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Traditional instruments


The cuatro is the most characteristic instrument of the música llanera (music of the plains of Venezuela and part of Colombia). It is a little, four-string guitar of Hispanic origin used for rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment. It has a quite unique tuning (a, d, f#, b), with the notes of the first and last string in the same octave. In the most common styles of music from Venezuela the cuatro is usually played in a syncopated 6/8 rhythm. However, in a particular style called merengue venezolano, it is played in a very original 5/8 rhythm.

Maracas llaneras (Capachos)

These maracas are used in the rhythmic accompaniment of the música llanera together with the "cuatro". Their origin can be traced back to native, Latin-American instruments made from natural materials. They are also called "capachos" from the type of pumpkin used to make them. The "capachos" require a great technical skill in order to perform the rhythmic variations common in this type of music.


The cajón is the most typical instrument of afro-peruvian music. As its Spanish name suggests, it is a wooden box. However, in the hands of skilled percussionists it renders a remarkable variety of sounds that blend particularly well with that of the classic guitars, creating the characteristic sound of this music. The band plays an original cajón from Perú, different from the ones made in Europe and used in flamenco music.


Also the quijada, a donkey jaw, is typical of the afro-peruvian music. It is used as a part of the rhythmic percussion set and has a sound similar to that of a vibraslap.