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Capoeira Angola musical instruments | Grupo Nzinga de Capoeira Angola

Capoeira Angola musical instruments


Several instruments of Capoeira Angola circle

Berimbau Berimbau

Berimbau flash or mp3 file

Berimbau is a musical arch originated from other arches of African areas with Bantu occupation. The current form and the way of playing are constructions of the Brazilian afro-descendents. The instrument is composed by the rustic stick ('biriba'), rope of steel, scraped calabash, leather and string. The leather keeps the rope from cracking the 'biriba' and the 'caro' is the string that helps fastening the rope. It is played with a drum stick, a 'dobrão' (a metal piece, formerly a coin), and a 'caxixi'.

Baqueta Berimbaus

Three 'berimbaus' exist in Capoeira Angola: 'Gunga' (with a bass sound, it conducts the rhythm and the capoeira playing circle), 'Médio' and 'Viola' (with an more acute sound).

Caxixi Caxixi flash ou arquivo mp3

It is a small basket with seeds. It has, maybe, African and native Brazilian influence in its construction. Used with the 'berimbau', it gives a second time in the rhythm of the drum stick percussing the arch.

Atabaque Atabaque flash ou arquivo mp3

It is a Afro-brazilian drum used traditionally in 'candomblé' rituals. In Capoeira Angola it is played only with hands. This drum, with 'berimbau gunga', conducts the capoeira playing rhythm.

Pandeiro Pandeiro flash ou arquivo mp3

Pandeiro (tambourine) is of Asian origin and it was used by the Portuguese, in Portugal and in Brazil, in processions. Then it came to be used here in several musical manifestations.
In Capoeira Angola the varied 'pandeiro' beats accompany the sounds of 'caxixi' and 'berimbau'.

Agogô Agogô flash ou arquivo mp3

It is an African instrument and has the function of being a rhythmic counterpoint to 'berimbau' and 'atabaque'.

Reco-reco Reco-reco flash ou arquivo mp3

It is a percussion instrument that enriches a band with sound variety and details.
It seems to have African origin and it is found in several Afro-brazilian cultural events. In Capoeira Angola 'reco-reco' combines this variety to the unique vibrations of 'agogô'.

All human groups possess their own musical instruments but we also found interchange, influences and common bases. "Makers of harmonic noise", such as 'reco-reco' and rattles, are found in many groups, associated to happiness and spirituality.


Ernesto Veiga de Oliveira. Instrumentos musicais populares portugueses. Porto: Calouste Gulbenkian, 2000.
José Miguel Wisnik. O som e o sentido. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1999.
Kay Shaffer. O berimbau-de-barriga e seus toques. Rio de Janeiro: Funarte, 1982.
Kazadi wa Mukuna. Contribuição bantu na música popular brasileira: perspectivas etnomusicológicas. São Paulo: Terceira Margem, 2000.
Roger Bastide. O candomblé da Bahia. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2001 (1a. edição em 1958).

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