Capoeira Instruments

Knowledge of Capoeira instruments is essential to managing the complex martial art. Capoeira is a fighting style with elements of martial arts and dance; the form has both African and Brazilian elements. Because of the fluid style, ceremonial music is a key component of Capoeira and widely utilized by those practicing the style.

  1. Berimbau A berimbau is a bow-like African instrument with a connecting steel wire. The player strikes the steel wire, referred to as the arame, with a thin wooden stick, the baqueta. A rattle, usually weaved by hand, may be held by the player in the same hand as the stick for a rhythmic addition to the sound.
  2. Pandeiro A pandeiro is an African instrument that resembles a tambourine. Pandeiros usually have five sets of metal pieces for a jingle effect and the material covering the top is made of animal skin, such as goat skin. The player hits the pandeiro for four beats with a stronger impact on the third in most Capoeira routines.
  3. Agogo An agogo is two metal bells (with one slightly larger than the other) connected by a metal "U" at the top of each bell. The bells are stuck with a wooden stick during Capoeira stances. Although the instrument is attributed to Africa, agogos are also found in Brazilian music.
  4. Atabaque An atabaque is a tall drum with a cow hide top. The hide is secured by rings, ropes and sometimes wooden wedge pieces. Like the pandeiro, the atabaque is played in a four-beat pattern.



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