• Music in Capoeira

    Music is fun­da­men­tally inte­gral to the art of Capoeira. Rich in his­tory, tra­di­tion and influ­ence Capoeira music affects the style and speed of the game that is played. There are three major instru­ments that are reg­u­larly played: the berim­bau, the atabaque and the pan­deiro.

    Depend­ing on the rhythm and speed these instru­ments play, the Capoeiris­tas will adapt and change their style of play and strat­egy. Capoeira music directly affects whether a game is fast or slow, pas­sive or aggres­sive,low to the ground, or fly­ing through the air. Just as Capoeira itself has evolved through­out its his­tory, so has Capoeira music. The berim­bau is the head instru­ment; all other instru­ments fol­low as the berim­bau changes in speed or rhythm.

    Apart from dic­tat­ing the style of the game, Capoeira music plays other impor­tant roles as well. Music is the great­est con­trib­u­tor to the ax�, or energy, of the game. The soloist and cho­rus pro­vide a con­stant rhyth­mic back­ground to those play­ing the game of Capoeira, pro­vid­ing energy and encour­age­ment. The lyrics of Capoeira music often tell sto­ries about famous mestres, lessons to be learned play­ing the game, his­tor­i­cal fig­ures, or events impor­tant to the art. The words can even speak directly to the play­ers in the game that is going on, giv­ing insight or instruction.

    There are five main instruments used in capoeira: berimbau, pandeiro, atabaque, agogô, and reco-reco. The types of instruments used to form the bateria depend on the style of capoeira
    Rodas of capoeira angola typically use three berimbaus (a gunga, médio, and viola), one or two pandeiros, an atabaque, agogô, and reco-reco.
    Rodas of Mestre Bimba’s traditional capoeira regional use one berimbau and two pandeiros.
    Rodas of capoeira contemporânea are in between, typically using more instruments than Bimba’s regional, but fewer than capoeira angola.