What Instruments Are Found in a Samba Band? Brazilian Percussion Instruments

A samba band commonly has surdos, caixas, repiniques, tamborins and shakers. They can also use timbas, chocalhos, and agogos.

AGOGO (Ah-goh-goh)

This is generally a double steel cowbell with a adaptable cope with. The two bells have distinctive tuning. The agogo is held in one hand and hit with a adhere held in the other hand. Most experts keep the agogo with the hand is holding the bell, not the tackle – this offers the bells a duller tone, which is the suitable audio for samba.It is thought to be one of the oldest devices in a samba band before it was launched in samba it was used to provide the construction of Baiao, Maracatu, Capoeira and religious cults of African origin. A more recent variety of Agogo is a significant weighty iron 4 bell model.

BERIMBAU (ber-im-bough)

The berimbau is a wooden or bamboo bow with a steel string, and a gourd which functions as a soundbox. You hit the metal wire with a picket adhere and go the berimbau absent from and toward the system to modify the tone of the soundbox. The sound this makes is unique, and often applied for exclusive results. This is a really historic instrument, In Brazil it is most utilised in Afro Brazilian rhythms from the North East, primarily Capoeira, but it has observed a put in Jazz and other fashionable musics simply because of its exceptional audio. It is not commonly used in samba bands.


Samba snare drum. The caixa is a descendant of the european marching drum, but it has been tailored to be a great deal lighter. The caixa is a metal cylinder with a nylon pores and skin at each ends and a string snare across the best of the enjoying close. The most effective caixas are manufactured from aluminium. Caixas can be of various widths and depths the conventional sized caixa employed in Rio baterias is 12″ huge by 15 or 20cm deep.


This is a metallic or wood body carrying several metallic jingles. It is a Really LOUD samba shaker. This is a elementary factor in the flavour of a big samba percussion ensemble, and also has an critical perform in serving to the caixas to sustain the rhythm. Famously explained by the Times of London as ‘a cross among an abacus and a tambourine’


The cuica is a friction drum. It has a metal culindrical overall body with a disguise skin at a person conclude, and a stick secured to the centre of the pores and skin protruding again by the entire body of the drum. The cuica is played by rubbing the stick with a damp fabric. It appears like a collection of moans – and is said to imitate the audio of a monkey, and to have been employed in hunting by Brazilian Indian tribes. Historically employed by samba educational institutions it makes an exotic audio which adjustments the timbre of the bateria. A real cuica has a conceal pores and skin with a thick aluminium entire body and ought to be tunable. Significant cuicas are 30cm deep and among 8 and 10″ huge anything at all smaller is genuinely just a toy and will not be heard in a samba band.


A hollow shut cylindrical shaker, various from pocket sized to arm duration, and solitary or double. The ganza is significantly quieter than a chocalho and just isn’t made use of a lot in significant Brazilian baterias as it are not able to be heard. But it is even now extensively used in compact teams and in instructing. An instrument of standard great importance in baterias wherever it utilised to have the identical functionality as a chocalho.


A phrase referring to the surdos, which are the massive drums that mark the conquer.

PANDEIRO (pan-der-oo)

A tiny light instrument, like a tambourine, but with a unique sound. The head is hit with great talent, utilizing a mixture of faucets, slaps, rim pictures and rolls. A competent pandeiro player can replicate practically just about anything a drum kit can do. Pandeiros can have wooden, plastic or fiberglass frames and brass or metallic jungles, and plastic or hide heads. In samba the pandeiro is utilised each for rhythmic backing and as a solo instrument. Significantly employed in bands participating in many different types of Brazilian new music, in Samba Universities and in Capoeira.


The repinique or repique is a lightweight samba kettle drum, with nylon skins at the two ends. The very best samba repiniques are built from aluminium for both equally audio high-quality and lightness, despite the fact that you can discover repiniques made of iron or even wood. In Rio samba it is played with one wooden adhere, with the other hand slapping the drum. The repinique need to not have much more than 8 solitary struts any far more both equally deaden the audio and do not depart adequate place for the hand to slap the drum with out hitting the lugs. 6 lugs are most well-liked in Rio. In other types of Brazilian music the repenique is performed with a pair of versatile plastic ‘whippy’ sticks. The repinique was launched into Rio baterias in the 1950’s. Its operate is to enhance the tamborims and to guidance the surdos. It is also applied as a solo and direct instrument, with its solos supplying the proper velocity for the entrance of the other instruments.

REPIQUE DE MAO – this is a exclusive hand repique made particularly for pagode . It has a steel human body and a nylon skin at a single stop only.


The surdo is a big bass drum, which retains the conquer for the relaxation of the team. Surdos have heads at both equally finishes. In Rio disguise heads are used. The greatest surdos for marching samba bands have aluminium bodies as these are mild and strong. Surdos can also be identified with wood bodies (fragile) and iron bodies (heavy). The surdo is considered the coronary heart of the bateria, and is dependable for marking and sustaining the conquer of all the other instruments. The Initially or Primeiro surdo hits strongly on the defeat, and the next or segundo hits on the next element of the defeat, responding to the primeiro.


This is a very little body drum with a 6″ nylon skin, and need to be tunable. At first produced in a quadrangular shape and with skin head. This little drum is held in 1 hand and played with a exclusive flexible stick (vareta) and in samba it is applied to highlight the strongest pieces of a tune, offering punctuation for the melody. The initial Brailsin tamborins ended up octangular and lined in hide. There is a legend that they utilised to be included in cat skin, but as this is fragile and tears quickly, the legend may possibly not be accurate. 1 tamborim is spelt with an ‘m’, but the plural is tamborins.

TAN TAN – a very long tapered drum with a disguise or Napa head at a single conclusion. Employed to acquire the spot of a surdo in a compact samba group or pagode session. Played sitting down down, resting on the player’s lap. The skin is strike with a person hand while the physique is tapped with the other.


The tarol is a slender line samba snare drum usually no a lot more than 10cm deep. From the similar spouse and children as the caixa da Guerra, it has a pinpointing influence on the rhythmic identity of a bateria. It is usually used for actively playing up on the shoulder as a substitute of getting supported by a belt at waist stage it is cradled in 1 arm, superior up at chest level.


The 3rd surdo is a lesser surdo. This is the cutting surdo, also regarded as the Surdo Centrador, or Cutador, and is utilised with resourceful freedom but continues to be accountable for the swing of the bateria. It fills in the areas among the to start with and 2nd surdo beats.

TIMBA – a conical drum manufactured of fiberglass, metal or wood with a plastic head at one stop – a marching drum. Grownup sized timbas are typically 70 or 90cm deep – short folks must use the 70cm timba. The timba is played upright, working with plastic flexible whippy sticks or drumsticks, or can be performed by hand too. It is utilised in designs from North Japanese Brazil, these kinds of as samba reggae. Although this is a conventional drum it was nearly out of date in Brazil until Carlinhos Brown reinvented it for his band Timbalada in the 1980s.


The conventional Brazilian samba whistle is a 3 tone whistle made of wood. Authentic ones are pretty loud and can be listened to very easily over 30 or 40 drummers. The whistle is applied to scatch the attention of the drummers and to control the pace of the samba band. But a 3 tone samba whistle can also be utilised as an instrument in its have right.