets the rhythm.


Castanets are often thought to be not so much as a musical instrument, but as an accessory to a dance. However, it is another percussive musical instrument of the flamenco art. The name comes from the Spanish language and it is due to the external similarity of the instrument to the chestnut. It is worth noting that, contrary to popular belief, castanets are not a obligatory attribute for dancers, and there are a large number of choreographies, where they are not even expected. In addition, castanets are more traditional for folk flamenco performances.


Flamenco guitar, despite its similarity with the classical guitar, has its own characteristics, which provide a unique sound. First, it is a little smaller that classical one, and secondly, due to the fact that many of its parts are often made of cypress, it is lighter than classical guitar. There are a number of differences in the design of the neck and body, including such differences that are not visually noticeable, but they affect the sound of the instrument.

The art of flamenco does not stand still and is actively developing, and new musical instruments are used. Today you can also see flamenco with piano, violin, triangle and many other musical instruments.